Best pistol safe reviews

Best Pistol Safe Reviews in 2020 – Buying Guide By Expert

Owning a gun is not something that you should take lightly. If it gets into the wrong hands, something even as compact and small as a Glock can have a fatal impact.

If you have little kids running around the house, keeping your guns out of sight is your primary concern. With the best pistol safe, this job becomes more manageable.

You, as a responsible person, need to take the matter of storing your guns seriously. Whether you are a collector or a home defense buff, you must ensure the safety of others in your household.

If your weapon becomes the instrument of someone’s accident, the responsibility is yours alone.With a gun safe, it will not only keep your weapons safe but also limit the number of people that can access it.

Furthermore, accessing these units are fast enough that you can quickly get to your guns in case of an emergency. And most importantly, the intruder cannot take your gun if it is locked inside the safe.

Some people think of a gun safe as an unnecessary investment. However, once you have one in your house, you will learn to appreciate the many quality of life improvements that this unit will bring.

Besides, a gun safe is not only suitable for guns but also other items such as essential documents and valuables.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the best offers on the market to ensure that you end up with a unit that suits your requirements perfectly.

Top 10 Best Pistol Safe Reviews

When it comes to buying the best pistol safe for home defense, you should not make any compromise. You want to make sure all of your requirements are ticked, and the safe you buy can provide the best security for your guns and yourself.

But that can be quite difficult if you do not keep up to date with the market.To help make things easier, here are our picks for the best pistol safe that you can buy to ensure your firearms will be protected while still being in reach when you need it.

1. Vaultek MX Wi-Fi Safe High Capacity Smart Handgun Safe

Let us kick off our list of reviews with a high capacity unit by the brand Vaultek. The brand is quite we-known in the industry and respected for their dedication to building high-quality gun safe. This particular model comes with all the excellent design features that makes it one of the best pistol safe for home defense.

It uses biometric security and electronic keypad as its primary access method. However, you also get a pair of manual keys, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity to your phone as backup means of opening it. Additionally, you get a bright LCD screen just above the biometric scanner that keeps you updated on the safe status.

The unit comes with all the top-notch security features that you will ever need. It features anti-pry reinforcement bars, dual impact-proof latches, and hinges mounted internally to prevent any attempts at forced entry. Furthermore, it can detect any tamper attempts and warns you instantly using the smartphone app.

One of the best things about this unit is its capacity to store around eight regular handguns. You get plenty of organization options because of the three pistol racks on the bottom part of the safe. In addition to the twin pistol racks, you also get a shelf on the upper part of the safe that can store two extra handguns or other items.

Build quality is another prime selling point of the unit. It features thick 14 gauge carbon steel construction while the door comes with 12 gauge of steel. The unit operates using a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and includes all the mounting and charging kit with your purchase.

Pros :

  • Tough and rugged construction
  • Has a memory capacity of more than 19 million combination codes
  • High battery capacity
  • LED in the keypad lights up when the sensors detect your hand


  • You can manually reduce the ping volume

2. Vaultek 10 Series Lightweight Handgun Bluetooth Smart Safe Pistol Safe

Coming up next is another product by the brand Vaultek. We do not usually put two products of the same brand back to back, but with this unit, we just could not resist. If you want a small gun safe perfectly suitable for a handgun and some ammo, you cannot go wrong with this unit.

Similar to its big brother, this model uses a high-resolution biometric scanner and an illuminated keypad. The scanner can store up to 20 unique fingerprints while the keypad allows you to set up an access code between four to eight digits. It also has a proximity sensor that illuminates the keypad when your finger goes near it.

Furthermore, the unit comes with two keys as a backup mode of access. Since it uses lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, you can expect a long lifespan from it. On the off chance that the battery does run out on you, you can still use the backup keys to open up the safe.

Despite its smaller size and lightweight structure, the unit does not compromise in the security aspects at the slightest. It features heavy-duty pry-resistant reinforcement bars and anti-impact latches to prevent forced entry. You also get all the mounting hardware and a quick release security cable to set it up in your car.

