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The Best Smart Padlock

Best Smart Padlock

Smart padlocks provide better convenience and usability compared to their “dumb” counterparts. No more keys or combinations to lose. Plus you can easily share and track access to your smart padlock. In this article, we will explore the key items to find the best smart padlock for your situation.

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Outside Use

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Shackle Size

Thin

1.5mm

6mm

9mm

9mm

Shackle Material

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Hardened Steel

Boron Carbide

Anti-Shim

No

No

No

No

Yes

Access Methods

Fingerprint

App

Fingerprint

Fingerprint

App

Keypad

App

Bluetooth

Direction Pad

App

Android

IOS

NA

IOS

Android

IOS

Android

IOS

Battery Life

30 days

365 days

365 days

365 days

30 days

(real world)

Price

What to Look for in a Smart Padlock

Simply stated, you want a smart padlock that will secure your stuff. There are several features to consider when selecting the best padlock for you.

Use and Purpose of the Padlock

Start by considering what you will secure with your padlock and where it will be located. Then determine which of the following features is important for you.

  1. Waterproof - Will you use the padlock indoors only or will it be exposed to the elements outside? Look for an outdoor rated lock if you are using it for your bike, a shed or other items exposed to rain.
  2. Shackle Size - The padlock shackle is the loop on top of the lock. The shackle can be short or long depending on the needs. The best practice is to choose the shortest and thickest shackle that will work for you. A shorter shackle is easier to use and harder for someone to cut. 
  3. Material - Boron, hardened steel and stainless steel are the hardest materials used in locks. Look for a lock shackle made with these materials so it is harder to cut. Avoid shackles made from bronze or plastic.
  4. Anti-Shim - Lock shimming is a process of inserting an object into the latch mechanism to release the lock. The most secure locks now have anti-shim technology.

Lock Access Methods

Keys and combinations are out. Smart padlocks use easier and more convenient methods for opening the lock.

Fingerprint Access

The easiest and quickest method of opening a smart padlock is with your fingerprint. Fingerprint access is perfect for locks that are opened frequently such as gym or work lockers. Some fingerprint locks can store one print while others can store one hundred prints. Locks with multiple print storage allow you to register several fingers or to share the lock with others.

App Access

Some smart padlocks include a mobile phone app that allows you to unlock using a Bluetooth connection. These applications often include other useful features including the following:

  • Bluetooth or pin sharing which allows others to permanently or temporarily gain access to your lock.
  • Mobile alerts that notify you if someone tampers with the lock.
  • Battery monitoring and alerts so you know when to charge the battery. Don’t get stuck with a dead lock!

Pin Codes

Some smart padlocks still use pin codes. However, these pin codes are smart and customizable. In many cases, you can assign different pins to different users so you know who opened the lock. Some also allow you to create a one-time use code that can be shared with a friend or family member.

Battery and Battery Life

Battery life is an important consideration when selecting your smart padlock. You want a lock with a long battery life to minimize the amount of charging. This also minimizes the chance of finding a dead lock when you need to get it open.

Most padlocks include a rechargeable battery that is charged with a USB cable. However, some of the locks are powered by secured replaceable batteries. The rechargeable battery is very handy and most padlock batteries will recharge in less than 2 hours.

What happens if your smart padlock battery is dead? Most locks require you to use a portable power supply to recharge the battery in order to unlock the padlock. The best locks include a “battery jump” feature that allow you to jump start the battery to unlock the shackle even if the battery is dead.

The Best Smart Padlocks

The WGCC Fingerprint Padlock is a great indoor padlock that is perfect for a school or gym locker.

The u-shaped shackle is made from 303 stainless steel, which is one of the harder metals used in locks. The body of the lock is made of Aluminum Alloy to keep it strong and light. One downside is the padlock only has a waterproof rating of IP65. It can be splashed, but it can’t be left outside in the rain.

The primary way to open the lock is with your fingerprint. This allows for very quick access so you can get your things and be on your way. The lock can store up to 15 fingerprints so you can register multiple fingers or give others access to the lock.

