What is the difference between a gun safe and a gun cabinet, and for what purposes? This is a subject that will generate mixed opinions. However, I will only share my opinion. It is only an opinion- take it as such.
A security cabinet will be fine for some people. Other people might suggest buying a vault for $3,000 instead. Some will suggest finding a middle ground. I personally prefer something in the middle.
There is no better solution than a cheap safe combined with an alarm system and adequate coverage. Although the locker is easier to move, a fireproof gun safe provides extra security for valuables.
In my mind, a safe is more about preventing criminals from getting their hands on my guns than about protecting a material investment- that is the role of insurance.
“A gun locker should be used only to keep children and honest individuals out. Safes are for everything else.”
Preventing unauthorized access and preventing the loss of valuable property are the two most important reasons for me to secure my firearms.
Primary Threats Are:
- Unsupervised access by children
The purpose of this is to ensure that you maintain your rights, that you are safe, and that those in your home, including any children, are safe.
About Gun Cabinets
A portable system is not secure first and foremost. Gun cabinets were a part of my childhood. All the hunting guns were kept in it, dust was kept off them, and fingers were kept off them.
A wooden door with a glass panel was locked with a key, which was permanently in the lock. Almost the same amount of security can be provided by a sheet metal cabinet. You can get into it with either a good boot or a claw hammer.
If the kids should realize their friends were there in any way, the basic steel cabinets will keep them out.
About Gun Safes
It is still better to have a cheap gun safe than a top-of-the-line safe gun cabinet. In a locked gun safe, the more bolts it has, the more difficult it is to get into. No matter how much you spend on a safe, whether it’s $250 or $2500, if someone breaks into your house with an angle grinder or something of the sort, they’ll break into it.
There is a fundamental difference between them in the time they take to get in. Depending on your security system and your gun safe, it may take long enough for the police to intervene before your guns are stolen.
That is if you have a security system and a burglar-proof safe. Let’s talk about the main topic now. In what ways are gun safes and gun cabinets different?
Gun Cabinet Vs. Gun Safe | Understanding The Key Differences
It is important to know what kind of gun safe you need once you have decided to get one. There are pistol safes, gun safes, gun cabinets, and many more.
Gun safes and gun cabinets differ primarily in terms of their locking mechanisms, and steel thickness.
It’s better to have a gun safe where you can store your firearms rather than constantly concern yourself that someone might stumble over them and hurt themselves.
In general, gun cabinets are more like garage cabinets and are unlocked by a key. The steel in a gun safe (generally) is thicker, and there is true locking mechanism.
What Is A Gun Cabinet?
The gun cabinet is the smaller, less secure brother of the gun safe. However, they don’t stop determined criminals from making a break in despite being able to offer basic security.
- Slider Locking Mechanisms
A gun safe most likely has locking bolts, but gun cabinets most likely only have a single sliding bar that retracts into the cabinet’s frame from the top and bottom. Consequently, they can be pryed open easily even without a screwdriver with small tools.
- Key Lock
Lack of a lock is a common sign that a cabinet lacks a locking mechanism. The conventional key lock or the barrel key lock are the two common locking mechanisms.
Most gun cabinets do not feature a true secure lock, such as that found in a gun safe, due to their low cost.
- Lower Steel Thickness
Also, there are usually no thicker steel cabinets. A garage cabinet is usually made from 18-gauge steel, which is what you would find in most. It is very likely that people could smash through the side of the cabinet as well as cut into the cabinet.
- No Fire Rating
There is no gun cabinet I know of that provides a fire rating. Like the lock, adding a fire rating would be extremely expensive, which would result in a gun cabinet that would not be competitive with its competition.
What Is A Gun Safe?
The most common thing people think about when they want to store weapons is a gun safe. The quality tends to be better, and the results are impressive.
My favorite product is the gun safe simply because a huge chunk of steel makes me feel all warm inside. Nevertheless, when looking at gun safes, I keep a few things in mind.
- Locking Bolts
A gun safe’s interior door is also fitted with bolts. This bolt retreats into the safe when it is unlocked, and then returns to its place when it is locked.