 Keep in mind that the unit is meant to be compact and portable. The interior of the safe comes with rubber padding to ensure the finish of your handgun remains intact. It can hold a single compact firearm and a spare round of magazine. That can either be a good thing if you want a portable safe but not great if you want to keep more than one gun

Pros :

  • Excellent build quality
  • Comes with interior padding
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Includes both mounting hardware and security cables


  • Cannot hold more than one handgun

3. Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe

Up next is the father of all gun safes. Fort Knox is one of the leading brands in the industry, and for a good reason. This particular model by the brand is a great investment for people who want to store one or two handguns behind a high-security lockbox.

The greatness of this unit lies in its simplicity. It does not go with any electronic locking mechanisms but instead uses a Simplex combination locking system. Because of its full analog nature, you do not need to worry about any battery replacement and can enjoy the full security that it provides.

You still get easy access inside the safe since the locking mechanism is extremely straightforward. The gas strut compressors in the door allow it to pop open relatively fast as soon as you input the right combination code. There are no backup means of access, so make sure you remember the code if you want to get in.

 Construction-wise, you get a thick 10-gauge steel body. The door features a 3/16-inch steel wraparound design that protects it from any sort of attack. If that was not enough, the door hinges are tamper-resistant and actively prevents any sort of prying attempts. Despite its simple looks, this pistol box is not one to be underestimated.

 Insider the safe you have enough space to fit a regular firearm along with some ammo and other valuables. If you are using compact handguns, you can potentially fit two of them inside without much of an issue. The unit also comes with pre-drilled holes to help you bolt it down to any surfaces

Pros :

  • Amazing value for the price
  • Does not require batteries
  • Completely analog design
  • Very durable build quality


  • No way to access the safe if you forget the combination code

4. V-Line Top Draw Locking Tactical Gun Storage Box, Black

The next product on our list is by a brand called V-Line. It is a small, low-profile lockbox that comes with a tough and rugged exterior to ensure the full protection of your firearm. If you want a pistol safe on your nightstand or your car safe, this is a perfect choice.

This machine features the time-tested, efficient, Simplex combination locking system. All you get are five push buttons on the top that is easy to program and set up. You also do not require any batteries, which saves the additional cost of replacements. Unfortunately, it also does not have any backup access method.

The purpose of the unit is to provide security, which it does so with style. However, it does not feature any gas strut compressors, which means you do not get quick access to your firearms. But for people who prefer security over speed, this pistol safe does not disappoint.

It features a sturdy and robust steel construction that speaks durability. Thanks to the welded door hinges, prying it open is next to impossible. When the safe is closed, the top of the unit hugs the bottom part, blocking up any opening to prevent tampering of any sorts.

 Despite its smaller size, the interior of the unit is quite spacious. It can fit two compact handguns and some additional ammo without too much of a hassle. The interior of the unit is lined with high density foam padding to keep the finish of your guns intact. The safe comes with pre-drilled mounting holes that makes installation easy and effortless

Pros :

  • Strong and sturdy build quality
  • Does not require any batteries
  • Portable and compact size
  • Approved by CA for gun storage


  • It does not come with mounting hardware

5. SentrySafe QAP2BEL Gun Safe with Biometric Lock, 2 Capacity & Interior Light

In the world of vaults, lockboxes, and gun safes, SentrySafe is one of the well-recognized brands. Looking at its QAP2BEL gun safe, any doubt you may have about the company goes away. This model comes with a sleek and modern design that provides exquisite safety and security for your valuables and firearms.

The unit features a top of the line fingerprint recognition technology in the form of its biometric scanner. It is smooth and responsive and helps you quickly get to your gun in case of an emergency. It also features a high-quality keypad with backlit LEDs that lets you set up your own combination code as a secondary access point.

Thanks to the gas strut compressors on the doors, the lid pops open instantly the moment it recognizes a valid access request. It allows for single-handed access to the interior since you do not need to manually lift the door. If the battery fails or the other access points do not work, you get a set of override keys to bypass it.

This device also features heavy-duty steel that ensures long-lasting strength and durability for the gun safe. The pry-resistant door hinges prevent any prying attempts and ensure the integrity of the unit remains intact. It is approved by the California Department of Justice, which speaks highly for its credibility.

