While there are many gun safes on the market, it’s crucial to buy the right model for you. This means that you’d want a safe that offers maximum protection – hence it cannot be pried open or drilled through, the code cannot be cracked easily and a safe is heavy and can be mounted, leaving a burglar without a prize. We bring you a buyer’s guide and reviews of the latest models on the market to help you choose the best gun safe.
Here are top gun safes that offer good value for the money. Whether you’re looking for a gun safe to keep your guns far away from your kids or thieves, we can help you. But, before moving on to the reviews, you can take a look at our quick table and get a general idea of what each model offers.
- Best gun safes in 2021
- Gun safe reviews
- 1. SentrySafe QAP2BLX – Best biometric gun safe
- 2. VAULTEK VT20i – Best on the go gun safe
- 3. STEALTH – Best 5-handgun safe
- 4. Stack-On GCWB-10-5-DS 10 – Best gun security cabinet
- 5. GunVault SV500 – Best nightstand gun safe for personal protection
- Different types of gun safes
- 6 Things to pay attention to when looking for the gun safe
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final thoughts
Best gun safes in 2021
Weight: 12 lbs
Exterior dimensions (in): 12.1 x 9.9 x 3.2
Capacity: 2 handguns
Weight: 16 lbs
Exterior dimensions (in): 14.5 x 10.6 x 3.3
Capacity: 2 handguns
Weight: 20 lbs
Exterior dimensions (in): 9 x 9 x 12
Capacity: 5 handguns
Gun safe reviews
1. SentrySafe QAP2BLX – Best biometric gun safe
Coming from SentrySafe – one of the leading companies in this field, this safe is the best handgun safe for the money. If you’re looking for a home gun safe that will keep your pistol and jewelry away from your little ones and a burglar, this is the way to go.
While this model is big enough to accommodate one standard pistol, it actually can fit in a nightstand drawer. So, you’ll always have quick access to the safe. In addition, the safe opens and closes quietly, thanks to a gas strut. In case a thief is in your home, this will give you a head start.
Made of solid steel and with a pry-resistant door, the SentrySafe gun safe offers a high level of protection.
You can open the safe via a manual keypad or with your fingerprint (perfect for single-handed use in case of emergency). While both the keypad and fingerprint reader work fast and well, opening the safe isn’t on the spot. First, you need to wake up the reader in order to enter the code or use a fingerprint. While this is not a big deal, it does add a few seconds. An override key is great for backup entry, so you’ll have peace of mind.
The safe is powered by batteries, and it’s best if you use the manufacturer’s batteries only. These will last for years while standard batteries would need to be replaced every once in a while.
Keep in mind that the safe doesn’t come with the batteries so you need to buy them separately.
In our opinion, the SentrySafe QAP2BLX is the best 2-gun safe you can find on the market in 2021.
2. VAULTEK VT20i – Best on the go gun safe
The VAULTEK VT20i is among the top-rated gun safes, rightfully. It’s packed with great features and it does what it’s supposed to do – keep your gun safe and sound. This is a small gun safe so it fits easily under the car seat, making it a great choice for on-the-go security. You even get a steel cable to attach.
This model features a heavy-duty 16-gauge carbon steel construction and has a nice weight. It’s coated with a special finish to increase the durability and reliability of the safe. The VT20i safe offers a high level of protection by combining several features. It comes with anti-pry bars that will successfully stop the attempt to pry open the unit. Then there are two-point anti-impact latches so that the safe stays closed even if when dropped on the floor. Interior mounted hinges offer another level of protection. Finally, the interior is padded so you don’t have to worry if the gun will scratch or get damaged.
The VAULTEK VT20i ensures quick access to the gun and valuables, thanks to the Smart Safe Technology and backlit keypad. You can control the safe from your Smartphone for ultimate convenience, or you can use a keypad to access your gun. While this model is also advertised as a biometric gun safe, the fingerprint reader actually doesn’t work well and as such isn’t reliable. So, you wouldn’t want to count on this feature when your life is in danger. Still, accessing your gun is fast and easy due to the other two functions.
Interior LED light will help you get to the gun in the middle of the night without losing precious time. However, there is a slight concern with this safe; namely, it’s loud when it opens up. So, you won’t exactly surprise your burglar.
The gun safe comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that will last up to 4 months. It charges quickly – in about 2 hours.
3. STEALTH – Best 5-handgun safe
The Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe is one of the best gun safes for pistols. If you love the features of the GunVault, but would also love the safe that is silent and can store more guns, then take a look at this model. This is one sturdy and heavy gun safe that’s built to last and to protect your guns. It combines a plethora of features to deliver high-level protection and reliability – plus it’s affordable.
