Which fridge locks are best?
Whether for safety or to maintain a consistent interior temperature, there are times when you want to ensure that a refrigerator cannot be opened. Pets and children, for example, may be injured by heavy swinging fridge doors with sharp corners. Laboratory specimens and delicate recipes can also become damaged from the temperature spikes that occur when a refrigerator isn’t kept sealed.
No matter the reason, you can easily ensure that your refrigerator remains shut with a fridge lock. The Tonyhoney Mini Fridge Lock with Digital Password allows for security and peace of mind, thanks to its simple but effective design. Its combination lock means you won’t have to worry about lost keys and its braided metal cable keeps your fridge closed tightly.
What to consider before you buy a fridge lock
Who uses fridge locks?
While it may seem odd to install a padlock or other security device on a home appliance, many people rely on them to prevent small children or pets from opening their refrigerator. Chest freezers in particular are hazardous for small children, who may fall into them and be unable to climb out. In laboratories, fridge locks keep samples and cultures safely stored in precise temperatures. Pharmacies employ them to prevent theft and tampering with medications that need to be kept chilled.
Fridge lock types
Fridge locks come in a few configurations, each tailored to different purposes or refrigerator types.
- Padlocks are basic high-security options. They can be opened with a combination or a key and are the same style one might find on a locker or fence gate. They’re typically used when a fridge is storing valuable or potentially hazardous items such as medication. A padlock is installed by screwing hardware directly into the fridge.
- Latch locks are designed for child and pet safety. These locks are installed, usually with a strong adhesive, to an area of the fridge too high for children to reach. To open the fridge, a button is pressed that releases the door and allows it to swing freely. The lock is reset automatically when the door is closed.
- Cable locks also use adhesive, but are two-piece devices connected with a sturdy cable. A key or combination releases the cable and lets the fridge open. The fridge is then manually locked when the cable is reinserted into the other end of the lock after the door is closed. Cable locks provide decent security, but because they are installed with adhesive they can be removed with enough brute force. Their cables are also easily cut.
- Strap locks are best for refrigerators that have French doors. Like bike locks, these are wrapped around the doors’ handles, preventing either from opening independently. Some employ a simple clip while others, usually made from heavy-duty metal cable, require a key or combination.
Installation and removal
Most people prefer a lock that doesn’t result in permanent modifications to their fridge. Many high-security locks use a powerful adhesive that may leave a mark or scar on the fridge’s surface during removal. Locks designed with family safety in mind, however, have adhesive that can be easily dissolved when you no longer need it. Padlocks require installation using screws and drilling, and should only be used if you want permanence. Latching or cable locks offer the least likelihood of damage to your fridge during both installation and removal.
Key or combination
Locks that require keys are often used in medical or laboratory scenarios where only certain people are granted access to the fridge’s contents. However, these locks also require authorized individuals to keep careful track of their keys. Combination locks are more convenient, but provide less security because a password or combination can be shared or guessed. Consider your security priorities to determine which type of lock will best suit your needs.
What to look for in a quality fridge lock
Select a lock that can provide enough security for your intended purpose. Locks for child safety need only be powerful enough to deter children, while a lock intended for security should be robust and resilient. Be sure any adhesive used is strong and won’t pop off easily if the door is pulled hard.
Ease of use
For home use, a fridge lock that is challenging or time consuming to use will likely result in family members simply not engaging it, defeating its purpose. Select a lock that’s easy both to set and disengage. Locks for medicinal or hospital use need not be as simple or quick to use as those meant for a home refrigerator.
Consider your ability and willingness to potentially damage or permanently change your fridge. If the idea of applying powerful adhesive or drilling into your appliance gives you pause, consider a cable lock that requires no changes to your fridge, if its configuration allows.
While not a concern in industrial or medical applications, homeowners will likely want a lock that matches their fridge and provides security discreetly. Manufacturers often sell locks in colors that match today’s most popular finishes, meaning that you won't necessarily have to sacrifice your interior design for the sake of safety.
How much you can expect to spend on a fridge lock
Depending on the configuration, they can be purchased for $8-$25.
Fridge lock FAQ
Are fridge locks removable?
A. Yes, depending on the type you choose. Some adhesive locks are meant to be more permanent than others, so read the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations carefully to determine which lock is right for you. Some locks use industrial-quality adhesive pads that can be challenging to remove without causing damage.
Are there smart fridge locks?
A. Some padlocks allow for app connectivity and fingerprint reading. If you wish to use one of these on your fridge, you will need to install permanent padlock hardware.
Can I use a fridge lock on my oven, microwave, etc.?
A. Depending on the lock, yes. Cable and strap locks can be used on just about any appliance that features an opening door, although some may require particular handle arrangements to work effectively.
What’s the best fridge lock to buy?
Top fridge lock
What you need to know: Strong adhesive and a combination password make these locks ideal for home use.
What you’ll love: Available in either black or white, these locks can provide safety without looking out of place in your home. They feature a tough metal cable and a customizable three-digit combination. Two locks are included in this set.
What you should consider: Users have had mixed experiences with the locks’ adhesive, some saying it is too powerful and others saying that the locks come off too easily.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top fridge lock for the money
What you need to know: This basic, latching lock is great for preventing kids from opening the appliance.
What you’ll love: Small, discreet and easily installed with adhesive, this lock uses a very basic latching mechanism to keep your fridge tightly shut. It automatically engages when you close the door. It’s available in two colors.
What you should consider: This is a low-security option suited for child safety only, as it allows anyone access as long as they can reach the lock to depress the button.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This lock set provides great security, as it requires a key to open.
What you’ll love: This kit includes two locks. It sticks to your fridge using a strong adhesive backing and features a tough, braided metal cable. Multiple keys are included.
What you should consider: The small keys used with these locks can become lost or worn out. Some users say the cables may not be long enough to wrap around thicker refrigerator doors.