How To Prevent Bolt Cutter Attacks On Padlocks

Learn how to make any padlock shackle highly resistant to attacks from bolt cutters. Always use a padlock with steel locking balls and pick resistant pin tumblers for maximum security. Enjoy the video!

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Lela Arneson says:

Great info and needed right now for me. Needed a good locking system for the trailer I’m going to build my tiny house on! Thanks a bunch

Bob Bobson says:

Easiest way to cut through that with an angle grinder? Cut out of the plane of the washers. Straight down wouldn’t be an issue at all, as there’d be minimal rotational force applied to them.

But, hey, it’s a Master lock. Just stare at it funny and it’ll pop open.

Edit: You need to use a nut big enough to keep the outer edge outside of the grasp of the bolt cutters. The way the nuts are angled you can get a pair in between. Just set the inside of the cutter where the nut touches the washer, and the outside in the gap between. As soon as you start closing it’ll force the nut and washer apart, allowing the bolt cutter to contact the shackle directly. Use too few washers and you can slip it in anywhere you want.

Challenge: Show this in action defeating bolt cutters.

Ryan Grange says:

“Pick resistant” yet he shows a master lock

Andrew McGiblets says:

That Master 2 or 3 does not use ball bearings for the locking mechanism. Its spring loaded pawls that can be rapped on both sides at once for easy breasy open without destruction to the lock, or you can always still shim it with some .015 shims given the gap between shackle and your “shroud” which is another non destructive entry technique.

If you buy a squire, sargent and greenleaf, or even an abus, not even assa abloy, your starting better out of the gate than this nonsense.

urzicatu says:

Thanks for putting this together, in Romania we have hidden hinges on garage doors and a piece of steel pipe bend an soldered over the padlock. It’s pretty hard to open the lock with the key with just one hand

electronicsNmore says:


The padlock used in this video was for demonstration purposes ONLY. It was all I had on hand. I was showing you an idea to protect the shackle from bolt cutters, nothing more. I also made it very clear in the video as to the type of padlock you should be using. Besides using nuts and washers, you can also use a 3/4″ OD heavy gauge compression spring cut into 2 pieces and slid over the shackle.

Thanks for watching

TheRealAnonymouys says:

Marster locks are the easiest ones to pick

Blow me allah ! says:

Pity you can open master padlocks with a hairdryer! Nice thought though.

ansen french says:

unless the person with the wheel grinder just cuts down towards the bottom of the lock.

A.A. B. says:

then why an Master Lock (easiest to pick)?!

Cry Havoc says:

But if I lose the keys to the padlock on my shed…. I am screwed.

Peter M says:

Intresting idea but there is no defense against a cordless grinder, that will get between the nuts and washers.

Sergio Díaz Nila says:

pick resistant only means it will take more than a few seconds to pick. i’ve seen this padlocks picked other channels. And for the space left after the washers, with a wrench you could twist the padlock and brake wherever you put it.

Wes Dresen says:

I pick locks for a hobby. could pick it quickly as well as the abloy. I think anything you do to try to secure against attack is a good idea. Not everyone can pick a lock and most people don’t have a gas axe in their pocket. Almost all security is to keep honest people out. Keep sharing your ideas. I would use a boron shackle.

revmpandora says:

You can protect the shackle of that (or any) Master brand padlock all you want, but no one with any sense would bother with a physical/cutting attack as they are pickable with literally almost anything. This is not hyperbole.
A bamboo skewer.
Bobby pin.
bent up lid of cat food can.
A firm whack to the non-pivot side of the lock body while applying firm pull.

The take-away here is don’t bother, just start with a padlock that is not worthless, IE not a Master

Mc Jcg says:

My bicycle was stolen last week thanks for the video I’ll use it on my next bike

S/LT. says:

too bad that you can spit on that masterlock or rub it on your shirt and it will open… eloel

James Phillips says:

they even make Hydraulic bolt cutter which is an upgrade from the regular manual bolt cutter, fits in a ruck sack, less effort, less weight to carry. padlocks have no chance. they all suck. a good security system in my opinion has multiple deployments: a security guard to oversee your stuff, CCTV/hidden cameras if the guard is taken out, GPS tracking that works inside and outdoors to see where goods will end up, a Silent alarm (to alert police) other feautures like a very loud alarm and Smartwater.. it doesnt just start and end with the padlock, thats why a lot of thieves get away with shit, you need a security system in multiple layers that’s as good as you being there in your abscence. spend the money if you care about your stuff.. make sure the tracker is disguised as something too so it cant be destroyed by the thief, there is no such thing as a smart thief if you are thinking beyond just the padlock itself

Train Locksmiths says:

interesting idea for a general extra precaution when it comes to garden security. This could be very useful for a little additional “boost”. However, as someone said – these would be easy to be “gotten through” on more preplanned burglaries.

