Gun safes are essential to responsible gun ownership. It is highly dangerous to have firearms around the home if they are not properly contained in a locked safe. If your firearms are left lying around, they could be picked up by children, burglars, intruders, or anyone else in your home. So, it’s important to invest in the best gun safe to keep you and your family safe.
There are multiple different types of gun safe available, including manual, biometric (fingerprint recognition), and number combination gun safes. For more information on the different types of gun safes, check out our buying guide and FAQ section at the bottom of the page. Here’s our list of the best gun safes around.
The Best Gun Safes
The first safe in our list only officially has space for one handgun, but actually, you could fit two small handguns in. We’ve chosen it as our best choice product this week because you get a lot of bang for your buck. In fact, it’s one of the best single gun safes on the market and, at less than $200, it’s one of the best priced as well. Like a lot of modern home safes, it features a biometric locking system, which means it’s programmed to recognize your fingerprint. Once you’ve placed your finger on the scanner, it uses a gas strut to quietly and instantly open the safe door. That means you can do the whole process one-handed. It also has an override key for convenient backup access.
SentrySafe QAP1BE is not a big safe, at only 12.9 inches on the longest side, which means it can fit comfortably on your bedside table, or in a drawer. It’s made from 12-gauge, industry-leading steel that is plenty thick enough to protect against burglars trying to break this safe open. To run it, you need 4 AA batteries – they don’t say exactly how long the batteries will last, but if you buy high-quality batteries, they should last for a long time.
Space for one gun
Fingerprint & combination opening
- Weight11.9 pounds
The next small gun safe in our list is similar to the first in many ways. It’s a biometric gun safe that can be opened with a fingerprint or combination, it has space for one or two small guns, and it’s quick and easy to access. The big difference is that it costs around $100 more. So, why is it more expensive and is it worth the extra money? First off, it is a little bit more rugged than the SentrySafe option – it is made from 16-gauge carbon steel, instead of 12 gauge. Plus, it has a powder-coat finish to prevent corrosion and keeps your guns protected for longer.
Secondly, it has a clever LED lighting system that makes the safe easy to find in the dark and lights up your firearms when you open it up. Probably the main difference though is the smart safe technology. It comes with an app for your mobile phone that gives you all sorts of extra interactive features. You can open it from your phone, check when it was last opened, see if it’s been tampered with, change the interior light brightness, and set up an extra pattern lock for added security. This probably makes Vaultek VT20i the best small gun safe around, but it’s up to you if it is worth the extra money. For more great safety options for your home, check out our guide to the best smart locks.
Space for one gun
Smart safe technology
LED interior lighting
- Weight10.3 pounds
Steelwater Standard Duty 16 Long Gun Safe is a little different to the first two gun safes we’ve featured. It’s our premium choice this week and at nearly $700, it’s easy to see why. With its glossy black chrome finish and large safe opening handle, it really looks like something from the turn of the century. But this large gun safe is, in fact, pretty high tech. Instead of an old-school manual safe dial, it has a number combination lock system. That means it is more difficult to crack and much easier and quicker to open. It’s fire-rated at 60 minutes and is made from 14-gauge steel.
This has to be one of the biggest and most attractive gun safes out there. It can hold 16 long guns (although some customers have complained that it’s a tight fit) and has an impressive array of storage features that means you can fit everything inside, from guns, money to luxury watches. This is one of the best-rated gun safes around, so if you’ve got multiple guns to store and plenty of cash to spend, this is the safe for you.
Number combination safe
Space for 16 long guns
Lots of storage
- BrandSteelwater Gun Safes
- Weight305 pounds
The GunVault SVB500 is another one-gun safe. It also works using a biometric fingerprint scanner, but this one can actually hold up to twenty individual fingerprints. That means you and your family can have access, if necessary. The most impressive thing about this American-made gun safe is the way it’s designed. Instead of being a flat box, it’s designed to hold the gun horizontally, which makes it really handy to store. You can fit it under your desk, behind a door, or pretty much anywhere in your house.
It has an impressive 18-gauge steel shell and a protective foam-lined interior to keep your gun from getting scratched. The draw drops down quickly as soon as the fingerprint is recognized and the fittings are virtually impossible to break open with hand tools. This is a really handy little electronic gun safe for hiding away and giving you peace of mind. Our handy guide to the best fireproof safes features more great options like this.
