If you want to make it so that only you and other authorized users can open a safe, one option is to go with a safe which includes a biometric lock. This type of lock opens only for an authorized fingerprint. Biometric lock also have the added convenience of being fast and easy-to-use. This can be a literal lifesaver in an emergency.
But not all biometric safes are equal in terms of construction, reliability, and other key features. Below, you can view a comparison table of top biometric safes in 2019. You can also scroll down past the table to learn more about important considerations when comparing biometric safes.
We will begin by going over a couple of important questions to ask yourself before you choose a biometric safe. After that, we will discuss key features.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Biometric Safe
1. Where will you place your safe?
One of the first questions you should ask yourself is where you plan to put your safe. This, together with its intended contents, will help you to choose a safe which features the correct dimensions that you require. Will the safe be stored inside a drawer? Mounted to the floor? Anchored inside a wall?
2. What will you store in the safe, and how do you plan to use it?
You can store any types of valuables inside a biometric safe. Commonly, biometric safes are used to store items such as firearms, sensitive documents, jewelry, cash, and electronic data.
For some people, a biometric safe is a long-term storage solution for items that will not be accessed on a regular basis. But for others, the intention is not just to store items, but also to be able to get fast access to them in an emergency such as a home invasion. You will need to think about the intended purpose of your safe in order to select one with features appropriate to that use.
Considerations for Buying the Right Biometric Safe
You should ask yourself how many people will need to have access to your biometric safe. But even if you will be the sole user, you should consider getting a biometric safe which allows you to store multiple fingerprints.
The reason for this is to help you access your safe more rapidly and reliably. If you can only store a single fingerprint profile, you will need to input your fingerprint with that exact finger in the future in that precise orientation in order to get the lock to open.
But this need not be the case if you can store multiple fingerprints. You can, for starters, store all of your own fingerprints for each of your fingers. That way, you can swipe any finger in a hurry to open your safe.
Something else you can do is store multiple versions of the same fingerprint by orienting your fingers slightly differently each time. That way, regardless of the exact angle of your finger when you scan it, there is a strong chance that the scanner will recognize it as an authorized fingerprint.
While this can be a convenience any time you need to open your safe, in a crisis, it could literally save your life. You do not want to be struggling to angle your finger perfectly to get to your handgun when there is an intruder in your home.
Management and Logging Features
A high-quality biometric safe will not only allow you to store multiple fingerprints, but will also make it a breeze for you to log in to manage user profiles. You should be able to add or remove authorized users and fingerprints on the fly. You also may want to choose a product which logs both authorized entries and unauthorized attempts.
One of the most important features for any biometric safe is reliability. Some biometric scanners do a better job than others at reading fingerprints. You do not want to be dealing with a finicky scanner when you are in a rush. Choose a product which is reputed for its fast, reliable unlocking.
Speaking of fast access, you also may want to choose a model which features a spring-loaded door. Such a door will pop open so you can reach directly inside without effort.
Fireproofing and Water Resistance
Depending on your situation, you might want to choose a safe which is fireproof and water-resistant. The ratings you need depend on the possible threats to your safe’s contents as well as the types of items you will be storing.
If your safe will contain any electronic data, you should you get a minimum fireproof rating of UL 125. As for protecting your items from water, ETL-verified waterproofing is a superior rating to ETL-verified water resistance. If the safe is “waterproof,” it can be submerged. If it is merely “water resistant,” it can stand in up to 6 inches of water, but contents will not be safe if the safe is submerged.
Battery Life and Other Access Options
Check to find out how long you can expect the battery in your biometric safe to work before you need to replace it. You may want to get a product which includes backup keys as an alternative access option. There are also biometric safes which include digital keypads for those who prefer to punch in a code.
Features for Discreet Use
If you have purchased a biometric safe for use during emergencies, you do not want to telegraph to a home invader that you are in a room opening a safe. To prevent an intruder from overhearing you, many safes allow you to set them for silent operation.
Another feature which can assist you with being discreet is an interior LED. The dim glow inside the safe can guide you to your gun or valuables, preventing you from needing to switch on a brighter light which might grab attention.
As with any other type of safe, a biometric safe should be manufactured out of high quality steel and should include thick bolts, reinforced hinges, and other features to prevent unauthorized access.
BILLCONCH Biometric Gun Safe
Those looking for a biometric safe which is just large enough to store two small handguns should think about the BILLCONCH Biometric Gun Safe. Measuring 263.6 x 177 x 50mm, this top-opening safe protects your firearms and offers you quick access when you need it. It also is a suitable size for storing sensitive documents, jewelry, and other small items.
