After comparing the Made in Italy Viro Morso padlock and chain with an imitation Made in China, we will now compare its “big brother”, the Viro Supermorso padlock and chain with an imported copy.

As mentioned in the first blog of this series, the victim of imitations is obviously the one to have first designed and launched a successful product on the market.
So we will show how the Viro “Supermorso” is the result of Italian ingenuity, with its design dating back more than 20 years, as shown by the page from the 1994 Viro catalogue which presented the first version (with painted steel armour, without the padlock cover cap integrated in the nylon cover, which were added years later).catalogo 94 con supermorso completo

Again the two products apparently look very similar, but what lies “under the hood”? In this blog we will see the differences which can be noted with the naked eye and in the next blog we will show how the two products behave in a series of tests.supermorso-copia

1) The body of the original is made of brass and not zamak.supermorso-copia-corpo

As already seen for the Viro Morso, the body of the Supermorso (on the left in the photo) is also made of brass, whilst the body of the copy (on the right in the photo) is made of zamak (an alloy formed mainly of zinc and aluminium). It should be noted, once again, that the mechanical properties of brass are definitely superior to those of the zamak alloy, as can be seen from the following table:

TYPE CODE OF MATERIAL USED Mechanical characteristics
Rm [N/mm²] A% HB
BRASS CW 614N 450 24 140
ZAMAK  ZAMA 13 300-400 2-8 80-100

In short, brass is much more resistant to traction because it can withstand a large deformation before yielding and breaking; it is much harder, and therefore more difficult to cut and drill and also more resistant to wear.

The advantages of zamak are only from the point of view of the manufacturer. Its main advantage is that it is a very cheap material and easy to work.

2) The Viro Supermorso has the lock protected by an anti-drill plate.supermorso-copia-piastrina

As can be seen from the photos, the Viro Supermorso (left) has a lock, under the sliding plastic cap, which is protected by a case-hardened, anti-drill, steel plate, whilst the copy (right) does not. This makes the lock of the imitation product much more vulnerable to attacks by drilling the plug.

3) The chain of the original has links with a semi-squared profile, which is more difficult to cut.supermorso-copia-maglia

As already noted for the “Morso” padlock, also in this case the original Viro padlock (left) has a half-square profile for the chain links, whilst the copy uses a more common square profile, which is more easily attacked by shears. In effect, the semi-squared profile is harder to grip with shears, which generally have blades suitable for cutting round profiles or, sometimes, square profiles, but blades do not exist which are suitable simultaneously for both types of profiles.

The section on the left is semi-squared, characterised by a square part and a round part; the section on the right is square, characterised by all right angles.

The section on the left is semi-squared, characterised by a square part and a round part; the section on the right is square, characterised by all right angles.

4) The links of the Supermorso chain are more resistant as they are shorter.supermorso - confronto lunghezza anelli

The chain links of the copy (left) are longer than those of the original Viro product (right).
Obviously, with the same overall length, a chain made up of a greater number of short links has a higher manufacturing cost, because it needs more material to produce it, but just as obviously a short link represents a considerable advantage in terms of security, since the longer the links are which make up the chain the easier it is to insert a lever or the blade of a cutter to break or cut them.

5) The original is made with more precise working.confronto chiavi supermorso

The keys provide an indication of the precision of the machining for manufacturing the products. The Viro keys (left) appear smooth and free of imperfections, whilst those of the copy (right) show signs of “jumpy” and rough cutting. The mechanism of a padlock made with precision is more resistant to attempts to open it by lock picking and guarantees a greater durability over time, compared to one made with large tolerances and imprecise machining.

6) The Supermorso has a larger lock-bolt and body.supermorso - differenza diametro aste

Even with the naked eye one can appreciate how the lock-bolt of the Viro Supermorso padlock (on the right in the photo) has a larger diameter than that of the copy (on the left in the photo); it may also be clearly seen how the overall dimensions of the padlock body are much greater in the original Viro product.
Also, beneath the plastic cover, there is the galvanised steel armour, for which some tests (which we will present in the next blog) have shown a further substantial difference, that is, whilst the steel used in the armour of the Viro product is not only thicker but also hardened, the steel used in the copy is not hardened, so has a significantly lower hardness.

7) The Viro original is Made in Italy.made in italy vs china 2

The Viro Supermorso is made entirely in Italy, whilst the copy is produced in China. A Viro padlock Made in Italy offers a much better performance, a greater reliability over time and, above all, the certainty of a consistent quality, whereas the quality of cheaper imported products is always very variable depending on the production batch.
There is also a complete data sheet for all the Viro products which can be consulted directly online, so that you know beforehand exactly what you are going to buy.


We have seen 7 good reasons why the original Viro Supermorso offers:

  • greater security due to stronger materials and careful manufacturing design;
  • greater durability over time thanks to better thermal and chemical treatments;
  • the certainty of a constant quality, where the various imitations can also be very different from each other.

For this reason, an original Viro product, made by a company which has been manufacturing padlocks in Italy since 1942, is certainly much better than an imitation. In the next blog we will see how this is confirmed by the laboratory tests.

Look at the data sheet of the Viro “Supermorso” padlock with chain.

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