How to choose a gun safe without breaking the bank

If you are in the market for a gun safe there are some key points you need to consider. There are a lot of options available from many different companies. Finding the right safe that fits your budget and protects your valuables isn’t as challenging as you think.

A good gun safe is an investment that can last a lifetime. It can be handed down from one generation to the next if it is cared for. When choosing a safe,t is important to examine your budget as well as the level of security of the various safes on the market.

What are you putting in the safe?

The first question you should ask yourself is what are you planning storing in the safe. Do you only need a small safe to store a few valuables or do you need a large gun safe where you can store multiple guns and other items?

There are small safes that can hold a handgun or two all the way up to large long gun safes that can hold multiple firearms, ammo and other valuables.

There are safes that can be mounted into a wall and hidden from sight. Those kind of safes are good for smaller items but are usually very small and don’t offer any fire protection for your valuables.

Whatever size safe you choose you will quickly fill to its capacity and leave you wishing you got something larger. A safe is an investment but don’t let your investment break your bank account.

Electronic Lock vs Mechanical Lock

Many safes today feature your choice of electronic locks or mechanical locks. Each option has advantages or disadvantages. An electronic lock is usually much faster to open than a traditional dial lock.

A disadvantage of an electronic lock is that if it fails and there’s no mechanical override you may be forced to have a locksmith drill the safe.

Mechanical locks have been around for a couple centuries and are usually very reliable. However, they can take much longer to open if you need quick access.

Fire protection is a very common option in most safes manufactured today. Fire ratings vary widely depending on the model safe you choose.

A gun safe should be the last line of defense against a thief

Don’t buy a safe thinking it is the only thing you need to keep your valuables safe. A safe is a last resort to protect your property in the event of a criminal getting into your home.

It is important to do everything you can to deter a thief from entering your home in the first place. A good home security system with signs in your yard is one of many deterrents to a would be thief.

A thief doesn’t want to spend a lot of time in your home. He wants to get your valuables and get out. When you buy a safe, you are buying time only. The objective is to buy a safe and position it in a way that a thief does not want to spend the time in your home necessary to open it.

Give a thief enough time and the tools necessary and he can get into virtually any safe on the market.

The Gun Safe Door

The door on a gun safe is usually the first area of attack. Different companies will use different thicknesses of metal in making their safe doors and the body of the safe. Just because a door looks big and heavy doesn’t mean it really is.

Composite doors are common in most gun safes manufactured today. These doors are usually made from sheet metal that is folded to look like it is much thicker. Safes make from plate steal are usually much more expensive but can offer a little more security.

The bolt handle of most safes is designed to break or slip in the event that someone tries to force the bolt to open. Systems that are designed to break when forced can be more difficult to get into once the attack is over. Those designed to slip will allow you to regain access yourself depending on the condition of the lock.

Prying the door open isn’t as easy as videos show

There are a lot of videos online showing people prying open safes. Usually these videos are part of an ad campaigner from one safe manufacturer showing how much better their safe is over their competitors.

One common theme to each of those videos is that they pushed the safe onto its back before trying to pry it open. If a safe is properly anchored it would be almost impossible to do that, making it much harder for a thief to pry the door open.

The thicker the metal and the more surface area there is between the door frame and the door itself the harder it is to pry the door open even if they do get it onto its back. If a thief wants into your safe bad enough, they will bypass the door altogether. They will simply cut their way into the side of the safe instead.


When you start looking for a gun safe examine your budget, know what you’re wanting to put in it and don’t fall for the advertising hype. A good quality safe is an investment worth making but it shouldn’t leave you with an empty bank account.

I own a few safes with varying degrees of metal thickness and size. Each safe I have has a specific purpose and is placed in my home to fit a specific role. A safe is a personal choice and should fit the lifestyle of the person who is buying it.