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Published Jul 18, 2022 9:55 AM

The world is polarizing and unpredictable, but best biometric gun safes can add a sense of ease and security to your living space. Whether you’re storing self-defense tools for home, work, or travel, a biometric gun safe is a secure, high-tech solution for ensuring that the only right hands will touch your possessions. Oh, and let’s not forget the undoubtedly badass secret agent vibes you get from actuating a biometric scanner, even if you’re only ever storing documents in a safe. Today, it’s a heavily saturated market, but let Task & Purpose lend a hand.

I did your homework so you don’t have to and curated this guide on the best biometric gun safes on the market today. From big ones to little ones, at home or on the go, I’ve got you covered with a broad spread of safes guaranteed by your fellow consumers to keep your firearms and other valuables locked down. So scroll on through, and happy shopping!

Methodology

As journalists and fellow firearms enthusiasts, it’s in our best interest to deliver informative and honest reviews anywhere we can. That said, it would be quite the timely and costly endeavor to get our grubby mitts on a dozen safes, which is why this guide is heavily research-driven. Deep dives into each and every product combined with real-life user experience helped this author determine which would serve discerning enthusiasts the best for each of your specific use cases. 

The best gun safes would be the most robust, make the most efficient use of space, and have easy-to-program biometric scanners with little fuss, an important factor in a relatively cumbersome category of gun safes. Products with little-to-no consumer feedback were ignored in favor of items with real-world customer experiences.

Amazon served as a major hub of manufacturer specs and consumer feedback on a plethora of products, but quick web searches revealed many more worthwhile products. Because of that, retailers such as Lowes, Home Depot, and Gun Safes were equally valuable sources of product information and ownership experiences.

As always, readers are encouraged to learn more about how Task & Purpose generally curates its buyer’s guides.

The Barska AX11780 16-Gun Biometric Safe is perhaps one of the most versatile products from an equally-versatile lineup of quality safes. This AX11780 model is sized for a decent amount of long guns with cavernous shelves for ammo and gear. This model even comes with a rack for stowing handguns separately, and its scanner can store a whopping 120 prints. I’m not sure who has 119 acquaintances who need access to their firearms, but the ability is certainly there. Dimensions are great for homes of all sizes, and other Barska rifle-safe models exist for more or less capacity. And the neat part is that you don’t have to hunt for a niche website or dig into some crevice on Amazon — Lowe’s and Home Depot will happily sell you one.

It is a costly storage solution, however, so be prepared to shell out roughly $1,000 or more to add the AX11780 to your home. Other models within its family fluctuate in price with their size, but most still cost a pretty penny. Those needing more storage will have to forgo the biometric scanner to keep it in under the Barska brand or spend thousands more for larger biometric safes.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 19.6 x 16 x 57 inches
  • Weight: 139 pounds
  • Material: steel
PROS

Variants for more or less storage exist

Can program up to 120 fingerprints

A nifty rack for handguns

An appropriate size for many homes

CONS

One of the more expensive items on this list

Forgoing biometric scanners opens you up to larger safes

The Grifucher Biometric Gun Safe is a spectacular choice for miserly home defense gurus looking to ball on a budget. And when I mean budget, I mean budget. At $62 from Amazon, it undercuts other compact safes by tens of dollars and some even as high as hundreds — yet it does so while maintaining a potential two-gun capacity, a biometric scanner, and a security cable. In spite of its price, the overall quality is reportedly quite good with one bad consumer experience regarding the scanner, which can be concluded as improper programming on the owner’s part.

As with many gun safes advertised as being able to hold multiple firearms, that is entirely dependent on your handgun’s size. My friend’s Sig Sauer or my 1911 would take some magic trickery to store two of them, but my dad’s Smith & Wesson M&P conceal carry will have no issue. Heck, he may even squeeze a third one in. Additionally, there is no backup locking mechanism other than the manual keys. Those who enjoy the additional keypad or combo should look elsewhere, but thankfully, the lock is placed on the front of the safe near the scanner for easy finding.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 14 x 11 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 6.58 pounds
  • Material: alloy steel
PROS

Two-gun storage capacity

Undercuts other lower-end options by a large margin

Security cable for tying to tables and nightstands

Compact enough to be portable, if needed

CONS

May not hold some larger handguns

Honorable Mention

The Winzone Biometric Rifle Safe is a diamond in the rough for bargain hunters in need of proper home gun security. At well under $400, it slots far below other products from Barska and Browning and even beats out a few larger handgun safes. For that price, you get a miniature vault spacious enough for roughly five to six long guns with room for pistols, ammo, and gear. Following the steps of pricier safes, the Winzone throws in manual keys and a keypad as a backup. The relatively slim size makes it an excellent pick for smaller homes and apartments, and its 88-pound weight means it should be easier to wheel around on a dolly.

