Padlocks vs Disc Locks: What’s the Difference?

Disc lock by Monroe

Most shackle-style locks are classified as either a padlock or disc lock. The shackle is a removable part of a lock. Unlocking a lock will open the shackle, whereas locking it will close the shackle. While padlocks and disc locks both have a shackle, though, they are two different types of locks.

What Is a Padlock?

A padlock is a type of lock with a U-shaped shackle at the top and a pad at the bottom. They’ve been around for thousands of years. Some of the earliest known padlocks, in fact, date back to the Roman Era.

All padlocks have a pad and a shackle. Within the pad is typically a set of pin tumblers. Inserting a key into the pad will align it with the pin tumblers. You can then turn the key to open the shackle.

What Is a Disc Lock?

A disc lock is a type of lock that’s shaped like a circular disc. It features a shorter, rounded shackle at the top that’s integrated into its circular body. Disc locks are newer. Nonetheless, they’ve become a popular alternative to padlocks.

Disc locks feature a keyed body as well. And like padlocks, most of them contain pin tumblers. Inserting a key inside of the body and turning it will open the disc lock’s shackle.

Differences Between Padlocks and Disc Locks

Padlocks and disc locks can both protect your property from theft, but they aren’t the same. Padlocks feature a traditional design consisting of a pad and shackle. They are also known as open-shackle locks because the shackle is open and exposed.

Disc locks feature a more modern design consisting of a disc with a built-in shackle. The shackle is essentially part of the body. It’s integrated into the body. Disc locks are also known as closed-shackle locks because the shackle is closed and partially concealed.

Disc locks are arguably more secure than padlocks. The shackle on disc locks is rounded, making it difficult to cut with a pair of bolt cutters. And only a small part of the shackle is exposed. Disc locks have a closed shackle, whereas padlocks have an open shackle.

In Conclusion

Padlocks and disc locks are shackle-style locks. They both have a body, and they both have a shackle. Padlocks simply have a pad-shaped body with an open shackle. In comparison, disc locks have a disc-shaped body with a closed shackle.

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