The padlock also includes a phone app that is available on Android or IOS. You can only pair the padlock to one phone, but you can share Bluetooth unlock access through the app with others. The phone app is used to register shared fingerprint access and delete fingerprints. It also provides useful information such as padlock usage records and battery status.

This smart padlock uses a built in rechargeable battery. The company claims a 30 day life for the battery and most customers say they get that and more before needing to recharge. Recharging only takes 2-3 hours by plugging the lock into a USB cable. This makes is a great lock for frequent use indoors.

Pros
  • Quick fingerprint access
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Good battery life and quick charge time
  • Store 15 different fingerprints
  • Great for lockers
Cons
  • Not for outdoor use
  • Thin u-shaped shackle for light security

The Deep Dream Fingerprint Lock is a simple fingerprint lock that doesn’t use an app for access or setup. This makes it one of the easiest smart locks to setup and use.

You can register up to 10 fingerprints so multiple people can have access to the lock.

The shackle is made of stainless steel inside a plastic casing. This is unique among all the locks and makes it easy to wrap around the item you want to secure. However, the stainless steel wire is only 1.5mm thick, which is the smallest and easiest to cut.

This lock is a true indoor or outdoor lock. It has an IP66 waterproof rating, which means it can withstand powerful jets of water. This is a lock that can be left in the rain.

The battery has a 1 year standby time and it be unlocked 1000 times before needing a recharge. Recharging is done with a USB cable and only takes 1.5 - 2 hours. The lock also notifies you that the battery is low by flashing a red light when the power is less than 20% remaining. Even then, you can open the lock another 100 times.

Pros
  • Super simple to use (setup in 10 minutes)
  • Long battery life (1000 unlocks between charges)
  • IP66 waterproof so it can be used outside in the rain
Cons
  • Only one method to unlock (fingerprints)
  • Thin shackle that is easier to cut

Koogeek Fingerprint Lock

The Koogeek Fingerprint padlock is an Apple Homekit and Siri compatible smart lock. This is a great smart padlock with a ton of features for IPhone users!

The Koogeek padlock is opened with a fingerprint sensor or with an IPhone app using Bluetooth. The device can register and store up to 50 fingerprints. This allows you to register multiple fingers, friends and family.

The app provides a lot of useful features. These include sharing keyless access to others and instant unlock/lock alerts on your IPhone. The app also shows you the last 100 lock or unlock actions with timestamps. This allows you to review who opened the lock and when it was opened.

The battery level is also available on the app. The Koogeek battery lasts one year or 30,000 lock/unlock actions before it needs to be recharged. This makes it a great lock for situations where the padlock is opened and closed frequently. Also, it only takes 2 hours to recharge the lock each year.

The padlock shackle is made of ¼” stainless steel and the body is made of zinc alloy. This makes it a good light to medium duty padlock. It isn’t as secure as some of the other locks, but it is great for situations such as gym lockers or storage cabinets. Additionally, this lock is not waterproof so it can only be used indoors.

Pros
  • Apple Homekit enabled
  • Unlock with Siri by voice
  • Easy Setup
  • Very long battery life
Cons
  • Only works with Apple IOS apps
  • Not waterproof
  • Pairing the lock requires WiFi

The Igloohome Smart Padlock is an extremely capable and secure lock. This is a great padlock for securing sheds, gates and other higher value items.

The Igloohome padlock uses a PIN code as the primary way to open the lock. Large PIN code digits make it easy to see and press the numbers on the padlock. The lock even allows you to mask the PIN by placing random digits in front of your actual PIN code. No worries about people looking over your shoulder to steal your code! Even if someone tries, the lock will disable the keypad after several unsuccessful unlock attempts.

This smart padlock can also be opened with Bluetooth using the phone app. It's good to have a second option as a backup.

The Igloohome app has some of the best sharing options of all the smart padlocks. The app allows you to grant PIN codes and Bluetooth Keys remotely using bank level security tokens. The person you are sharing with doesn’t even need to install the app when using PIN codes. You can send the codes directly to them by text or messenger. The access you grant can be one-time access, time based, or permanent. This gives you greater control over the shared access.

The phone app also tracks the date, time and the user that opened the lock. This gives you detailed insight on when the lock was opened and who opened it. 

