Angle Grinder Proof Bike Lock: Has it finally arrived? - The Best Bike Lock (2023)

When I first started researching and writing about bicycle security, over 6 years ago (in 2015), angle grinders weren’t such a big deal. Yes, some thieves used them. But they weren’t widely used. And they struggled to defeat the very strongest bike locks.

This was because limited power and battery life meant it would take a while to cut through a thick u-lock, with a thief often needing to swap battery packs at least once as the first one ran out of juice.

However, technology moves quickly, often to the benefit of the resourcefully criminally minded first. Batteries have improved at an exponential rate which means that thieves now easily have enough power to get through even the thickest u-locks, very quickly indeed.

For example, even the famous Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit, undoubtedly the world’s most secure portable bicycle lock up until now, featuring an unrivalled 18mm hardened steel shackle, can be defeated in 1 minute with a portable angle grinder.

1 minute 10 seconds to be exact.

To defeat the most secure bicycle lock on the planet! A lock that weighs the same as 5.5 cans of Coke and has internal dimensions so small that it severely restricts where and how you’re able to secure your bike.

Many thieves are very comfortable with a 1 minute time frame. Especially when an angle grinder can serve as a very dangerous weapon if they’re confronted by brave members of the public...

So for the last few years, we’ve been in a situation where increasing numbers of (essentially armed), thieves are using compact and powerful portable angle grinders to steal whichever bike they choose, irrespective of how its been secured.

And usually in a matter of seconds.

(Video) Can we destroy an angle grinder resistant bike lock? | New Hiplok D1000 Tested | Cycling Weekly

Now, don’t get me wrong, this idea that all bike thieves are using angle grinders now is nonsense. It’s still a minority and they’re largely operating in big cities. Why would most thieves need angle grinders when huge numbers of cyclists are still “securing” their bikes withcable locksthat can be snipped through with a tiny pair of cable cutters?

But the problem is that the thieves using angle grinders are prolific and relentless. And up until now (in a world where the police seem to have better things to do than address bicycle crime), they’ve essentially been unstoppable.

But as is usually the case the market responds to need. And as angle grinder theft became more of an issue, the innovative rushed to find solutions.

First came theSkunkLock, a bicycle lock that doesn’t aim to prevent an angle grinder cutting through its shackle, but instead to severely punish the thief wielding the angle grinder by releasing a cloud of noxious, vomit inducing gas into their face, preventing them from actually stealing the bike.

Angle Grinder Proof Bike Lock: Has it finally arrived? - The Best Bike Lock (1)

The SkunkLock warning label

While the SkunkLock works well and has successfully protected countless bikes, it’s very bulky making it challenging to carry around while you’re riding and if the shackle is cut into (and releases the gas), the lock can’t be used again.

Next came the Altor SAF, a bicycle lock which I originally thought was a Photoshopped spoof, when I saw the photos!

Angle Grinder Proof Bike Lock: Has it finally arrived? - The Best Bike Lock (2)

The comically large Altor SAF

In fact, the SAF is a pretty standard steel u-lock with a 14 mm shackle, wrapped in a complex aluminium shell. The idea is that the aluminium shell keeps the angle grinder blade away from the steel of the u-lock.

Of course with enough time, the angle grinder can get through both the shell and the steel shackle, but this can take over an hour and several battery changes. So in this way the SAF is certainly angle grinder proof.

(Video) Stealing My Own Bike - 7 Bike Locks Vs Angle Grinder

The problem is that it’s enormous. It weighs the same amount as 3 Kryptonite Fahgettaboudits (and 16 cans of Coke). What’s more it’s so bulky it’s entirely non portable. And the internal measurements are about the same as a mini u-lock.

So you’re limited to stationary security (at home or work), as long as you’ve got an immovable object to secure your bike to that the SAF will actually fit around.

While the SkunkLock and Altor SAF are undoubtedly fantastic innovations and will certainly protect against angle grinder theft, due to their bulk, they’re unlikely to become mainstreamportablebike locks.

What we really need is a regular looking bike lock that an angle grinder is unable to cut. Enter the Hiplok D1000.

In 2020I tweeted about a new material called Proteuswhich “uses ceramic spheres in a cellular aluminium structure to foil angle grinders, drills and the like by creating destructive vibrations that blunt any cutting tools used against it”.

However I’ve heard stuff like this before, and I presumed it would be several years (if ever), before any new fangled material could be used in commercially viable bike locks. Usually the material is too expensive, or the manufacturing process is too expensive. Or there are other technical drawbacks.

