General Purpose Tools

Master Lock Speed Dial


Faster combination entry than a standard combination lock

About a year ago I bought a Master Lock Speed Dial ($8) for a pretty niche set of reasons, however it was such a perfect fit for my problem I feel it deserves inclusion into the Cool Tools oeuvre.

My glasses got scratched at the gym as I’d balanced them on the door to the shower cubicle and they fell onto the hard non-slip floor. Why’d I have my glasses in the shower? Well, I needed them to use the combination lock on my locker. This lead me to the realisation I needed a keyless and glasses free padlock solution.

The Master Lock Speed dial uses directions instead of numbers. It has a thumb stick which registers ups, downs, lefts and rights in order to unlock it; which can easily be done without 20/20 sight. You can set the combination to be any length you want and once you have it memorised it is hugely satisfying to Konami-code the shackle free in less than a second.

Although there are now fingerprint scanning options for padlocks, the idea of a lock that needs charging seems ridiculous to me. Not to mention the significant cost.

I can’t speak to how exactly secure this lock is. I’m sure it wouldn’t present a huge challenge to hobbyist lockpickers and shim carriers. However in a reasonably busy locker-room where everyone else is either using padlocks from a vending machine, locks that came free with luggage, or no lock at all, it is more than secure enough for my purposes. The process to change the combination is a little convoluted but there are plenty of instructional videos out there if the manual leaves you with questions. When looking up the Amazon link I was dumbfounded to see that it has very polarised reviews. I’ve never had any issues at all and any time I’ve messed up the combination a simple double squeeze on the shackle is enough to reset the lock. It really is the best padlock I’ve owned and I would never go back any other kind of combination lock.

-- Jack Adams 10/12/18