Strange and Unique Locks from Around the World


When you think of the word ‘lock’, you’re probably thinking of your average padlock or euro cylinder locks (UK’s most common lock) that you install on doors. And while these provide a lot of physical security, some strange and unique locks from around the world offer a little novelty to security. Here are some of them.

Bowley Lock

Hailing from our Canadian friends on the other side of the Atlantic, the  Bowley Lock Company produces the uniquely designed Bowley Lock. At first glance, the Bowley Lock looks like your average, run-of-the-mill tumbler lock. But that’s where the similarities end. The Bowley Lock actually requires a highly distinct hook-shaped key that operates quite differently from other types of tumbler lock keys.

The key’s hook is first inserted serrated-side down. Then, you twist it 180-degrees so that the serrated-side is up, push it deeper into the lock, which then tenses the cylinders. This simple redesign of the traditional pin tumbler lock dramatically increases the security level of the Bowley Lock. The company is looking to make this the future of the ‘physical security’ industry. With its unique design and counter-intuitive mechanisms, it almost seems possible.

silver padlock on keypad

Gerda Tytan

The Gerda Tytan, more correctly called the Gerda TYTAN ZX, is a Polish lock that follows the traditional tubular lock design, but with added features. The TYTAN ZX is a tubular dimple lock with four cuts, one on each side, which bring the number of pins to 16. In general, most tubular locks contain only around five to seven pins. This makes the TYTAN ZX much more secure.

To open a TYTAN ZX lock, a person needs to turn the key thrice. It means that if someone tries to pick the lock, he’d have to pick 16 pins multiple times to achieve the result he wants. Extremely tricky—if not impossible. Another thing the TYTAN ZX has that may prevent would-be robbers is a built-in alarm system that goes off if one of the pins is triggered without a key.

Fort Lock Corp Tubular Padlock

Tubular padlocks are strange enough as it is, but this one from Fort Lock takes it up a notch by actually redesigning the notch itself. The Fort Lock Tubular Padlock features a round, protective ring that covers the keyway, effectively blocking the keyhole. When the key is inserted, a small ball bearing falls into the key itself, which in turn activates the tension needed to turn it.

This makes the Fort Lock tubular padlock a nightmare for most lock pickers because without the special key that can accommodate the ball bearing, picking this lock is virtually impossible.

Stick with the Classics

Sure, these locks are unique, and yes, they are entirely secure. But if you’re looking for a simple home security system, a standard euro cylinder lock is all you need. Think about it: how many times have you had to call a locksmith to jimmy your door open because you forgot your keys inside? Now, imagine that you have one of these highly specialized, and very specific, locks securing your door?

Unless you’re hiding state secrets or bars of gold (which, frankly, you should be keeping in a bank anyway), stick with classic locks. Leave these exotic, unique, and strange locks to shops and other establishments that require the highest level of security.

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