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Travel Hack Of The Week: Don’t Use P.O.S. TSA Locks

Last week I mentioned the Nite Ize S-biner as my carabiner of choice for adding a little extra security to my bag.

I use that technique for my day pack, but for my primary luggage I use something more secure.

I use a lock.

Most people who recommend a luggage lock send you towards one of those TSA locks.

Don’t waste your money.

Those locks provide no security what so ever.

Here are a couple demonstrations showing how worthless these locks are.

A small piece of plastic or even just a little brute force is all that is needed to get past these cheap locks.

Many TSA locks can be cut off with a pair of small small pliers.

TSA locks are meant to be easy to get through in case a TSA agent at an airport wants to get into your bag.

TSA agents have master keys to get into your bag, or they can easily cut the lock off of luggage.

I use an ABUS 75IB/30 padlock.

This lock uses high grade metal that is not easily cut through.

It would take some hefty bolt cutters to get through.

It has ball bearing crevices in addtion to the normal teeth to create a three dimensional lock.

This type of lock is MUCH more difficult to pick.

It also looks like a normal key hole in the lock.

Someone who assumed it was a regular key would get very frustrated if they tried to pick it open.

Even if they knew the type of locking mechanism, they would still struggle to unlock it.

This lock is definitely not TSA approved.

I use it any way because airline security is my least concern when travelling.

I am more worried about having my bag broken into while at hotels, sitting in public, etc.

At the airport I remove my lock before going through security, and put it back on after.

A decent lock can be a major deterrent to thieves, but it needs to be an effective lock.

The ABUS 75IB/30 is that lock.

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