Materials used in wholesale locks
The design of wholesale padlocks reflects their intended purpose. Those meant for outdoors use corrosion-resistant materials, such as brass, aluminum, and stainless steel, or have protection through chrome plating, anodization, or encased plastic. Bulk padlocks for indoors have carbon steel bodies that are sometimes laminated to reduce cost. Another common material particularly used for safety-isolation locks is an insulated thermoplastic known as Zenex™, which has high chemical and corrosion resistance. General-purpose wholesale locks that people can use to secure products like cleaning and janitorial supplies have a lightweight construction, while those intended for security-related applications are heavier and made of tamper-resistant materials.
A variety of shackle designs
The curved piece of metal that opens the lock is the shackle. Its length and diameter vary depending on the application. Short, fat shackles are stronger than long, thin ones and often feature toughened steel or strong alloys. When choosing a padlock, determine the maximum and minimum size of shackle needed. Short and heavy shackles are durable and hard to break, but for some applications, long and thinner shackles may be more appropriate.
Keying of bulk padlocks
Most padlocks come with a unique key, but it's also possible to find bulk padlocks designed to use the same key. This means you only need one key to open a range of locks, a feature that is convenient when managing supplies, such as light bulbs stored in different locations. A similar approach is to have a separate, unique key supplied with each one and a master key that opens all the locks. This allows someone in authority to open them if the key holder is not available. Keys used for high-security locks are complex and designed so that people cannot easily copy or pick the locks.
Combination locks don't have keys, but instead, people open them using preset number combinations. These are convenient because there's no need to carry keys, but the four and five-digit combinations could be relatively easy to crack. For this reason, combination locks are best for general, low-security applications, such as securing safety supplies.
Popular wholesale padlock brands
The size and finish of a padlock is an indication of its intended application. Padlocks meant for security applications are heavier, have stronger shackles, and more sophisticated keying than general-purpose versions. Quill stocks quality locks from several manufacturers, including:
- Master Lock®
- American Lock®
- CCL Security Products®