Secure Your Outdoors: Unveiling the Best Outdoor Combination Locks

Key Takeaway

  • When selecting the best combination lock for your outdoor usage, consider factors like durability, security features, customizable combinations, ease of use, and size.
  • The top recommendation for the best outdoor combination lock is the Master Lock 178D Combination Lock, known for its customizable combination, solid body, and weatherability, providing excellent protection at an affordable price.
  • Additionally, runner-up options like the ABUS 75IB/40 Combination Padlock, ABUS 20/70 Diskus Stainless Steel Padlock, Zarker J45S Padlock, and the Master Lock 5422D Portable Key Safe offer reliable and innovative security features.

It is quite surprising that people use normal padlocks for outdoor use like securing a shed, storage unit or property gates. Though you can theoretically put a normal padlock on anything, they are not meant to be used outside. 

In this guide, we are going to cover how outdoor usage is different from indoor usage and how it should impact your selection of the right padlock. And since keeping your keys handy every time the lock needs to be operated is a nuisance, we will talk about only combination locks. At the end of the article, I will also share my recommendation on the best outdoor combination lock that I have been using for some time now. So let’s get started. 

Factors To Consider While Buying An Outdoor Combination Lock

When purchasing an outdoor combination lock, it’s essential to consider several key factors to ensure you select a lock that best suits your specific needs and provides optimal security. Here are some of those factors that I considered when I was making the purchase. 

  • Durability and Weather Resistance: This factor is perhaps the most important difference between indoor use and outdoor use. When you are selecting an outdoor combination lock, ensure that the lock can withstand weather elements like extreme cold temperature, heat or rain. This means that the lock body should be made of robust material like steel or brass. I prefer hardened steel as the preferred metal. In my experience, they withstand temperatures much better than brass ones.
  • Security Features: Evaluate the lock’s security features to ensure it offers a high level of protection. Look for features such as hardened steel shackles to resist cutting attempts, anti-pick mechanisms, and tamper-resistant designs. The more secure the lock, the better it can defend against potential threats. Out of all the security features, in my opinion resistance to cutting is the most important since you will not be able to keep an eye on the lock all the time.  
  • Customizable Combination: Opt for locks that allow you to set your own combination. A customizable four-digit or more combination code adds an extra layer of security, as it reduces the likelihood of someone guessing the combination.
  • Ease of Use: Choose a combination lock that is user-friendly and easy to operate. The combination should be easy to set and reset, and the lock should open smoothly without any glitches.
  • Size and Dimensions: Consider the size of the lock and ensure it fits the application you have in mind. If you’re securing a gate, shed, or bike, make sure the lock’s dimensions are suitable for the specific use.

Best Combination Padlocks for Outdoor Use

Best Combination Padlock for Outdoor UseBest 3-digit Combination PadlockBest Weatherproof Combination Padlock
Master Lock 178D 
Combination Lock
ABUS 145/30 C Aluminum Resettable Combination PadlockFortLocks Gym Locker Lock
Master Lock 178D Combination Lock
ABUS 145/30 C Aluminum Resettable Combination Padlock 
FortLocks Gym Locker Lock
Customizable four-digit combination for added security.
Solid body made of Steel diecast for durability.
Hardened steel shackle resists cutting attempts.
Optimal dimensions for versatile use.
Convenient, secure, and durable
Anodized aluminum construction, rust-resistant
Versatile for various applications
Impressive sturdiness, durability, and security
Weather and waterproof capabilities
Large size and easy-to-read numbers for quick access
100% lifetime warranty

The Champion: Master Lock 178D Combination Padlock (Personally Using)

Best Outdoor Combination Lock
My preferred outdoor combination lock

My top recommendation for the best outdoor combination padlock is the Master Lock 178D Combination Lock. 

I have been using it for some time now (close to 4 months) and am impressed with it so far. Though the lock has not been tested for harsh weather yet, as the weather in Toronto has been kind, I am sure there will not be any problems due to its solid body. Below are some of the salient features of the lock.

Key Features

  • Customizable Four-Digit Combination: The Master Lock Combination Lock allows you to set your own four-digit combination, ensuring easy recall while maintaining maximum security. With the included key, you can conveniently modify the code as needed, granting you complete control over access.
  • Solid Body and Hardened Steel Shackle: When it comes to durability, the Master Lock Combination Lock doesn’t disappoint. Its solid body, made of Steel Diecast, is built to withstand the test of time. The hardened steel shackle provides exceptional resistance against cutting attempts, ensuring your belongings are well-protected.
  • Optimal Dimensions: The Master Lock Combination Lock is designed with optimal dimensions, measuring 2 inches wide. This size strikes a perfect balance between functionality and convenience. The 5/16-inch diameter shackle with a length of 1 inch (25 millimeters) and width of 1 inch ensures a secure fit for a wide range of applications.
  • Touch Under Fire: I hope it doesn’t come to that but the lock is safe to touch under fire as claimed by the company. While I am not sure if it should be considered a legitimate factor or not, it is indeed a great feature if any fire breaks out.
  • Affordable Price: Security shouldn’t break the bank, and the Master Lock 178D Combination Lock proves just that. Priced at under $20, it offers exceptional value for its top-notch features and quality. You can protect your belongings without straining your budget.