 The gun safe has enough interior space to fit two regular handguns inside along with a few other small items. For nighttime operation, it features a discreet blue LED for increased vision. Furthermore, it comes with a soft lining on the inside to protect your firearms from any cosmetic damages.

Pros :

  • Quick and Easy Access
  • Includes Backup Keys
  • Large interior space for the size
  • Approved by California DOJ


  • The scanner does not work with wet fingers

6. Viking Security Safe VS-25BL Biometric Safe Fingerprint Safe

If you are one for protected handgun safe, you cannot go wrong with this selection by the brand Viking Security Safe. It comes with many interesting features, and every aspect of the unit is convenient to the user. Security, safety, and ease of use are its prime selling point.

The unit features a simple design with a keypad panel at the front. On the right side of the panel, you will find a large 500 DPI biometric scanner that can instantly recognize a registered fingerprint. The keypad lets you set up a PIN code as another means of accessing the interior.

Furthermore, the unit comes with a four-prong backup key to bypass the electronic locking mechanism. Since it is a battery-powered unit, even with its efficient battery usage, running out of power is always a concern. With the backup key, you can fully operate the safe without any power.

The tough and robust nature of the safe is further improved thanks to the motorized deadbolt locking mechanism. Its two insertion slots, seamless laser cut, and 5mm thick steel door all contribute to preventing any forced attempt into the interior of the safe. If you keep the door unlocked, a warning beep sounds as a reminder to lock it.

 In addition, the storage of the unit is one of the best we have seen. It comes with a fully adjustable shelf that you can use to get the most out of the interior compartment. You also get a discreet LED light to help you see clearly in low light conditions. It is a modern unit with a robust look and premium feel.

Pros :

  • High-quality biometric sensor and keypad
  • Comes with interior LED lighting
  • Warning beep if you leave the door unlocked
  • Comes with mounting kits


  • The finish can come off easily

7. Stealth Handgun Safe Quick Access Pistol Security Box

One of the most important features that you want in your handgun safe is quick access, and this option by Stealth truly shines in that sector. It comes at a price range that is highly attractive yet has some premium features built into it. The combination of its design and versatility is truly unmatched.

This machine takes a simple approach when it comes to its locking mechanism. It has a hassle-free four-digit keypad that allows you to set up a combination code of six digits. Each keypress gives you audio feedback, which can also be turned off according to your preference.

Batteries are always a requirement for any safe that uses electronics. However, this unit allows you to plug it into included Powerport for continuous power. You can still keep batteries inside it to keep it functional when the power runs out. It also includes a set of keys as a backup or to override it if you need it.

The gun safe comes with solid construction featuring a heavy-duty 3/8 inches steel door with anti-pry tabs. It also has a high strength latch and welded lock housing to prevent any tampering. Furthermore, the door is loaded with springs to ensure you get fast and easy access to your handgun.

 It is a perfect unit to keep your guns ready to go. Inside the safe, you get three handgun holders that let you draw your weapons instantly. You can also keep two handguns at rest positions. To protect the cosmetic quality of your firearms, the interior is lined with high-density foams. You can mount it easily using the supplied high-strength security cable.

Pros :

  • Affordable price tag
  • Solid build quality
  • Quick access to your handguns
  • Can hold up to five compact weapons


  • It does not come with mounting brackets or pre-drilled holes

8. Stealth Handgun Safe Mechanical Pistol Security Box Authentic KABA Simplex

If our last recommended product by Stealth was a bit of an overkill for you, you might find this one more attractive. It comes in a simpler, more compact, and traditional design yet features robust security and protection. For a man with classic taste, this is a great choice.

The unit is a fully mechanical one featuring a Simplex combination locking mechanism. So you never need to worry about your batteries dying on you. Its five-button combination system has the potential to create up to 1081 unique access codes, so cracking the combination is not something you have to worry about.

It also comes with a strong and sturdy 14-gauge steel body that can withstand any amount of impact damage. For people who need to move around a lot, the chrome carry handle is a very welcoming addition. And considering its lightweight nature of only 12 pounds, portability is not an issue with it.

