Escape Rooms Ropes and Team Building

15 Lock Variations for Your Low Cost Escape Room

When it comes to locks for your summer camp or community escape room, there are plenty of options. Now, I’m not talking about an electromagnetic lock with a trigger and controller. That would cost $200-$500 for the one lock and we want to keep the costs low.

Here are 15 lock variations that range in price from $2-$80 each.


These are your typical locks that can be found just about anywhere. Players love finding keys.

Master Lock 1 3/16" Covered Brass Blue 1-Pack
  • PADLOCK APPLICATION: For indoor and outdoor use; Padlock is best used for backpacks,...
  • DURABLE DESIGN: Padlock features a blue vinyl-covered aluminum body that is scratch and...



I suggest you stay away from the standard round combination lock that is often used. May kids have trouble with working them. Instead use combination locks where you simply have to align the correct numbers. These come in lots of sizes, from suitcase locks too much larger ones. These locks are great since there are so many ways you can reveal a set of numbers for the lock.

KeeKit Combination Lock, 5-Digit Combination Padlock, Re-settable Combo Lock, Gym Lock, Combination Locks for Gates, Toolbox, Luggage, Cabinet, Bicycle, School, Home, Office, Travel
  • High Safety - Combination locks with 5 digits, you can set 100,000 combinations codes,...
  • Locks Easy to Use - No keys needed. Numbers are easy to read, you're free to set or reset...
ORIA Combination Lock, 4 Digit Combination Padlock Set, Metal and Plated Steel Material for School, Employee, Gym or Sports Locker, Case, Toolbox, Hasp Cabinet and Storage, Pack of 2, Black
  • 2 pack : Set includes 2 zinc alloy 4-digit re-settable combination travel locks.
  • Secure Bags & Lockers Perfectly : ORIA combination lock has 4-digit, offers 10000...



Here we have combination locks that use letters instead of numbers. Great to use with clues that lead to a word in a book.

Wordlock PL-004-BK 5-Dial Combination Padlock, Black
  • SAFE: The 5 dial combination of the Wordlock by World & Main is not filled with number...
  • EASY: If you have ever had problems memorizing number combinations, then this is the...
Master Lock 4697DWD Set Your Own Word Combination TSA Approved Luggage Lock, 1 Pack, Assorted Colors
  • PADLOCK APPLICATION: For indoor use and travel; small lock is best used for backpacks,...
  • TSA ACCEPTED: Luggage lock allows Transportation Security Administration screeners to...



These are fun locks to have. Left, Left, Up, Right and unlock. Keep a few of these on hand as they can break with excessive and rough use. That said, I really like these locks. The Dialspeed below is a directional lock on steroids.

Master Lock 1500iD Locker Lock Set Your Own Directional Combination Padlock, 1 Pack, Assorted Colors
  • Indoor padlock is best used as a school locker lock and gym lock, providing protection and...
  • Set your own directional combination lock for speed and easy combination recall; for combo...
Master Lock Padlock, dialSpeed Set Your Own Combination Digital Lock, 2-1/16 in. Wide, Assorted Colors, 1500eXD
  • PADLOCK APPLICATION: Lock is best used for school and athletic lockers; For indoor use
  • EASE OF USE: Electronic directional interface offers speed, ease of use, and multiple...



Want to hide a clue or puzzle in a bottle and lock it up? This is the lock you need.

WdtPro Wine Liquor Bottle Lock Combination Lock for Wine Keeps Hooch out of the Wrong Hands & Keep Wine Fresh
  • As a Combination Lock - Wine and Liquor Liquid Bottle Locks Safeguard your wine and liquor...
  • As a Preservation Device& Bottle Stopper - Leak-proof locking cap, preserve wine for...



This lock is also a box and a great place to hold keys to another lock or a message of some sort. Attach it to a wall or set it on a table.



This neat lock is perfect for locking a desk drawer or a cabinet. You could even make a wooden box and install this lock. you might think that an electronic lock like this would be very expensive, but this one is under $40 at the time of this article posting. Oh, and this lock also opens with an RIFD card that comes with it.