Space for one gun
Fits almost anywhere
Fits any direction
- Weight7 pounds
We’ve seen a lot of quick-access handgun safes in this list, but what about a quick-access rifle safe. This Barksa safe works in much the same way but has space for a rifle instead. It has a biometric fingerprint scanner that can hold up to 120 fingerprints, not that you’ll ever need that many fingerprints. It can hold up to four rifles, as well as handguns and ammunition. The security is DOJ (Department of Justice) approved, with three steel deadbolts and protected edges. This is one of the most secure safes you can get. Plus, it’s easily mountable if you want to bolt it to the wall or floor for added security.
One of the stand-out features of this in-wall gun safe is the way it looks. It has an attractive black metal shell and polished steel handles, which means it will fit perfectly into any modern home. In fact, it could be a home décor feature all on its own. Don’t forget to check out our guide to the best smart doorbells for more great products like this.
Space for four rifles
Space for accessories
- Weight65 pounds
If you’re looking for a great value gun safe, then you have to consider Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe. At less than $150, it’s one of the best-priced safes on this list. It has space for five handguns, which is considerably more than the more expensive safes at the start of this list can hold. Three of those handguns are held upright, ready to use and the other two will lie flat at the bottom of the safe. You could also use this space for ammunition or accessories. The ready-for-use handguns are mounted on steel rods that are coated in heat-shrink tubing to protect the barrel of the gun.
It uses a 6-digit number combination, instead of the biometric system, which makes it slightly slower to open. Be sure to check out our reviews of the best security cameras for more amazing products for your home.
Number combination safe
Space for five handguns
Three guns mounted ready for use
- Weight19.6 pounds
Stack-On 18 Gun Convertible Cabinet is perfect if you’re looking for a cheaper option to store multiple long guns. In fact, it has space for 18 long guns, making it one of the biggest gun cabinets in this list. One of the most impressive features of this safe is its versatility – it can be converted to hold nine rifles and have additional shelving for all your accessories, ammunition, or smaller firearms. Every gun has its own patented gun barrel rests that prevent your firearms from getting scratched or damaged in storage.
It’s opened and locked using a key, which makes it slightly less secure than some of the other safes features on this list. Provided you keep the key in a secure location, it’s still very difficult to break into but it’s not the best home gun safe if security is your biggest concern. Be sure to check out our guide to the best gun cleaning kits for our top picks.
Space for 18 long guns
Patented gun barrel rests
- Weight75 pounds
Slider Series is our second gun safe from Vaultek. Like the first one, it’s a really high-quality gun safe and has loads of amazing features that make it stand out from the rest of the pack. It’s designed in a similar way to the Gunvault SVB500, in that it can only hold one gun and it’s horizontal in shape. That means you can quickly access your gun and have the safe hidden under a desk or in another handy location.
It has a rugged 16-gauge steel construction and features an anti-impact latch that won’t break under duress. Plus, it has the same smart-safe technology as the first Vaultek safe, which means you can control and monitor the safe from your smartphone. Find more amazing products like this by checking out our guide to the best smart home devices.
Space for one gun
Fits almost anywhere
- Weight9.26 pounds
The final gun safe is a little different to everything else in this list because it’s specifically an under-bed gun safe. Much flatter than most single-gun safes, it can tuck neatly away and out of sight under the bed. It’s actually a lot bigger than the picture would have you believe and has space for multiple handguns, as well as accessories like gun belts and other valuables you might have. The nice thing about having it under your bed is that you can go to sleep feeling a sense of protection.
To open it you have to input a 3 to 8-digit access code. This isn’t as quick as a fingerprint recognition but can still be done quickly. SnapSafe Under Bed Safe 75400 is made from heavy-duty 14-gauge steel and can be permanently installed for added protection.
Number combination safe
Fits under bed
Space for multiple guns
Can be permanently installed
- Weight130 pounds
Gun Safe Buying Guide & FAQ
In this buying guide, we’ll answer your questions about buying and looking after a gun safe. We have done the research, so you can rest easy, knowing your guns are safely locked away.
How We Chose Our Selection of Gun Safes
Brand – When it comes to buying any product off the internet, it’s comforting when you recognize the brand. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the best product out there. We do our research into the brands and make sure they can be trusted.
Reviews – It doesn’t matter what product you’re buying, you should always read the reviews. We look at two types of reviews. First, we scour the internet for customer reviews. That’s because you can always trust customers to give an honest opinion. If they don’t like something, they’ll take on the internet and tell everyone. Then, we read professional reviews. This gives us a chance to have a deeper look into the product’s features and benefits and make sure we haven’t missed anything.
Safe Specification – We look into the safe’s specifications to make sure it is fit for purpose. This could include anything from size, lock-type, fire-rating, and more.
