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What is a Cable Lock? Is This Security Device Safe?

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

what is a cable lock

Truth be told, it’s not always practical to carry everything with you. Your bike needs to stay outside your office, and you can’t bring your laptop to the restroom.

And that’s where cable locks come in handy, but what is a cable lock? It is a portable, versatile, and effective alternative to other locks.

A heavy duty cable lock is a type of security device that can safeguard your belongings from theft by securing them to a stationary object.

An Essential Guide to Understanding This Security Device

A cable lock consists of a cable made of steel or another durable material that cannot be cut quickly and a locking mechanism that keeps the cable from being looped around your stuff.

It is simple yet effective and can be used for laptop, bikes, outdoor furniture, and other valuables.

Types of Cable Locks

There are several different types of steel cable locks available on the market. The most common styles include:

1. Combination Cable Locks


This type of cable lock is the most common lock in the market for locking scooters, bikes, and even motorbikes. It is often made of braided steel to prevent thieves from cutting.

Combination locks are convenient because they do not require a key. Ensure the complexity of your cable lock combination and avoid using trivial information like birthdays.

2. Key Cable Locks


These locks require a key inserted into the lock to unlock the cable. Key locks are secure, but it is essential to keep the key safe to prevent the cable from being locked permanently.

These locks can be made of braided steel, some coated with vinyl for protection against elements.

This type of lock comes in different sizes and thicknesses, meaning it can be used to secure all your needs. They also offer a high level of flexibility. They can be used to secure items in various locations and configurations.

3. Retractable Cable Locks


Cable lock retractable offers great portability as the cable is typically wound tightly inside the housing.

Another great thing about this cable lock is that it allows you to extend the length depending on your desire, keeping the cable looped around your possession tightly.

The locking mechanism can be released using a key or inputting a combination code, allowing the cable to be retracted back into the housing.

They are also super tough, and usable for bikes, motorbikes, furniture, and more.

4. Alarm Cable Locks


Some electrical cable lock security is upgraded by putting an alarm on it. The alarm will go off when the lock is tampered with to deter thieves.

These locks are an excellent option when locking your possession in a high-risk area as they are made of ultra-hard steel, besides the alarm function.

When to Use Cable Lock?

The main purpose of cable lock is to bind your possession into immobile objects or fixtures to prevent unauthorized access or deter thieves from stealing them.

Cable locks can be used in various settings and situations, including:

1. Bicycles


Bike cable lock is a popular choice for cyclists because it is lightweight and easy to carry, making it convenient for commuters and cyclists who need to lock up their bikes on the go.

To use bicycle cable locks, the cable is looped around the bike’s frame and secured to a fixed object, such as a bike rack or pole.

The locking mechanism is then inserted into the other end of the cable and locked by fastening the two ends.

However, they may not be as secure as other bike locks, such as U-locks or chain locks, and may be vulnerable to cutting or other forms of tampering. It is best to secure cable lock with other locks, like using a u lock with cable.

2. Motorcycles


Bike security cable locks are also a good choice for securing motorcycles for short periods of time, such as when you need to run into a convenience store or gas station.

They are easy to carry and can be looped around the motorcycle frame or wheel and then secured to a fixed object. Use a long cable bike lock since motorcycles are naturally bulkier than bicycles. 

3. Laptops


Yes, even laptops can be safe with cable lock.

The locking mechanism of laptop cable lock is typically a small device that attaches to the laptop’s security slot— a small slot found on most laptops designed to accommodate a locking mechanism.

The small cable lock is then secured to the locking mechanism, preventing the laptop from being removed without the key.

Laptop thin cable lock is a popular security device in environments such as schools, libraries, and offices, where laptops may be left unattended for long periods.

However, they may not be completely foolproof and may be vulnerable to cutting or other forms of tampering.

4. Other portable equipment


Many people also keep other portable equipment secure with cable lock. This includes projectors, cameras, and weapons.

This lock is a good choice for situations where you need to secure your equipment quickly and easily.

Pros of Cable Locks:

  1. Versatile: Cable lock is not concentrated to secure only one item. It helps you secure a wide range of valuables.
  2. Portable: Cable lock is lightweight in nature, meaning it can be carried in a backpack or a bag. That makes it ideal for people who are always on the go.
  3. Cost-effective: Cable locks are typically less expensive than security solutions like U-locks or chains.
  4. Easy to use: Cable locks are simple to operate and can be quickly secured around an item and a stationary object.

Cons of Cable Locks:

  1. Vulnerable to cutting: While cable locks are durable, they can still be cut or broken by determined thieves with the right tools.
  2. Limited security: Cable locks provide moderate protection but are less secure than U-locks or chains.
  3. Weather dependent: Some cable locks may be less effective in extreme weather like heavy snow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cable locks easy to break?

Despite the protection it gives, cable locks are still vulnerable to cutting. Using it with other locking devices, such as the steel U-lock, is ideal for utmost security.

Do you need a cable bike lock?

A cable bike lock can be a good option if you want to secure your bike while it’s parked or stored. Besides, some locks have an alarm to warn you when someone attempts to take off the lock.


Knowing what is a cable lock can give you peace of mind when you are on the go. Hopefully, this article taught you a thing or two about this convenient e locking device.

Always remember that no lock is perfect. Hence it is best to always use a conjunction lock for maximum security.

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