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Best locking lug nuts 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated September 1, 2020

Charlie OliverLooking for ways to bring your locking lug nuts to the next level? Then you’ve come to the right place. I’m Charlie Oliver. After more than 35 hours of research, including interviewing two experts and spending 10 hours testing 15 popular locking lug nuts, I found the best locking lug nuts of 2018.

The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing. Now I’m going to recommend a few locking lug nuts you can pick from to get started quickly and easily.

Let’s get to it!

Best locking lug nuts of 2018

There is a wide range of products available on the market today, and below I have reviewed 3 of the very best options. If you’re scouring the market for the best locking lug nuts, you’d better have the right info before spending your money.

After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. We’ve narrowed down our options based on the customer feedback (read positive reviews), functionality, material and size. In other words, we’ve put all fundamentals into consideration to come up with a comprehensive list that suits various needs.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
Ease of use
4 points
5 points
5 points
5 points
5 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
4 points
5 points
4 points
4 points
Awards 1
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How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the locking lug nuts by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



№1 – HanAuto Black Lug Nuts with 2 KEY

HanAuto Black Lug Nuts with 2 KEY

ORDER INFO: These lug nuts only match the thread size to your vehicle. They will NOT fit on factory wheels.
FEATURES: Closed End, Acorn Bulge Lug Nuts; A proprietary cathodic black coating
SPECS: M14x1.5Thread; Conical 60 Degree Seat – 2″(51mm) height
Literally no flaws

Why did this locking lug nuts win the first place?

The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.


Ease of use














№2 – Upgr8 S-series 20 Pieces Steel Closed Ended Wheel Lug Nuts with Key

Upgr8 S-series 20 Pieces Steel Closed Ended Wheel Lug Nuts with Key

Weight: 36g per lug nut. Length: 35MM.
Precise fitment for best result of installation.
Unique Design help preventing wheel from scratch.
Can be tricky for beginners.
A little bit shallow.

Why did this locking lug nuts come in second place?

I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office.


Ease of use














№3 – Gorilla Automotive 61631 Acorn Gorilla Guard Locks

Gorilla Automotive 61631 Acorn Gorilla Guard Locks

12mm x 1.50 Thread size
3/4″ & 13/16″ Dual hex key
1.50″ Overall length
The handles break easily.
Extraordinarily expensive.

Why did this locking lug nuts take third place?

This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great! It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.


Ease of use














locking lug nuts Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy locking lug nuts, right? No!


In this section, we are going to talk about the top five recommendations for the best wheel locks available. We will also provide you with a run down of each product’s key features, pros and cons so you can evaluate more effectively.

McGard 2453Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks

The McGard manufactures locks in the United States to meet and exceed OEM standards for durability and safety for vehicles. It’s also worth mentioning that the brand is a supplier to more than 30 lines of vehicles around the globe. The wheel locks are easy to use and they function as a normal lug nut. To add, they are equipped with a unique one-piece lock that can only be removed using a special key tool.

Another great feature of this wheel lock is the steel collar that guides the key towards the lock pattern. It places the key to be in perfect alignment for ease of removal and installation. The designs are also computer generated and it permits you an infinite number of key patterns. In addition, they feature an extra narrow pattern groove that is resistant to intruding removal tools.

For its specifications, material is made from restricted chemistry steel that makes it highly-reliable, as well as durable. Plating includes three layers of nickel and a layer of micro porous chrome that protects the lock against rust.

Genuine Toyota Accessories 00276-00900 Wheel Lock

The Genuine Toyota Accessories Wheel Lock is one of the best available in the market right now. These wheel locks are made especially for use on Toyota cars. The set comes with a one of a kind key that permits you to install and remove the nuts. This is a great feature because it prevents your wheels from being stolen by thieves. To add, the nuts feature weight balancing and shape that makes them very easy to use.

