Multiple Dial vs Single Dial Combination Padlock

People need a padlock, such as combination padlock, to secure their private rooms, lockers, cabinets, boxes and other storage areas. One of the best choices for a padlock is the one with a combination lock.

This type of lock has a series of letters, symbols, or numbers that are used to unbolt it. These series of numbers are manipulated by rotating the dial with inscribed symbols. The dial interrelates with several discs or cams to match a certain series of symbols that will unlock the locking mechanism.

A combination padlock is sold as a mechanical manually manipulated locking system or as an electronic gadget. Mathematicians often disagree on the terminology given for a combination lock, as it does not need a combination of numbers or values for it to unlock.

The term preferred for describing the set of numbers, letters or symbols to unbolt the locking system is sequence. There are two major types of combination locks and they are the multiple dial and the single dial combination padlock.

Multiple Dial Combination Padlock

This type of padlock is one of the simplest designs. It is often used in briefcases, travel bags, lockers, and bicycles, and uses several rotating cams with indentations cut into it. A pin with many grooves that hooks into the cams attaches this type of lock.

When the indentations of the cams align with the pin’s teeth or grooves, it will unlock. Although it may have a multiple dial, it is but considered as one of the least secure types of combination padlock. Even without any idea on what the correct combination or sequence of symbols were used, it can still be easily opened.

This is perhaps due to the degree of machine work, whether it was created precisely or that it was made haphazardly. But to open it even without knowing the certain code is easy. The discs are constantly being rotated while the pin is being pulled until certain clicking sounds are heard. This means that the teeth have settled on the indentations. Buyers are cautioned not to use this type of lock if the material being secured is highly confidential.

Single Dial Combination Padlock

Single dial combination padlock is usually used in safety deposit boxes and certain high-security storage bins. This dial relates with a variety of parallel cams. Normally, this type of combination lock can be opened by rotating the dial clockwise for the first symbol, followed by a counterclockwise turn for the next symbol, and clockwise again, and so forth. This alternating fashion in opening the lock is done until the last symbol is reached and the lock will then open. The padlock’s cams have certain notches or indentations that align when the correct sequence of symbols were entered, thus the latch will fit in and unbolt the padlock.

If the make of the single dial combination padlock is not of high quality, it can still be easily opened, although this is a lot better than a multiple dial padlock or even a keyed padlock. It is suggested that for all highly valuable materials, these should be kept in highly secured vaults as inexpensive padlocks can be vulnerable to direct assaults. For example, padlock shims can be used to break down the manacle even with a certain sequence of numbers being entered.

If one decides to purchase a combination padlock, it is best to remember that these are better than keyed locks. However, owners of highly sensitive or very valuable documents and materials are cautioned about the sensitivity and quality of the combination lock used.