I Tested The Best Biometric Gun Safes (Updated With Pictures!)
A fingerprint gun safe provides quick and easy access to your pistol while keeping it secured. I've tested the most popular options on Amazon, and here are my top picks along with hands-on reviews.
FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.
1. VAULTEK Smart Station - Biometric Smart Safe with Built-in Wireless Phone Charger
Top-rated: 2,441 ratings | 103 answered questions
Highlight: LED backlit HD fingerprint scanner.
Helpful review: "For years I’ve followed Vaultek, as well as the products they’ve brought to market. This smart safe was a bit pricey for me, so I was skeptical about it. But then I finally bit the bullet and purchased it, and can report back that it’s really fantastic and worth the money.
- The safe came well-packaged. Trust me, you’re going to love the packaging.
- The setup is straightforward and clear. Following the instructions for fingerprinting was a breeze. I had no issues setting the combination or fingerprints.
- The quality is excellent. This is a very solid product. It’s really sturdy, very well-built and easy to use.
- The Bluetooth and biometric features are top tier.
- The phone charger works flawlessly. Just place it on top.
- With the extra USB, my watch charger is now also part of the system.
- It will hold most handguns. For instance, it can comfortably hold 2 Glocks. It can also hold my Sig 365 XL with Holosun optics and two 17 R clips with some extra room.
- Clock will set the correct time when the phone is placed on the charger.
- Opens swift for immediate entry.
- Incredibly quiet.
- Interior lighting is beautiful.
- The app has amazing features.
The advertisement does not do justice here. It's much better and advanced than argued. There are so many options featured with the safe: sound or no sound, lights or no lights… I know it sounds funny, but I feel that having such a neat product on my nightstand really upgraded my lifestyle. I love this safe so much, I want to buy another one.
Don’t buy a lesser safe to save a bit of money. This Vaultek really does worth every penny. They offer great customer service and excellent follow-up, so I'll be buying the Vaultek MXi as well based on this experience. Good Job, Vaultek!" — David P. McGillivray
Get it from Amazon now: $479.99 & FREE Returns
2. ONNAIS Iron SE - Large and Clear Buttons
Top-rated: 4,550 ratings | 76 answered questions
Highlight: The fingerprint lock can store up to 30 user fingerprints for access by multiple users.
Helpful review: "I will be comparing this ONNAIS safe to the Vaultek VT20 pistol safe, as I now own both. I will start by saying the value of this safe is excellent. It appears well-built and I could not find any visible flaws.
It came very well packaged. The buttons are large and the biometric feature works very well. I was actually very surprised at how well the fingerprint reader worked to open the safe. I was also pleased that it stores 20 different fingerprints. The inside of the safe is spacious and it is lined with nice padded material. It locks securely and positively, and it springs open very well.
Let me get down to the comparison; The VT20 was almost exactly twice the cost of this safe. And if I had opted for the biometric version of the Vaultek, the Vaultek would be nearly three times the cost. I can confidently say the Vaultek is better in every way. The Vaultek is nearly twice as heavy, has double walled construction. It has internal hinges, and two locks which appear twice as thick as this safe. The padding is thicker and better on the Vaultek, and it has rechargeable batteries, while this one uses 4 AA batteries (which are not included). It also has an internal light, lighted buttons, and an app which helps you change settings and reset the safe in case of tampering.
However, with all of that being said, If you are looking to have a quick access safe which will keep a firearm away from children at an inexpensive cost, then this will do the trick. If you want more features and a more secure safe, AND are willing to spend 2 to 3 times as much, buy a Vaultek." — B. Larson
Get it from Amazon now: $139.99 & FREE Returns
3. VAULTEK Smart - Drop-Down with Rechargeable Battery
Top-rated: 419 ratings
Highlight: Can hold max firearm length of 8.875” + a spare magazine.
Helpful review: "It's a tight squeeze, but it does manage to fit an full sized HK USP 45 Tactical with a flat plate magazine, despite it being 5.9" at it's tallest. Since there are few handguns larger than the USP Tactical, this safe is more than adequate for the vast majority of handguns.
I also have the smaller VT10i with the biometric sensor and find that the Slider biometrics is much more accurate/responsive, likely due to the larger sensor. It can detect the fingerprint no matter the angle you apply your finger. I've also added the same fingers multiple times to increase readability. The app and web dashboards are incredibly slick, allows you to delete fingerprints or disable/activate different fingerprints on the fly. It immediately notifies you if the safe has been opened, tampered with, failed authentication, really anything that can happen to the safe.