The Genuine Toyota Wheel Locks feature plating that is triple-nickel, which improves the quality of the wheel locks. It also is a great feature because it prevents corrosion due to extreme weather conditions. In addition, this feature indicates high performance, quality and durability the wheel locks can offer. Lastly, the manual exhibits easy to follow guidelines for convenient installation and removal of wheel locks.

Gorilla Automotive 7164NBC Black Wheel Lock

The Gorilla Automotive Wheel Lock is another contender for the best wheel locks available in the market today. For its specifications, thread size is set at M1by 1.50 and features cone seat style. It is interesting to know that these locks are the original design that has set the standard for wheel security. This is the reason why the brand is one of the most trusted and has the most advanced locks today.

Another great offering of these wheel locks is the enhanced security it can provide the user. An external security pattern makes the Gorilla Automotive Wheel locks impossible to unlock without the matching key. Material is made from steel and is chrome plated for additional strength and reliability.

These wheel locks are another great offering of the Genuine brand, but specifically manufactured for Honda cars. The locks aid in providing cheap and reliable protection from tire and wheel theft. This is the reason why you have to keep your Honda car using these factory wheel locks. What makes this outstanding is that it does not attract attention because the visual is very subtle.

A matching key comes with the wheel lock set. This key can be used for easy installation and removal using your Honda lug nuts in this wheel lock set. Material is made from hardened steel, which makes them long-lasting and resistant to rust. It also features chrome triple nickel plating that makes them shiny and corrosion resistant. Lastly, the set comes with a handy storage pouch to prevent the misplacing of key socket.

DPAccessories LCB3L6HE-BK04LKBlack Wheel Locks

Another great feature of these wheel locks is the proprietary cathode black coating, which improves the durability. It is also pleasing to look at because of the sharp appearance of the satin black paint. To add, the locks have undergone a quality control process that ensures the locks they manufacture have the best quality. One thing to note, this particular set will not work with a previously ordered set.

Watch now

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 1.2and 12mm x 1.5, while the length is precisely 1.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 12-1business days.

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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.

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.

McGard 2453Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks

McGard has been constructing wheel locks since 196McGard 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 2453comes 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.

Gorilla Automotive 6163Acorn Gorilla Guard Locks

We already discussed Gorilla’s set of 2wheel nuts, now it is time to discuss their four locks set. These wheel locks come in a variety of sizes; ½ inch, 7/1inch, 12mm x 1.25, 12mm x 1.and 14mm x 1.50 with a length of 1.inches.

The main bodies of these lugs are similar to the 2lock 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 6163very 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.

Genuine Subaru B321SFG000 Wheel Lock Kit

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 1.2and 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.

DPAccessories LCB3L2HE-BK04LKWheel Locks Set

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.

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.

McGard 2415Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks

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 1.2inches. 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.


These Chrome Locking Lug Nuts are not intended to be used with longer aftermarket studs as you will run out of available material for the locking attachment to catch the nut. These should only be installed with the factory lug nuts they are intended for.

Climbing wheels

Rotating weight is felt most when ascending, so a wheel suited to climbing is usually designed with low weight in mind. Such wheels generally feature a shallow-profile rim and a low spoke count.

Another benefit of such a wheel is seen in ride quality. Typically, the deeper a rim gets in its shape, the harsher the ride — therefore climbing wheels are often more compliant.

Mid-section aerodynamic wheels

Aerodynamic wheels have quickly become a popular choice for creating that ‘pro look’. An aerodynamic wheel will usually feature a deeper section rim, with a rim depth of around 30mm being the typical starting point.

As aero designs have improved in recent years, there has been a big uptake in these mid-depth wheels — which unlike some deep-section models (see below) now provide a sensible balance between low weight, ride quality and improved performance against the wind.

Aerodynamic rims are often made from carbon fibre in order to keep weight low. However, budget options are likely to be made of or feature aluminium, so will be heavy.