How wrong I was.

Because Hiplok (a company that's made it’s name with bicycle locks that are easier to carry around), are about to release the world’s first truly portable, anti angle grinder bike lock, and the secret sauce is a new material called “Ferosafe”.

Angle Grinder Proof Bike Lock: Has it finally arrived? - The Best Bike Lock (4)

Ferosafe: the magical material that makes it possible

So it’s not made from the aforementioned Proteus. Instead, this Ferosafe stuff is a graphene composite material specifically designed to resist angle grinders and drills, and it’s made by a British materials manufacturer calledTenmatwho have partnered up with Hiplok.

(Video) Top 5 Best Bike Lock Review in 2022

Essentially this stuff disintegrates angle grinder blades!

And it seems that Hiplok have added layer of Ferosafe around a regular u-lock to protect it from angle grinder attacks.

Several online tests show impressive results. Cycling Weekly used a mains powered angle grinder against the lock while it was held in a vice and it took them over 20 minutes and they destroyed 5 cutting discs before they got through the lock...

The italics are important here. Because real thieves don’t use mains powered angle grinders and they don’t have the luxury of vices in the street. Using a portable angle grinder and having to hold the lock steady would inevitably take much longer.

John at Bennets (who always provides level headed opinions on motorbike security), attacked it on a motorbike wheel. And while he doesn’t disclose how long it took to cut, he goes through 2.5 discs. And he’s using a mains powered angle grinder too!

So it seems like it could take anywhere between 10 and 25 minutes to cut the Hiplok D1000 with an angle grinder. In the street, where a thief might need to change a couple of battery packs and several blades, this is a really big deal.

In fact for most real world thieving circumstances, it essentially makes the Hiplok D1000 angle grinder proof.

And it manages this while remainingrelatively lightweight and svelte. So the internal dimensions of the Hiplok D1000 are slightly larger than the Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini u-lock, giving you a few more locking options. But it also weighs slightly less (well, 5% less).

Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini

Hiplok D1000

Angle Grinder Proof Bike Lock: Has it finally arrived? - The Best Bike Lock (5)

(Video) HIPLOK D1000 'Anti-Angle Grinder' Bike Lock Review

Angle Grinder Proof Bike Lock: Has it finally arrived? - The Best Bike Lock (6)

18 mm shackle

16 mm shackle (?)

4.51 lb (2.047 kg)

4.28 lb (1.942 kg)

3.25" (8.3 cm) wide

3.62" (9.2 cm) wide

6" (15.3 cm) high

6.10" (15.5 cm) high

Angle Grinder Proof Bike Lock: Has it finally arrived? - The Best Bike Lock (7)

Angle Grinder Proof Bike Lock: Has it finally arrived? - The Best Bike Lock (8)

To be fair, there’s not much difference. Which makes the Hiplok D1000 a very heavy portable bike lock. It weighs around the same as 5 cans of coke. And like the Fahgettaboudit, there’s no frame mount.

The lack of a frame mount is almost certainly due to the universal difficulty in supporting that kind of weight effectively against a bike frame. However, unlike many other heavy locks, Hiplok do at least provide a solution: a carry pouch.

Which is just as well really, since Hiplok's name was made on the back of innovative ways to carry your lock!

How well all this works remains to be seen and I’ll wait until I test a publicly available version of the lock to review the lock’s portability as well as it’s usability. It’s interesting that all the promotional videos show the lock being used around the top frame of the bike for instance. And it's inevitably going to be very expensive ($345 or £250).

Of course the most important thing at this point is the angle grinder resistance. And what’s really reassuring for me is that the Hiplok D1000 has already been tested by Sold Secure and awarded a Diamond Motorcycle rating.

So not only is it angle grinder resistant, it’s also extremely resistant to every other kind of attack too.

What does all this mean? Well, it looks like the Hiplok DC1000 will take that crown long held by the Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit to become the undisputed, most secure portable bike lock in the world.

And hopefully we’ve finally got a long term and practical solution to the angle grinder menace that is blighting our cities!

FAQs

Is there a lock that Cannot be cut with an angle grinder? ›

Hiplok reveals 'world's first truly portable bike lock to resist angle-grinder attacks' British security and storage brand Hiplok has launched a 1.8kg portable bike lock solution that it claims is capable of resisting "a severe, sustained angle grinder attack".

What is the strongest type of bike lock? ›

The Altor SAF and the Skunklock are the two most uncuttable bike locks on the market. Both of these locks employ anti-cut features that make them capable of defeating power tools. These two locks are the strongest and most unbreakable bike locks on the market.

