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CEN Graded Padlocks: How Are They Graded?

CEN Graded Padlocks: How Are They Graded?

If you’re looking to secure your shed, garage, or garden gate, a padlock is an essential tool. However, not all padlocks are created equally. When it comes to security and reliability ensure you’re checking the CEN grade.  

CEN stands for Central European Norm which is a grading system. They have established a comprehensive set of standards to evaluate the quality and security of padlocks. They put padlocks through stringent tests to check how capable they are of keeping your valuables secure. 

Understanding the CEN Grading System:

The CEN grading system classifies padlocks into six grades based on their security performance. This offers a clear indication of the padlock's resistance against prospective attacks and the lock's overall reliability.

CEN Grade 6 – Maximum Security:

Looking for the pinnacle of security, look no further. These padlocks undergo rigorous testing and are designed to withstand the most determined and sophisticated attacks. These padlocks would be suitable for use in government facilities, on high-value items, and critical infrastructure. 

Check out our CEN grade level 6 Mul-T-Lock NE14L Padlock

CEN Grade 5 – Extra High Security:

CEN Grade 5-rated padlocks have exceptional security features. Providing robust resistance against attacks. They are suitable for industrial environments such as warehouses, and other high-risk areas like building sites.

Check out our CEN grade level 5 Abus 83/80 Padlock

CEN Grade 4 – High Security:

Offering superior security measures CEN Grade 4 - high-security padlocks are suitable for commercial buildings, storage units, and outdoor areas such as garden gates and garages. They provide a high level of resistance against common attacks, deterring potential burglars and intruders. 

Often burglars are looking for easy and quick access and will be deterred by seeing a padlock that will increase the time it takes for them to get into a building or garden. 

Check out our CEN grade level 4 Mul-T-Lock NE10H Padlock

CEN Grade 3 – Medium Security:

squire padlock

Padlocks with a CEN Grade 3 rating provide reliable security for everyday use. They are commonly used in residential areas, securing gates, sheds, and bikes. Whilst they don’t offer enough resistance to be used on government buildings, they still provide effective protection against opportunistic thieves around your home.

Check out our CEN grade level 3 Squire Stronghold 50mm CS Padlock

CEN Grade 2 – Standard Entry Level Security:

If you’re looking for a padlock for basic security needs, a CEN Grade 2 padlock is a great option. Suitable for low-risk environments such as lockers, luggage, and cabinets. They serve as a deterrent against casual theft. Often seeing a padlock is enough to put a thief off.  

CEN Grade 1 – Low Security:

Padlocks with a CEN Grade 1 rating offer the least amount of security. Ideal if there is not a significant concern, such as school lockers. Items that require locking but are of low value and unlikely to come up against attacks. 

You may also wish to use them in your home to keep small fingers out of medicine or liquor cupboards. 

How Padlocks are tested to work out their CEN grade: 

A CEN grade is determined by a padlock undergoing multiple intensive tests. This is to assess the padlock's security performance. The testing procedure includes:

Minimum Number of Key Differs: Ensuring the padlock has a sufficient number of unique key combinations. This can help to prevent unauthorised key duplication.

Pulling of Shackle/Staple: This simulates an attempt to break or remove the lock by force such as pulling the lock. 

Twisting of Shackle/Staple: Looks at the padlock's resistance to twisting force. Replicating attempts to manipulate the shackle and break the padlock by twisting it, trying to make it snap.

Cutting of Shackle/Staple: Testing how the padlock withstands attacks using bolt cutters, saws, or other cutting tools.

Blow to the Padlock: Simulates a physical attack on the padlock, for example, someone trying to break the padlock using the force of a hammer or other heavy object. 

Temperature Test: Determines the padlock's ability to withstand extreme temperature conditions such as freezing attacks without compromising its functionality. 

Drilling and Sawing: A common break-in method is using drills and saws so this is a very important part of the testing process. 

We hope this gives you some more insight into how padlocks are graded. This knowledge should increase your confidence in our range of CEN-grade padlocks and their capabilities. For more information don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our friendly team at 0800 542 1264. 

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