Digital or dial lock for safe? Which is better?

Digital or dial lock for safe? Which is better?

This is a discussion on Digital or dial lock for safe? Which is better? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I have read a lot about gun safes. There seems to be a lot more problems with keypad type electronic controls than the manual dial ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    Digital or dial lock for safe? Which is better?

    I have read a lot about gun safes. There seems to be a lot more problems with keypad type electronic controls than the manual dial type. Opinions? I read about some safes that also have an emergency key,how does that work? Anyone have a safe from Diamondbacksafes.com? These seem to be good quality,from what I have read online. Anyone purchase a safe from Gander? I notice our local store has a large selection.Thanks for the input.


  2. #2
    Member Array Timberline's Avatar
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    I've always held the opinion that the digital units are battery driven and as such could fail locking you out of your safe.

    I would, however, be interested to hear thoughts to the contrary.

  3. #3
    Member Array skeet732's Avatar
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    I have a dial lock, I am happy,no chance of mechanical issues assuming you keep the lock clean


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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timberline View Post
    I've always held the opinion that the digital units are battery driven and as such could fail locking you out of your safe.

    I would, however, be interested to hear thoughts to the contrary.
    Yeah...pretty much the reasons I have a tumbler lock for my safe. I've heard there's no issue between the two, but I guess I'm just old fashioned.

  5. #5
    Member Array noonan's Avatar
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    I have dial lock on my fort knox defender. I think it's more reliable cause there is no battery. My only worry with a dial is some idiot would try to break it with a hammer or something thinking they could get into it that way.
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  6. #6
    Member Array LethalStang's Avatar
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    I'm interested in getting a compact pistol safe that uses your fingerprint to disengage because it would be very fast to access and impossible for my curious 4 year old to open. Im always afraid that even the digital button locks could be figured out if they're punched enough times by a kid. Could be a bit paranoid though.
    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
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  7. #7
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    I have a Liberty Safe with a top of the line S&G dial. I must have opened the safe thousands of times with no problem. I just don't trust electronic safe openers.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Siafu's Avatar
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    I have a mechanical dial. I worried about same thing when I bought mine so I ended up getting the dial. It is like a 1200 pound refrigerator with a dial lock on it.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Everything electrical is prone to failure, and Murphy is alive and well. I trust mechanical things much more.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Jackle1886's Avatar
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    We have a keypad digital one. There was ONE instance where I tried the code until it locked out on me. I KNOW I WAS TYPING IT CORRECT! After a few minutes, I tried and voila, it opened. Not sure what happens when the batteries die, but a close friend sold it to us (he owns a store) and swore by it. There is one plus, is that it's MUCH FASTER to open, and better in low light situations.

    Moral of the story is always have a firearm handy, not locked in the safe when you need it.
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  11. #11
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    Mechanical lock also, I want my safe to be as reliable as my weapons, no “smart gun” for me either.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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  12. #12
    Member Array LethalStang's Avatar
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    The only reason i want the digital is the ability to open it quickly and without a key. Right now I have a portal pistol case with two small padlocks on it. The main concern in our household is our child getting to it and opening it. The other concern is being able to open it in a desperate situation when the adrenaline is pumping. Dial locks i believe are the best but what happens if me or my GF draw a blank mind in a state of panic and are unable to get to it at all? I would like to get an electronic one that i can keep in a drawer of the dresser and me and her only would have our prints programmed to it. Fast and easy.
    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    If you are living your life worried about being a victim all the time and not enjoying life to the fullest, you are already a victim...
    -You don't know what you don't see-

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  13. #13
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    I have two safes...one digital, one dial. With my eyes in their 60's, it's sometimes difficult to open the dial, but I can always do so with a light and glasses. With the digital, I can open it in the dark. I've had the digital for over 4 years and have never had problems. There are guns and ammo in both.
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  14. #14
    Member Array faif2d's Avatar
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    If there is ever an EMP attack my mechanical will work just fine. Not to sure about the electronic ones.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    I have had both; currently I have a Fort Knox with a digital pad on it. I can always convert it back to the old tumbler style anytime I want, it is in the back of the safe. I asked the locksmith who brought the safe over about the batteries in the digital lock and he told me that I could expect 3-5 years of life out of the batteries (2 duracell 9 volt) if I opened the lock at least once every day. Since I open the safe every 2 or three days, I figure I will be OK with changing the batteries every year. He also demonstrated the alarm that beeps when the batteries get low, so there won't be any problem identifying that either.

    I do have a problem with the current generation of biometric locks, in that you have to be careful about how you swipe your finger most of the time; I think under stress, you would be better off with a keypad or a mechanical lock of some type.......
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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