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How to Buy a Gun Safe Guide: Avoid These Mistakes

Cheap and used gun safes can save you some money, but they may not be worth it in the long run. There are a few critical things to look for when buying a safe.

Buy a gun safe by first making sure the size of safe will fit everything you want to store now and in the future. Also, make sure the gun safe has a digital lock to make securing the safe more convenient. And lastly, don’t forget to get a dehumidifier to keep the safe contents in good condition.

Read on to learn more about what mistakes to avoid when buying a gun safe, and why it’s a significant investment.

Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Gun Safe

Buying a gun safe can be a complicated process since there are many different models, styles, finishes, and accessories to choose from.

If you buy the wrong gun safe or one without the right qualities, your firearms won’t be as protected as they need to be in case of a break-in or fire.

When buying a gun safe, be sure to avoid these mistakes:

  • Forgetting a dehumidifier
  • Not hiring a safe mover
  • Buying a safe that is too small
  • Not going with a digital lock
  • Going with a gun cabinet over a gun safe
  • Not securing the safe
  • Spending too much on accessories

So how do you know which gun safes are worth the money? Let’s explore each of these mistakes to figure out what you should look for while shopping for your next gun safe.

You can find Quality Gun Safes Here on Amazon or check out my other favorite places like Brownells or OpticsPlanet for good deals on gun safes.

Don’t Forget a Dehumidifier

Many people don’t think about condensation and rust when they’re purchasing a gun safe, but these are serious considerations to make.

Without a gun safe that has a dehumidifier, you’ll have to spend more time taking your guns out to oil and clean them.

Guns that are subjected to rust are also less reliable and more likely to jam in an emergency. (Source: Liberty Safe)

Don’t Move Gun Safes Yourself

A gun safe might easily be one of the heaviest pieces of furniture you install in your house, so don’t make the mistake of breaking your back trying to get it into the house on your own.

Instead, hire a safe mover to bring the new gun safe in so you can get it installed exactly where you want it to go the first time. 

Once your new gun safe is in the house, you’re likely not going to want to move it again very soon. It’s worth the money to hire someone to move it to avoid damage and injury.

Don’t Buy a Safe That Is Too Small

You might want to keep your gun safe as small as possible to restrict how much space it takes up in your home, but don’t base the size of your safe on your current number or size of guns.

If you have more than one, chances are that you’ll end up buying more firearms at some point. You’ll need a safe from the get-go that is long enough and large enough to hold all your guns.

Consider these variables when choosing a gun safe size:

  • How many guns you’re planning on buying in the future (and what size)
  • What other types of valuables you’re planning to store in the safe with your gun
  • How often you’ll be needing access to your weapons

The biggest regret many gun owners have when buying a gun safe is not buying a bigger one when they had the chance.

Be generous with your estimates and buy plenty of size to house your firearm collection, current and future.

Don’t Skip a Digital Lock

While many cheaper or older gun safes might have a combination lock to guard them, these locks can be temperamental to operate and slow to open in a real emergency.

Electronic digital locks can often be incorporated into your existing home surveillance system and they’re still cost effective compared to higher-end locks like biometric systems. (Source: NRA Family)

Here’s a good video showing the difference between a gun safe and a gun cabinet, with more info below:

Don’t Choose a Gun Cabinet Over a Gun Safe

It’s tempting to purchase a gun cabinet instead of a gun safe so that you can show off your firearms collection to anyone who visits your home, but this is a dangerous choice.

Here are some of the disadvantages of putting your guns in a gun cabinet versus a gun safe:

  • Gun cabinets are easier to break into. Whether the person breaking in is a vulnerable and curious child or a home intruder, gun cabinets don’t provide great security.
  • Gun cabinets show everyone where your guns are. In case of a break-in or civil unrest, a gun cabinet is both a threat and a potential reward for thieves.
  • Gun cabinets don’t protect your guns in a fire. Unlike gun safes, gun cabinets focus on display and don’t contain the insulation necessary to shield guns in a fire.

Gun cabinets might look impressive, but they aren’t nearly as effective for real firearms storage as a gun safe.

You can find Quality Gun Safes Here on Amazon or check out my other favorite places like Brownells or OpticsPlanet for good deals on gun safes.

Don’t Forget to Secure Your Safe

A gun safe is a convenient place to keep your weapons, but if you don’t have it bolted to the floor or the wall, it is easy enough for well-tooled burglars to pick up the whole safe and steal it.

Be sure to secure your gun safe once you have it installed to make sure that it’s impossible for thieves to move it.

Don’t Worry About Accessories

It’s easy to get caught up in the fancy accessories that are sold with gun safes such as decorative bolt systems, LED lighting, and other add-ons.

These accessories will drive up the base cost of your gun safe without giving you additional features that you actually need, such as fireproof insulation and thick safe walls.

Is Buying a Cheap or Used Gun Safe Worth It?

If you find a deal on a gun safe that is too good to be true, it probably is.

While some good deals can be found on gun safes in online markets and other places, going with a lower cost model usually means that you’re sacrificing quality or safety.

A gun safe is a one-time purchase and a heavy piece of furniture to install.

With this in mind, it’s usually a better idea to save up for the right high-end gun safe model than try to jump on the first cheap deal you find. This will help you avoid buyer’s remorse later.

Buying The Right Gun Safe Can Prevent a Tragedy

You might not think that you need to put that much thought into buying a gun safe, but it’s important to choose a secure model and avoid the mistakes above.

Not only will the right gun safe keep your guns out of the hands of children and robbers, it’ll also help protect your guns against environmental damage like fire, condensation, and rust.