Many van owners – whether contractors, delivery drivers, or someone living in a converted camper van – worry about security when they’re away from their vehicle. Because of this constant worry, many consider investing in a puck lock. After all, if a locksmith can get into most vehicles in a minute or so, couldn’t a burglar?
We’ll break down the pros and cons of puck locks, and why you might consider investing in one. Just looking for the reviews? Scroll to the bottom of the page to see our top 3 picks.
What are puck locks?
A puck lock (also known as a hockey puck lock) is circular in shape and is used to keep vehicle doors shut. They’ve become increasingly popular on commercial vehicles like vans and trailers, as they can secure both sliding and swinging doors quickly and easily. With the included hasp (the plate that connects the lock to the door panels), the design of a puck lock makes it difficult for thieves to get a crowbar or other pry tool underneath/around the lock.
What’s the advantage of purchasing a puck lock for a van?
If you’re doing a van conversion, chances are you have belongings and personal information that others wouldn’t bring in their vehicle for daily driving. In fact, if you’re in a campervan, chances are you have ALL of your belongings with you.
Besides those living in a van, anyone using vans for business purposes might also consider a puck lock an attractive option. Cargo vans for contracting work call for additional security (as they often contain lots of expensive tools and supplies), and a hockey puck lock offers a fairly affordable level of security.
Are there any risks involved with using a puck lock?
As with all things, these type of locks are by no means a security guarantee. For one, there are ways savvy thieves could potentially break the lock itself (though this is admittedly time consuming and difficult). Another concern is simply that the round van locks are rather obvious. If you have one installed, it can indicate to thieves that you have valuables in your van. And while you may have the top puck lock on the market, there’s always the option of breaking a window, or shimming the driver/passenger doors.
So, who should look into getting a hockey puck lock?
When deciding whether or not one of these is right for you, it’s critical to weigh the potential benefits and risks. If you are often away from your vehicle (like going into an office 9-5), or if you are a contractor with expensive tools left if your van overnight, a lock like this may be an excellent choice.
Here are some general tips:
● Don’t sacrifice on quality. Higher end puck locks are worth the extra few dollars.
● Take your time with the installation! The hasp’s connection to the door panel is just as important as the quality of the lock itself.
● If possible, try to make it as unobtrusive as possible: if you can, match the lock to the color of your vehicle so it’s less obvious–you could even paint it. Some place the lock at the very bottom of the door seam as opposed to the middle. Smaller locks are also less obvious (but may not be as tough).
● Keep your valuables out of sight, lock or not. Especially important items or documents can be stored in an additional safe or hidden compartment.
Author’s note: When building out shelving, we specifically designed a small hidden compartment at the base, which was just big enough to hold our laptops. Get creative early in your build process, for peace of mind on the road.
Puck Lock Reviews
Finally, what you’ve been waiting for. Below are three of the best puck locks for vans, whether you’re a van dweller or a professional service provider.
Trimax THP2XL (2-pack)
Simply put, Trimax makes a quality lock out of hardened steel at a great price. And If you’re serious about protecting the contents of your van, you’ll want a lock for each large door (side and rear), right? Pair these with the Trimax hasp that fits the THP model of locks. These hasps are different than you’ll see of the Master locks below. The wraparound (offset) design makes it harder for someone to wedge something in between the lock and the groove between the doors.
Neither the lock nor the hasp comes with mounting hardware – you’ll need 7/8 inch diameter carriage bolts.
Master Lock Magnum Hasp/Lock Combo M736
The Master Lock M736 is a commonly-found, affordable puck lock option. This one, which includes the hasp, can be had for just around 30 buck). Is it meant to secure Fort Knox? No. In fact, it’s somewhat easy for someone with moderate lock-picking experience to open in just a minute or so. See an example here.
The takeaway: if you believe that the sight of a puck lock will deter the average smash-and-grab thief (we think so), then this simple Master Lock will give you peace of mind. However, if you are carrying thousands of dollars of equipment, spend the extra cash for a better lock/hasp combo. Don’t overlook a good alarm system that triggers on windows breaking, too!
Master Lock Puck Model 6270
The 6270 model from Master is a step up from the above, at a slightly higher price ($53). However, with that added cost comes pick-resistant dual locking lever mechanism. Because this is not a combo like the above, you’ll need a separate hasp, like the Master Lock Hasp that is specifically designed for the 6270 model.
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