Master Lock has certainly stepped their game up in a big way. This lock provides security leaps and bounds beyond their classic dial combination locks at a reasonable price point. A helpful warning: do not forget your combination. Also, there are well founded concerns regarding the quality of the internal components in the Speed Dial that might make you want to look at other options.
Master Lock says:
The Master Lock No. 1500iD Speed Dial™ Directional Set Your Own Combination Padlock features a 2-1/8in (54mm) wide metal body for durability. The 1/4in (6mm) diameter shackle is 1in (25mm) long and made of hardened steel, offering extra resistance to cutting and sawing. The patented up/down/left/right directional movement technology is faster, easier and more secure than a standard combination lock. The locking mechanism features anti-shim technology, offering maximum security. The Limited Lifetime Warranty provides peace of mind from a brand you can trust.
The most obvious change to Master Lock’s newest combination lock design is the fact that there is no dial. If you are thinking about jamming a cut soda can in this thing to pop it open, you are about to engage in a fruitless endeavor. If you want to try something similar to the “10 try dial method” you will again be wasting your time as there is no dial or similarly exploited vulnerability that the attack is based upon.
This lock has been having people scratch their heads. To my knowledge, nobody has figured out a way to crack them without resorting to destructive techniques. To operate the lock, you will need to enter a combination utilizing button that functions much like a joystick. If you are a locksport, you might enjoy this write up from Michael Huebler. To summarize the same, there are 7,501 possible combinations. It is not possible to shim the lock due to a shackle locking mechanism.
However, like most locks intended for use on school lockers, the shackle can be cut with bolt cutters. This is not exactly a negative in my book when considering that someone walking around school with a pair of bolt cutters would be pretty conspicuous. Further, if a student was having issues with a combination lock it might not raise suspicion. A person who looks like they have forgotten their combination looks the same as someone using the 10 attempt method. Alternatively, even the “shim proof” combination locks in use are still able to be shimmed albeit with stronger metal and using a different point of entry to the shackle. Finally, the fact that a destructive technique works on a lock intended for school lockers is not a con for me because kids can forget combinations or, as was fashionable in my high school days, create combo lock chains from locker to locker at the end of the year.
In terms of pricing, you can find them on Master Lock’s site for $13.93. However, I have found them on Amazon for around $8.00. The question turns to whether the contents of your locker are worth that much. If the answer is yes, you would be well served with the 1500iD.
The only issue I have noticed popping up frequently pertains to ease of use for this lock. I have not had this issue myself, but some complain that their 1500 simply stops working either after the first opening or after a few weeks of use. Most people seem to be using an 8 to 10 movement combination who have had these issues. Now, there are two possible explanations for this in my humble opinion. The first is user error. The mechanism is sensitive and you must apply pressure at all times while entering the combination. Second, these people may have defective locks. Either way, Master Lock does offer a lifetime warranty so that is something to keep in mind.
Finally, and a complaint I have seen periodically is that the lock does not fit on “x” locker. Here are the dimensions if you think that this might be an issue:
- Body Width2-1/8in (54mm)
- Shackle Dimensions: A 1/4in (6mm) B: 1in (25mm) C: 3/4in (19mm)
VERDICT: For the price point, this lock is pretty much unbeatable for indoor school and gym locker use. However, it seems to be hit or miss as to whether your lock will function as intended. Your mileage will vary, but there is a refund available.