Dislike Electronics? Get One of these 5 Best Mechanical Safes! - SafesRight

Dislike Electronics? Get One of these 5 Best Mechanical Safes!

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By far, the Fort Knox Original PB1 safe is the cream of the crop regarding mechanical handgun safes. Its thick 9-gauge steel is impressive, and the Simplex locking mechanism is one of the best in the industry for this application. If you want to go the lightweight route, the Stopbox is also an impressive product.

That said, here are all the best mechanical pistol safes on the market today!

Why should you trust me? I have been helping people find the right gun safe for them for almost a decade. I have talked directly with brands, CEOs, and more while also getting feedback directly from buyers and, of course, doing my own hands-on testing to find the best gun safes on the market.

1. Fort Knox Original Pistol Box (PB1)

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Best Heavy-Duty Mechanical Pistol Safe
  • High quality build
  • Very thick steel
  • Fantastic non-electronic push button lock
  • Very reliable
  • Extremely heavy
  • Lock: Simplex Mechanical Lock
  • Dimensions: 4.5" High 12.5" Wide by 10.37" Deep
  • Steel: 9-gauge
  • Fire Rating: N/A
  • Weight: 22 pounds
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02/18/2024 04:35 pm GMT

There are plenty of places on this site that you will find me recommending this safe, mainly because it is a blend of being just an excellent safe built by a fantastic company. At 10 gauge steel, with a large capacity, it is a highly rated heavy-duty safe. If you are looking for something to keep a thief busy, this likely be that.

It also offers one of my favorite locks, the Simplex lock, a push-button mechanical lock. This means it operates like those easy-to-use electronic locks but lacks a battery that can fail. You will find this lock on a couple different safes on this list. Fort Knox also offers an industry-leading lifetime warranty on their safes, which extends to this safe.

Who isn’t this safe for?

It honestly is difficult to talk bad about this safe. However, it isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for something portable, there are better options! While the Simplex lock is my favorite mechanical pistol safe, it only offers 1,082 combinations. If someone had the time and patience, they could run through them quickly.

2. Stopbox Quick Access Lock Box

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Best Quick Access Box
  • Extremely quick access
  • Lock works very well
  • Easy to transport
  • Shouldn't be left alone
  • Can't tether it to anything
  • Lock: Proprietary Mechanical Lock
  • Dimensions: 2" High by 10.75" Wide by 7.25" Deep
  • Steel: N/A (ABS Plastic)
  • Fire Rating: N/A
  • Weight: 1.75 pounds
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This little quick-access box takes a different turn than the Fort Knox we discussed above. Instead of heavy-duty steel, it is made of a plastic polycarbonate material! The design is meant to make it ultra-portable and, with the lock style, ultra-quick access.

I have spent a lot of time with this one (as the brand had gifted me one a while back), which is fantastic! It is perfect for those looking for a good carry safe between your home and where you would store your firearm at your office or on the go.

Who is this not for?

This safe is not for someone looking for a proper safe. If a firearm were in it, I would not leave this quick access box out of sight (or arms reach). It’s really not meant for that.

3. American Security PS1210HD

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  • Utilizes a Simplex Lock
  • Thicker steel gauge
  • Portable carry handle
  • Thinner steel than competitor
  • Expensive
  • Lock: Simplex Lock
  • Dimensions: 4.25" High by 12.5" Wide by 10.25" Deep
  • Steel: 10 Gauge
  • Fire Rating: N/A
  • Weight: 24 pounds
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02/18/2024 02:14 am GMT

Yes, this safe is highly similar to the #1 option on this list. However, these safes are so good that I must ensure you know them.

Amsec makes a lot of safes. This one is an excellent alternative to the PB1 we talked about earlier. However, adding a carry handle to the front of the safe makes it ever so slightly more portable.

What you gain in portability, you lack in warranty. Amsec only offers a 1-year parts and labor warranty on this heavy-duty pistol safe. So don’t expect too much help from them after that period is up. It is also slightly heavier and more expensive than the Fort Knox version, so keep that in mind.

So who is this not for?

Much like the PB1 we discussed, this safe will not be for someone who needs to be able to take this safe with them. Yes, it has a carry handle, but no, you won’t want to throw it into your luggage. Again, while the Simplex lock is fantastic, it also has that low combination count.

4. American Security Hide-A-Safe HAS410

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Best Mechanical Underdesk Safe
  • Fits well under a desk for easy access
  • Thick steel gauge
  • Expensive
  • Lock: Simplex Lock
  • Dimensions: 4" High by 10" Wide by 12" Deep
  • Steel: 10 Gauge
  • Fire Rating: N/A
  • Weight: 20 pounds
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02/18/2024 02:53 am GMT

If you need a mechanical safe hidden under a desk or underneath anything, this will be your best bet. It offers all of the heavy-duty features that the PS1210HD has, but instead of sitting on top of something, it bolts underneath something.