The chrome locking bolt in the pistol safe is tucked away under a punch resistant steel housing. Even if it was not, breaking through 1.5-inch solid steel is not an easy task. Additionally, the unit uses two thick steel hooks and a steel dead bar to ensure that it can hold up against all sorts of prying attempts.

 You can keep two pistols inside the safe with enough room to spare for magazines easily. The Interior of the unit features high-density pluck from to prevent scratches. If you do not care for portability and would rather have it bolted, the pre-drilled holes at the bottom make the task almost effortless

Pros :

  • Comes with a removable carry handle
  • Lightweight and compact size
  • Comes with a chrome steel locking bolt and two thick lugs
  • Features built-in mounting holes for permanent mounting


  • Shielding over the locking mechanism is flimsy

9. Alfuheim Biometric Gun Safe, Smart Handgun Safe with 4 Digits Code

Next, we will be looking at an impressive biometric pistol safe by a brand known as Attemailmn. Although the brand is not as well-known as some of the others on this list, this product deserves some love. It comes with many interesting features that make it highly convenient for the user.

The biometric scanner in the unit can store up to 20 fingerprints in its memory bank. It is fast and responsive, giving you instant access to the interior items. Additionally, it also features a four-digit electronic keypad to set up an access code as a secondary opening system. The keys also feel premium and come with backlights.

As a protective measure, if someone enters the wrong password five times, the device goes into lockdown and gives off a loud alarm for five minutes. This is an efficient way to stop intruders, trying to guess your code. You also get a pair of backup keys to override the electronic features.

The unit comes with heavy-duty 16-gauge carbon steel construction. Further enhancing its security is the pry-resistant door and seamless edges. Anybody thinking they can break into your safe are in for quite a surprise as it is virtually impenetrable.

 Inside the safe, you have enough storage space to store two compact-sized handguns easily. The interior compartment comes padded with high-quality foam padding to ensure the integrity of your items. Whether you want to use it as a nightstand safe or put it inside your closet, it will not disappoint you

Pros :

  • Compact form factor
  • Excellent build quality
  • Pry-resistant door
  • Fast and responsive fingerprint sensor


  • Not suitable for vertical mounting

10. Liberty Safe Handgun Vaults Quick Vault Combo with Auto Entry

Finally wrapping things up, we have one of the best quick access gun safe on the market by the brand Liberty Safe. This unit has all the great quality features you would expect from the brand. With this unit at your disposal, you can sleep safely at night, knowing your guns are just a fingertip away.

The unit comes with an electronic combination locking system; however, you still get a set of backup keys. There is a total of four keys at the top that allows you to set up a combination code of your choice. Just as you might expect, the keys feel soft and respond to your press instantly.

Its quick-access is attributed to the design of the door. The door is activated using a piston, and the moment you input the right set of code, it pops open, giving you instant access to your handguns. It has an angled design that is efficient at giving you the gun while keeping it safe from tampering.

The unit features a strong 16-gauge steel construction which ensures a durable and lasting lifespan. There is virtually no opening around the safe and its tamper-resistant design ensures that it can not be forced open. All the mounting holes required for installing the safe comes pre-drilled into the unit.

The interior compartment has enough space to store two to three handguns easily. In addition, the interior lighting provides you with a clear vision, even when you are trying to use it in the dark. It uses a 9v battery as its power source, and you get one included when you buy it.

Pros :

  • Fast opening doors
  • High-quality keypad
  • Interior lighting provides high visibility
  • Large interior space


  • Only allows for five digits of combination code

How to Choose the Best Handgun Safes

With the handgun safe reviews out of the way, it is time to look at a few deciding factors when you are picking out your best pistol safe. The last thing you want is to come home with a unit that does not give you the performance you want.

However, let us start off the section by giving you a brief idea of the different types of units available on the market.

Types of Pistol  Safes

Typically, when differentiating between one safe to another, we tend to look at the locking mechanism. There are four common types of locking systems found on pistol safes. They are:

  • Electronic Keypad Safe

This locking mechanism is quite self-explanatory. You get a keypad where you can set up an access code with a few digits. As soon as you enter the right code, the safe cracks open. It requires some type of power source to work, usually in the form of alkaline or rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

  • Biometric Security Safe

Biometric security units make use of a biometric scanner to take images of your fingerprint. Then it checks its database to look for a match. If you set up your unit to recognize your fingerprint, it finds a match and gives you access to the interior. Typically, this type of gun safes requires batteries to function.