What bike locks Cannot be broken? ›

The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini is without doubt the most secure portable bike lock available today. And arguably it's the strongest bike lock full stop. Other Security Ratings: With a 18 mm shackle, it's completely bolt-cutter proof.

What is the most secure way to lock your bike? ›

The most secure way to lock your bike is with two locks. And ideally to a bike rack that's cemented into the ground. The first lock should go around the back wheel, the frame and the bike rack. The second should go around the front wheel, the frame and preferably the bike rack as well.

Is there a lock that can't be cut off? ›

Abus Granit Plus 37RK/80

If you are serious about investing in a padlock that cannot be cut by bolt cutters, the ABUS Granit Plus is going to be your best bet. Called one of the world's most secure padlocks, the tensile resistance is upwards of six tonnes and it is crafted from hardened steel.

Do bike thieves use angle grinders? ›

The second type is the “professional” bike thief, who will certainly use very powerful bolt cutters and may have access to a variety of power tools, such as portable angle grinders and bottle jacks. The professionals target the more expensive bikes and may even steal to order.

Is Abus better than Kryptonite? ›

Each brand excels in a different area: Abus in build quality and reliability, OnGuard in price and Kryptonite in customer service. So… If you want the highest quality, most reliable lock, with the best strength to weight ratio and the best performance in poor weather, go for Abus.

What is the strongest lock you can buy? ›

ABUS Granit™: one of the world's most secure padlocks with a tensile resistance of over six tonnes. Granit locks have a tensile resistance of over six tonnes, making it almost impossible for attackers to release the shackle from the lock body by force.

How much should you spend on a bike lock? ›

How Much Should You Spend on a Bike Lock? We heard a lot about the 10 percent rule throughout our testing process. That is, plan on spending about 10 percent of your bicycle's worth on a suitable bike lock. Although we think this is reasonable, consider the security guidelines above.

Which locks are most secure? ›

Deadbolt door locks are the most secure type of key lock and are usually used on a home's exterior door. Available in single- and double-cylinder styles, deadbolts are rated according to their strength from Grade 1 to Grade 3.

Are combination or key bike locks better? ›

A key bike lock is more secure than a combination bike lock. Most key locks at least need a specialised device to pick them. A combo lock requires no special skill. A determined thief will find a way to steal a bicycle, but the last thing they want to do is 'work' to get their hands on your machine.

Can bolt cutters cut a Kryptonite lock? ›

Kryptonite New-U KryptoLok Standard: This U-lock employs a disc-detainer mechanism, like the New-U Evolution does, and it now comes with the same double-deadlock design as our top pick. (The version we tested did not.) However, the biggest problem with this lock hasn't changed: Bolt cutters can cut through it.

Where do you keep your bike lock when riding? ›

A bike lock mount is the best place to put your bike lock whilst riding. For bigger and bulkier locks where using a mount isn't an option, why not leave your lock at your destination? Otherwise, a backpack is a great place to keep a bike lock whilst you ride.

Are cable locks easy to cut? ›

Because they can be cut very easily with cable cutters of bolt croppers. These tools simply chew through the cables one by one. A bit like cutting hair with scissors!

How do you lock up an expensive bike? ›

How to Lock an Expensive Bike in 3 Minutes - YouTube

What lock can bolt cutters not cut? ›

A closed shackle padlock is basically a standard padlock with a fortified body that extends up the sides to cover most of the shackle. The shackles are typically thicker than average and made from hardened steel or even boron steel, which is 80% stronger. This is a bolt cutter-proof lock by design.

Can bolt cutters cut bike locks? ›

Bolt cutters will easily cut through cable locks, but it's worth using a cable extension to deter chancers! What is this? So if you want your bike lock to put up a fight against bolt cutters, get one made with hardened steel, and get the thickest possible option.

How good are Kryptonite locks? ›

The majority of the New York locks obtained a security rating of 10/10 from Kryptonite, however, there are one or two that have been rated 9/10. The top security ratings show that this range of bike locks will provide the highest levels of security for those that know how to secure their bike properly.

How do thieves break bike locks? ›

Cutting: Thieves use tin snips, bolt cutters, hacksaws, and angle grinders to cut their way through locks and chains.

How can I make my bike less attractive to thieves? ›

If you must leave your bike locked in a public place, don't make it look too perfect and shiny. Some dirt or duct tape can make it look less attractive to the crooks. For bicycle protection tape your seatpost, handlebars, and various places on your frame to make your bike parts look worn and shabby.

