“What is the difference between a pad lock and a disc lock…”. While I don’t require a specific type of lock be used at my facility, I generally recommend the disc lock (and so do most other self storage facilities). Even at the best storage facilities with the best security, there are no guarantees and theft is still a concern; same as it is at your home or with your automobile. A disc lock is stainless steel vs. most pad locks are laminated steel; and because the disc lock has a shorter shank it can not be cut with a bolt cutter like most pad locks can; thus it is more secure.
“But I don’t have anything of value in my storage unit…”. I still recommend the disc lock. Thieves only know what’s in a unit after they break into it and riffle through all your stuff. Usually leaving it a damaged, mangled, mess. To cut off a disc lock you need a metal grinder and it takes a while; unlike being able to snip off a pad lock which takes only seconds. As a storage facility manager, I’m experienced at cutting locks and it can still take me a good 15 minutes to cut through a disc lock; most thieves don’t have that kind of time to stand in front of a storage unit without raising suspicion. Most thieves breaking into a storage facility are hitting multiple units; so they want to break in to units they can access quickly and easily. If you have a disc lock it can act as a deterrent in that type of situation and they usually pass your unit by; which means no mangled mess for you to reorganize.
“If someone really wants to break in to a unit, they are going to break in regardless of what type of lock is on it….”. Yes that is true. But in the event you run into a really determined thief that does take the time to grind through a disc lock; having a disc lock vs. pad lock can still be beneficial in the claim process. Some insurance carriers (including Bader, the company we work with) will waive the deductible on an insurance claim if the tenant was using a disc lock on the unit. If you secure the unit with a pad lock, you pay the deductible on the claim.
The cost of a pad lock at my facility is $12 dollars and the cost of a disc lock is only $15. So even though the disc lock is a little more expensive when you are already talking about the loss of having your unit broken into; $5 dollars can at least save you the further loss of having to pay a deductible to replace those items.