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Which Safe is Best: Digital or Key Operated Safes?

If you are thinking of buying a safe, choosing the best locking type is important. There are several different safe lock types. There are specific pros and cons for each. It is about choosing the option which is best suited to your specific needs.

Knowledge and Expertise in Safes and Safes Installation

It is important to take advice from a reliable source. There is a lot of information online and it can be hard to know which views to listen to.

At IKS locksmiths we are MLA approved specialists in security safe installation in London and across the UK .

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As security specialists our focus is on providing only high-quality safes and invaluable advice from a certified expert.

Watch this space for our safes shop which will showcase our preferred selection of quality safes online.

These are our personal views on safe types based on years of experience in safe installation.

What Safe Lock Types Are Available?

  • Key Operated safes

  • Digital locking safes

  • Biometric locking safes

Dial lock safes haven’t been mentioned here as they are not so popular. IKS don’t sell or recommend combination dial lock safes.

As an experienced Master Locksmith I am regularly asked about the difference between digital and key operated safes from a user perspective. Here I summarise the pros and cons for all 3 safe locking types. The aim is to help customers to choose the right safe for their individual needs.

Key Operated Safes Pros and Cons

They are most suitable for use in the home.

key operated safe installation north london

Pros of Key Operated Safes 

  • Key operated locks are most reliable in my experience. There is something to be said for a simple mechanical locking option.
  • Low maintenance
  • The lock can be changed.

Cons of Key Operated Safes 

  • Loss or theft of keys can be an issue if the keys aren’t kept in a safe place. This isn’t usually an issue if the keys are looked after carefully and kept in a set location.
  • Turning a key may not suitable for people with arthritis.

It is also possible to buy dual locking key operated safes which have 2 key operated locks for additional security.

Digital Safes Pros and Cons

These are the most popular option.

Consort Digital operated Safe

Pros of Digital Safes 

  • There is no concern about losing a key
  • The code can be easily changed regularly
  • Some say use of a code makes them more secure, I personally disagree
  • A good option for people with poor mobility in their hands.

Cons of Digital Safes

  • Forgetting the code can be an issue
  • The battery needs to be charged
  • There can be ways around not knowing the code which can make the safe less secure
  • It is new technology and there is always someone working to find ways round the latest security. There may be flaws that we are not yet aware of.

Dual Locking Digital Safes with 2 keypads are available in some models.

Biometric Safes Pros and Cons

biometric safe

Pros of Biometric Safes 

  • Only fingerprints registered on the safe can open it
  • There can be multiple users
  • No concern about losing keys or codes

Cons of Biometric Safes 

  • Again, this is the newest technology and reliability cannot be guaranteed. We are yet to learn what the pitfalls of this new safe locking type are. It is possible there may be none! Only time will tell.

As a Locksmith Which Safe Lock Type Would I Choose?

I would choose a key operated safe for home and a digital safe for commercial purposes. However, it is important to choose a safe based on individual needs. You can read our guide to buying a safe here.

Need Advice on Buying a Safe?

Some customers are happy to order a safe online if they know exactly what they want. As safe installation specialists we provide a more individual service. We would welcome the opportunity to share our expertise in choosing the right safe and the best place to install a safe in your property.

The Best Place to Install a Safe in Your Property

Having chosen the right safe for your needs it is important to have the safe installed professionally. You can read our guide to the best place to install a safe here. The best place and method of installation needs to be carefully considered for each individual property and circumstances.

If you need help with making decisions about buying and installing a security safe call us for our professional advice and a free quotation on;

0203 284 1045

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