The only thing the app cannot do over WiFi is open the safe remotely, which I imagine is a security issue and honestly probably for the best. However while the WiFi features are neat, it's pretty extraneous to the actual function of the safe. None the less, you can tell from just about every aspect of the safe design that a lot of thought and care went into it. If cost is no object, this is hands down the best smart gun safe on the market.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
After shopping for a while on handgun safes, I decided on the VAULTEK. This safe is absolutely amazing. Packaged with care, protective plastics and all that. It’s super easy to set up, and the steel construction is very rugged.
The keypad lights up when your hand comes near it, so it can be easily read in the dark. A huge plus for me is that it uses a standard 18650 Lithium Ion battery, so if it ends up croaking in future years, you know you’ll be able to find a replacement easily.
The drawer slides completely open when the correct code is input, and there’s a nice LED light so you don’t have to fumble in the middle of the night. Great product!" — Nick Anderson
Get it from Amazon now: $359.99 & FREE Returns
4. RPNB - Most Popular Bedside Safe
Top-rated: 8,637 ratings | 238 answered questions
Highlight: Upgraded smart biometric scanner.
Helpful review: "Small, compact and sturdy, what I wanted. Great price. Easy to set up and change passcode. It does open very fast when you enter pass code. I have not set up fingerprint yet but will. I use to it secure my duty weapon, 2 mags, badge and ID card with a little room to spare. I don't need it for quick access but it would work well for that purpose. I then hide it in my basement which is very easy to hide and feel good that my gun and ammo is both secure and well hidden. I use a gun magnet by my bed that hides my other gun very well gives me very quick and east access for home defense. Gun is out of site and takes me 3 seconds to access it and have it ready to fire. This box would work well for that purpose with added security if you have kids. I really like this lock box and though it is a great price!!" — Big T.
"I bought this as a way to lock up my EDC when not carrying. I have 5 kids and needed to secure it at night. I knew going in an inexpensive model might not function well but that hasn't been the case. I expected to have the batteries fail and it not open but o have had it nearly a year and it has never failed to open. It is nice to have a key, combo, and fingerprint. The fingerprint reader can be finicky at times but if you give it a few seconds, it will usually read it on the second try. Combo has never failed. I have it set with a 5 digit combo and can type it in less than 4 seconds. It also comes predrilled so you can bolt it down. I haven't had a single issue with this safe and would recommend. It's easier to get into than my other dial single gun boxes I have around the house. It also holds two pistols I have a compact and full-sized pistol in mine and the both fit without holsters. If you want the holster stored with gun, it will only hold one." — SPW
Get it from Amazon now: $159.99 & FREE Returns
5. HOLEWOR - Most Popular Portable Safe
Top-rated: 112 ratings | 30 answered questions
Highlight: LCD Display of time, temperature and humidity.
Helpful review: "I purchased this safe as a gun safe for my sub-compact pistol. I have 2 young children who need to be safe not only from intruders, but also from the dangers of a firearm in the wrong hands (mainly their own).
Build Quality: Consistent with what I read in other reviews, this safe is hefty. It's made of thick metal, and I have no concerns that there is any easy way in (aside from the 3 entry methods: code, fingerprint, or key). This will work perfectly to keep my children out and also anyone quickly rummaging through my house if I were not home from easily accessing my firearm.
Setup: I have yet to look at the instruction manual. Based solely on the reviews I read/watched prior to purchase, I did a full setup of my prints, setting a new code, and silencing the safe in under 5 minutes (easily). Couldn't be easier.
Sound: When I received my safe, the first thing I did after putting batteries into it was hold down "1" for a few seconds to silence the safe. Even when silenced, you can still hear a fairly quiet mechanical release of the locking mechanism when opening with the fingerprint scanner or the code. The key entry just has the "click" that any spring loaded item that is released should be expected to have (due to surfaces of multiple components changing how they are interacting). All the sounds I hear are what should be expected, and give me confidence in the quality, rather than concern or a feeling that it is "too loud," etc. If an intruder were close enough to hear this, they would already know you are there, and sound would not be a concern. These noises only occur when the safe OPENS, meaning you now have access to your means of protection, so things are about to get loud anyway. (It's still very quiet, just addressing the nay-sayers, if any exist)
Key Entry: Key feels solid, slides in super easy due to the rectangular shape with grooves rather than being a jagged edged key. As I said, it is the quietest method of entry (even when the safe is silenced). This being said, I plan to hide the keys pretty well and do not intend to use the key except if I fail to keep up on the batteries. Keeping a key nearby is asking for trouble with kids IMO.