This model offers a large capacity, being able to store a maximum of 5 handguns. But, this is not the most impressive thing about the Stealth handgun safe. Thanks to 3 steel rods, the case holds 3 handguns at the ready, while the other two can be stored on the bottom. So, in case of an emergency, the guns will be ready for action. If you’re worried about your guns getting damaged, don’t be. The rods are protected so they don’t scratch or damage the inside of the barrels. In addition, the interior is lined with high quality to keep your guns in good condition. The back of the safe features an interior shelf so you can store 1 large clip or 2 small clips.
With a combination button, you can access the safe promptly which is especially important in situations when your life is on the line. Once you enter the right code, the door will drop immediately. Since the door is heavy and thick, the speed reducer has to be added otherwise the door will slam onto a hard surface. On top of all, the door features anti-pry tabs along the edges as well as a high-strength latch. This makes it pry-resistant.
Moreover, the safe comes with 4 bolt-down holes and a security cable so a thief cannot pick up the safe.
The last feature worth mentioning is the silent mode. The previous gun safe we’ve reviewed is loud which doesn’t help when a thief is in the house. Well, the Handgun Hanger Safe comes with an optional silent mode, allowing you to work in silence.
The red interior light isn’t much of a help in the dark, as it’s placed on the bottom and hence it is not bright.
4. Stack-On GCWB-10-5-DS 10 – Best gun security cabinet
The Stack-On gun security cabinet is a great choice if you don’t expect much quality and theft protection. This model can accommodate about 8 shotguns up to 52′ tall –and is perfect for keeping your guns in a safe place. (It’s not like your guns should be kept somewhere where people could easily notice them).
Apart from being a long gun safe, this model also features a steel top shelf that provides additional space for ammo or whatever else you’d like to keep there.
The interior is padded for extra protection of your guns, and to prevent scratches. So, your babies will look their best. On the outside, this model looks classy thanks to the combination of black epoxy paint finish and subtle gold accents. This model is tall and slim, so you shouldn’t have difficulties finding the best spot for it. A three-point locking system with a key-coded lock offers even more security for your firearms.
This model is among cheap gun cabinets and as such doesn’t offer top quality. Also, this is not a gun safe – it’s a gun cabinet. It serves to keep your guns in one place, safe and sound, and far away from others. But, a thief could easily break into the safe – so this is something to be aware of.
5. GunVault SV500 – Best nightstand gun safe for personal protection
GunVault has been making top-rated gun safes for quite some time yet they always managed to exceed our expectations. If you’re looking for the best handgun safe that’s easy to get and can fit under your desk, with this model you can’t go wrong. This is a first-class product that won’t let you down when you need it most. Made of the finest 18-gauge steel in the USA, this model offers unparalleled reliability, protection, and convenience. In addition to that, it’s budget-friendly.
The GunVault SV500 can be mounted in 3 different ways, which gun aficionados definitely appreciate! Still, it is most commonly used for desks due to a drop-down drawer design. Not only the gun safe will be hidden from other people, but you will also have quick and easy access to it. This makes it a number one choice for those who’d like to have peace of mind.
The GunVault gun safe is easy to install and use. It features a digital four-button keypad and also has a light when the safe opens so you can find your gun in the dark room.
The safe operates on a 9V battery, but it is not included in the package so you have to buy it separately. And if you are wondering what will happen if the battery dies and the thief is in the house; don’t panic – there is a backup override key.
Considering this is one of the affordable gun safes you can’t exactly expect a top-of-the-line performance. While there are a few downsides, these aren’t deal-breakers. First, this gun safe can accommodate only one gun (as long as it’s not a longer pistol). Also, the safe is somewhat loud. Overall, this model is one of the best options for anyone looking for a gun safe that provides quick and easy access to the gun in case of an emergency.
Different types of gun safes
Biometric gun safes
These safes are equipped with biometric locks that recognize a person’s unique physical characteristics, usually a fingerprint. The biometric lock is considered one of the most reliable.
Also, this type of lock provides the fastest access to the contents of the safe. You just need to put your finger on it.
We believe the biometric lock safe is one of the best pistol safes on the market in 2021.
Electronic gun safes
The electronic gun safe uses a keypad and security code and internal circuitry to protect your firearm. To open the safe, you need to enter your numeric code from the keyboard. When you’re done, the safe will automatically lock when closed.
Electronic gun safes are known for being more reliable in terms of speed. The password can also be easily changed, so if you are worried that someone might find it out, you can easily create a new one. However, you must make sure to remember your password, because if you enter the wrong code multiple times, the gun safe may become locked.
Electronic gun safes also require more maintenance than traditional safes.
