Nobody likes having to carry around a keychain full of keys, or – worse yet – arriving somewhere only to discover that they haven’t brought the key they need. The BOLT system offers an alternative. It allows you to open multiple padlocks, all using your vehicle’s ignition key.
Each BOLT lock comes without a key of its own. Instead, the first time that it’s used, you simply insert your ignition key into its automotive-grade cylinder. This causes a series of spring-loaded tumblers to move up and down, conforming to the unique cut of that key. When the key is then turned for the first time, each tumbler is permanently matched to it. More details on the lock’s inner workings are available in the video below.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
From there on in, it just works like a regular lock – it locks when the key is removed, and unlocks when the key is inserted and turned. Besides its unique key system, it also features a hardened steel shackle, a crush-resistant body shell, a stainless steel lock shutter, and a six-plate tumbler sidebar to thwart lock-pickers.
The cylinder is said to work with keys for most GM, Ford and Dodge vehicles. A Vehicle Match feature on the product website lets prospective buyers check if their own make, model and year of vehicle is compatible. Besides the multi-purpose padlock, there’s also a cable lock, along with locks designed for use on trailer hitches, spare tire mounts, tailgate handles, and toolbox handles.
It’s not quite clear what happens when you trade in your old vehicle ... presumably you could keep one of its spare keys and just keep using it, as long as you don’t mind knowing that someone else out there could now theoretically access your stuff.
The padlock sells for US$27.49.