Code: Code was easy to setup. As some have said, if you choose a shorter code (I did 4 digits for now), it will make it clear when an incorrect 4 digit code is entered--so someone will not needlessly try to guess 8 digit passwords. Unless someone has extended access to the safe, I don't see this ever being an issue--and if you are concerned about someone with regular access continually trying to enter, it may be a good idea to have a longer code, or more likely--not keep a firearm in the house.
Fingerprint scanner: I set up all 10 of my prints super fast. I only did one per finger. When placed square-on like when I registered, there is almost never a time when it fails. Registering multiple angles/areas of the fingers I will actually use is something I will probably do in the future (rather than including my pinkies, which is super awkward to even setup, much less use in a real life scenario. I haven't tried tons of unregistered fingerprints. I am curious to know if unregistered fingerprints have a failure rate (opening the safe). If this is a concern you have and you expect people to regularly try to open your safe that shouldn't, you can just not setup any fingerprints and rely on the other methods (or not keep a firearm, if there is cause for concern).
Battery life: I haven't had it long enough to speak to battery life, but the batteries I put in it are not high quality, and I haven't had any issues yet. I plan to monitor battery life and then setup a regular replacement schedule based on how quickly it seems to get low, rather than letting them get close to dying before replacing every time.
Space: This safe easily fit my 2 sub-compact pistols with an extra mag each and a kydex holster. I since sold one of the pistols, but its a large safe, I believe it would be hard to find 2 (modern) pistols of any size that would not fit in this safe together. The foam on bottom and sides protects your firearms from scratches. The foam on the bottom is easily lifted to anchor the safe to another surface. You can also remove it, line the bottom of the safe with cash, place the foam back on top and still have room for your firearm(s). The safe has plenty of height to allow for this.
Customer service has already reached out to me, and seems like they will be phenomenal if any issues do arise. Super pleased with this purchase. 5/5 all day." — Jon
Get it from Amazon now: $99.99 & FREE Returns
6. MAXSafes - Best for Two Guns
Top-rated: 316 ratings
Highlight: Unconditional one year warranty.
Helpful review: "I will start by saying the value of this safe is excellent. It appears well built and I could not find any visible flaws. It came very well packaged. The buttons are large and the biometric feature works very well.
I was actually very surprised at how well the fingerprint reader worked to open the safe. I was also pleased it stores up to 50 different finger prints. The inside of the safe is spacious and it is lined with nice padded material. It locks securely and positively and it springs open very well.
So if you are looking to have a quick access safe which will keep a firearm safe from children at an inexpensive cost then this will do the trick. If you want more features and a more secure safe, AND are willing to spend 2 to 3 times as much, buy a Vaultek.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
I needed a safe for my bedroom, so I did my research and thought this safe would be the best choice. I couldn't be happier with my selection. The lid opens quickly with no excess jump. AND the biometric technology is amazing and works every time, even with wet or dirty fingers. It also has a physical key and button code for alternative options to open the safe. The pry-resistant key lock is much better than other regular key locks. There is even a number laser printed on the lock, which can be used to request extra keys if needed. They also added an emergency power outlet, which is a great back up if needed. And, the security cable and Leather pad are an extra bonus to this safe. MAXSafes really went all out on this safe and I am sure you will be very pleased." — Eric Brown
Get it from Amazon now: $179.99 & FREE Returns
7. KAER - Best Car Vehicle Safe
Top-rated: 312 ratings | 28 answered questions
Highlight: Reliable high-strength locking mechanism.