Instead of opening from the top, it has heavy-duty sliders that slide the firearm out from the front of the safe. The HAS410 still offers 7 gauge steel, 10 gauge door, and a Simplex lock, and it is just a great safe overall.

Who isn’t this safe for?

It is rather apparent who this safe is not for. If you need a portable safe or an area to put this safe under, then this safe isn’t for you.

5. ShotLock Shotgun 200M

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Best Compact Pistol Safe
  • Quick Access
  • Unique design
  • Handles larger firearms
  • Firearm is exposed
  • External Dimensions: 6.13″ High by 2.38″ Deep by 7.5″ Wide
  • Internal Dimensions: N/A
  • Weight: 5.24
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Haven’t heard of ShotLock? You can be forgiven; it isn’t a massive name in the industry, but they make some really cool safes, and you should check out the rest of the safes they offer.

The 200M in question uses a Simplex Lock “like” locking mechanism. I don’t know its brand, but it is highly similar. It is also more compact than the others on this list, with a similar styling!

The safe also offers a carry handle for on-the-go and looks like this overall.

Due to its size, this would only be great for people who want to fit something other than just a pistol into it. Much like the Stealth safe we just discussed, it also has 14 gauge steel, which isn’t crazy thick. It also is for something other than those looking for a budget safe. It definitely is up there on price.

Types of mechanical pistol safe locks

Not many types of locks will work on a pistol safe nowadays. The two primary ways you can access a mechanical pistol safe are via a Simplex lock (or a similar style) and a key lock.

Of course, there are other proprietary locks, for example, the StopBox we discussed earlier in this article.

Pros & Cons of owning a mechanical gun safe

Owning a mechanical gun safe isn’t for everyone! However, for many, the upsides can quickly outweigh the downsides.

The main upsides are the lack of batteries that can go out at any time and, of course, just overall reliability. In rare circumstances, many people won’t get any safe with an electronic lock because of an EMP blast. This could lock out anyone out of their safe. However, most people will think of this as being okay.

As for some downsides, it is just the electronics’ capabilities to give a safe! Safe companies like Vaultek and Konig provide unique features like tamper notifications, biometrics, phone access, etc. You can’t get that in a mechanical safe, as it requires power.

What to look for when shopping for a mechanical pistol safe?

1. Locking mechanism

When hunting for a pistol safe, the lock will always be the first thing you should consider before even the thickness of the steel. In the mechanically safe world, you definitely have limited options, which we have already discussed. If you don’t have a good lock, you can’t get in it, so get a safe with a good lock from a reputable brand.

2. Type of pistol safe

Now that we have gotten the lock out of the way, you should consider what kind of safety you need. As you likely have found from this list, there are lightweight safes, quick access safes, and tons of other safes. Make sure you are keeping an eye out for your personal situation, and buy for that.

3. Capacity

Do you need to fit more than one firearm in the safe you are looking to buy? Don’t buy one that can only fit one. I always recommend cutting out the safe’s internal dimensions onto some cardboard before buying and seeing if your firearm(s) will fit into those dimensions.

4. Dimensions

Much like capacity, you need to think about overall dimensions and that you can fit the safe where you need it. Do you want to put it next to your lamp on your nightstand? Make sure it fits there.

5. Manufacturer reputation

In the pistol-safe world, you can’t compare specifications like in the full-size safe world. Because of this, you have to look more closely at the brand you are buying from! Look at their website, look at sites like this one, and read customer reviews. Get a feeling for whether this manufacturer you are buying is reputable.

6. Warranty

I like warranties. You should use them if you have them! Some manufacturers only offer a 1-year warranty, while others offer up to a lifetime. Ensure you are buying a safe with a guarantee that will work for your purposes!

7. Price

Ensure you set a budget, and don’t go over that! Like anything, you need to decide what your safe is worth. However, spending about 10% of what you will put in the safe is a good rule of thumb.

8. Gauge of steel

The more steel you have, the harder it is to access it for the most part. Remember, when you are buying a safe, you are buying yourself time. The thicker the steel, the more time it takes, and the more likely they will get caught.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I keep my gun at night?

It would help to keep your firearm in a locked container, whether a full-size gun safe or a nightstand safe like you have found on this list.

Do pistol safes have a fire rating?

A true pistol safe that offers a fire rating exists today. Giving a fire rating on a safe requires a ton of space, weight, and cost, which is conducive to a mechanical handgun safe that generally needs to be moved semi-regularly. If you need a fire rating, a full-size gun safe will likely be a better bet for you, and then keep the things that need to be saved from fire in there.

Should I bolt my mechanical pistol safe down?

It would help if you permanently bolted down your pistol safe like a full-size gun safe. If the safe you buy has the capability, why not use it? It keeps you safe, and your family safe.


This article definitely got long. However, I hope I helped you understand what great safes are and why you should be looking at those! Any safes on this list should work for various people, and I hope they work for you!

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