Gear and equipment forum

Combination Padlocks - Any difference between the expensive and cheap ones?

  • wombatfuz

    Joined Travelfish
    30th December, 2009
    Posts: 38

    I've seen some combination padlocks at specialised travel stores. Looks pro and belongs to some well known western brand.

    Then I saw some at the budget store. About one US dollar each. Japanese brand.

    Should I buy the less costly ones? What's your average spending on combination padlocks?


    #1 Posted: 2/3/2010 - 09:26

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  • shaydan_01

    Joined Travelfish
    16th November, 2009
    Location Australia
    Posts: 80

    I would say go with a key lock or some sort of hack proof super combination lock, if such thing exist's. I was in Thailand in a petrol station filling up my scooter when a Thai man approached me, pointed at my backpack with a little smile, gestured with his hands as if to say “is it okay that I touch your bag” and then proceeded to turn the little number dials on my combination lock. After about ten seconds he spat out a little Thai version of “ta da” and the lock clipped open. Either this guy was very intuitive or there is a simple art to hacking into combination locks, either way he found out saftey efforts pretty funny. Ours were cheap however.

    #2 Posted: 2/3/2010 - 10:53

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 567

    you mean like attached to a cable so your pack doesn't run away?

    I'd get the kind with a key, even then they break easy. One time a freind called me in China from the airmport, he'd left his bike locked to a street lamp. As directed I got a hammer from his wife and it took one solid wack and it jumped open. Ten dollar lock. I've heard some of those fancey bike locks are bomber, but why bother. I've yet to lock a pack, I'd think you could just cut through. If it's dodgy I sleep curled around it.

    #3 Posted: 2/3/2010 - 11:02

  • Indoluso

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd December, 2009
    Posts: 133

    There are combination locks which say that they're good when you go through the US as the US customs will be able to open them... which means those have a way of being opened with some kind of universal combination.

    But I wouldn't trust key locks more as many have those keys which work in any padlocks of the same brand. Another thing is to think that if with a clip people can open cars or houses, I don't beleive a key padlock is much stronger against this kind of technique, as a combination padlock to be opened...

    #4 Posted: 2/3/2010 - 19:53

  • krisited

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd November, 2009
    Posts: 25

    if there is anyway that these combination locks can be unlocked, then i would go for a not so expensive and not so cheap lock..a very cheap one might not be safe and a very expensive lock is not that practical either..

    #5 Posted: 17/3/2010 - 17:54

  • bedu

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 58
    Total reviews: 15

    I bought a combination lock in the UK fir about five pounds, and over here in Bangkok are similar ones for half the price. So who knows? Maybe the more expensive ones are tougher, maybe not.

    I agree with one of the posts that a key is better, yes, you may lose the key or break it, but a combination with 3 numbers can be cracked quite easily. The lock is just a deterrent, not a fool proof method.

    #6 Posted: 4/5/2010 - 11:09

  • hutty

    Joined Travelfish
    4th June, 2009
    Posts: 19

    You can open the cheap ones by fiddling with them for a little while. anyone can do it.

    They are generally just a deterrent anyway if they are for your bag. If someone wants to get in to your bag - they will get in (unless your bag is made of titanium).

    You will more likely use it for lockers/hostel doors, so get a better one, or just a key lock. One key isnt too hard to look after and if you are traveling with a friend then carry each others as well as your own.

    #7 Posted: 5/5/2010 - 11:53

  • Ruby01

    Joined Travelfish
    12th May, 2010
    Posts: 1

    I would never use cheap combination padlocks any more. I used to have a fairly cheap locks on my luggage when i was in Cambodia and then my luggage was open and all of possessions was got lost. Cheap means inferior, not robust and safe.

    #8 Posted: 12/5/2010 - 16:47

  • Gorey

    Joined Travelfish
    26th March, 2007
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 58
    Total reviews: 3

    I got a bag of 50 basic padlocks a few years ago and always end up slapping one on the zips. You could probably cut through them with a decent pair of scissors, but like people have said a padlock works as a deterrent to someone who who doesnt make a habit/career out of bag/contents theft and those who do wont be deterred by any form of padlock. Anything remotely sharp will cut through a bags front, unless these apparently 'slash proof' bags work the best bet is to make sure anything really important/valuable is always with you and kept secure on your person - for me thats money/cards and my passport.

    The only time ive seen that my bags been tampered with is when i collect it at an airport and see some baggage handler has had a go at it and found all i have is clothes in there.

    #9 Posted: 12/5/2010 - 17:32

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