Best Wheel Locks 2018: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
Some of the people reading this article aren’t here to find out what wheel locks do. Instead, they are just here to find out how manufacturers “waste” their time and money-making wheel locks. They are under the illusion that wheel locks are useless. Well, once we list some of the benefits of the best wheel locks, you might just change your mind.
A few years back, the real problem was protecting your car. That was the time when car theft was at its peak and if you left your car unattended in a bad neighborhood – Well, let’s just say the car wasn’t going to be there when you came back. Back then, people used car alarms and anti-theft alarms that made sure that no one could tamper their ride without the car waking up the whole neighborhood. While the alarms did their jobs and they still work, protecting cars is not the problem anymore. Police will probably be at your doorstep before you even get to your place with the stolen car. So, car thieves these days, instead of stealing the cars, take off with the tires. This might seem like a minor thing to steal, but rest assured, they can make a living out of stealing a couple pairs every week. Unlike thieves that go for your entire car, tires are almost impossible to protect. Well, that is if you don’t own a pair of sturdy wheel locks.
Wheel locks are small, complicated pieces of tech that can be fastened instead of the lugs in your wheels. You can replace the lugs with wheel locks very easily. However, removing them isn’t as easy, at least for thieves. The best wheel locks require a special key or wrench that makes sure that no one can remove the wheel lock without its designated key. The wheel locks can’t be removed no matter how strong of a wrench you use. This little lock can help you save your tires from every the most professional of thugs out there. But, you never know, a thief coming for wheels might be tempted to take your whole car when he can’t get past the wheel locks.
But, which wheel locks are the best wheel locks out there? There are so many out there and it truly makes it hard to choose one that works best. Here we will discuss ten of the best wheel locks available in the market.
Top 10 Best Wheel Locks Reviews
Gorilla Automotive 71683NBC Wheel Locks
6 x 5.5 x 3.5
Genuine Toyota Wheel Lock
6.9 x 5.5 x 1.2
McGard 24538 Wheel Locks
7.6 x 6.1 x 1.5
Gorilla Automotive 61631 Wheel Locks
5 x 4.7 x 1.1
Genuine Subaru B321SFG000 Wheel Lock
8.9 x 5.8 x 0.3
DPAccessories LCB3L2HE-BK04LK4 Wheel Locks
0.9 x 0.9 x 1.4
McGard 24157 Wheel Locks
7.8 x 6 x 1.5
McGard 25257 Chrome Tuner Wheel Locks
0.7 x 0.5 x 0.5
Genuine Honda 08W42-SNA-100 Alloy Wheel Lock
12 x 2 x 6
Gorilla Automotive 71633NBC Wheel Locks
6.5 x 5.4 x 3.4
Gorilla Automotive is a pretty fine manufacture of tools and accessories. When it comes to lugs, they claim to provide 200% increased torque. They make some sick stuff that is used all over the globe. Fortunately for us, their wheel locks are no different. The best thing about these locks is that they are pretty sturdy and they won’t rust even after years of use.
The lock itself is made from case-hardened steel surrounded by a completely chrome plated outing. This lock is virtually impossible to break in and provides the best security out there for your tire.
The wheel locks come in three sizes; ½ inch, 12mm x 1.25 and 12mm x 1.5, while the length is precisely 1.4 inches. The black chrome wheel locks come in packs of four with five lugs for each tire. This can work whether you have four-lug tires or five ones. Four lugs would mean that you have enough locks for the spare tire back in the trunk. But, if you use four lugs, this means that you would have some spare ones in case you need it.
Gorilla Automotive also offers some of the easiest return policies. Now, whether one of your lugs is damaged or you lost your key, all you have to do is sent Gorilla your receipt and a return address with a few bucks in the envelope and you’re golden. Gorilla will send your stuff back to you within 12-14 business days.
Rust proof and anti-corrosive.
Made from hardened steel.
A good range of sizes for a variety of cars.
It is virtually impossible to break it.
Black Chrome plating gives it.
Easy return in case of a damaged product.
Black Chrome plating actually gives a Matte black sort of finish that doesn’t look good on most tires.
The paint outside isn’t very durable and it can come off, leaving behind bare metal.
The 00276-00900 Wheel Lock manufactured by Toyota is one of the safest wheel locks out there. If any of you have ever used any accessories from Toyota, you will know that they make some of the toughest parts of the world. And their wheel locks also fall under the same category.
The locks are made of precision machined and hardened steel that means that it is one of the hardest locks out there. The outer body is plated with triple-nickel and a chrome finish that is optimal to prevent corrosion. Unlike the Gorilla wheel locks, these ones have a total of four lugs in the packaging. This means that you only have to use one lug per tire. For some people, this is an advantage, but you guessed it right, fewer lugs means less security.
