A question that many potential safe buyers ask is what type of lock to choose. After all, what's the point of buying a safe if you aren't getting a lock that will keep it secure? You will find that safe locks come in two varieties: mechanical safe locks and electronic safe locks. But which type will best suit your needs? Take a few minutes to learn more about each type of lock and review the pros and cons of each.
Mechanical Locks – The Original Safe Lock
When most people think of a safe, the image of a mechanical dial lock often comes to mind. You know, the type of lock you see on bank safes in old movies. To open a safe with a mechanical lock, you spin the dial to the right until you land on the first number, then spin to the left and go past the next number once before landing on it, and then dial to the right for the last number. Let’s consider a mechanical lock’s pros and cons.
Pros of Mechanical Locks
- Mechanical safe locks have been standard since the 1800s.
- There are no electronic parts that require batteries.
- Mechanical locks usually have a long lifespan.
Cons of Mechanical Locks
- Nothing much has changed with the technology of mechanical locks.
- These are considered Group Two locks, which a professional thief can typically crack in 15 minutes or less.
- The process of opening a mechanical lock is slow, and one mistake means you must start over. This wastes precious seconds in an emergency when you need to get to your gun fast.
- Maintenance will be required on a mechanical lock if its tumblers become misaligned.
- The lock code is preset by the factory, which makes it harder to remember.
- If the lock code needs to be changed, you have to hire a locksmith to do it.
Electronic Locks – the New Lock on the Block
Today, it seems that everything is going digital, including our home’s door locks, which eliminates the need to carry a door key. The purpose of going digital with everyday items is to make your life easier.
Pros of Digital Locks
- As a Group 1 lock, digital safe locks have high manipulation resistance because they have 999,999 possible lock combinations.
- It could take up to 27 years for a thief to manipulate all the codes possible in a digital safe lock.
- You can choose your own pass code and change it whenever you want.
- Many come with lights, which provide fast, easy access in the dark of night, so you can see to enter your code whether you are wearing glasses or not.
- Removing the keypad does not affect the safe’s security.
- They Block unauthorized users after several failed attempts.
- The lock memory remembers pass codes even during battery changes.
- You can service your own lock.
Cons of Digital Locks
- You need to change its battery every 6-12 months.
- If the batteries die, you could be temporarily locked out of your safe.