The Igloohome Smart Padlock uses a CR2 battery that is not rechargeable. The battery is stored in a concealed compartment that can only be accessed when the lock is open. The battery will last about 1 year and the lock and app will notify you when the battery is low. If the battery goes dead, you can still open the lock by using a regular 9 volt battery to “jump start” the lock.

The Igloohome lock uses a 9mm think hardened steel shackle with a combination zinc alloy and stainless steel body. The thickness of the shackle and the hardened steel make this one of the most secure locks in the list. The lock is also rated IP66 waterproof so it can be used outdoors in the rain.

Pros
  • Easy to use PIN codes
  • Best sharing options and controls with the app
  • Long battery life with “jump start” dead battery feature
  • 9mm think shackle for better security
  • Can sync with your Airbnd listings to create access codes
  • Two shackle choices
Cons
  • No fingerprint access
  • More expensive option

A name brand lock that has all the right security features. This should be a contender for best smart padlock, but inconsistent performance and battery life leads to mixed reviews.

The Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock is opened using Bluetooth or with the directional code keypad on the lock. Bluetooth access is very simple. If your phone is within range of the lock, you can press any button on the lock and it will unlock. If you don’t have your phone, then you can use the directional keypad to enter a manual code (for example, up-down-left-right-left-right).

The lock has Android and IOS apps that allow you to create temporary or permanent access Bluetooth or keypad codes. The user will have to download the Master Lock app and setup an account to use the Bluetooth method of access.

The app provides many other useful features. They include activity monitoring, lock usage history (unlock, open, relock, etc.), tamper alerts and low battery alerts. You can use up to 10 locks with the app.

The Master Lock Bluetooth padlock is one of the most secure of all the smart locks. It uses military grade Bluetooth authentication to keep the phone connection secure. The shackle is 9mm thick and it is made of Boron Carbide. Boron Carbide is often found in heavy duty industrial applications because it is so strong (think bullet proof vests and tank armor). The padlock also includes anti-shim technology, which stops people from picking the lock at the shackle opening.

This smart padlock is also suited for outdoor use. It’s body is made of metal, but it has a two piece body cover, shackle seals and weather resistant internal components. There shouldn’t be any issues with using this lock on outdoor gates and sheds. Just make sure to cover the lock or re-lock it quickly if opened in the rain. Once the lock is open, it can get water inside.

The lock is powered by a replaceable CR2 battery. Per the manufacturer, the lock should get at least 2 years of battery life. However, many people report a real world experience of around one month. If the battery dies, the lock can still be opened with a “battery jump” using a 9 volt battery. You will also receive low battery alerts on the padlock and app so you can avoid letting it go too low.

Pros

  • 9mm think Boron Carbide shackle (strongest of all)
  • Simple Bluetooth unlock access
  • Waterproof and suitable for outdoor use
  • “Battery jump” feature to unlock with a dead battery
  • Anti-shim technology (most secure smart lock)
Cons
  • Poor battery performance based on user experience
  • Inconsistent reliability

My Recommendation

There are a lot of smart padlock options on the market today. However, I don't believe there is a single best smart padlock for every use case. That being said, there are two locks that stand out as the best for specific uses.

Best Smart Padlock - Outdoor

In my opinion, the best outdoor smart padlock is the Igloohome Smart Padlock. It is a very secure and capable outdoor lock with the 9mm think hardened steel shackle and IP66 waterproof rating. Combine that with great battery performance and the best access sharing options. It is clear that this is the best smart padlock to secure an outdoor gate or shed.

Best Smart Padlock - Indoor

For indoor use, I recommend the Deep Dream Fingerprint Padlock. Fingerprint unlocking gives you quick access to the lock. This is perfect for gym and school lockers or a cabinet in your garage. The lock also has a great battery life and can go 1000 unlocks between charges.

P.S. Please leave a comment below to ask a question, help someone else or share your experiences. Thanks!

About the Author Jason

Husband, father and Smart Home enthusiast. I look forward to discussing Smart Home products and projects with you. I have over 100 connected devices in my home, and I'm excited to share what I have learned to help you build a Smart Home that works!

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