The wheel locks are perfectly balanced to the point that the weights of the locks are equal to the original lugs from the tire. This way you won’t have to rebalance the tire to accommodate the addition of the extra wheel locks.
These locks are affordable as well. They might not be as safe as the Gorilla ones, but they sure pack a punch. You can get these locks at half the price. But, considering the fact that you’re getting about twenty fewer locks, you can’t exactly call that a good bargain.
The wheel locks are also very easy to install. They come equipped with a complete and descriptive user manual that breaks down every single step of the process making it easy for you to install these locks yourself.
Toyota also supports easy return or exchange of their accessories. All you have to do is contact the retailer you bought it from or you could just contact Toyota directly, and they’ll be more than happy to exchange your product.
Hardened steel makes it very tough to break.
Triple-nickel plating and chrome plating are the best protection against corrosion.
Pretty easy to purchase on a short budget.
Balanced wheel locks so you don’t require rebalancing.
Complete user manual makes it easy to install.
Good packaging. Separate compartment keeps it safe from scratches.
Easy return policies and Toyota can get back to you within a few days.
- One lock per tire. Even though they’re hard to get in, one lock makes it easier to get in if the thief is really determined.
- Some people claim that the weight of the product was not the same as what was advertised. They complained that there was a clear 0.3-0.5 ounces difference between the said weight and the actual weight.
McGard has been constructing wheel locks since 1964. McGard is one of the only wheel locks that were completely manufactured within the United States. Even though the materials for the product are gathered from different parts of the world, the materials are put together according to OEM standards that put it on the top of the list when it comes to durability.
McGard constructs their own chemically treated steel specifically for their accessories. The steel is made is the United States and each layer of the steel is separately hardened and treated. This is different from other locks that only treat the upper surface.
Just like the best wheel locks out there, McGard also goes above and beyond to prevent corrosion. The outer body of the lock consists of three layers of nickel and one layer of chrome. The first layer of nickel is for resisting corrosion, the second layer is for a shiny look and the third one, combined with the chrome, prevents natural rusting.
Unlike other wheel locks, McGard actually uses computerized coding for the keys. This means that even though two pairs of wheels locks are the exact same model, there’s a huge chance that the key of one won’t fit the other one.
Removing the lock is as easy as fastening it. The lock has a steel collar that guides the key so that the key slips into the lock pattern. After that, all you have to do is turn it. It completely eliminates struggling with the key just because it won’t fit in.
The McGard 24538 comes in a neatly packed box with five locks and a key. McGard also uses one lug per tire so that means that these locks are also really cheap. The four locks go on the tires in use, and the fifth one can be used for the spare tire.
- Follows OEM Standards. This means that each part used in the manufacture of this product is completely authentic.
- Extremely resistant against corrosion. Triple Nickel and Chrome make sure it doesn’t corrode at all.
- McGard’s very own treated steel can very well be classified as one of the toughest out there.
- Shiny. The locks give a classy look to any tire.
- Computerized coding provides millions and millions of key combinations.
- Steel collar makes it very easy to fasten and remove.
- Best wheel locks to buy if you’re on a budget.
- The one lock per tire might not always prevent it from theft. But, it can certainly delay the thief for a long time.
- The large size of the locks means that the lock will stick a little outside the rim. This hasn’t happened yet, but some people are concerned that someone could use pliers and snap them open.
We already discussed Gorilla’s set of 25 wheel nuts, now it is time to discuss their four locks set. These wheel locks come in a variety of sizes; ½ inch, 7/16 inch, 12mm x 1.25, 12mm x 1.5 and 14mm x 1.50 with a length of 1.5 inches.
The main bodies of these lugs are similar to the 25 lock set we mentioned earlier. Hardened and treated steel and chrome finish giving it a fancy look.
Similar to most of the best wheel locks on this list, these locks are also equipped with triple-nickel plating and a chrome finish to prevent excessive corrosion. There are just four locks which mean that you won’t have one for your extra tire. However, the price doesn’t do the quality of the product justice. Even though there are only four locks in the package, it is still one of the most affordable locks out there. With only half the price as some of the other single lug wheel locks out there, this makes the 61631 very easy to purchase.
The packaging is much better than the other Gorilla locks. The other ones were often damaged due to sub-standard packaging. However, in these locks, the packaging is not a problem since each lock is stored in separate compartments to prevent damage to the locks.
Hardened steel to make it much tougher.
Chrome finish might be a small touch, but it gives a certain shine to the lock.
