Owning a gun requires you to be responsible for keeping it safe from visitors and children. However, there are so many types that you can buy that the sheer number of options can be overwhelming. This article will discuss the difference between a Gun Safe vs. Cabinet.
Each storage option helps keep your weapons secure and away from intruders. However, there are essential differences that you should know to decide which is best for you.
What is the main difference between a Gun Safe and a Gun Cabinet?
Generally speaking, a gun safe is a more secure option. This difference is due to having a locking mechanism, better security features, and thicker steel.
In contrast, a gun cabinet uses a key, and the steel is thinner.
There are other significant differences, like being fire resistant, bolting options, etc. Let’s dive deeper!
What is a Gun Safe?
You probably picture a gray box with a combination lock when you think of safes. A gun safe has similar security features to a regular safe but comes with several additions.
Steel quality and thickness
The first thing you’ll notice from a gun safe is that it comes with high-quality materials.
For example, lower models have a 12 gauge steel box.
However, for gun safes, the industry standard is 14 gauge steel. This metal thickness makes it harder for thieves to break into the safe.
A gun safe usually comes with a unique mechanism to lock the safe. This feature can be a simple combination lock, a digital entry pad, a biometric entry sensor, or a combination of the above.
Using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, digitally enhanced models can notify your phone of a tamper attempt. In addition, they can keep records of openings and closings.
This protection extends and retracts locking bolts when you close or open the gun safe’s door. It provides additional security against crowbar attacks.
Most of the time, a gun safe is fireproof. The idea is to protect the gunpowder from exploding in case of fire.
Generally speaking, when it doesn’t have a fire rating, it is a regular safe, not a gun safe. But, of course, there are exceptions.
A good gun safe allows you to quickly secure it to a wall or floor. However, sometimes it’s unnecessary to do it due to the unit’s weight.
Inside a gun safe, you can store other valuables inside. An example would be to place jewelry, cash, or sensitive papers.
All the different things displayed above come at a price. Therefore, some models can get pretty expensive and outside your budget. It will depend on the brand, the number of rifles or guns to store, and the different features you may require.
What is a gun cabinet?
A gun cabinet is the cheap, insecure version of a gun safe. While it has minimal security features, it can keep your guns away from children and unwanted visitors.
Safety, while of the utmost importance, is not necessarily the top priority with this purchase.
Most gun cabinets have a standard or a barrel key lock access.
No fire rating
Gun cabinets won’t offer any protection when a fire breaks. It’s too expensive to reinforce a cabinet to enable it.
Lower steel thickness
In general, gun cabinets have something around 18 gauge steel. It’s the same steel grade as a garage cabinet. As a result, they are easy to smash or cut by a determined person or thief.
Most gun safes are ugly. Therefore, people hide them away in a garage or closet.
In contrast, owners of gun cabinets crave to show them off, like a display case in a living room. It will allow you to display your gun collection while keeping it relatively safe.
Design is important! Therefore, most gun cabinets come with a glass door to be able to look at your handguns. In addition, the interior will accommodate a certain number of firearms, depending on the model you buy.
The exterior tends to be solid wood reinforced with steel.
An advantage of a gun cabinet is that it doesn’t weigh a ton. So you can easily place it in your home, typically in the living room. Some people consider buying models to move around with you, like in the back of a truck.
Since most cabinets have a glass door, it is impractical and dangerous to store other valuables, like jewelry or cash. Any passerby will know what you are keeping there.
Some models are cheap, while others provide the right features at a reasonable price. It will depend on the brand, the size (how small or large the model is), the decor, and the materials.
Comparison of Gun Safe vs. Cabinet
Let’s compare both sides to understand their features and weak points.
|Type||Gun Safe||Gun Cabinet|
|Security||It has enhanced security features, an advanced entry lock, and anti-theft protections.||Less secure and usually uses some simple keys.|
|Weight||Heavy! A single person cannot move most models around.||Light! Some models can even be portable.|
|Decor||Usually, a big ugly gray box.||Models use metal, wood, and glass to create a weapon display case.|
|What to store||Firearms and valuables.||Firearms only.|
As you can see, each has its pros and cons. Therefore, you must choose the one that best suits your needs.
Which one to buy?
To decide your buying choice, you can ask yourself some questions:
- How many guns do you need to store?
- Do you want to display or hide your weapons at home?
- Are aesthetics and design necessary for your purchasing decision?
- Do you need to place other valuables in the same storage unit?
- Is security the most critical factor in your purchasing decision?
- Do you have a local law that requires you to keep weapons in a gun safe?
- Does your budget allow you to buy a gun safe?
Depending on your choice above, may we recommend some of our buying guides:
- Best Fireproof Gun Safes – These are the best gun safes out there. It will protect your arsenal against fire hazards and intruders.
- Best Bedside Gun Safes – This selection aims for those who want quick access to their gun in an emergency.
- Best Under Bed Gun Safes – Similar to the guide above, but when you want to conceal your gun safe from prying eyes.
In the Gun Safe vs. Cabinet comparison, you can check a summary of each model’s different characteristics and features.
We tend to lean toward buying a gun safe instead of a gun cabinet. The extra security and fire resistance are the most critical factors for us.
However, it would be best for you to analyze what works best for your particular setup.