Updated: August 06, 2020

Electronic gun safe vs Mechanical gun safe – which one is best? A very common question of the gun safe buyers. In this article we like to let you introduce both of these gun safe locking mechanism. The best types of gun safe locks that you should consider are not very definite. It will all depend on your taste.

Some people like ease of access and others have far less pressing issues to do with guns and prefer to keep them locked away just for keeping them away from mischief. The time tried and tested older mechanism like the mechanical locks are recommended and have enjoyed stellar reviews lauding them as not perfect but better than the new “James Bond cool” type locks. The locks are taken apart to see what the pros and cons are. Let’s have a quick look at our list.

#1 Electronic Keypad Locks

  • These are reliable when maintained regularly. They use a battery which is changed after a specified period of time depending on what the manufacturer specifies.
  • These locks have been tried and tested and they have been improving with time. They are the most common ones in the market. Despite the competition from newer versions of locking systems, they still thrive.
  • Certainly they have some flaws. In case of an EMP attack (Electro Magnetic Pulse), they will get short-circuited causing automatic dysfunction.
  • There are brands of electronic keypad locks whish have been made to withstand the EMP shocks and are now becoming available for purchase.

#2 Mechanical/Manual and Dial Locks

These locks are from a different era but they do have some kick left in them.

  • Manual locks require a key or in case of a dial lock, a combination of numbers that will allow you into the safe. Breaking in would require time and expertise if the body of the box or the plating is thick enough. Otherwise, it is near impossible to break in.
  • The dial lock takes more time to open than any other lock because even the standard key locks take just a key.
  • You would require precision to open dial locks and a key to open the manual locks.
  • Due to their simple technology, it is easy to break into them but they can still withstand shoddy thieves.

Comparison Between Electronic & Mechanical Lock

This is a table comparing the features of the locks used in top rated safes. Electronic locks and mechanical locks are the most common and their features are discussed below.

This is a table comparing the features of the locks used in top rated safes. Electronic locks and mechanical locks are the most common and their features are discussed below.

Electronic Gun SafeMechanical Gun Safe
Used to make 90% of all safe locksUsed in 10% of Gun safes
It is excellent if the rating is UL 768 RatedVery good if UL rated 768
Opened under 10 secondsOpened in under 45 seconds
There is lockout for multiple wrong codesIt begs for precision and fine motor skills to open
It has its own lights and can be opened in the darkNeeds light and can be hard to see
The batteries are replaced every yearNeeds lubrication every few years
It needs batteries and is not impervious to EMPIt has few mechanical problems
Generally electronic locks have 100,000 to 1,000,000 number of combinationsIt can have 100,000 to 4,000,000 number of combinations
Most of them lasts for up to 3-10 years, few good quality safes have longer lives.Lasts beyond five years and even a lifetime with the correct maintenance
Problems include forgetting the new pin or pass code when you change it and also keypad wears offOne can forget to turn the dial to re-lock

The best lock for you would therefore be the redundant locks which have a back up. If one method of opening fails, it switches to the next one and in this way, the chances of you having a complete fail are incredibly reduced. Thanks for reading this article and now we hope you know the key factors of electronic gun safe and also mechanical gun safe. You can now choose the right type of lock which suits you most.

Michel Pedneault

Michel Pedneault

Michel Pedneault has been blogging for more than three decades. He is one of the former lead writer of Tribunnews.com. He wrote thousand of reviews on various tools & gears. He is fond of travelling, adventures and discovering new things. You can reach him at twitter @pedneault

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