There can either be bolts like you are familiar with, or plates of steel like those used in Liberty’s new safes.
- Locking Mechanism
The majority of gun safes will have a lock on the outside, which can range from a cheap non-name brand lock, all the way up to a high-end biometric lock that notifies you when it has been tampered with.
This article provides more information about different types of locks, but the idea is that gun safes are usually centered around the lock, and they tend to be of better quality and security.
- Steel Thickness
When it comes to determining what is a safe or a cabinet, the first thing you notice is how thick the steel is! It’s not uncommon for gun safes to be made from 14-gauge steel or even thicker.
12 gauge is where it gets difficult to cut into the safe, and 14 gauge is what is generally considered to be the industry standard for a gun safe. Steel that is thicker in a safe will buy you more time.
- Fire Rating
A gun safe’s fire rating is a sign that it is a safe and not just a gun cabinet, as most (but not all) gun safes have one.
Not all safes have fire ratings because there are hybrid safes without one as well as some very high-end safes, like the Pendleton Safe, that have no fire ratings at all.
A low-end gun safe has a fire-resistance rating of 30 minutes, while some have a fire-resistance rating of over 200 minutes. Let’s consider what the advantages of a gun cabinet and a gun safe really are.
Advantages Of Gun Safes
Gun safes will provide the highest level of security of both categories! They are generally going to be the best option if you are looking to secure more valuable items, due to their thicker steel, better locks, and better fire rating.
As well as keeping your firearms out of the hands of children, safes will protect them from smash and grab thieves and even determined criminals if they are expensive.
Advantages Of Gun Cabinets
Low prices, portability, and ease of entry are the main advantages of this category of firearm storage.
These will be purchased by many people merely because they are readily available and easy to purchase. In many homes, gun cabinets prevent children from accessing weapons, which is why they are safe.
There is no category free from issues anymore! Listed below are some reasons you might not want to purchase a gun safe or gun cabinet.
Disadvantages Of Gun Safes
There are some downsides to safes. The device is extremely heavy, as well as complex in design. It is likely that you have struggled with finding a way to move your gun safe by yourself when you have wanted to move one.
In the end, you will either need to hire a moving company or ask some friends for help. There are some options to fix that, but most of them can be frustrating. Last but not least, cost is a big factor! Even the lowest end of the range can be expensive for gun safes.
Disadvantages Of Gun Cabinets
Gun cabinets have a major security downside. A basic level of security, that can be easily evaded with little knowledge or tools, is all it offers. It is certainly better than just leaving firearms lying around, but it is by no means as effective as securing them with a quality safe.
Which One Should You Buy?
Depending on the amount of your income, you may make the decision. You can build an affordable gun cabinet if you are good with your hands, if you are on a limited budget.
Gun cabinets and safes can make a lot of sense at first, but their differences can quickly become confusing. Budget and paranoia are the main factors influencing your choice.
Gun cabinets with locks will keep the grubby little fingers of curious kids away from your firearms, though it will not keep out a determined burglar.
Gun cabinets and gun safes are extremely similar in function, so the choice between them is far more complex owing to the vast array of choices available.
A top-of-the-line gun safe is as sturdy as a bank vault, but the sturdier ones are also overpriced. If you go lower in price, you risk getting a weaker product.
A gun safe that is more expensive will often be heavy and tough. Do not buy a safe that looks like it can be opened by a claw hammer. Also, don’t get a safe for long guns if that gun safe looks lightweight.
It is highly recommended for you to find a gun safe of high quality! It is still possible to buy a quality safe even if you cannot afford a premium safe.
If your budget doesn’t allow you to do that, consider a gun cabinet. If you can, I would still recommend finding a safe. Despite the fact that your gun is rusted, worn out, or old, someone is always willing to steal it.
If you want to keep everything else in a hidden cabinet, then put the most valuable collectibles in the safe. Everything else that can be replaced is included in “everything else”.
My level of disposable income and the value for the money I get from safes lead me to believe they are not a ‘scalable’ solution. Not recommended for general storage, but for special storage. So, now you know the difference between gun cabinet vs gun safe.