Deep-section aerodynamic wheels

When speed is a priority, a deep-section rim of 50mm or more cuts through the wind with less turbulence. However, the additional depth can cause problems if riding in high cross-winds and often adds weight, which is why mid-depth wheels have become a popular compromise outside of time trials and fast sprint courses.

People who race on deep aerodynamic wheels will often own a set of training wheels for use outside of racing.

Training wheels

While speed and low weight are a priority for racing wheels, training or ‘everyday’ wheels must be durable and able take a beating.

Because rims wear out over time with braking, alloy training wheels are often best. A custom, handbuilt wheelset — where replacement spokes and rims are relatively cheap — are a good choice (see below for more on these). Other options are budget wheels from major brands, which can be quite solid and have parts that aren’t too expensive to replace.

For this type of usage, expect a wheelset weight of 1,500–1,800g for something that is well priced. A budget wheelset is likely to be 1,900g or over.

Road wheel rim width explained

While the 622mm bead seat diameter is an industry standard, the width of the rim is not. Recently there has been a trend towards wider rims because they offer greater tyre volume and a stiffer wheel, which in turn provides a more comfortable ride, improved bike control, lower rolling resistance and potentially fewer flats. For those racing, wider rims have been shown to be more aerodynamic too.

The confusing part is that some brands quote external rim width, while others internal. Looking to internal width, anything under 14mm is considered very narrow, 19mm and over is wide and anything between is sufficient for common 23-25c tyres.

Shimano freehubs

If you have an 11-speed drivetrain you will need to ensure the wheels are 11-speed compatible.

It is possible to buy a cassette that will allow you to use an 11-speed drivetrain with 10-speed wheels. Such a thing exists from the likes of Token, Edco and others. Just be aware that they are generally more expensive.

Beware of older Shimano 10-speed wheels from 201These featured a narrower 10-speed only freehub body with taller splines and so will not work with any other speed cassette.

SRAM cassettes use Shimano’s spline system, so are nearly all cross-compatible. The exception here is SRAM’s new 1×1 specific XD-Driver, which is its own standard.

Campagnolo freehubs

The freehub diameter and splines of Campagnolo freehubs are very different to that of Shimano/SRAM. If you have Campagnolo gearing, ensure that the freehub body is matched.

Many aftermarket wheel brands will sell freehub bodies as a replacement part — so it’s possible to switch a Campagnolo wheel to Shimano and vice-versa (Shimano-branded wheels being a key exception here).

Freehub ratchet speeds

A feature that’s commonly overlooked in a hub is the ratchet speed or the angle of uptake. Hubs typically don’t go lower than 1points of engagement per 360-degree revolution, but hubs that offer more can provide the feeling of faster acceleration out of corners.

Rim brake road wheels

Many road bike wheels are still designed for use with rim brakes, which means the rim must offer a consistent braking surface. This is why most quality aluminium rims claim to offer a ‘machined’ surface, which generally guarantees an even braking surface at manufacturing.

Carbon rims typically don’t perform as well when braking, nor last as long as aluminium rims — especially in the wet. Keep this in mind if you’re considering a carbon wheel for everyday use.

Disc brake road wheels

Disc brake wheels feature a hub with a mount for the disc rotor. Because of the high forces these rotors exert on a wheel when braking, disc-brake wheels often feature higher spoke counts. The latest designs do away with the rim braking surface entirely and modify this traditionally reinforced area to achieve lower weight.

It’s worth noting that fitting disc brakes to a road bike isn’t as simple as swapping out the wheels, both the frame and fork must be designed to accept disc brakes too.

When buying disc brake wheels, it’s worth being aware that there are two types of rotor mount: Center Lock and six-bolt. Center Lock is a splined system from Shimano, which with the use of an adaptor, can also use six-bolt rotors. Six-bolt hubs can only fit six-bolt rotors.

Spokes lace the hub to the rim. Generally, wheels with higher spoke counts are stronger and more durable, but this comes with a weight penalty.