Where do thieves sell stolen bikes? ›

Check ebay, Gumtree, craigslist. Check out the listings on ebay, Gumtree and craigslist. Thieves will often try to sell stolen bikes through these sites.

Are Abus locks made in China? ›

ABUS Shenzhen (China)

Since 1988 padlocks for international markets have been produced in Shenzen according to German quality standards. State-of-the-art production technology today ensures precise and technically well-engineered products for the global market.

Where are Abus locks made? ›

Whether private or commercial, locking systems by ABUS offer highest protection - quality "Made in Germany"!

Is chain or cable security better? ›

Cut Through Cheap Cable in 60 Seconds or Less

A 24-in. bolt cutter can cut through 5/8-in., vinyl-coated, flexible, braided, steel cable in 60 seconds. The cable took a bit longer than solid chain because it didn't sever as cleanly.

Who is the best lock in the world? ›

England star Maro Itoje has been crowned the world's best lock after defeating Springboks second rower Eben Etzebeth in a fan-voted poll on social media.

How do you stop a lock from cutting? ›

Prevent Bolt Cutter Attacks On Padlocks - YouTube

Can steel locks be cut? ›

Luckily, with a few supplies from your local hardware store, you can break through the lock to access what you need. By either using bolt cutters, an angle grinder, or a hacksaw, you'll be able to open most steel locks.

Which wheel Do you lock on a bike? ›

MAKE SURE what you lock your bike to cannot be cut. LOCK ACCORDING TO VALUE frame first, then back wheel, and finally front wheel. GET A TIGHT FIT! The less room inside of the u-lock or chain, the more difficult it will be for thieves to use their tools.

How do you pick a master lock on a bike lock? ›

Cracking a combination lock - YouTube

Do I need a bike lock? ›

Securing your bike when leaving it unattended is a must-do if you expect it to be there when you return. If you commute by bike, it's likely that you already own a bike lock. If you don't, you should go purchase one as soon as you're done reading this article. Yes, it really is that important.

What is a 3 star lock? ›

A 3-star Sold Secure Diamond rating, means a cylinder/lock has been tested above and beyond the usual standards required for TS007, and has also been tested by the Master Locksmiths Association.

What is a Grade 1 lock? ›

ANSI Grade 1 door locks offer the highest level of lock security. These locks are very difficult to pick or break and are resistant to any tampering with the lock's parts like removing pins, screws, etc. They're mostly used in high-security and commercial settings like banks and office buildings.

Are combination locks better than key locks? ›

The simple answer is no. The mechanism of a combination padlock is such that it cannot be as strong as a keyed padlock. A combination padlock can also be cracked over time simply be trying each code in turn.

How thick should a bike lock be? ›

And if you want to be absolutely sure your bike lock can't be defeated by bolt cutters, you normally need a chain or a u-lock shackle that is at least 16 mm thick. Because at 16 mm, good quality, properly hardened steel is too thick to be cropped by any manual bolt cutters.

Are combination padlocks secure? ›

Importantly, combination padlocks are not as secure as their keyed counterparts. It is worth noting that there are no combination padlocks which have achieved Sold Secure or CEN security ratings. As noted - 3 wheel combination padlocks offer a maximum of just 999 potential code combinations.

How thick of a lock can bolt cutters cut? ›

What size of bolt cutters should you use to cut a padlock? A set of 24-inch bolt cutters can cut metal up to 7/16-inch in diameter, which will cut the bolts on most standard padlocks. For higher-quality padlocks that use a harder metal, use a 36-inch bolt cutter.

Are Kryptonite locks easy to pick? ›

The Kryptonite New-U Evolution gives you some peace of mind while your bike rests safely, locked by the curb. This three-pound Kryptonite lock uses a disc-retainer core that makes the picking process difficult. The 13mm hardened steel U-bolt also makes it very hard to cut or break apart.

How do you break a Kryptonite lock? ›

If you need to break a U-lock, start by grabbing a basic ballpoint pen and removing the cap. Next, insert the tube of the pen into the U-lock keyhole. If the tube fits inside the keyhole, twist it inside the lock while pushing down firmly. Keep twisting until you feel or hear the lock unlock.

