Bread and butter are two words that are always mentioned together. Also, these two items are used (eaten together). Another such pair of words is lock and key. But the interesting thing is that unlike bread and butter, a lock and a key are not an inseparable pair anymore. The best combination lock for you.
While it was impossible to imagine locks without any keys a few decades back, there are several keyless options that today’s lock makers provide. These locks do away with the need for a key because their locking mechanism is based on the interlocking of a set of wheels.
Similar Article: A review of the best combination padlock
There are several lock making companies that claim that theirs is the best combination lock available. But before you are able to make that judgment, you should know about the inner working of a typical combination lock.
The Mechanism of a Combination Lock
A combination lock has a spindle at the core of its locking mechanism, and the spindle runs through all the wheels which lay out the locking/unlocking combination. In safes kept in hotel rooms or in shops, there is a circular dial which allows the correct combination number to be dialed to close or open the lock. But the best combination lock would have part of the wheels protruding outside the main body of the lock so that they can be physically manipulated.
The wheels have numbers on them (usually from 0 to 9), and the person using the lock physically rotates each of the wheels to bring them to the desired position. When one wheel is rotated by the person handling the lock, the flywheel attached to it inside the lock’s main body keeps moving till it makes contact with the second wheel. When all the wheels are in the correct position, their notches (inside the lock’s body) line up perfectly.
The Master Lock 178D Set Your Own Combination Padlock
This was a broad view of how a combination lock, which would help you understand whether a particular lock was good enough to qualify as the best combination lock. We went through a lot of combination locks available in shops or online, and we picked one which we felt had all the qualities to qualify as the best combination lock. Let us examine the features and the pros and cons of this product.
An Introduction to the 178D Combination Padlock by Master Lock
We already told you that no key is needed to operate this padlock. The good thing is you get to set your own combination for the locking mechanism, instead of having to depend on factory fitted combinations. That is why the manufacturer, Master Lock, has named this product as Set Your Own Combination Padlock.
There are 4 wheels at the bottom of this combination lock, which you can use to set an easy-to-remember 4 digit combination known only to you. You also get a free tool which you can use for changing your combination. You need to keep this key safely because you wouldn’t be able to change the combination without it.
Physically, this product looks just like how the best combination lock would. It has a solid, black body and a shiny and sturdy hardened steel shackle which is 1 inch long and 2 inches wide. A likely burglar would have a mountain to climb before he could think of cutting or sawing through these thickly armed shackles.
The Best Combination Lock With Black Body
These materials and the robust manufacturing make this product ideal for use in the outdoors, apart from the expected use inside closed spaces. Let us look at the dimensions of this beauty. It is 51 mm (2 inches) across. The shackle has a steel rod which is 8 mm in diameter, and it is 25 mm long and 25 mm wide.
You can get this product in three packaging options – 1, 2 and 4. The single lock pack comes with a good discount, but you should check the free shipping and warranty terms and conditions they are given on all three packs before you decide the value proposition. This offer comes with gift wrapping also available.
The usual places where this combination lock has been used is school lockers, gymnasium lockers and for securing gates. But surprisingly, this product is considered the best combination lock for outdoor use as well. It works well in securing marine equipment or for barn doors and other outdoor scenarios which have the lock exposed to the elements.
In order to go above and beyond the product features and advantages given out by the manufacturer in support of the product, we decided to do a few trials ourselves and also read as many user reviews as well possible. Many older users of products from the same company said they were missing the earlier model 17fD.
Well, there are two major differences. The 175D was almost double the weight of the 4.8 ounces 1878D. But on the other hand, the 175D came with a brass case for the lock, which has been taken away in the 178D. But let us examine the merits and demerits of the 178D in isolation, to check whether we can label it the best combination lock.
- You have the freedom to set your own 4-digit combination from among 10000 options available.
- A separate tool is provided to set the new combination.
- Very dependable in both indoor and outdoor conditions.
- The body and the shackle arms are built solidly, which would deter both lock pickers and burglars planning to break down the lock.
- The numbers on the wheels are in black color with a golden (brass) background, making them easy to read.
- The hardened steel prevents rust formation.
- Lightweight with moderate dimensions for easy handling.
- Limited lifetime warranty is provided.
- Many users were disappointed with the fact that this product was also being manufactured in China, which has a poor human rights record.
- Unlike most other products which offer discounts on buying larger pack sizes, this product has a pricing structure that seems a bit surprising. That could have been made clearer.