Can a secure chain withstand a bolt cutter?

No chain resists a suitable bolt cutter permanently. However, there are a few factors that make life difficult for a potential thief. This includes the strength of the chain links, the connection between them and the classification of the metal in terms of security level and degree of hardness. Three minutes play a crucial role.

Effort and time

The relationship between the person who wants to protect their property and the potential thief is a bit like the legend of Hare and Hedgehog. When assessing the "chance of winning", consideration plays a major role. In principle, there is no safe chain that permanently resists a cutting tool such as the bolt cutter.

The leitmotifs for chain selection are the factors effort and time. The goal must be, on the one hand, to prevent thieves from succeeding with a sub-sized bolt cutter and, on the other hand, to cause the longest possible delay with adequate equipment. The three-minute rule has prevailed to evaluate a secure chain. This period of time lasts too long for most thieves, as the danger of observation and discovery becomes too great.

Properties and test seals

To ward off smaller bolt cutters, it helps to observe a minimum link strength of the chain. Diameters starting at 15 millimeters exclude even smaller bolt cutters; from twenty millimeters, most tools brought by thieves no longer fit. This circumstance is mainly the alternative to chains, the U-lock, advantage.

Another important aspect is the hardness of the steel or the alloy. The degree of hardness, designated in the international unit Hardness Rockwell Cone (HRC), should be at least forty HRC for a chain that is at least temporarily safe from the bolt cutter. Further quality features are security levels, which, however, are scaled differently by the manufacturers. A secure chain must be on each manufacturer's scale in the upper quarter of the parameters.

Other seal of approval proving tested properties of a steel chain are the CE seal, the VdS certificate of the insurance industry, the seal of the Allgemeine Deutsche Fahrradclub (ADFC) and the results of Stiftung Warentest.

Tips & Tricks

Apart from the secure chain and the equally resistant padlock, you should pay attention to the place of use. For mobile items like a bike you want to secure, a busy or watched location should always be selected. Above all, the time factor has a deterrent effect on potential thieves with bolt cutters.

Video Board: Best Strongest Security Chain Bolt Cutter Cropper Proof Chain