Care about your wheels?
Then you need to make sure that you make it as hard as possible for thieves to get their hands on them.
It’s impossible to give you a 100% guarantee that your wheels won’t be stolen – no reputable manufacturer of even the best wheel locks will ever state this.
But they act as a terrific deterrent to stop thieves in their tracks and make them think twice about going after such a hard target when the majority of other vehicle owners in the same parking lot or street have no protection or deterrent.
We have listed the six top locks from only the most trusted manufacturers that have received almost unanimously positive reviews. We have also listed a buyers guide that can help you know everything you need to know about these locks too.
Note: At the SixList we usually recommend the best six products in every article. This time, however, there are only a couple of brands that you need to concern yourself with – Gorilla and Mcgard. We’ve also made sure to include locks that are manufactured by two of the most popular car brands – Toyota and Honda.
Best Wheel Lock Manufacturers
McGard Wheel Locks
There’s no doubt that McGard is one of the two very top brands when it comes to wheel locks. This is down to several reasons.
8 Different Key Hex Sizes
One of the biggest selling points of McGard wheel locks is how it is the only brand to offer 8 different key hex sizes. These match your car’s original equipment lug wrench. What’s the benefit of this, you may ask? Well if you ever need to change a flat tire the process becomes a whole lot easier.
Only the Strongest Steel
Every single wheel lock McGard manufactures is guaranteed to have unrivaled structural integrity. This is because each and every lock is through-hardened and tempered. All the steel is also made in the USA, just for McGard locks.
Every top wheel lock should be as easy for possible for the user to install and remove. In McGard’s case the lock’s steel collar smoothly guides the key into the lock and holds it for alignment, so you don’t have to keep on fiddling.
Every lock at the very least meets the standards for OEM proof load. This stands at 135,000 to 160,000 PSI. This is a measure of strength, and McGard has one of the strongest locks in the industry.
Unlimited Key Patterns
Every key has a truly unique key pattern that can’t be replicated. This is because each key design is computer generated.
Triple-Nickel Chrome Plating
The benefits of triple-nickel chrome plating are threefold: corrosion resistance, for luster, and rust resistance.
Meticulous Bearing Surface
It’s important that a wheel lock has uniform seating of the lock to the wheel and even distribution of the clamp load. McGard ensures that both of these features are present.
Gorilla Wheel Locks
We love Gorilla’s slogan: “Because It’s a Jungle Out There!” Gorilla has more than just a terrific slogan going for the company though; they also know a thing or two about manufacturing the best wheel locks.
The reasons why the company are able to manufacture such good locks are similar to McGar in many ways.
The Original Gorilla Lock ensured that it contained a unique external security pattern, the lock and key engage precisely for easy installation and removal, and was made from hardened steel and was triple chrome plated for aesthetic and strength purposes.
The company has been tinkering with their designs over the years to now also ensure that some of their locks have dual-stage technology for double the protection. This includes a free-spinning upper stage to protect the lower stage from removal tools, and a very small area between the security pattern and the sleeve for enhanced security.
Toyota Wheel Locks
If you have a Toyota you should purchase a wheel look that is designed by Toyota, right? It definitely makes sense as the company can tailor make their locks to offer the best security for their cars. This isn’t to say that McGard and Gorilla should be overlooked, but it is perhaps easier to ensure that the locks will fit on your wheels if you buy locks specially made for Toyota vehicles.
Toyota locks include features like ensuring rebalancing is unnecessary by weight balancing the lock to the stock lug nut, and incorporating triple-nickel plating into a lock’s design for luster, and corrosion and rust resistant purposes.
Other features include precision-machined and hardened steel construction, and a special key tool and collar guide for easy installation and removal.
Honda Wheel Locks
Everything that we stated about Toyota rings true for locks designed by Honda. So if you own a Honda think about purchasing locks that are specifically designed for the company’s cars. Chrome-plated triple nickel construction is present, as is hardened-steel construction. You even get a handy storage pouch to store the key in to avoid misplacement.
Wheel Locks Buyers Guide
What are Wheel Locks?
Wheel locks are designed to replace the lug nuts on your car to keep your wheels secure and safe from theft. They can only be installed and removed via the use of a unique key that comes with the wheel locks you purchase.
Factors to Consider
Price is a consideration when it comes to any purchasing decision. If you really care about security it is recommended that you don’t skimp on the locks, particularly as excellent ones only cost 30 bucks or so.
It goes without saying that the locks you purchase should come with a unique key. This is because a universal key can be used to remove the locks in no time, if you don’t.
Easy to Use
As much as you may care about safety you clearly don’t want to spend a long time installing and removing the wheel locks every time you park your car. Therefore, make sure that the locks are a breeze to use, but most importantly are very, very difficult for a thief to remove.
Safety should always be the number one consideration, but that doesn’t mean you want your rims to look ugly. Look for locks that feature a no-thrill, clean design that is usually chrome plated.
Not every set of locks will fit every car. Therefore, it is paramount that the locks you are thinking of purchasing are compatible with your car, so you don’t end up wasting your money. Thankfully, this is easy to do so. Amazon, the site we recommend purchasing from, provides a handy tool where you input the year, make, and model to check whether the specific brand of locks are compatible.
The brand you end up purchasing from is very important. You can only be guaranteed peace of mind if you buy from a reputable brand that has thousands of satisfied customers to its name – check user reviews. The best brands also set up you up with replacement id and contact information, so you can quickly resolve an issue with the locks for lose the unique key.
Do I really need to buy wheel locks?
If you care about your wheels you certainly do. We’re sure you know that wheels can be expensive to replace, so spending $30 to keep them safe is surely a no-brainer for many people. Even if the locks don’t offer 100% protection against theft, thieves typically go for easy targets, so when they see wheel locks they’ll think twice.
Stealing wheels isn’t like some other crimes. It is near impossible for the police to track down the stolen wheels, so there is a very small chance that you will get them back.
How many wheel locks should I use?
You can use as few or as many as you want. At the minimum, it is recommended to use one wheel lock per tire. But if you want complete peace of mind, you can replace all of the lug nuts for ultimate safety.
How do I remove the locks?
The only way to remove them is via the unique key that comes with each set. You may have watched a couple of videos on YouTube that show that they can be removed through brute force by using a large socket. Thankfully, the best manufacturers of wheel locks offer additional protection by ensuring their locks have an internal nut pattern.
Where’s a good place to store the unique key?
You definitely don’t want to store the key in the side of the door or the glove box, as these locations are far too obvious. You, of course, also don’t want to leave the key at home unless your car is parked outside your home. Instead, think about keeping the key on you, under your seats, in the trunk, or in a hidden compartment in your car that thieves wouldn’t think of looking at.
What happens if I lose the unique key?
Not all is lost if you misplace the unique key. Many manufacturers of the best wheel locks ensure that a replacement id and contact information come included with every wheel lock set.