Price – Price is important when it comes to any purchase, but that doesn’t we’re just going to list the cheapest gun safes. Instead, we’re looking for quality products that offer value for money.
Features To Look For In Gun Safe
Safe Type – Before you buy a gun safe, you should have a good idea of what type of safe you want. In the section below, we have gone into more detail about the features and benefits of each type of safe, to help you make your decision.
Size – Your gun safe needs to be the right size to house your gun. If you have a handgun, you don’t need a safe that is built to house ten rifles. Check the dimensions of the safe before buying.
Lock – The type of lock on your safe will depend on the type of safe you are buying. You can choose a biometric lock, manual lock, or a number or pattern lock safe. Each type of lock has its own benefits, which we go into further detail about in the next section.
Weight – A heavier safe is generally a safer safe. That’s because criminals are less likely to try and take it with them. If it’s difficult to move, criminals won’t bother.
Access – Hopefully you shouldn’t have to access your guns in a rush. But if you do, you will find that number or pattern keypads are the fastest way of accessing your safe. If this is a concern, it might be best to choose this type of safe.
Mounting & Anchors – If you are planning to mount your safe on a wall, you will have to check it has the correct mounting/anchors to do so. This adds an extra level of security because it’s more difficult for burglars to take with them.
Power Source – Your safe might require a power source to run a dehumidifier or electronic safety features. If this is the case, you will need to have a power source nearby. Your gun safe should come with everything you need to install it properly. Some modern safes even come with a USB charging pack which will power it for months at a time.
Steel Gauge – This is the measure of the steel’s thickness. The thicker the steel used, the stronger the safe will be. This isn’t the only determining factor when it comes to the safe’s strength, you should also look at the quality of the steel and locking mechanism.
Alarm – Having an alarm on your gun safe is an added level of security. If someone does manage to gain access to your gun safe, an alarm will go off that will produce a loud noise and/or alert the local police.
Failsafe Locking – If someone tries to access your safe and gets the number combination wrong multiple times, a failsafe locking system will lock them out entirely. This is an important safety feature for electronic gun safes.
Types of Gun Safes
Biometric Lock Gun Safes – This is one of the most secure options available. It contains a scanner that will recognize your fingerprints and only open for an authorized user. It’s virtually impossible to crack this type of safe because no two people have the same fingerprints.
Number keypad combination Gun Safes – To lock and open this type of safe you need to enter a predetermined set of numbers on the keypad. This makes it very difficult to break into because the probability of guessing the number is extremely low.
Pattern keypad combination Gun Safes – These work in a similar way to a number combination safe. However, you have to enter a pattern instead. These are less secure, but still, a pretty solid way to keeping your guns locked up.
Manual lock Gun Safes – This is the traditional way of operating a safe. You have a combination that is entered using a mechanical dial. This is then set to zero when you lock the safe again.
Gun Safe FAQ
Q: Why should I own a Gun Safe?
A: The number one reason for owning a gun safe is, of course, safety. You need to prevent people from having access to your guns, such as children, intruders, and anyone else who enters your home. On top of that, it’s important to own a gun safe for legal and insurance reasons. This depends on where you live, but generally speaking, it is a legal requirement to have lockable storage for firearms.
Q: What does the fire rating mean?
A: A gun safe fire rating shows that the safe has been tested to make sure it can protect its contents from fire damage for the advertised period of time. A rating is given to every fireproof gun safe that tells the owner how long it can protect the contents for. A minimum recommended fire rating is 1 hour.
Q: Do gun safes need dehumidifiers?
A: Because gun safes are often locked in dark and damp places, it is common for mold and mildew to grow. That means that you need a way of keeping the air fresh inside and, therefore, keeping your guns in good working order. If your gun safe is regularly opened and stored somewhere dry, then it isn’t as important.
Q: Should I choose electronic or mechanical locks?
A: This is down to personal preference. Both types of safe will keep your guns secure, but each has its own advantage. Mechanical gun safes are very durable and can last a lifetime, whereas electronic safes are sometimes seen to be more secure and easier to use.
Q: What happens if I lose or forget my combination?
A: You will need to call a locksmith and have them open the safe for you. This can be done either by corresponding with the safe manufacturer or by using brute force.
Q: What is the best place to place a gun safe?
A: It’s important to place your gun safe somewhere that isn’t a risk of fire damage, out of view of burglars, and away from potential water/humidity dangers. A dry basement is a perfect place or alternatively a bedroom closet.
Q: How do I clean and service my safe?
A: You should clean your safe once a month to prevent dust from settling. Also, oil the bolts once a year to keep the locking mechanism working perfectly.