- Program and manage your safe with ease. This safe can be controlled using a Bluetooth app. You can view the history of access for the safe using the app, manage the fingerprints which can be used to unlock the safe, and you can even unlock the safe with the app.
- It is a sturdy safe. Constructed from 16-gauge carbon steel, it can stand up to a lot of knocks. Plus, it is powder-coated, which keeps rust from building up.
- The safe features long battery life. You can open the safe up to 6,000 times before you need to recharge the lithium-ion battery which is included. You can do this using the micro-USB charging kit included in just 2.5 hours.
- LED lighting helps you grab what you need in the dark. The keypad lights up, as does the inside of the safe. This prevents you from needing to turn on the lights to reach inside your safe.
- Silent mode is available. You can set the safe to not beep when you use it so that an intruder will not hear you are accessing it.
- Sometimes the biometric reader is fussy. This is a common issue which also plagues many competing biometric safes.
BARSKA Mini Biometric Safe
In search of a small biometric safe? The BARSKA Mini Biometric Safe features exterior dimensions of 7.875″ x 11.875″ x 7.875″ and interior dimensions of 7.625″ x 11.75″ x 5.938″. It weighs 13.3 pounds and provides a total of 0.29 cubic feet of space for your valuables. The safe is DOJ-approved.
- The construction is sturdy. Features including tamper-resistant edges, pry-resistant steel deadbolts, and high-quality steel ensure that your valuables stay safe.
- Place this safe where you want it. You can set it on a bedside table, shove it under your bed, bolt it to the floor, or anchor it pretty much anywhere else you can think of. It comes with pre-drilled holes to make installation easy.
- Backup keys are provided. If your battery runs out, you can unlock the safe using the included backup keys.
- You can switch to silent mode if needed. This allows you to get fast, stealthy access to your handgun or valuables if an intruder is present.
- Battery life is great. This is especially true if you take care to shut the door relatively quickly after you open it. This will prevent the safe from switching on lights and beeps to tell you that you’ve forgotten to shut it.
- The interior is pretty basic. There isn’t a shelf inside this safe, and some units seem to come without padding. This is not ideal for protecting items from getting scratched. That stated, this is a fairly minor flaw.
Viking Security Safe VS-50BLX
If you want a biometric safe to protect your handgun, cash and valuables, the Viking Security Safe VS-50BLX is a well-designed, sturdy option which makes it fast and easy to grab your gun when you need it. When you don’t, it keeps it locked away from prying hands.
- Open the safe using the digital keypad or your fingerprint. Whichever method you prefer, you have the ultimate in ease-of-use. One method can also act as a backup for the other. You can store as many as 32 fingerprints for yourself and other users. Backup keys are also included.
- This is a rugged safe that can withstand a variety of attacks. It has features such as pry-resistant insertion slots and a motorized 20mm deadbolt locking mechanism to ensure that your possessions stay safe.
- The interior has excellent features. These include adjustable shelves you can configure to your needs as well as carpeting to prevent damage to items.
- You can run the safe in silent mode. There is a beep when the door opens, but you can switch it off if you need to be stealthy.
- You can bolt down the safe. That way a thief cannot easily carry it off.
- Customer service can be lacking. If you have a complaint or question about this safe, you may have a difficult time getting a hold of someone to address your concerns.
Verifi Smart Safe
If you are in the market for a high-quality front-opening biometric gun safe, consider the Verifi Smart Safe. This overview is for the version of this safe which measures 0.52 cubic feet. But smaller and larger dimensions of the same product are available, and there is also a top-opening model. This safe is FSD-approved.
- The safe features great ease-of-use and reliability. You can store as many as 40 fingerprints. This is good for multiple users. But you can also make use of it to store more than one of your own fingerprints, or different angles for a single fingerprint.
- Excellent logging features are included. If you are searching for a safe which gives a detailed record, this is the one. It records logs on routine self-diagnostics. It also can tell you who has accessed your safe and on what times and days. If anyone attempts to tamper with the safe, this too will be recorded for you to see.
- An LED lights up the contents of your safe. This makes it possible to search through the contents in the dark if necessary.
- Fantastic customer service is available. If you need to call on the customer support team within the warranty period, you will be pleased to know that they have a reputation for providing fast and friendly assistance.
- The safe is made in the USA. Many competing products are made in China.
- There is some unevenness affecting the bottoms of some of these units. It can be difficult to get the safe to rest flush against the surface with no wobbling if you receive one with such a defect.