But five to six guns isn’t that generous of space if you’re a discerning enthusiast, so hardcore collectors may want to look elsewhere. A few reported quality control issues have been noted, such as ill-fitting foam innards that hinder storing AR-platform firearms, a damaged lock, and some slight dings and dents on the exterior panels, so buyer beware.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 13.8 x 11.8 x 57 inches
  • Weight: 88 pounds
  • Material: carbon steel
PROS

A strong value as far as rifle safes go

A good size for most homes and apartments

Still holds roughly five rifles with room for pistols

Emergency keypad and lock included

CONS

Not quite spacious for the discerning collector

A few reported quality control issues

Best for Multiple Handguns

Vaultek’s MXi is the feature-filled option for those with extra home defense tools in need of storage. Where most smaller safes typically store one or two handguns, Vaultek’s product can store up to eight — depending on the size of your firearms, of course. Sold through both Amazon and Lowe’s, the MXi is available with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity for access via your phone. A keypad and manual keys are also included, and the scanner can store 20 fingerprints. The rechargeable battery pack means no more trips for AA batteries, and the safe can sit on its own or be continuously plugged in. The MXi is a well-received product with consumers treating it as a worthwhile upgrade over the cheaper safes, but there are some notable trade-offs.

The relatively steep price is the first blow that buyers may notice. At roughly $600, it slots far above other compact gun safes by hundreds. The Rubiks Cube aesthetic also equates to a bulky size and heft which significantly hinders where it can be placed in tighter living situations. It can probably live in a camper, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a spot for it inside a car or small nightstand.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 11.5 x 15 x 11.6 inches
  • Weight: 31.9 pounds
  • Material: alloy steel, carbon steel
PROS

It’s basically a Box-O’-Guns

Available with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity

Rechargeable battery pack

Backup keypad and keys included

CONS

A little bulky for tighter hiding spots

Not ideal as a portable safe

Steep price for a handgun safe

Best Multi-Lock

An acclaimed and best-selling item from Amazon, the awesafe Gun Safe is a brainless pick for an easy-to-use, quick-access gun safe. The biometric scanner sits directly next to a four-button keypad with a large, in-your-face key lock in the corner. This makes accessing your home defense tools a cinch in quick emergencies or dim lighting. Enhancing the nighttime capability is a bright, two-bulb LED light that illuminates the contents of the safe for up to 20 seconds. A built-in access gas strut will kindly hold the door open as well for single-handed operation. Owners laud the item for its solid construction and reliable, easy-to-program electronics which lets the awesafe stand out from far cheaper and more finicky products.

The main complaints from consumers had to do with rare but notable quality control issues including misaligned panels leaving gaps that can be pried. The safe itself is appreciably small, but those looking for a truly portable safe can find even smaller products to suit their needs. And the price tag of nearly $130 means it slots above many other safes of similar size.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 12.1 x 9.9 x 3.2 inches
  • Weight: N/A
  • Material: alloy steel
PROS

Every quick-access method possible

Can be portable, if needed

Bright blue interior light

Reliable, easy-to-program scanner

CONS

Rival safes are just a smidge smaller

More expensive than other compact safes

Rare quality control issues

Best for Long Guns

Behold the biometric safe that could also double as a one-man bomb shelter. The Browning Silver Series SR49 is a behemoth capable of carrying 49 long guns with plenty of room to spare. The 11-gauge steel and Browning’s ThermaBlock fire insulation material makes for a bank vault of a storage cubby to isolate your firearms. Other highlights include customizable exterior decals, interior lighting, a swath of adjustable shelves for fitting all your ammo and gear, and a dedicated safe spot for storing scoped rifles. Its arsenal of ingenious storage tricks and cavernous space makes this a must-have for wannabe Garand Thumbs, but you definitely have to pay to play, and it will cost more than just money.

