Some Safe Information About Safes.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Salted Weapon, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon Monkey+++

    So I am old school meaning I buy safes with dials not with keys or digital.
    But a local store here is having a sale on gun safes some are huge, bigger safe means I need to fill it ;).
    And those that are on sale are digital keypads.

    So I am old school tech nerd, going back quite away. But the digital safes and keypads have me concerned. I decided to gather some intel and see how safe digital safes are.
    I asked a few locks smiths in town, they said that consumers prefer electronic locks for convenience. On the other hand, most of the locksmiths believe that the “old-fashioned” dial locks will be more reliable in the long run. They also said there calls on digital safes is 20-1 over dials.
    My concern was the keypad and trigger mechanism that could be outsides the safe, well they say the same that a solenoid could be triggered on some safes I wont say which he told me, but some are built from heavy steel 750 lbs , only to be opened by a 9volt battery.
    They are prone to issues as well as lock outs some if you miss punch you are locked out for 5 minutes when you think its takes the cops 10 to get there do you want to be locked out of your own safe ?
    They said the more the safe is used on a digital the more it is prone to breaking where as dials are pretty much life long unless a dial slips and needs resetting but this does not affect safety just access and is very rare. Most all safe lock out are due to forgetting the combination or in digital safes programming it wrong.

    The post would be way to long to go on a comparing spree, about security and fire other then in a fire most digital can not be accessed and require drilling due to the electronics shorting out. Meanwhile most safes with dials if intact will work depending on heat of the fire. Digital pads take hardly any heat to be disabled. Even steel tapped button locks have silicone sensor covers over their switches.

    Ideas , thoughts ?

    Pic is just a sample.

    Motomom34 likes this.
  2. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    I will only own Liberty Safes. Made in Utah. I believe they also build for Cabelas

    Liberty Safes - Videos

    Watch these videos.

    I will also only own a manual lock made by Sergent & Greenleaf manual lock.

    These are the locks on my safes in the SCIF when I was "in" the black hole.

    I spoke with them at SHOT 2 years ago and they told my they had a secure electronic lock, but I like the manual versions
  3. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    [gone] if they use Chinese electronics

    You can install monkey brand electronics ;) mechanical locks of your choice or both :D
    Salted Weapon likes this.
  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I prefer dials over digital, and that is what I have. If I had it to do over, I would find one without a key locking dial. Such devices in my opinion, like the 5 minute delay you spoke of is a potential killer for the safe owner/user. Also it is subject to vandalism with just a squirt of epoxy or super glue.
    Tully Mars and Motomom34 like this.
  5. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    With a S&G manual lock, its a 3, 2, 1 to open.

    If you complete the first two sequences, the last one turns in one direction and stops/locks up on the final number. When you are at home, you can complete the first 2 seq, so if you need access fast its a simple "less than 360 deg turn" in one direction to lockup and then spin the handle to open.

    When you leave the house, simply spin multiple time in the opposite direction and the complete sequence needs to be repeated from the begining.

    "what chu talkin about Willis?"

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2016
  6. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I agree about the Liberty safes and wouldn't own anything but a Liberty. As far as manual over electronic lock - BAH! The locksmiths do more calls on electronic safes because there are more electronic safes out there now. Any safe can be opened, manual or electronic lock, doesn't matter. But, I can definitely open my electronic lock faster than you can open the manual. Will I have to replace it before a manual - maybe, maybe not. I had at least two manual safes while working for the government that went belly-up and had to be cut open. And, I would prefer to have to replace a electronic lock every 10 years rather than messing around with a manual. So, I think it is a matter of choice. I have had my Liberty for 2 years now without any problems. It is opened once to twice a day so I expect it will not wear out but, given it is electronics, a chip could fail; nevertheless, I still would take it over the manual. I say it's a personal choice.

    I consider my safe to be nothing more than a deterrent making it more difficult and taking more time for a thief to get your valuables not that they cannot get them. I would bet 99% of criminals will not even attempt a safe mainly because they need the tools and time and noise discipline. But, also you got to balance the usability too and that is why electronic locks are popular.
    AD1 and sec_monkey like this.
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Ahhhh, But will your fancy Electronic Lock still OPEN after an EMP directly overhead? That is the 64 Thousand Dollar question????
    AD1 and sec_monkey like this.
  8. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Bandit99 = 0 @BTPost = 1 :):)

    But, I'm still not going to manual. I will cut the damn thing open! LOL!!! But.........when this lock breaks then maybe I will go to a manual.................o_O
    Yard Dart and sec_monkey like this.
  9. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Beat me to it...

