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Disc Lock vs Padlock – Similarities and Differences

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

disc lock vs padlock

Security is one of the essentials when establishing a safe and secure home. Be it your family members or confidential documents, it is important to keep them away from harm or unwanted guests.

The industry offers many security apparatus, ranging from fire-secure safes to electronic locks. If you are still unsure what lock to get, you should check this article to make sure you choose the best lock option.

In this article, we will show you the differences between disc lock vs padlock.


What is a Disc Lock?

Shaped like a circular disc, a disc style lock is a type of lock that boasts a shielded or covered short shackle that is integrated into the lock. This round lock is a modern type with a keyed body consisting of pin tumblers.

Its typical features include:

  • Robust shielded shackle (not exposed) for better security
  • Features cylinder and dual-locking lever to stop thieves from picking
  • Weatherproof and rust-resistant materials such as stainless steel

A disc padlock is mainly used in securing essential files, documents, or expensive things rather than doors and containers. A disc lock is a type of padlock called the discus padlock.

Disc locks have varied locking mechanisms, ranging from combinations to keyholes. To open a disc lock without a key would require you to have the necessary lockpicking skills and lockpicking equipment.

What is a Padlock?


A padlock is a lightweight lock used to secure two things together. It features a pad infused with a keyway at the bottom and a U-shaped shackle at the top.

Padlocks work by opening the lock first with the corresponding key, inserting the opened end of the shackle into the attachment holes of the two different things, and inserting the bond back into the pad.

The four main different types of padlocks are closed-shackle padlocks, long-shackle padlocks, straight-shackle padlocks, and discus or circular padlocks.

  • Closed-shackle padlocks – They are designed with a body that covers and secures most of its shackles. Due to its secured shackles compared to other padlocks, there is little space available to attach the locking hardware.
  • Straight shackle padlock – Also known as shutter padlock, it features a straight bar instead of a U-shaped shackle. They are commonly utilized in commercial settings since they are easy to fit and secure.
  • Long shackle padlocks – They boast utility more than security. This is because of their long shackles, making it more convenient to fit inside the shackles because of the bigger space.
  • Round shackle padlocks – They are also known as discus padlocks or circular padlocks, and are popular due to their absolute security. Drilling a round shackle padlock will not force the lock due to the lack of springs inside the mechanism.

What Are the Differences Between a Disc Lock and a Padlock?

Both the disc lock and padlocks are used to secure your things or home from uninvited guests. However, there are several differences between the two in terms of usage, shape, and level of security.

1. Security


In terms of security, disc locks are considered better due to their shackle being rounded and integrated into its body, making them more difficult to cut with bolt cutters.

On the other hand, padlocks are less secure as they have open and exposed shackles, making them more susceptible to breakage.

2. Shape

The shape of a disc lock or cylinder lock is circular and much easier to handle. On the other hand, Padlocks are bulky and bigger than disc locks.

3. Usage

Padlocks are commonly used for storage unit security, due to it being bulky and easy to utilize. Compared to padlocks, disc locks can be commonly seen in safes or small containers.

4. Modernity


Disc locks have a more modern design compared to padlocks. This is because padlocks were already popular as early as the Roman era. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of padlock is most secure?

Among the padlock types, the most secure is the closed-shackle padlocks. This is because closed shackle padlocks cover the shackles of the lock, making it safe from hammering or cutting using bolt cutters.

Are disc locks safe?

Compared to padlocks, disc locks are safer and much more reliable. These are some of its features that guarantee its safety:

  • Resist weather effects – Some locks, especially the old ones, are not made of stainless steel, making them more susceptible to rusting. Since they are made from stainless steel, disc locks can withstand rusting and other weather effects.
  • Challenging to pick – Due to its dual locking lever mechanisms and the number of integrated pins, disc locks are difficult to pick.
  • Hard to break – With the disc lock’s shorter shackles compared to most locks, to break a circle lock is much harder to do.

Are disc locks easy to pick?

Disc locks are not easy to pick, but they are possible to do so. To open a round padlock without key would take a lot of experience and without the necessary lockpicking apparatus, it might prove to be difficult.

How much do a Disc Lock and Padlock cost?

Padlocks are a bit more affordable than the other types.

You can go to reliable brands such as Master Locks, Yale, or American Lock to get a padlock from $4 to over $15. Meanwhile, discus locks are available at $12 – $22.


Knowing the differences between a disc lock vs padlock will help you decide what is best for you. Whether for securing your house from other people or keeping your precious things from thieves and robbers, buying a disc lock or a padlock is the way to go.

Choosing the right lock is important as it will maximize the security in your home. A secure and safe home for you and your family equates to a healthy and comfortable lifestyle.

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