Triple nickel plating to counter corrosion.
Extremely affordable and easy to buy.
Hardened steel to make it much tougher.
Extremely safe packaging that prevents any external damage to the locks.
Only four locks. You won’t have one for your spare tire.
Some customers complain that even though there is chrome plating; the product started rusting after a year in damp areas.
People reported that mechanics removed the tires with a generic key and without damaging the lock in any way.
Every lock for Gorilla has the same key. So, there’s a chance that a thief might have your key.
Subaru's cars might not be a big deal or a best-seller, but their accessories are a completely different story entirely. Subaru makes some of the best accessories out there, and, believe it or not, their wheel locks also fall under the same category.
These wheel locks are also manufactured according to OEM standards. This means that all of the raw materials used in the manufacture of this product were shipped from OEM. Hence, the materials don't get any better because OEM produces some of the best and toughest materials out there.
The wheel locks usually support the thread size 12mm x 1.25 and 12mm x 1.50 which is the same as some of the other wheel locks. The hardened steel makes sure that the wheel lock can bear huge amounts of torque without cracking. Chrome plating on the outer side prevents corrosion and rusting.
The one good thing about Subaru is their warranty for their wheel locks. Unlike other companies, they provide complete replacements for poor workmanship or damage received to the locks before you open the package.
These might not be the cheapest wheel locks considering the fact that they are also one lock per wheel, but they certainly outperform any other typical wheel lock any day of the week.
Created following OEM Standards for toughness and durability.
Size fits most vehicles between the years 2012-2017.
Chrome plating to prevent corrosion.
Hardened steel makes the locks tougher and harder to break.
Complete warranty and easy return policies.
A little expensive as compared to some of its competition.
Single wheel locks meaning you only have one for each tire.
These locks also stick out from the tire, so there's a possibility someone might pry it open.
DPAccessories is one of the best manufacturers of accessories and solely dedicated to only accessories. DPAccessories wheel locks are generally called one of the top dogs in the world of wheel locks. Why? We are just about to explain that.
These wheel locks are made from machine-precision threads to make sure that they perfectly fit your car. The locks themselves are made from cold-forged and hardened steel for durability and reliability. The outer body can prevent corrosion for a long time.
The best thing about these wheel locks is that they don’t have a generic key. Every lock of the same model will have different keys and no key will work on two different locks.
The next reason why you should buy these locks is that they offer a little bit of customization. First thing is that they let you choose whether you want the five lock set or the four one. The second is the color on the locks. You can choose from a shiny jet black sort of finish or chrome plating. Both are equally attractive but the black one looks a little better with most wheels.
DPAccessories also provides a cost-free replacement for your key. All you have to do is make sure that you saved your key card when you bought the locks. Then, just send the card to DPAccessories and you’ll have your new key back to you in no time.
Precision threading makes sure it fits your car.
Cold-forged and hardened steel makes it a lot tougher than other locks.
Each key is unique and doesn’t work on other locks.
Two available finishes that you can choose from.
Both four lock and five lock sets are available.
Cost-free replacement for a lost key.
Blend in easily with the stock lugs.
If someone gets the positioning and the torque right, it can be removed by vice grip pliers.
May start corroding after 8-12 months.
Paint may come off.
McGard is highly known for its chemically treated steel that is made completely for McGard products. As we discussed a little earlier, these locks are completely made in the United States following OEM Standards for reliability and durability.
The wheel locks have a 12mm x 1.50 thread size with an overall size of 1.28 inches. The wheel lock itself, as mentioned before, is made of chemically treated and hardened steel that is the standard when it comes to toughness. The outer side is plated with chrome to prevent corrosion.
The packaging of McGard is as good as it gets. A neat box, separate compartments and tight fittings make sure that your product isn’t damaged in any way.
McGard offers a warranty for damage and poor workmanship for one year after the locks are bought. So, if your locks break due to some reason or start rusting during the first year, McGard will be more than happy to offer replacements.
Chemically treated and hardened steel makes it technically impenetrable.
Good packaging prevents them from getting damaged.
The key is unique for each set of locks.
Easy return policies. McGard will cover all damages to the product in the first year.
Key might break due to production from cheap metal.
The McGard website was often wrong about the locks fitting certain cars. A lot of customers ended up with locks that wouldn’t fit their wheels.
The list is getting pretty full of McGard, isn’t it? Well, in our defense, McGard makes some pretty fine wheel locks and we’re surprised that half of this list isn’t made of purely McGard products. Well, let’s dive into this one.