Great video though!

enoch powellsghost says:

just cut the chain if one is used! lol

alb673 says:

If they can’t cut the lock the will try the chain.
Had motorbike stolen on Friday night. Alarm disk lock and Squire 16mm chain cut with angle grinder. Only left lock, and 1&half chain link, the scums 🙁

night mare says:

Fuck off

rcboals says:

Great idea!! The best we can hope for in padlock, chains, cables, etc. security is to make it not worthwhile or to easy for the easy opportunity thief. Somebody that is serious given enough time can defeat any locks or security measures if they are determined to get your stuff.

Jake Riley says:

With such a cheap luck it’ll be quicker to pick the lock then cut it anyway so all that is useless. Just showing the dishonest people there’s really something your trying to keep them away from

LivingDays toDaze says:

Bwahahahahaha Masterlock #15 pick resistant… can rake open it with 2 paper clips about as quickly as you can rap it open with a hammer blow from the side.

Clindon James says:

What if they freeze the lock with a can of “liquid air” keyboard cleaner and strike the lock with a hammer and fracture the shackle, or the weakest internal part to cause failure?

Kyy says:

“Pick resistant pin tumblers” *points at a Master lock* LOL, thanks for making my day 😀

Josh Beck says:

and you forgot shotgun,if they’re not alive they can’t steal and if   you don’t want to kill’em or too scared  buck shot to ass maybe they will get message sooner or later,Hate thieves man.

Brian says:

Another useful tip: don’t use Master locks like the one in the video. They are complete trash.

I don’t understand why you went through the trouble of explaining ball bearing locking mechanisms and pick resistant security pins when the lock you presented has neither of them. Someone who has no idea what they’re doing can pick one of those open in seconds. It’s actually almost faster to pick those locks than to dig the key out of your pocket.

Party Bike says:

didn’t you say they pretty much helped themselves to everything (of value? ), why is your mate concerned with securing worthless items in a storage shed??

alebidogas says:

“pick-resistant” hahaha muhaha how naive 🙂


Excellent video. More important and practical than 99% of related padlock videos out there. Thank you, electronicsNmore.

jasexavier says:

If you are going to try this, at least use hardened nuts and washers (e.g. grade 8). Standard nuts and washers are so soft that a good set of bolt cutters are going to either bend them and push them out of the way in the case of the washers, or cut through them like butter, in the case of the nuts. The shrouds on a shrouded lock are hardened steel for this reason, otherwise you could just use bigger bolt cutters, and cut through the shroud.

And, as far as angle grinders go, there’s not much you can do. They’re going to be bright, loud, and obvious, which deters some people from using them, but if they decide to use them, they’re going to cut through your lock, and whatever protection you’ve added. But, they’d also cut through a $100 shrouded lock.

Romero lawn service says:

Great idea thanks

Larry 21603 says:

I did that with a Masterlock and the bold cutter used went right thru the nuts and shackle. If it’s worth protecting a better lock is the right way to go.

Robin Hodson says:

Great protection of shackle, but I was taught to cut through the body of the lock with the bolt cutters, and there’s no protection for that.

Modern Leveller says:

I would say that adding nuts to the shackle is a great deterrent, until you mentioned about using pick resistant locks, then I noticed you were demonstrating on a Master Lock! LOL

sal napolitano says:


chris cis says:

A pipe wrench would still snap the shackle in a second. You get what you pay for. Master locks are junk.

James Phillips says:

ok so even with the best padlock in the world, the thief attacks the door instead because the door is soft steel in a storage unit or container maybe even a gate railing,

why this also is no good is because the nuts and washers are soft steel can be cut upright 90 degrees with the “angle” grinder and also the bolt cutter will also chop soft steel nuts

i think you meant well but masterlocks also have very bad keyways they can be bumped, raked, picked with relative ease,

in short your nuts and washers are like decorations on a christmas tree, its not adding anything lol

Genghis Khan 36 says:

Great Idea …yes…now how in hell are u going to have room on the shackles to lock any damn thing?

Jonny B says:

Could you not just cut the washers with a bolt cutter

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