Electronic Cabinet Lock Kit Set, Digital Touch Keypad Lock, Password Entry and RFID Card / Wristband Entry, Keyless Door Lock Knob
  • This Electronic Cabinet Lock Kit can be used widely for cabinet, drawer, locker, storage...
  • Multiple Unlock Modes: 1. Password (one-off password mode for public locker, fix multiple...



While the cabinet lock above can also be opened with a cardkey, this little lock does not require installation. How fun would it be to have players find a cardkey and have to figure out what to do with it?

Sea to Summit TSA Travel Lock (Cardkey w/Cable)
  • Travel Sentry approved
  • Red Diamond Icon (alerting TSA they can open this lock)



Okay, these locks are a bit pricey at around $60, but imagine the players of the game learn that the only way to open this lock is to use the finger of a certain staff person (who may or may not be in the room at that time).

Winker Fingerprint Lock (2nd Generation Travel Luggage Lock), Waterproof and Anti-theft Padlock for Travel, Suitcase, Gym Locker, Bag, Cupboard, Drawer
  • YOUR FINGER IS YOUR KEY: Do you still use traditional lock for travel, Suitcase, Gym...
  • WINKER ADVANTAGE: The first mini Travel Luggage Lock (our 2nd generation smart padlock) in...



These low tech locks can be found nearly anyplace that sells baby items. It’s to keep kids out of drawers. Install this lock on a cabinet or drawer and then hide the magnetic knob. Presto! A low-cost and unique lock. These usually come in packs of 4-6. Each individual lock is between $2-$5.

Adoric Life Magnetic Cabinet Locks Drawer Locks for Child Safety (6 Locks + 2 Keys) - Baby Proofing Cabinet Locks with 3M Adhesive Tape Easy To Install
  • <EASY INSTALLATION & BACKUP ADHESIVES>No tools or drillings needed. The baby safety...
  • <KEEP YOUR FURNITURE BEAUTIFUL>The magnetic locks are designed for inner installation,...



Depending on the theme of your escape room story, these types of key padlocks can be a neat addition.

Deco 79 IR 8010AJ Metal Brass Lock & Keys 3" H,1" W-01102, 3" x 1"
  • Highly durable and used for both indoor and outdoor decoration
  • Suitable to be use as decorative items



There are a variety of locks that are called Chinese Old Style. These are usually small and meant for jewelry boxes – which is a great place to keep small items or notes.

Antique Fish Shaped Bronze Metal Lock Old Chinese Padlock For Drawer Jewelry Box
  • For locking your drawers, jewelry boxes and suitcases, etc. Easing your safety concern
  • Made of high quality metal material, sturdy and durable, can keep in service for a long...
BQLZR Zinc Alloy Vintage Antique Bronzy Chinese Old Style Bird Flower Leaf Carved Padlock Key Lock
  • You can install it in your jewelry box that displays your unique taste.
  • It can be collected as collectibles,also you can use it actually.



Looking for something really different (and a bit silly)? Empty out your favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream pint (into your mouth, of course), clean the pint and place an item or note inside. Then lock it down with this protector.

Ben & Jerry's Euphori-Lock Ice Cream Pint Combination Lock Protector
  • Easy, two-piece assembly with twist-lock installation.
  • Three-digit super secret pre-assigned combination



If you can find one of these locks it would be a really neat addition to your collection. The keys are the cool part. They are rare, but I did see one on Ebay recently for $80.



Have a couple of cabinets that you want locked up? Want to create a story where the goal is to free someone who is handcuffed to something? Having a pair of handcuffs in your collection of locks can come in handy.



Let’s say you have multiple groups solving their own puzzles, each looking for one key, and you only want to use one lockbox. You can use a hasp to lock a box using up to six different locks. Always have a hasp.

Master Lock Lockout Tagout Hasp, Vinyl Coated Steel Hasp, 1-1/2 in Jaw Clearance, 421
  • APPLICATION: Best used for group lockout applications as part of a comprehensive OSHA...
  • EASE OF USE: Secure each lockout point to ensure equipment is inoperative while repairs or...


For information on How to Create a Low Cost Escape Room for Camps, Youth Groups and Community Centers check out my book.

How to Create a Low Cost Escape Room: For Camps, Youth Groups and Community Centers
  • English (Publication Language)
  • CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)



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