There are several reasons for considering a gun safe with electronic locking, so why not take some time now to learn more about this design and the reasons for making the investment. When you’re thinking about a purchase such as this, it’s always good to have your goal firmly in mind.
For example, with a gun safe there is one goal – access. Digging a bit deeper into this idea, you have a locked cabinet so you can control that access.
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Top 4 Best Biometric Gun Safes (Summary)
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For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.
You’ll also need to consider size – is your safe for one gun that you want access to? If so, you will need to focus on the smaller units that will be convenient for traveling. Following this line of thinking, you have to determine who will be able to get to the guns inside. With a lock-and-key design, there’s always the chance of someone other than you being able to open the safe. With the best biometric gun safe, you will be able to open the unit without having to turn lights on, using your fingerprints, or in some products the fingerprints of others you’ve agreed to program in.
It’s also important to think about the power that makes this locking technology possible. You’ll have to keep fresh batteries in the safe, or purchase a unit that comes with an A/C adapter.
Why You Should Consider a Biometric Gun Safe?
Perhaps the most important reason for considering a biometric gun safe is the efficiency of the access just mentioned. Think of it in these terms: You won’t have to keep track of keys, or carry keys. You won’t have to remember a code to enter on a key pad, or write that code someplace where another person can discover it. With your fingerprints as the “key” you always have safe and efficient access. In addition, if you’re concerned about putting your hands on the gun without someone hearing you (an intruder?) the biometric design will be best for you.
In some locations, it’s mandatory to keep firearms in a gun safe. This is, of course, strong incentive for investing in a quality product. With the right unit under your control you can eliminate accidents that have happened, and will continue to happen, when firearms aren’t secured properly. It’s certainly possible to have one of these unfortunate accidents even with a lock-and-key or code lock. You will also find this unit to be a great way to store valuables when traveling, because many biometric gun safes are small enough to take with you.
Drawbacks of Biometric Gun Safe
The key to this part of the discussion is to ask, “Are there drawbacks to using a biometric gun safe?” You might want to look for a gun safe small enough to carry around without a handle. This is a primary reason for putting your biometric gun safe in a location where you don’t have to move it out of the way on a regular basis. In some cases, people have reported difficulty with the fingerprint reader, usually because of personal discomfort with the technology.
However, some fingerprint readers don’t have adequate sensitivity. It’s essential to put the fingerprints on the reader correctly, and you may have to make several tries at programming fingerprints using various angles and hand placement. You’ll also find these smaller gun safes don’t have light inside, so you may have to retrieve your firearm in complete darkness at times. Other drawbacks of some gun safes:
- Too heavy
- Insufficient battery life
- Short life of available backlighting
- Fingerprint scan inconsistency
Guide on Choosing the Best Biometric Gun Safe
The first feature to consider, before getting to factors such as overall size and weight, it’s the technology that makes this safe different from older, lock-and-key products. As you gather information before making your choice, look at the number of fingerprints you’ll use to program and open the lock. It’s also important to consider the power source for this electronic lock. Will you need to keep batteries on hand? Will you have the convenience of a power cord to keep the batteries charged or to keep constant power to the lock?
As you search for just the right gun safe, you’ll find some requiring only on finger or thumbprint to unlock, while others may take all five. As mentioned, there have been some issues reported with the fingerprint reader/scanner. This is a good reason to choose a unit requiring you to put four or five fingers on for scanning. One fingerprint could pose problems if someone has a print similar to yours and the reader isn’t as accurate as it should be.
As technology has improved in recent years, it’s been possible to store fingerprint identities for more than one person. This feature should be used sparingly and carefully, because doing otherwise would be like passing at too many keys, which you’d have to keep track of. Be sure you understand the basics of programming the unit for use. As you’re gathering knowledge, find out about being able to open the safe when power is out (keep fresh batteries in your safe). This includes making sure you understand the backup access of your gun safe (combination lock, key backup?)
6 Best Biometric Gun Safes 2020
1. Gunvault GVB1000 Mini Vault – Best Warranty
One of the most-recognized names in the industry, the Gunvault GVB1000 helps you maintain access and convenient use with an audible signal and light to let you know when battery power is low. But, it adds convenience with an A/C adapter, which helps you prolong battery life. Your firearm is protected by the foam lining and you’re protected by the five-year warranty.
- Interior light helps when accessing firearm in the dark
- Program multiple fingerprints
- Easy, convenient mounting
- Finger position must be exact. Program from various angles to avoid error
- Battery life can be short. Keep fresh batteries close at hand
- Keep backup keys nearby in case you lose electrical power
2. BARSKA Biometric Safe – Best Battery Life
For people who want to provide access to several people or want multiple prints to be programmed, the Barska biometric safe could be a great choice. It allows up to 30 prints to be programmed. The lid opens upward so you’ll need to place your safe accordingly. Emergency backup keys are provided in case the four AA batteries lose all power. You benefit from a one-year warranty as well.
- Multiple fingerprint programming
- Extended battery life
- Audible warning if door is not latched
- Not designed to be fireproof/waterproof
- To use backup key, have to remove nameplate
- Door locks after short delay
3. Gunvault Microvault XL MVB1000 – Best Warranty
As with the previous unit, the Gunvault XL MVB1000 allows you to program multiple prints. This is a great benefit if you want to give family members access in an emergency situation. Foam lining protects your firearm and you can also use hand pockets to store documents you’d like to keep in the safe. As with other Gunvault products, this safe has a five-year warranty.
- Access for multiple individuals
- Holds more than one handgun, with ammunition
- Easy to use, even in the dark
- Larger size makes it inconvenient to move around
- Fingerprint reader very sensitive
- No inside light
4. Sentry Safe Biometric Safe – Best for Price
You might see this gun safe in person and think it’s a bit small for your needs. But, it will hold a full-sized handgun, so don’t be fooled by appearances. Users will appreciate the quiet operation, thanks to the gas-operated mechanism. One-year warranty.
- Program up to four prints, plus keypad
- Backup keys provided
- Fast reading of your fingerprint
- Operation may slow down with multiple prints programmed in
- No A/C adapter, fresh batteries should be kept nearby
- Short battery life
If there is a way to summarize these six biometric gun safes, it would be to say that they will all do what they’re designed to do, with a few exceptions. Every gun safe using this technology can have recognition issues at times. In addition, all will work with multiple prints. It’s just that some will hold more fingerprints in memory than others.
Your bottom line should be to get the performance and security you need at a reasonable price. There are two models that will stand out on price. Others may be more expensive but you might find them worth the investment.