  • Combination Lock Safe

A combination lock safe is a mechanical locking system. For this reason, it does not require any batteries. You have a combination dial or button to input the proper code, which lets you open up the safe. There is a form of combination lock called Simplex that is widely popular for its ease of use and difficult to crack nature.

  • Pattern Code Safe

A pattern code is the same as the one you find on your phone. You usually get an LCD screen where you have to draw a preset pattern to unlock the safe and gain access to the interior. Pattern code safes are not as common as some of the other ones and usually cost a lot more.

Now that you know the different locking mechanisms available on the market, here are a few factors that you should look at when you are buying the best small gun safe to keep your pistols and other small items.

  • Storage space

When buying your pistol safe, you should always take the storage space into consideration. A gun safe that can only hold one compact firearm will not be a smart investment. You might be thinking that its enough for the single handgun in your inventory. However, when you buy a new weapon, you will regret it badly.

Ideally, you want to get more pace than you need right now. It not only makes the device futureproof but also allows you to place a few extra goodies inside the safe if you need it. And given a choice, you should always get a single larger safe instead of multiple smaller ones.

  • Fire and Water Resistance Capabilities

You also need to think about the two common enemies of a gun safe and your firearm, fire, and water. Both fire and water can cause severe damage to your weapon inside the safe. So it would be a wise idea to protect your weapons by buying a Water and Fire-proof Gun safe.

Although these units are quite difficult to come by, you can surely find one within your budget if you look hard enough. You need to look at the fire rating of the safe and also see if it can survive fully submerged in the water. If you are protected against these two hazards, the rest of the things come easier.

  • Thickness of the Steel

Most, if not all, gun safes come with solid steel construction. However, the protection level varies from one safe to another based on the thickness and quality of the steel. With heavier-gauge steel, intruders will have a more difficult time breaking through to the interior of the safe.

You should look for units that feature at least 8-gauge steel construction. Any lower than that and the safe might not hold up well against blunt force or drilling attempts. We recommend going for minimum 10-gauge steel plating as it would give you decent protection without increasing the cost of the product substantially.

  • Water Ventilation System

As we already mentioned above, water is an enemy to your weapon and ammo, and so is moisture. The trapped moisture inside your gun safe after flooding can create havoc in your firearms. Without a proper ventilation system, your guns will become rusty and jam up after a certain period.

You can find different gun safes in the market that offer water-ventilation support. If they seem a bit expensive, think about the money you will be saving in the long run. In addition, you should also look into installing a dehumidifier in the safe to keep the moisture level in check.

5. Comfortable Locking Mechanism

Earlier in this article, we gave you a brief idea of the different types of locking mechanisms that you can find on a handgun safe. There is no definitive “best” locking system, and it is up to you to choose which one you want. It all comes down to your comfort and preference.

Biometric lock is great if you want a hands free experience without having to type in your access codes. But that does not mean it is better than an electronic or combination locking system. You should think about which mechanism gives you the fastest access and most comfort while operating before making your decision.

6. Mounting Capabilities

The primary purpose of your pistol safe is to protect your handguns and other valuables. But if the burglar can just steal your gun safe, then it defeats the entire purpose. That is why to protect against stealing; you need to bolt down the safe properly to a surface, whether it is the floor or your nightstand.

Keep in mind that most pistol safes are compact and lightweight; hence stealing it is not too difficult. You can save yourself from a lot of hassle by investing in a product that comes with pre-drilled mounting holes and accessories. Without proper mounting, a pistol safe is never truly secure.

7. Alarm System

An additional alarm system in your pistol safe will drastically improve its quality and value. Thankfully, you can find a number of units on the market that come with this feature. If you want to get the most out of your purchase, an extra alarm system might be the way to go.

