There are three types of gun safe locks: biometric locks, keypad locks, and mechanical locks.
When it comes to choosing the best safe locks, it’s typically a question of do you want the classic look and old school reliability of a mechanical lock or do you want the ease-of-use an electronic lock provides?
In most cases, you can purchase a new gun safe with the type of locking mechanism of your choice. Older gun safes can also be retrofitted by a skilled gun safe technician based on your needs.
Top Gun Safe Locks
From gun safes with combination locks to gun safes with fingerprint locks and keypad locks, there are a wide variety of locks from which to choose. The options run the gamut in terms of price and quality. But as with most things in life, when it comes to safe locks, you get what you pay for.
As a professional gun safe technician, I’ve worked on nearly every kind of locking mechanism. The following recommendations are based on my experience repairing and replacing thousands of safe locks.
Best Biometric Lock: Securam Scanlogic
This is hands down the best biometric lock available. No other fingerprint lock works as consistently. Unlike many biometric locks that run on more than one battery, the Securam Scanlogic lock runs on a single battery.
Additionally, it’s equipped with a keypad.
- EMP Tested
- Program up to 3 Users with 5 Finger Prints per user
- 4,000+ Openings on a 9V battery
Best Keypad Gun Safe Locks: Securam ProLogic L01 & Sargent and Greenleaf Titan
Both the Securam ProLogic L01 and Sargent Greenleaf Titan are more reliable than most of the keypad locks on the market. During service calls, we’ve seen a relatively low rate of field issues.
Additionally, keypads are the most common failure point of a keypad gun safe lock — requiring a gun safe technician to open the safe and replace the keypad lock. Both the Securam ProLogic and the Sargent Greenleaf Titan have a long keypad lifespan.
Secuream ProLogic L01 Features:
- 5,000+ openings on a 9 Volt battery
- Personalized 6 digit code
- 5-minute Penalty LockOut upon entry of 4 incorrect codes
- Programmable for 3 unique codes
Sargent and Greenleaf Titan Features:
- EMP tested
- Programmable for 10 unique codes
- Two-year warranty
Best Mechanical Gun Safe Locks: Sargent and Greenleaf 6741 & 6730
Mechanical locks are the oldest locking mechanism still in use today. They offer a classic look and long term reliability. My go-to choices are the Sargent and Greenleaf 6741 and 6730.
Both locks are nearly identical. The primary difference is, the 6730 has a dial torque adjuster. This allows you to customize how much force it takes to turn the dial.
Sargent and Greenleaf 6741 & 6730 Features:
- 1 million possible combinations
- Left-right-left dialing
- Die-cast push-pull lever (6741 only)
How to Decide Which Locking Mechanism is Right for You
When you’re considering which locking mechanism is right for you, it’s really a personal choice. Without a doubt, electronic locks (including biometric locks and keypad locks) are easier to use and quicker to open.
However, for some, the old school reliability and longevity of a mechanical dial lock wins out. It also offers a more classic look, if you are placing your gun safe in a prominent position.
Another consideration is, will you want to open your gun safe in the dark? If so, a combination lock can be more difficult to open without any light. This can be overcome with a Lock Light (a small light mounted on your safe just above your locking mechanism).
Frequently Asked Questions About Safe Locks
Can I change the lock on my safe?
Typically, yes. The lock on most gun safes can be replaced. However, it’s strongly recommended that an experienced gun safe technician replaced your lock. This prevents any damage from occurring to your safe. Additionally, in most cases, replacing your locking mechanism yourself will void your warranty.
Should I get a dual lock?
A ‘dual lock,’ is an electronic lock that has both a keypad and a key. We never recommend a dual entry lock. Not only are they not U.L. listed (certified by the Underwriters Laboratories, an independent product safety certification organization), they frequently have reliability issues.
Furthermore, dual locks are not compatible with most safes. When it’s time to repair them, we often have to drill a new template — which can be an expensive endeavor.
What if I forget my combination?
Forgetting your combination is more common than you think. If you have a mechanical lock, a professional gun safe technician can help you recover a forgotten combination. In order for you to easily be able to access it, you need to make sure you register your warranty.
If you have an electronic lock, a safe technician can help you reset your code remotely, after they have verified ownership. To verify ownership remotely, you must have the original sales receipt or be on file with your gun safe technician.
Can I change the combination of my dial lock?
Yes, it is possible to change the combination of a dial lock. A gun safe technician with special tools will need to set the new combo. Doing so will mean your combination is no longer registered with your gun safe manufacturer. This can give you an added level of security. It can also make it difficult (if not impossible) to recover your combination should you forget it.