How do I stop my Kryptonite lock rattling? ›

How To Stop Bike Lock Rattle #Hack - YouTube

Where do you mount a Kryptonite lock? ›

Kryptonite Transit FlexFrame U-Bracket Installation - New

How do you put a bike lock on a bike? ›

How To Lock Your Bike - The RIGHT Way! - YouTube

What would cut through a bike lock? ›

A pair of wire cutters or a pair of bolt croppers/cutters should do the trick. This is one of the safest and easiest ways to remove a bike lock without keys. Using an angle grinder, you'll be able to cut through almost any bike lock, apart from these.

How easy is it to cut a bike lock? ›

[748] Cutting Bicycle Cable Locks is EASY! - YouTube

Do all bike locks have the same key? ›

Not all keys for bicycle locks are the same, and yet not every key is unique either. Manufacturers have a set of key-lock combinations that they randomly disperse as part of the production and distribution process.

Can I lock my bike to a lamppost? ›

If no public bike racks or corrals are available, some communities will let you lock your bike to a lamppost, as long as it's not blocking vehicle or pedestrian traffic or interfering with the function or service of the pole. Check your local regulations or call your police precinct to find out your local rules.

How do you use a Kryptonite bike lock? ›

Set the front wheel leaning against the back wheel. Slide your lock key into the U lock. Turn the key, then hold the crossbar. Pull the U portion to the left and right and away from the crossbar until the portion is released.

How do you use a kryptonite disk lock? ›

[566] Kryptonite Keeper Motorcycle Disc Brake Lock Picked - YouTube

How do you keep a padlock from being cut? ›

Prevent Bolt Cutter Attacks On Padlocks - YouTube

How do you defend against an angle grinder? ›

Can we destroy an angle grinder resistant bike lock? | Cycling Weekly

Can a bike lock be cut? ›

[748] Cutting Bicycle Cable Locks is EASY! - YouTube

Can chain locks be cut? ›

Chain locks are a better alternative to U-locks. Just like U-locks, they come in different link sizes ranging from 9mm to 16mm. The 9mm chain is easily cut by a medium size bolt cutter, but the 16mm is impervious to all manual bolt cutters. Even a 15mm chain is almost theft-proof.

What lock can bolt cutters not cut? ›

A closed shackle padlock is basically a standard padlock with a fortified body that extends up the sides to cover most of the shackle. The shackles are typically thicker than average and made from hardened steel or even boron steel, which is 80% stronger. This is a bolt cutter-proof lock by design.

Can bolt cutters cut bike locks? ›

Bolt cutters will easily cut through cable locks, but it's worth using a cable extension to deter chancers! What is this? So if you want your bike lock to put up a fight against bolt cutters, get one made with hardened steel, and get the thickest possible option.

Will a grinder cut a lock? ›

An angle grinder is a portable machine that uses a disc to cut metal and tile. Use a 60 grit disc that's 364 inch (1.2 mm) thick for the easiest way to cut through the lock's shackle. Angle grinders work best on padlocks or bike locks.

How long does it take to cut through a bike lock? ›

For example, even the famous Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit, undoubtedly the world's most secure portable bicycle lock up until now, featuring an unrivalled 18mm hardened steel shackle, can be defeated in 1 minute with a portable angle grinder. 1 minute 10 seconds to be exact.

What steel Cannot be cut with a grinder? ›

Researchers claim the material, known as Proteus, cannot be cut. In fact, it's so tough it destroys any tool that attempts to slice into it.

How do thieves break bike locks? ›

Cutting: Thieves use tin snips, bolt cutters, hacksaws, and angle grinders to cut their way through locks and chains.

Are combination or key bike locks better? ›

A key bike lock is more secure than a combination bike lock. Most key locks at least need a specialised device to pick them. A combo lock requires no special skill. A determined thief will find a way to steal a bicycle, but the last thing they want to do is 'work' to get their hands on your machine.

What is harder to cut cable or chain? ›

Easy. Chain. A decent chain is better than pretty much any cable lock. Cable locks can be cut with hand tools that fit in your pocket.

How much should you spend on a bike lock? ›

How Much Should You Spend on a Bike Lock? We heard a lot about the 10 percent rule throughout our testing process. That is, plan on spending about 10 percent of your bicycle's worth on a suitable bike lock. Although we think this is reasonable, consider the security guidelines above.

Can an angle grinder cut a bike chain? ›

Chains can be defeated by angle grinders.

Can an angle grinder cut through chain? ›

Angle grinders are larger and can be used with discs of up to 9” diameter. Provided the motor is powerful enough, they're certainly capable of tackling heavy-duty cutting jobs, such as metal chain. As with torching, using an angle grinder or cut-off tool takes time and involves risk to the operator.

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