There are plenty of different types of lock mechanisms found on today’s gun safes. Some offer faster unlocking times while others may offer more security from burglars like the Homak gun safe. While browsing the different gun safe reviews, one metric to keep in mind is whether or not a safe’s lock mechanism suits your needs. If you already own a gun safe, you can see these gun safe organizer for your gun safe.
The most traditional of all the lock options, a combination lock on a gun safe is just a better version of something you would see on a high school locker or gym padlock. It’s a dial that is spun to usually 3 sequential numbers. The right pattern will unlock the mechanism and bolts allowing you to open your safe. Well-made combination locks are fairly secure, but they can be cracked with enough time. They also usually require a lock smith if you need to change the combination. Combination locks are a very popular choice because they do not rely on any type of external power source.
Key locks are the simplest most basic way to lock your gun safe. Most gun safes will use a cylinder lock, similar to the lock of most house doors. Key locks tend to be more easily picked than combination locks, but they offer a faster unlock time. If you need to get to your firearm in a hurry this could be beneficial. One major problem with key locks compared to combination locks is that they require an outside instrument, the key, to open the safe. While forgetting the combination of your lock is possible but not likely, people lose their keys all the time. It should also be noted that many safes using more advanced locking mechanisms will use a key lock as a back up.
Electronic Keypad Locks
More and more manufacturers are switching from mechanical locks to electronic locks. The most common electronic lock used is a keypad lock. Like a combination lock, to open a safe using a keypad lock you need to enter a sequential combination. The difference is that you are punching this into a calculator like digital keypad and not spinning a dial. Keypad locks tend to be extremely fast to open, especially when compared to combination and key locks. One drawback of electronic locks is that they require an external power source like a battery. A problem with this power supply could render the lock inoperable. To counteract this some safes that use a keypad lock also have a standard key lock as a backup measure. While most keypad locks resemble a calculator or telephone-dialing pad, some manufacturers like GunVault use alternative keypad styles.
At the high end of gun safe locks is the biometric lock. Another form of electronic lock, biometric gun safe locks are opened by the owners fingerprints instead of a keypad number sequence. A great example is this Barska model, which happens to be a leading contender for being the best biometric gun safe for the money. Since there isn’t any passcode, the only way to bypass its security is to completely circumvent the lock mechanism. Consumer level fingerprint technology has made great strides in recent years making these locks rather reliable. They are fast and secure. They however suffer the same drawback as electronic keypads, which is the reliance on an outside power source.