Wheel and pin combination safes
These types of gun safes have been in use for many years because they are generally resistant to external influences and rarely require maintenance. They use a wheel lock and a 3-digit code to keep your weapon away from others. To access the safe, you will need to remember your password and spin the wheel according to the combination.
Most high-quality wheel and pin safes are durable and can withstand fires or natural disasters. However, if you want to quickly access your firearms, wheel and pin combination safes cannot be recommended as they tend to be difficult to access, especially if the numbers in your code are close together.
Key lock gun safes
Key lock gun safes simply use a lock and key to store your firearms.
Although it is simple and convenient to use, it can be at risk of theft if you lose your key. If this does happen, change the locks immediately and get a new set of keys.
Multiple lock gun safes
These gun safes use two types of locking systems, which may differ depending on the model of your safe.
The most common multiple lock safes use a biometric system and a keyboard system. You can use only one system or both at the same time. As previously mentioned, biometric or keypad systems are reliable for quick and easy access and automatic locking. However, it should be noted that since these are electronic safes, they may need to be serviced or replaced every few years.
Fire-proof gun safes
Many professionals recommend that a gun safe be fire-proof as extreme heat can damage your firearm. A house fire temperature can reach 1200°F in minutes, more than enough to damage possession in a safe. A fire-proof gun safe usually has an insulating shell and panels of sheetrock or ceramic to resist the effects of heat.
Having a gun safe in an obvious location can increase the likelihood that thieves can steal your firearms and valuables. By hiding the safe in plain sight, people can walk around the house without noticing that it is there. Hidden safes usually look like any other piece of furniture, such as a frame or wall clock. By disguising your safe as something else, you distract people’s attention and keep your belongings safe.
Car gun safes
Car gun safes come in handy if you’re looking for something convenient and portable. Most of them use a biometric system that is considered the safest against theft. They are usually stored under the seat or in the trunk of a car.
Nightstand gun safes
The nightstand gun safe allows immediate access to the weapon in case of an emergency at night. When you sleep with the lights off, you tend to be the most vulnerable. Having a gun safe so close to you will allow you to protect yourself and your family if a burglar decides to break into your home at night and you will be a foot ahead of any intruder. Most nightstand gun safes are only suitable for small weapons such as handguns. This is because manufacturers want to make sure the safe can fit into your bedside drawer.
Under-the-bed gun safes
Much like the nightstand gun safe, the under-the-bed gun safe is useful for keeping weapons next to you while you sleep. It is important that you are always prepared for an intrusion. Having a gun safe under the bed will allow you to keep any weapon close at hand, as they usually come in a variety of sizes and weights. They are usually stored under the bed and act as a sliding drawer to instantly defend yourself and your family during an emergency.
In-wall gun safes
An in-wall gun safe is the best way to keep your firearms from being stolen by thieves or intruders, as they are usually built into walls and disguised, making it difficult for anyone to notice that there is a gun safe. Any burglar will not be able to find a weapon in a safe if he does not know in advance where it is. Our biggest advice for those with an in-wall gun safe is to keep any large items away from the safe, as this can become a hindrance during an emergency, rather than helping to hide the safe.
Heavy-duty gun safes
If you want to keep multiple weapons and expensive jewelry in your home, we recommend that you purchase a heavy-duty gun safe. This type of gun safe can protect your belongings from theft as it is made of thick, reinforced steel, making it virtually indestructible. In order to steal from a heavy-duty gun safe, several robbers will have to work together to breakthrough. Along with this, heavy-duty gun safes are designed with advanced security measures to keep your belongings safe at all times.
Corner gun safes
The corner gun safe has an angular shape on the back, so it can be conveniently placed in the corner of a room. The rest of the characteristics of such safes are in many ways similar to heavy-duty gun safes.
6 Things to pay attention to when looking for the gun safe
Buying a gun safe may seem simple, but it’s not – especially if you’ve never before owned one of these. With that in mind, here are some things you’d like to consider when purchasing a gun safe.
The first thing to pay attention to is how well the safe is built. Most gun safes range in thickness from 12 to 7 gauge – the higher the number, the thinner the body.
Keep in mind that many companies try to cut costs by using low-quality materials instead of steel. As a result, the entire safe is lighter than the one made of steel. And of course, when the safe is poorly built – it is also pretty easy to open – a simple drill will do the trick here.
When buying a safe, buy the one with a thick and heavy-duty steel door, otherwise, a thief could pry the door open, or drill through it. Look for a higher steel gauge, ideally 7 or 8 gauge for the door and above 10 for the walls.
You’d also want to check for the door gap – if it’s wide a thief won’t have any difficulty prying the door open. The gap should be smaller than a coin.