Being priced at nearly $5,000 — Gun Safes will sell you one at $4,400 plus an extra $481 for the biometric lock upgrade — easily makes this the most expensive item on this list. Only the truly dedicated enthusiasts could make the purchase without wincing so hard. And that’s not to mention how much of an absolute mammoth this safe is, meaning finding a safe spot for it is just as big of a chore as buying one. Better start clearing out that garage.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 43 x 25 x 60 inches
  • Weight: 910 pounds
  • Material: 11-gauge steel
PROS

Perfect for a platoon of the longest rifles

Thicker fire insulation sheets

LOTS of adjustable shelving

CONS

Price to make some hardcore collectors cry

Make some room for this big lad

A previous entry from our guide on car gun safes, the RPNB Quick Access Biometric Pistol Safe is a popular and well-liked item for taking self-defense on the go. Its slim dimensions easily make it the most compact item on this list, making it the perfect companion for sock drawers and Smart cars alike. The lack of a secondary electronic lock may deter some buyers, but the single biometric scanner creates a clean, simple design. Manual keys are still included with the lock tucked away beneath the scanner.

Most consumer experiences have been quite positive, although it must be noted that a few buyers have had some difficulties programming their scanners. Once resolved, they worked flawlessly. And the minuscule size, while perfect for the most cramped storage locations, may not pair well with larger handguns, so definitely evaluate the dimensions of your personal firearm first.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 11.80 x 7.80 x 2.20 inches
  • Weight: 5.8 pounds
  • Material: 16-gauge steel alloy
PROS

Perfect size for in-car storage or tight living spaces

Program up to 20 fingerprints

Security cable for tying to car or table leg

CONS

Some reported hiccups in biometric scanner

Maybe not the largest size for Texas Red’s Big Iron

Our verdict on biometric gun safes

Barska’s AX11780 is a winner for being the “just right” product with space for rifles and handguns wrapped up in an appropriately-sized, well-built design. Grifucher’s Biometric Gun Safe is our undeniable Best Value for delivering high-tech gun storage at a price far beneath its competition. And the Winzone Biometric Rifle Safe also deserves some love for offering compact, easy-to-stow rifle storage at an agreeable price.

What to consider when buying a biometric gun safe

Do you need a big ole’ thingamajig of a storage unit for hunting rifles and shotguns? Or do you need something small and portable for going anywhere and everywhere? How about a safety net of extra locking systems? Gun safes all do the same basic task, but they can all do it just a little differently. Here are some types and features that can help a biometric safe stand out in a saturated market.

Types of biometric gun safes

Compact/portable

As expected, these are your bite-sized handgun boxes built to resemble Darth Vader’s Amazon delivery packages. Small and compact, they can fit in a variety of nooks that larger, refrigerator-sized safes obviously can’t squeeze into. They can be taken inside cars and campers (although, keep in mind your area’s laws with weapons inside vehicles) or stowed in cabinets and nightstands. Their placement is entirely up to your imagination with relatively no limitations. 

Their sizes can be their biggest asset or your biggest annoyance, so pay attention to the sizes of each product in accordance with where you want them placed and what will be stored inside. Some safes advertised as two-gun or multiple-gun safes may only fit one depending on how big your Big Iron really is, and some may be too thick to fit in some drawers.

Rifles

These are the mini-bank vaults masquerading as refrigerators intended for rifles, shotguns, and any long firearms you can think of. As expected, these will be the most spacious and can come in a variety of sizes to match anyone’s collection. Need space for five guns? Ten guns? Twenty guns? There’s a size to match. These will often have the most robust construction, immune to prying and built to insulate their contents from housefires.

Rifle safes will also be the most expensive due to all the material they use as well as the largest, most cumbersome safes to place at home. They take up space like a fridge and weigh half as much as a small hatchback in the case of some larger safes, but these are your best bet for keeping long guns secure at home. 

Multi-lock

Most, but not all, biometric gun safes will fall under this category. Building upon their role as quick-access safes, multi-lock biometric safes will have multiple locking methods from keypads to combinations and even manual keys. This creates redundancy and allows users to choose their preferred methods or lets them select a secondary locking system in case their preferred system fails. 