Helpful review: "Bought this safe on a whim even when I read the bad reviews about the finger print feature. I’m glad I bought it cause it’s perfect - the finger print setting was in fact the more tricky part. Make sure you read the direction packet clearly. Once you activate the finger print setting by touching the finger pad (what the other people did, thinking they fully set their finger print), the directions tell you that you need to clear out all finger prints and repeat the process for it to open correctly with only your finger print. I had to clear out my finger print feature maybe 4 times before it worked. Other than me needing to do that multiple times, it now works 100% perfectly. If I haven’t read the reviews I honestly might not have paid attention and did it wrong just like the other people did, but that’s why you do your research and don’t blame the company for mistakes that are human made." — Alex
"Without commenting on any particular review that says this is “junk” or that any finger, or anyone’s finger for that matter, or even a cat’s paw can open the safe, I am here to say that is totally false…If you follow the instructions in section 4. Before I went step by step through the setup, I did discover that any of my finger tips would open the safe. But…carefully following the setup instructions, I am here to tell you that only MY right index finger opens the safe. I am not going to walk anyone through the instructions here, but suggest that you slow down and follow step by step on how to set up for both fingerprint and user code. It’s not difficult at all (and fingerprint seems to be the main issue in these negative reviews). After setting up the fingerprint code, I asked my wife to use all her fingers to open the safe. None of them opened it. I used all my fingers (except my right index finger), and none of them opened the safe. I will say you have to be specific when using the fingerprint ID. I can’t use the tip of my right index finger, I have to lay it flat on the sensor as that is the way I positioned my finger when I did the setup. Very often when walking by the safe in our bedroom, I will reach out and touch the finger print sensor just to be familiar with the process. It opens every time. If I fail to lay my finger flat on the sensor (as I did in the setup), it doesn’t open. So, keep in mind the position of your finger when doing the setup. I also use the four-digit code method and it works flawlessly! This is a strong and sturdy safe for pistols and easily accommodates two pistols, my 4.2 in barrel 9mm and a S&W 38." — David
Get it from Amazon now: $89.99 & FREE Returns
8. Sifely - WiFi Powered and Paired
Top-rated: 194 ratings
Highlight: Easily paired with Sifely WiFi Gateway.
Helpful review: "If you are like me, you have debated buying a home safe for awhile. You have researched. Walked by them and tested handles in the store. Looked at the price. Then looked at the price again and decided you can wait. I've done all of that for too many years now and finally decided to go ahead and spend the money and buy one. I couldn't find any that were "affordable" that didn't have some kind of poor review. I think people spend the money, get the safe and realize that what they got was a safe. And that it's not much "fun". That all being said, I am so happy with this Safe! I sure don't like long reviews, but this one will be a little long. Sorry. It will help you see the size of this safe and some of the great features you will be getting for your money. The safe arrived in a box next day with cushioning material. One on the bottom and two on the top on each side. The owner's manual and other documentation was tucked down alongside the unit. The keys and FOB and other documents are inside the safe. The packaging wasn't damaged and everything was ready to setup. The door opens and closes easily and locks and unlocks flawlessly. The app integration again was a plus for even more options like adding fingerprints. In conclusion, I am super happy with this safe. I wish I wouldn't have waited so long to get one. There is no such thing as 100% risk free when it comes to valuables. But *minimizing* the risk of having everything of value stolen from us is the key. With this safe bolted to the floor and filled to the top with stuff, it would be a huge pain for a burglar who is in a hurry to grab and go. Thanks for reading my lengthy review." — N. Mumm
Get it from Amazon now: $129.99 & FREE Returns
9. VAULTEK VT20i - Interactive Smartphone Experience
Top-rated: 1,724 ratings | 255 answered questions
Highlight: The advanced Bluetooth feature allows you to monitor your safe. An included rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides power up to 6 months, and charges in 2.5 hours with the included charging kit.
Helpful review: "I looked for a long time for a gun vault/box I could trust. The most important thing I found about this one is the support. Vaultek cares about their product after they sell it and will work with you to get it working right. More importantly, they fix the inventory because they have to ensure you get the best product. Mine came with an "upgrade" note inserted into the box, stating that the issue with jimmying the lock had been fixed. So many of the manufacturers out there are working to keep their product at sub $100 or even <$150. Vaultek costs more. For a damn good reason. It works. And they care about the product they ship, even after they ship it. So my experience... Got the vault, took ten minutes to figure it out and set it up. Easy. Every single thing worked as advertised and per instructions. the note was in there about the fix/upgrade. All parts accounted for and functional. Instructions were easy to follow and I had my code and fingerprint coded in no time (~10 mins) and my weapon snuggled in it's foamy compartment. Concerns from other reviewers and my experience:
1. The lid opening is loud. Yes and no. It is not silent, it makes a distinct click. That being said, it's not that loud, about the same loudness as flicking a disposable lighter. If you are thinking stealth, note that the clip being inserted or a round being chambered, will be much louder (and recognizable).
2. Yes the finger print swipe needs one to activate it and a second one to open. A feature they might consider if the device is plugged in, then the pad is active, when on battery it goes on standby. That is NOT in this product, just my thought on it.
3. The fingerprint reader is consistent with just about every other fingerprint reader on the planet. It will fail to read your print on occasion. No such thing as a perfect reader out there and not Vaultek's fault. I am sure they bought the best available, while still keeping the product in the price point they needed.
4. Use the keypad for quick access. Seriously. It works EVERYTIME. And frankly is faster if you're using a four digit code. so if you hear someone bashing in your door, use the code. If you're dog is low growling, then swipe twice and fingerprint it out.