Typically a spoke is made from a piece of stainless steel wire that’s been cold-forged and then had a thread added to it. Some higher-end wheels can also feature spokes made from aluminium, carbon fibre or even titanium.

When it comes to a quality wheel build, correct spoke tension is critical. Too loose and the spokes can unwind, and the constant flex will eventually lead to broken spokes or cracked rims. Too tight and the ride quality will be harsh, with an increased risk of the rim cracking at the spoke attachment point.

Factory vs. handbuilt wheels

The merits of factory vs. handbuilt wheels are often argued.

Confusingly factory wheels are, in fact, commonly built by hand. The key distinction however is that factory wheels are built to an exact specification and you buy them as an off-the-shelf item, often with proprietary spoke and rim designs.

Handbuilt wheels take a more classical approach, where the hubs, spokes, nipples and rims can be bought separately and chosen to best suit a rider’s individual needs.

Handbuilt wheels are commonly kept for training, long-distance and everyday uses. However, there are of course examples where the opposites are true.

Road wheel glossary

Cup and cone bearing: the alternative to cartridge bearing hubs is cup and cone. It’s most common on entry-level wheels and all those sold by Shimano. These feature loose ball bearings that run on a permanent outer bearing race, with a cone shaped inner race that can be adjusted.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Wheelock

Price is a consideration when it comes to buying decisions. If you do care about your security, it is recommended that you do not skimp on the locks particularly the excellent ones. However, you should always be careful not to be blackmailed by the cheaply constructed wheel locks. It is better to dig deeper into your pocket and keep your vehicle secured by durably constructed wheel locks. The thing is, go for the best quality you can afford.

Unique Key

The locks you purchase should come with a unique key because the universal key will be used to remove the locks in no time. There have been cases where some locks have been accessed by crooks while using a universal key. That said, you should consider locks with a special key.

A bike seat secured with an old bike chain

Or many bike shops will now do it for you for a small fee.


With Pinhead skewers, there are 11,500 different key combinations. Each key is engraved with a nine digit code that you can use to order replacement keys or more matching locks.

I should mention that with older Pinhead models, it was possible to unscrew the head relatively easily with a Gator Grip universal socket. However, the skewers now come with POG washers that prevent this happening.


Pitlock skewers boast over 1000 different key combinations. And they have the added security of a smooth shield of steel which surrounds the head and prevents any other tool being used to loosen it.

There are locks for both wheels and seats. And for both quick release wheels and solid axle wheels.

Each key comes with a code card enabling you to order replacement keys and further matching locks. And as with Pinhead, you can also register this code online.

Unlike the Pinhead key, the keys that come with the Pitlock have no lever, so in order to use them you will need to use a mm spanner or insert another tool such as an Allen key into the hole to get enough leverage to screw and unscrew the nut.

So you stick a hex key in one end, the spikes in the holes and your able to tighten or loosen your skewers and clamps. Easy! Each set features a slightly different distribution of spikes and holes which makes this solution more secure than the simpler non-standard key option.

And you get a service card which enables you to register your specific key so that you can order a new one should you lose the first.

Locks with Non Standard Keys

So a thief who bought one would have easy access to all the wheels and seats locked with the same brand. On top of this, they can usually be opened easily with a Gator Grip universal socket.

Wrapping up

For the back wheel, you should be able to use the same lock you use on your frame. For the front wheel, you would need a separate lock. Either a small U-lock that just locks the wheel to the frame. Or for better overall security, a slightly larger U-lock that can lock the wheel to the frame and the bike rack.

V5C registration document

Insist on seeing the V5C vehicle registration document – this shows the registered keeper and not the legal owner.





How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the locking lug nuts by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your locking lug nuts wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of locking lug nuts



Questions? Leave a comment below!

Chatting about locking lug nuts is my passion! Leave me a question in the comments, I answer each and every one and would love to get to know you better!

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