Understanding Different Safe Locking Mechanisms

Understanding Different Safe Locking Mechanisms

Whether you are looking for a safe for your residential or business needs, it is imperative that you have the knowledge and information in order to make an informed choice for this important investment. Safes can be an easy added security step when protecting what's valuable to you, whether it be documents, assets or commercial product/stock.  

Choosing the right locking mechanism is so important when it comes to the safe you purchase. This will safe guard you from potential security threats and theft. It will also promote the longevity of the safe as choosing a quality safe will ensure it lasts for a long time. In addition to choosing the right locking mechanism, be sure to carefully choose the size, fireproofing, water resistance and theft resistance of the safe. 

Types of Locking Mechanisms

There are many types of locking mechanisms in the industry. In this article, we will focus on providing information of the most common locking mechanisms you are likely to come across. 

Key Lock

The key lock is a mechanical method of unlocking/locking your safe. In this case your safe will be supplied with a specific key that will be used to unlock and the lock the safe. This is an inexpensive option that doesn't involve you having to remember what the code to the safe is. However, with key lock safes you must err on the side of caution as you cannot lose the key or else you will not have access to the lock and then a locksmith will be required to unlock the safe.

Key locks are not the most theft-preventative option as intruders may seek out the spare key in the house or alternatively pick the lock. 

Dial Combination

Dial combinations are a common locking mechanism among safes. Unlike key locks, they are so easy to crack as there can be millions of possible codes the intruder would need to try.

However, some people find dial combination locks unnecessarily difficult as they require focus and concentration. Where possible, it is best to avoid writing your combination down so unwanted intruders can't easily gain access to the safe.  

Digital Lock

Digital locking mechanisms are a great substitute for those who don't want to rely on keys but also find dial combinations difficult to enter. These safes are often faster to open due the way in which the unlock method is easier and can be performed relatively quickly. Digital lock combinations can be changed overtime if needed, this is great where you wish to pass on the safe or where you would like to frequently change passcodes so as to update your security measures. Again, you shouldn't write down your combination as this will leave your safe susceptible to intruders and theft. 

Card Access

Lastly, card swipe access are similar to traditional key locks however you do not need to turn a key in the cylinder to unlock the safe. Simply swipe the card or place it over the reader. The card has a chip in it which has access control integrated into it which enables only permitted cards to unlock the safe.  


Bluetooth locking systems for safes are becoming a convenient and secure way to access your safe. Compatible with up to date iOS and Android devices, the use of BLE (Bluetooth) Technology enables the safe to be used "off the grid". There is no need for constant WiFi in order to unlock the safe. Each lock has a unique 'eKey' that is securely stored in the PCB controller. This new way of unlocking safes keeps it further out of reach from potential physical and online hackers. 


This article provides just a basic introduction to locking mechanisms in safes. There are many things to consider when purchasing a safe. For assistance on picking the right safe for your needs, contact us today to speak to our friendly team. 

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