5. Don't lose the hard key. They give you two. Give one to a trusted relative/friend or into a safe deposit box.
6. I fit my Sig P228 with a clip in it and an extra with some room to spare.
Final thought, I bought this to keep kids and visitors from gaining access to the weapon. High up in a closet under a sweater just doesn't work for me. It works perfect for that, as well as quick access to the weapon if someone is kicking in the door. Don't make your code 1234 (like on your luggage) or anything else kids might guess. I am now a loyal Vaultek customer based on this experience." — Jay L.
Get it from Amazon now: $299.99 & FREE Returns
10. SentrySafe - Updated Scanner
Top-rated: 4,142 ratings
Highlight: Improved gas strut for long-lasting performance.
Helpful review: "I was primarily interested in a quick access gun safe for my Springfield XD-S that could be placed bedside. I looked at the reviews for three of what seemed to be the most popular such gun cases and ultimately decided on the Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe, Model QAP1BE. I have grandchildren who visit frequently and I needed something that gives me quick and reliable access for personal protection at home, yet at the same time be secure from inquisitive little folks. First of all, I wanted a safe that would set on top of my bed nightstand and not be difficult to locate and open in the dark. I didn't want the hassle of having to open a nightstand drawer to access it. Besides, I would have to make sure the drawer is open wide enough to allow the top of the gun safe to open all the way. To me, storing it inside a drawer increases access time as well as makes for more noise.
The first gun safe I looked at was the GunVault. I really liked the dimensions of the safe and the fact that it was biometric and used a code as well to open it. However, the reviews were less than stellar for reliability in opening using the fingerprint so I steered away from it. Another gun safe that I reviewed was the Barska Biometric Top Opening Safe. It received better reviews as to reliability than the GunVault safe, but some reviewers still reported issues with first-time open attempts using the fingerprint. A deciding factor for me not choosing the Barska was the outside dimensions. The Barska is 14.75 by 11.25 by 5 inches. This was larger than I was wanting setting on top of my nightstand. The Sentry is smaller at 12.0 x 9.9 x 3.2. While the inside capacity of the Barska is larger than the Sentry, my XD-S and extra magazines fit nicely inside the Sentry.
The five star reviews of the Sentry convinced me to give it a try. When I received it I noticed that it was pleasingly heavy, weighing in at just over 13 pounds. The construction seemed very sturdy. It comes with predrilled holes in the bottom for screws if you choose to securely mount it, but my choice was to set it out where I could quickly and quietly reach it when needed.
To prevent the metal case from sliding and scratching the wood on my nightstand, I placed four of those clear plastic cupboard door bumpers on each corner underneath. They work great to keep it in place and prevent scratching the wood, even when the top door pops open. Unlike the other two gun safes which hold something like 30 fingerprints, the Sentry holds only four fingerprints, so my wife and I each coded in our forefinger and thumb. Once we coded them in, neither of us has had one failed attempt at opening this safe in the two weeks 2-3 weeks since we've had it. The lid pops open completely each time using the gas strut. I try it on a regular basis just to practice and also make sure it is operational. We've tested trying to open it with other fingers and found that it will only open with the coded fingerprints. Would I buy the Sentry gun safe again? Yes, definitely. Would I recommend it to a friend? Again, definitely. I am not affiliated in any way with Sentry, Barska, Gunvault or any other gun supply business." — Vaughn
Get it from Amazon now: $203.00 & FREE Returns
11. Awesafe - Popular Biometric Option
Top-rated: 13,031 ratings | 15 answered questions
Highlight: For added convenience, this compact gun safe is lightweight, for use whether you’re home or on the go. It's easy to conceal under car seats, in spare tire wells, between mattresses and other out-of-the-way locations.
Helpful review: "This thing is a tank of a handgun safe! And I repeat, safe! Heavy duty, thick walled construction. The lid opens effortlessly, and more importantly, quietly! Fingerprint access has worked well! The touchpad is a great addition along with the mechanical locking system. This thing will hold two handguns and two mags. Also, very stylish for what it is. It looks great on my nightstand. I can't say enough about this value! Great job Awesafe! Awesome!" — shockvalue68
Reassuring review: "Purchased this safe 2 years ago for my daughter. Unfortunately she let the battery run down and couldn't find her key to access safe. I contacted costumer service and after providing proof of purchase they sent a replacement key. Service was quick and efficient. They didn't even charge me for the new keys. Special thanks to Bob in Customer Service. Morale of the story: replace your batteries regularly and remember that safe place you stored your key." — Debra Porter
Get it from Amazon now: $159.00 & FREE Returns