    Also do realize that those beefy looking doors are a much thinner gauge steel than you might think.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I guess it's fair to say that anything inside the safe will be sorta well protected against EMP. Gotta wonder, tho', what tool you'll use to cut the safe open after the EMP disables all your tools as well as the lock--

    A torch will be as apt to burn the contents as it pokes thru as anything else, and I know that my arm (at least) will be well used with the hacksaw just cutting the corner for access, even if there are enough blades in storage.

    Mechanicals forever!!
    mysterymet and sec_monkey like this.
  11. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    Watch the Liberty VIdeos. They show forced entry, very good info to have in the "back pocket" if needed....just sayin
    sec_monkey likes this.
  12. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

    safes with electronic locks sometimes have a manual backup lock
  13. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    You damn guys have made me nervous so.... Alright, so I called Liberty Safe and spoke to one of the senior techs there. I put out this info for those that might be interested:

    1. You can change out the electronic locks to another new electronic lock - no locksmith is needed.
    2. You can change out the electronic locks to a manual and vise versa - a locksmith is needed for manual because a key is needed to set combination
    3. There is no data that suggest the failure rate or time of a manual or electronic lock.
    4. After 22 years in the industry, his personal belief is that the electronic locks are as reliable as manual. He uses electronic.
    5. Most manual failures are caused by user excessively spinning dial to get pass first number, need only pass it 3X, its wears out metal.
    6. Most electronics failures are caused by user due to hot or dirty environment and not using recommended batteries as lock operates on amperage not voltage, wears on solenoid.

    So, in a few years I will go to a manual until then I will hope should an EMP hit it's while the door is open or I will have to change the lock. The given the safe is only close when we are gone and given the chance of an EMP, I think the odds are in my favor.

    @AD1 I watched the videos...truly doubt I would be able to get this thing opened without profession help and their tools. The other safes that failed on me were cut open using a special saw.
    Yard Dart, AD1 and sec_monkey like this.
  14. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    The video is for the Presidential series which I believe is the top of the line safe.

    They used to have a earlier video showing entry into a lower priced Liberty Safe and it took at least 1/2 an hour and a ton of effort.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  15. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @AD1 I don't mind effort but not sure now that I checked it out that I would ever get this open. Can't remember which one it is but its a good one.

    @sec_monkey I like the idea of electronic with a manual backup lock and my next one will have that...
    sec_monkey likes this.
  16. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    An alternative is cheap small safe with crap or even non functional rifles inside. Real arms are hidden where they are quickly/easily accessible. I know of at least one person who has a key lock safe in his garage hidden behind sheet metal duct work.
    Yard Dart and sec_monkey like this.
  17. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    Here is the video I was talking about for "safe cracking" skills

    They also show the construction of all of the series of safes

    Here is a video of 3 entry level safes and pry testing
  18. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    This is the video I meant to post above. It goes into detail about what makes a safe strong:
  19. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon Monkey+++

    Wow great videos, watched them both great information
  20. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    On another forum I sometimes visit, this topic was beaten to death. I don't understand the sometimes acrimonious debate around the mechanical vs. electronic safe issue.

    Without going one way or the other, I have a few points to toss out there:
    • A Chinese made mechanical lock is not better than a Chinese made electronic lock. If you buy a cheap safe with a mechanical lock, you're only BSing yourself that it's "better". Junk is junk.
    • In critical/stressful situations, being "timed out" from entering a wrong combination on an electronic lock is not any worse than nervously trying to dial in a combination over and over until you get it right. I know, I know: All the badasses out there are 100% sure that in a panic situation they will be able to quickly and smoothly open a safe in mere seconds, just like James Bond.
    • Most electronic locks also have a mechanical bypass, so the arguments about EMP are kind of pointless.
    • If you need quick access for panic situations, then a biometric safe is really your only good option. You are by default limited to an electronic lock.
    • Asking a locksmith which version they work on more is not indicative of what is "better". It might be because there are more electronic locks in circulation so obviously they are going to get more calls about them. Anecdotal evidence it not evidence.
    3M-TA3 likes this.
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