Many top-dollar items from well-received brands such as Barska, awesafe, and Vaultek will have multi-lock systems in the form of keys and keypads. The less-expensive RPNB product is biometric-only with an emergency manual key system on the side of the safe. To each their own, but this author personally recommends having the fallback systems that a multi-lock quick-access safe affords.

Key features for biometric gun safes

Biometric scanner

This is that super-cool, Mission Impossible-esque fingerprint scanner that defines biometric safes. It’s as simple as matching the scanned fingerprint to the programmed fingerprint to open the locking mechanism, but what may not be so simple is programming fingerprints to it.

On the lower end of the market, particularly with a few affordable compact gun safes, biometric scanners have been reportedly cumbersome to program. Either they don’t accept a fingerprint or only accept one despite being advertised to hold many. Some don’t open at all and need to be accessed via the key, and some glitch out and open to family members or roommates whose fingerprints were never programmed. 

While notable, these have only occurred in a few instances, and most other consumers chalk up their positive experiences to proper programming. So be sure to take the time and follow the instructions for programming your specific safe’s scanner.

Quick-access/emergency locks

Most biometric safes will fall under this category as manufacturers like to add extra methods for ease of access, like keypads, combinations, etc. If you count the manual keys that most of these products come with, all biometric safes may as well be multi-lock safes. 

While you’d be farfetched to find a biometric safe without a manual key at the very least, it doesn’t hurt to double-check that the one you’re set on purchasing has one. Those emergency keys will be your ticket inside the safe in the event that the batteries for the electronics die, so keep them at close reach.

Material

More often than not, most gun safes will be constructed out of thick steel alloys with a corrosion-resistant coating, or out of high-carbon steels that are naturally more corrosion resistant. Many gun safes, from gargantuan lockers to minuscule car vaults, will don some form of fire insulation to keep their contents protected from car and house fires. After all, some households do use these heavy-duty storage solutions for documents, money, and family mementos, mine included.

There won’t be many ways you can mess up buying a gun safe based on its materials, but the construction of said materials may affect the overall product. Some foams such as those in my dad’s aging gun safe may degrade and fall apart over time, disintegrating into a nasty dust that can rub off onto your firearms. Some compact safes may have loose-fitting locks and flimsy hinges that leave them vulnerable to prying. 

Pricing for biometric gun safes 

With many biometric gun safes being sold in compact sizes, you can expect to find them hovering between $100 and $300. The more cavernous and high-quality Vaultek MXi rings in at a proportionally higher $600 to $630 depending on where you purchase it. Top-tier rifle safes will start at roughly $1,000 and climb from there as capacity increases. The leviathan Browning SR49 will rob you of nearly $5,000 in exchange for stowing a few dozen long guns plus room for ammo and gear. Back to more palatable price tags, the Winzone rifle safe can be had for a relative bargain at under $360, as can our Best Value-winning Grifucher at $62.

Tips and tricks

  • If possible, keep your gun safe in a dry and cool environment to lessen the chances of contaminants dripping onto the safe, seeping inside, and deteriorating the interior.
  • Exercise caution when eyeballing cheap or questionably-made products. Some safe interiors may react with moisture and create toxic chemicals that could potentially corrode your firearms.
  • Depending on local laws and regulations, compact gun safes can easily be stowed inside cars or campers for on-the-go security.

FAQs about biometric gun safes

You’ve got questions, Task & Purpose has answers.

Q: Are biometric safes secure?

A: Biometric scanners are just as secure as traditional or digital locking mechanisms, but a gun safe is only as secure as the materials it’s made out of. 

Q: How reliable are biometric locks?

A: Biometric systems are mostly reliable with most owners having no quarrel once they’re properly programmed, but there’s always bound to be some hiccups, especially on some cheaper models. A few have issues where they easily unlock or don’t unlock at all, and never forget to check that battery!

Q: Are biometric gun safes corrosion-resistant?

A: With many products on this list constructed of steel alloys or high-carbon steels sealed in protective coatings, it can be concluded that high-quality gun safes are definitely corrosion-resistant. Buyers should be more cautious about the innards of inferior safes that could potentially corrode the guns themselves.

Q: How do I know when it’s time to change the battery on my safe?

A: Most safes can alert you to low batteries via a displayed message, intermittent beeps, or an LED warning light, with the latter being the most common. In case it’s totally dead, and none of the electronics have power, always ensure that the manual backup keys are nearby.

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