Choosing a Safe Lock

Safe locks come with a variety of features - this page is a breakdown of the different locks and options, and is intended as a guide to help you choose the best lock for your safe.

There are three large categories of safe lock: 

  1. Key lock
  2. Combination Dial
  3. Electronic Digital
  4. Dual Combination Dial & Electronic Digital
  5. Biometric

Key Locks:

Key locks are typically found on small safes, such as drop boxes. There are several common types of key locks, ranging from cam locks (low security), to Medeco cam locks (high security) to dual key bank locks (high security). 

Depending on the design, some safes may use key locks, and some safes have two locks; one standard mechanical or digital, plus one key lock as extra security.

Our recommendation is to use key locks to protect fairly low value assets.

Combination Dial:

The tried and true combination dial is known for its reliability. It is also immune to EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) attacks and requires no batteries. The downside to combination dial locks is that the combination is slow to open compared to key or digital locks, and the combination is not easy to change. 

Our recommendation is to use combination dial locks if you are particularly concerned about EMP attacks.

Electronic Digital:

Electronic locks are by far the most popular locks on most safes now-a-days. The reliability for some brands is quite high. Furthermore, electronic locks offer capabilities and speed to open that mechanical locks do not. The combination on electronic locks is quick and simple to change. More advanced electronic locks can support multiple users, time delays or time lockout periods, audit trails, silent alarm triggering, as well as other features, depending on the lock type. 

Our recommendation is to use electronic digital locks when you want quick access, the ability to change your own code easily, or any other advanced feature, such as multiple users or audit trail.

Biometric Locks:

Biometric locks open by reading your finger print (some also have a keypad). These locks are the absolute quickest when it comes to opening the safe. However, there are some issues with biometric locks that you should be aware of. 

  1. We would not consider them #1 regarding reliability
  2. They are expensive
  3. Changes to your fingers (sweat, dirt or fingerprint wear) can cause issues

Our recommendation is to use biometric locks on non-critical applications.

We hope this quick breakdown of the most common lock types offered helps you choose what will work best for you. Of course, there are even finer details than were spelled out here, so if you still have questions, please call us for a free consultation: (888) 838-2721. You can also email any questions you may have to: info@pacificsafemfg.com.