Real Review: Bolt One-Key Lock Set


The BOLT Cable Lock features a coil sprung 6-foot cable wrapped in insulating rubber making for good corrosion resistance and access.

Admittedly, it’s been a little longer since we’ve published one of our “Real Reviews” than we’d like. Our delay has only been due to so many cool and unique products and items pouring into our office that we’re trying to give enough test time to provide an adequate review. One such has been a truly remarkable innovation for what normally are pretty unremarkable: locks.

Over a month ago, we were approached with an opportunity to test out BOLT’s One-Key Lock set. Consisting of a cable lock, receiver lock and padlock, the BOLT brand gives these normally mundane pieces of everyday equipment a very fresh and 21st century splash of technology. Strattec Security Corporation’s BOLT line of locks feature a patented “one-key lock technology,” which permanently “programs” the lock to your tow vehicle’s ignition key.

True to its word, the BOLT lock comes out of the package ready to be “programmed.” By inserting and twisting your ignition key in the lock cylinder, the spring-loaded plate tumblers index, immediately coding the cylinder to your key. This not only makes securing down your truck, trailer and personal watercraft easy with one key, but also makes picking your lock all the more difficult.

We look at purchasing locks for your valuables as a necessary purchase, and we liked the convenience and technology employed by the unique BOLT Locks. Now, technology like this isn’t cheap. The Receiver Lock is $31.99 alone. But again, if you want the best, you’re gonna pay for it.

Owned by Strattec, the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive locks and keys, BOLT are made with an electroless nickel-plated carbon steel shaft assembly and feature an automotive-grade stainless steel lock shutter, a crush-resistant body shell and a six-plate tumbler sidebar to resist corrosion from salt water or exposure to the elements. Finally, all BOLT tumblers are wrapped in a rubberized sheathe.

As mentioned, we were first provided with BOLT’s Cable Lock. Made with 1/4-inch coiled cable with black vinyl coating, the Cable Lock is six feet long, allowing us plenty of slack to wrap through the bow eye and around the trailer frame. The cable is coil sprung, so wrapping up the Cable Lock is effortless.

After several week’s worth of towing, riding and exposure to the elements, you can see how the BOLT Receiver Lock shows zero discoloring.

Next was BOLT’s Receiver Lock. BOLT offers two versions to lock the trailer to the hitch for Class I through Class V hitches. For our Dodge 1500 pickup, we used the 5/8-inch Receiver Lock (ideal for most trucks and SUVs with a Class III, Class IV or Class V hitches). Lastly, we used a standard BOLT Padlock to secure our hitch’s ball lock. All three quickly adapted to our Ram’s ignition key with a satisfying “click” that immediately customized each lock to our vehicle.

With our hitch, trailer and ski firmly secured, we proceeded to drive over 1,100 miles in three days across five states. (No, we’re not joking. Stay tuned to The Watercraft Journal for more on this epic roadtrip.) With a single key in our bathing suit short’s pocked, we were able to back the truck down the launch, unlock and launch our skis. The same went for after our day’s ride. No more fumbling for extra keys or going without – as we know so many do.

Thankfully, getting your hands on a set of BOLT Locks is made pretty easy thanks to their online store, as well as being sold through 4-Wheel Parts stores, Action Car and Truck Accessories, Advance Auto Parts, Auto Value, Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, Canadian Tire, Lordco Auto Parts, Pep Boys, and Summit Racing.

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Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief – kevin.shaw@shawgroupmedia.com Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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