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Having owned a set of large diagonal cutters (and an angle grinder w/cutoff wheels) for a number of years, I’ve always been skeptical when it comes to padlocks. I generally see them as a way to keep mostly-honest (and lazy folks) honest. So when we receive yet another press release for the latest and greatest it’s-really-safe-this-time padlock, we generally don’t get too excited. Are we wrong, though? Do you feel that some locks are truly significantly better at protecting your stuff?

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Here’s a rundown of some of the features pitched to us in various press releases:

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Rather than spinning a dial with numbers, Master Lock’s Speed Dial combination lock uses up/down/left/right movements. In addition to the new code entry system they use an anti-shim technology and a hardened steel shackle to prevent circumventing the combination. The result is a lock that they claim is faster to open, easier to use, and more secure then a standard combination lock.

Is only having four possible choices instead of 40 for each move in the combination possibly be enough? In reality, on many dial combination locks you can be off by a number to the left or right, so instead of 40 possible choices you’re reduced to maybe 15.  With three numbers in the combination that gives you 3,375 (15*15*15) possible combinations. To get the same level of security with this new Speed Dial Lock you’ll need at least six moves (4*4*4*4*4*4= 4,096).

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I can’t say I’m 100% sure on how these rotating gate valve lockouts from Master Lock are intended to be used, but I’m guessing one possible use is to prevent somebody from turning the water — especially if it’s heated to steam — back on when you’re working on a plumbing project across the building. If lock-out tag-out works for electricians, why not for plumbers?

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Master Lock is trying to make it easier to use bungee cords. Rather than trying to hold onto the middle of a small metal hook, you slip your fingers into the two-finger grip, making it easier and safer to stretch them.

The black 5/16″ diameter cords have the EZ Grip polypropylene hook on both ends.  Sold in 24″ and 32″ lengths, a single bungee of either length will run you about $3 to $4.

EZ Grip Bungee Cords [Master Lock]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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You know those fake stake pockets that manufacturers put on trucks nowadays, the ones that’re maybe 3″ deep and pretty much useless for anything but those pop-up hooks?  Well, Master Lock has come up with a pretty cool use for one:  turning it into a U-lock for locking up your tools.

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