The bolts are what keep the safe almost impossible to open. The higher number of bolts, the safer your gun vault. However, it’s not enough to look for multiple bolts – they also need to be thick.
Another important consideration is the type of lock. There are two types of locks – electronic and mechanical. Electronic locks use keypads and biometric scanners whereas mechanical locks use a dial. Mechanical locks can have a key lock, combination lock, and dual locks.
When choosing a lock, you should think about how fast can you get to your guns, how much maintenance is required, and of course, how well the lock will protect your guns.
Electronic locks are the easiest to open, and they run on batteries which you have to replace regularly. Nowadays, many electronic locks use fingerprint scanning, RFID signals, or even Bluetooth for easy and instant access to the safe and for maximum protection. However, electronic parts are prone to breaking, in which case you have to replace them. They also require maintenance.
On the other side, mechanical locks can easily last a lifetime and require zero maintenance and repairs. But, they are cumbersome and do take time to open (and it’s not like you’ll have time when a thief is in your house).
Size shouldn’t be overlooked. Never buy a safe that can accommodate only the gun you have right now. If you’re a gun aficionado, you’d probably buy another gun, add-ons, and the like. If you’re not, maybe you just want to store other valuables in a safe such as important documents, money, and jewelry, etc. You can buy a small gun safe if you already have a large one for other items, and you want quick access to your gun should the need arise.
Read also: How to choose a safe for the home
However, before you opt for a certain model, be sure to have the perfect spot for your gun safe – somewhere out of sight and far from greedy hands. If you end up buying a bulky model that is all too easy to notice, well, a thief will be thankful to you because you will make their takes all too easy. Also, if your kids can see the safe, they might get curious and try to open it – which can result in a tragedy. A gun safe isn’t something to play with, but to take seriously and store away.
5. How easy a thief can get your safe?
Best gun safes can be mounted, for the utmost protection of your valuables. Since buying a safe isn’t a naïve investment at all, you want your money to be well spent. Choose a model that is heavy, and that comes with anchors or mounts – so that a thief couldn’t walk away with it.
6. Additional features
Gun safes that come with an alarm offer an added layer of protection. If someone tries to crack the code and they input the wrong combinations, the alarm will let you know that.
Failsafe locking is just another handy feature. In case a burglar enters the wrong code multiple times, the safe will lock up completely. This is one of the best ways to keep your gun safe and sound, as long as you remember the code.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the weapon rust in the gun safe?
Guns are made of metal and all metal is susceptible to rust or corrosion. Having a gun safe can offer a level of protection for your firearm, however, you should also consider controlling the temperature and humidity of the environment around the safe. Corrosion can occur more frequently when a weapon is stored in a safe if it is not sealed. To prevent rusting, make sure the gun safe is away from moisture-generating areas such as the kitchen or bathroom, or use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity in the environment. You can also prevent gun corrosion by supporting your firearm with cleaning agents, gun oil or wax, and anti-corrosion bags.
Where can I hide my gun safe?
Where you hide your safe will determine the safety of your firearms or valuables. You can hide your safe in a place that is out of sight, such as under the floor, under stairs, or in walls. You can also hide your safe in plain sight by disguising it as a piece of furniture such as a frame or shelf. Make sure only people you trust to know the location of your safe to reduce the likelihood of burglaries in your home.
How long will the battery charge of the electronic lock last?
The expected battery life of an electric lock may vary depending on the model or manufacturer of the safe. However, most batteries can last up to two years, depending on how long they are used. High-quality electronic safes usually warn you when your battery is low, unlike cheaper electronic locks that don’t. While electronic locks are more reliable in terms of speed, they require more maintenance or replacement than traditional locking systems.
Why does a safe need to be anchored?
If your gun safe is not portable, it is recommended that you secure it to the floor. By anchoring the safe, you can protect the floor from damage. In addition, if your safe is not anchored, burglars can take it with them along with your belongings.
Is a gun safe airtight?
Gun safes are not completely airtight as they have holes that surround the safe structure. This is so that air can pass through them. If the gun safe is completely airtight, moisture can enter the safe when you open the door and get stuck in it. This can cause corrosion or rust on your firearm. Gun safes do not need to be airtight; instead, they need to be climate-controlled. Instead of trying to blow all the air out of the safe – keep safe conditions under control by using a dehumidifier, stay away from moisture-prone areas, or supporting your firearm with cleaning agents.
We hope that this article helped you find the best gun safe for your needs. Be sure to keep it hidden yet within reach, in case you need a gun. A gun safe can protect you and your family from a tragedy, so investing in a good gun safe will give you peace of mind for years to come. Stay safe!