The 21457 and the 25257 are pretty similar except some minor differences. Both are made of the same metal that we mentioned earlier and both of them have the same thread sizes that are 12mm x 1.50 meant to fit most vehicles. Both of the products use unique keys for each of their sets.
There isn’t really much difference in the size as well. The 25257 has an overall size of 1.24 inches. The rest of the stuff is the same. The warranty policies, anti-corrosion plating, key replacement and the packaging is almost the same. But, nonetheless, for the supreme quality of the McGard 25257 and 21457, both deserved to be explained separately.
Unique keys to prevent the use of a generic key.
Good packaging prevents damage to the locks.
Available in both chrome and black finish.
Available in both chrome and black finish.
Anti Corrosive and durable.
Key is delicate and might break.
McGard misleads their customers on whether their locks fit on certain cars when they don’t.
McGard charges you for the extra key after the previous one snaps.
Honda also makes some pretty darn good accessories. While, they may be a little out of budget for most of us, but they are certainly worth spending a lot of money over. These wheel locks, just like any best wheel locks, keep strength and durability in mind. The locks are made of hardened steel and triple plated nickel to provide security even under extreme pressure. The outer layer is chrome plated to prevent corrosion.
Unlike other wheel locks, Honda actually cares about the key and make sure that you don’t lose it. Other companies might actually want you to lose it so they can charge you for the key, but Honda provides a handy pouch for your key so you never lose it.
These wheel locks blend in really nicely with the regular lugs and don’t really stand out. The locks might be extremely expensive and cost twice as much as other wheel locks, but they never disappoint.
Tested and known for strength and durability.
Free handy pouch for the key.
The lock looks really good on the tire.
Little bit expensive and a little out of the budget.
Packaged as Honda, but some people claim it’s from McGard.
We have already talked about two wheel locks from Gorilla Automotive, which really begs the question, is there anyone better than Gorilla? Well, maybe, maybe not. But, these wheel locks are certainly at the top of the food chain.
Gorilla is probably one of the only companies out there that thought it was a good idea to completely replace lug nuts with wheel locks. There is a total of 20 wheel locks in the box. This really makes sure that, if there is a weak wheel lock that might break easily, there are four more that the thief has to go through. Even then, he’ll only get one tire. He has to go through 15 more locks to get the rest. By then, we can guarantee that the thief might be discouraged and give up completely.
Like the other Gorilla products mentioned in this article, this one also comes in three thread sizes; ½ inch, 12mm x 1.25 and 12mm x 1.50. The lock, just like the other Gorilla wheel locks, is also made from case-hardened steel for durability and long life. The outside is covered in shiny chrome plating that is meant to provide resistance against corrosion and give a shiny finish to your tire.
20 wheel locks provide the most heavy-duty tire protection out there.
A Large variety of thread sizes.
Case-hardened steel is one of the toughest things to get through.
Chrome plating to prevent corrosion.
Easy replacement and return policies.
Single key works on all the models. So, it can be opened with a generic key.
Not a clear chrome black color.
Key often gets stuck in the lock.
The product comes out scratched due to poor packaging.
How to choose the Best Wheel Locks: Buyer’s Guide
There are a ton of factors that go into buying wheel locks for your automobiles. You have to get everything right otherwise you might end up with a bunch of useless wheel locks. Then, with all the hassle of getting them replaced, it’s just too much effort. So, you need to make sure that you get everything right; otherwise, it will be more trouble for you than its worth. So, here we have compiled a list of things that will definitely help you get the best wheel locks for your car with minimum effort.
Buying from Stores: Try to buy wheel locks from a hardware store. Buying online never helps because often times there is incorrect information on the website and you get a completely different product than what you ordered.
Thread Size: Make sure you get your thread size correct. Each car has a different thread size. So, be sure that the thread size of your lock matches your tire.
The quantity of Locks: If you read the above article carefully, you would’ve noticed that the quantity of locks nuts varies from company to company. Make sure that you know whether you want to buy four locks or five.
Choose the color: Try to make sure that you get a good color that matches your rims and not stands out from the other lugs.
Special Key: You should look for a wheel lock that doesn’t open with a generic key. The best wheel locks are the ones that have special keys for each item.
Avoid Cheap Metal Keys: Always check the key because most of the companies make solid lock but cheap metal keys that can easily break. Make sure that you don’t end up with a key that snaps the first time you stick it in the lock.
We hope that this article changed the mind of the readers that don’t trust wheel locks. Wheel locks offer protection like no other. There are some manufacturers that make pretty weak wheel locks and their product isn’t stronger than a regular lug nut. But, if you buy some of the best wheel locks in the market, we definitely know that you’ll learn to love your new piece of tech.