The additional alarm system goes off when an unauthorized person tries to open your safe. It actively alerts you of any ongoing break-in attempts. Additionally, if little children try to play with it or pick it up, the alarm will go off, and you can go and stop them. The last thing you want is your kids playing with the gun safe.

8. Auto-lock Feature

Similar to the alarm system, the auto-lock system is also an additional feature that you can sometimes find in a pistol safe. It is essentially a safety mechanism that locks it down when someone enters a false input code for a few times. Cracking the safe becomes next to impossible with this feature.

When your safe goes into lockdown mode, you need to follow the guidelines given in the owner’s manual to restore it to normal mode. Since you are the authorized user, you should not have any trouble restoring it. But in the meantime, it would have successfully prevented a disaster by going into auto-lock mode.

9. Door Lock Warning

Sometimes after using the safe, you might forget to reactivate the locking mechanism. It happens more often than you might imagine, and it has the potential to lead to disastrous situations. If you are a forgetful person, then you should invest in a unit that has some sort of warning system if you leave the door unlocked.

Additionally, some models even come with an automatic door lock feature. With this system, if you close the door but leave it unlocked for a certain period, it reactivates the lock automatically. Even if you leave the house without reactivating the lock, you can rest easy knowing that the safe will lock itself.

10. Battery or Adapter

If you want to buy a unit with electronic features such as a digital keypad or biometric scanner, you need to consider the battery efficiency or power source. All electronic units require a power source, but not all of them can utilize batteries as efficiently. The units with bad battery utilization require frequent replacement.

However, with A/C adaptors, this issue becomes more annoying. You can just plug it into your wall socket, and it would get a steady flow of power to keep the safe running fully. Some units even allow you to switch between battery power and A/C power so you can switch it up when you need it.

11. Approval and Certification

Although certification might not mean much to you, it gives you an idea of the level of protection it offers. For instance, a handgun safe with BF rating means that it cannot be accessed with blunt force. You get increased protection against hand tools which is a common way to break into a gun safe.

Furthermore, you should also look into DOJ and CA approvals as they give you an idea of its credibility. Gun safes with high approval ratings are sure to give you a much better result than units that do not have those ratings. An approval by a certified board is not something to take lightly.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why would I buy a gun safe?

The level of security a gun safe provides is unmatched. It prevents your handgun from getting into the hands of burglars or people who might try to do you harm. Furthermore, keeping your guns away from children is a must. With a gun safe, you have an easy way to keep it out of sight.

2. What is a fire rating?

Fire rating is what lets you know how long the gun safe will survive in case of a fire breakout. It usually comes with two values, one for the maximum temperature and the other for its tolerance period.

For example, a gun safe can come with a rating of 1 hour at 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. This value means that the unit can survive a maximum of 1 hour when the temperature is under 1500 degrees.

3. Do I need a Dehumidifier?

If you are asking this question, then you probably do. The space inside a gun safe can become extremely humid. Moisture present in the air can wreak havoc on your weapons or any other metal objects.

A dehumidifier allows you to keep the moisture levels inside the unit cool and under control. Although it is not a must, it does offer a lot of utility.

4. Should I opt for an electronic lock or mechanical?

Whether you buy an electronic or mechanical look ultimately comes down to your personal choice. Security-wise, both locking mechanisms offer excellent protection and can successfully keep unwanted intruders away.

However, if you compare the two types, you should be able to identify the key advantages of choosing one over the other.

For instance, electronic locks are easier to use and generally offer faster access to the inside. On the other hand, mechanical locking systems such as combination locks are more robust and durable.

5. Do I need to clean my safe?

Definitely. Even if you do not clean it per week, cleaning it once a month will help you keep dust away. You should also oil the moving parts frequently.

6. What do I do if I forget the access code?

 Most electronic safes come with a backup set of keys to override the locking mechanism in case you forget the access code. If you do forget the code, the best thing to do would be to contact the manufacturer.

Final Thoughts

You should never underestimate the importance of keeping your guns securely locked. Our extensive review and buying guide should give you plenty of knowledge even if you are an absolute beginner on the field.

We hope you found our article on the best pistol safe reviews informative and helpful in keeping your handguns protected and secure.


Last Updated on November 22, 2020 by Ronald K. Smith

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