Things That Could Be Better

While Master Lock 178D ticks all the boxes for the best outdoor combination lock, these things still could have been better – 

  • The dials on the combination are relatively small. I don’t have any eyesight problems, but I am sure that people with some problems will find it difficult to operate smoothly.
  • The reference line along which all the combination digits need to be aligned to open the lock could have been a different color to provide greater ease of use.
Master Lock 178D

Some Other Good Options:

While the Master Lock 178D holds the top position, here are some notable options worth considering:

ABUS 75IB/40 Combination Padlock (Tried and Tested)

ABUS 75IB/40 Combination Padlock (Tried and Tested)

While the Master Lock 178D holds the top position, here are some notable options worth considering:ABUS 75IB/40 Combination Padlock (Tried and Tested)

The ABUS 75IB/40 combination padlock is a great runner-up in the list of best combination locks available in the market. 

One of the standout features of this padlock is its construction. The 75/40 Series is crafted from premium solid brass, which is not only durable but also provides a visually appealing look. The brass body is further protected by a pearl/zinc stainless chrome finish, adding an extra layer of corrosion resistance. The double-bolted stainless steel shackles of the ABUS 75IB/40 padlock enhance its overall strength and security. 

What sets this padlock apart from others is the ABUS dimple key cylinder with anti-pick mushroom pins. This cylinder offers exceptional resistance against picking, making it extremely difficult for unauthorized individuals to tamper with the lock. Moreover, the high-precision reversible keyway provides up to 168,000 key differences, which significantly enhances the security of the padlock. 

In my opinion, when you choose the ABUS 75IB/40, you can be confident that your belongings are well-protected by a lock that combines durability, security, and innovation.

ABUS 145/30 C Aluminum Resettable Combination Padlock (Tried and Tested)

ABUS 145/30 C Aluminum Resettable Combination Padlock

The ABUS 145/30 C Aluminum Resettable Combination Padlock truly impressed me with its thoughtful design and practical features. This combination padlock offers a unique combination of convenience, security, and durability, making it an excellent choice for various applications.

The use of anodized aluminum in the construction of this padlock is truly commendable. Not only does it provide a solid and robust body, but the anodization process also ensures maximum protection against the elements. This is crucial for outdoor use, as it guarantees resistance to rust and corrosion, prolonging the lock’s lifespan and reliability.

As an expert, I value the brand reputation, and ABUS certainly doesn’t disappoint. Having analyzed the ABUS 145/30 C Padlock, I am confident in recommending this lock to my clients and users seeking a dependable security solution. 

Whether it’s for personal or professional use, this combination padlock offers peace of mind and convenience while maintaining a robust defense against unauthorized access.

FortLocks Gym Locker Lock (Tried And Tested)

FortLocks Gym Locker Lock

Another lock that I am thoroughly impressed with is the FortLocks Gym Locker Lock, which offers outstanding sturdiness, durability, and security. The lock’s design and construction make it an exceptional choice for both indoor and outdoor use, thanks to its weather and waterproof capabilities.

The standout feature of these locks lies in their high-strength zinc alloy lock bodies, hardened steel shackles, and patented internal mechanisms. The easy resettable combination is user-friendly, and the locks’ large size and easy-to-read numbers facilitate quick access. One of the most appealing aspects of these locks is their versatility. Whether it’s for fitness lockers, gates, sheds, fences, garages, gun cases, or toolboxes, these locks prove to be an ideal solution.

The 100% lifetime warranty offered by FortLocks is a testament to the manufacturer’s confidence in their product’s quality. It reassures customers that each rustproof lock comes with a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What makes outdoor combination locks different from regular padlocks? 

Answer – Outdoor combination locks are specifically designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and extreme temperatures. They often feature weather-resistant materials and construction to ensure durability and functionality in outdoor environments.

Q2. Do outdoor combination locks require maintenance? 

Answer – Outdoor combination locks generally require basic maintenance. However, it’s essential to keep them clean and free from debris or dirt buildup, which can affect their functionality. Additionally, lubricating the lock’s moving parts periodically can help maintain smooth operation.


Securing your outdoors is of paramount importance to protect your belongings, ensure the safety of your property, and give yourself peace of mind. The best outdoor combination locks offer a robust and reliable defense against potential threats, whether it’s securing your garden shed, bicycle, locker, or any other outdoor valuables.

By carefully considering the factors mentioned in this blog – durability, weather resistance, design, ease of use, and security features – you can make an informed decision when choosing the right outdoor combination lock for your specific needs. Remember to opt for reputable brands and high-quality materials, as investing in a reliable lock will pay off in the long run.

Leave a Comment

Hey! I am Mark. Though I am not a locksmith by profession, but locks have always fascinated me since my teens. And it all started when I got locked out of my house and I had to pick the lock. Since then it has become my hobby to learn more about different kinds of locks, understand their working and methods to pick them up. In due course of time, I have also become better aware of how installing the right lock goes a long way in ensuring iron clad security. I aim to share my passion (about locks) through this blog. If you are also passionate about picking locks or are just looking to beef up the security, hop on the ride.