Fort Knox vs Liberty Safes (Which one is BETTER?) - SafesRight

Fort Knox vs Liberty Safes (Which one is BETTER?)

Fort Knox and Liberty Safes are two of the biggest names in the gun safe industry. While they may be big players, they also are considerably different from each other in both offerings and the end product because of this, which is better when it comes to Fort Knox vs Liberty Safe.

In the end, I find that Fort Knox is the better option due to its customizable nature and the quality and finish of its gun safes.

Before we really discuss the differences between the companies, I think it’s important to compare comparable safes. Unfortunately, Liberty Safes uses only 11-gauge steel for all of its safes up to the Presidential series, so I directly compare the Presidential, which has 7 gauge, to the Protector, which also has 7 gauge.

I will mention that Fort Knox has the Maverick series with 11 gauge steel. However, it isn’t one of their vaults and wouldn’t make an accurate comparison as it has limited options.

CategoriesFort Knox Protector 7241Liberty Presidential 50
Dimensions72” High by 41” Wide by 27” Deep72.5″ High by 42″ Wide by 27.5” Deep
Weight1495 lbs1555 lbs
Steel Thickness7 gauge7 gauge
Steel Upgrades AvailableYesNo
Lock optionsElectronic, Mechanical, Biometric, RedundantElectronic, Mechanical
Fire Rating90 Minutes2.5 hours
Upgradable SecurityCan add AR500 steel, stainless steel, or more carbon steel linersN/A
AestheticsUpgradable color, hinges, graphics, interior, Upgradable color

As you can see in the table above, Fort Knox provides comparable features for about $1,000 less. Now, you may wonder if Fort Knox doesn’t give you as good of a quality; however, that just isn’t true. Fort Knox will likely give comparable, if not better, quality than Liberty in finish and metalwork.

1. Locking mechanism – 2 points (Winner: Fort Knox)

Image courtesy of Fort Knox

Outside of the gauge of steel, the locking mechanism is one of the most important parts of a gun safe. It allows you to gain access to the safe quickly and easily, and it is also the component that, if it fails, will cause you the biggest grief.

Fort Knox offers four different options: electronic, mechanical, biometric, or redundant locks. Meanwhile, Liberty only provides electronic and mechanical services.

I am not too worried about the quality of the lock with either Liberty or Fort Knox, as most USA-made gun safes (like these) use high-quality locks from the same brands.

However, because of the addition of Fort Knox’s redundant lock (you should make sure to get this, in my opinion), Fort Knox edges out Liberty in offering the best locking mechanisms.

2. Steel thickness – 2 points (Winner: Fort Knox)

If you read the information table in the article, you already know where I am going with this one. However, if, for example, your goal is to get a thicker gauge steel, like 7 gauge, it takes you about $1000 more to own a safe from Liberty, as opposed to Fort Knox.

Now, you could actually take an even different route with Fort Knox than you can’t with Liberty. Personally, I would probably get a Fort Knox Defender made of standard 10 gauge steel and add an inner steel liner to the safe (read this article to learn more about that).

This would put it around the same price as the Protector. However, it gives you two layers of steel, making it more difficult to cut through. This is something you can’t do with a Liberty.

Keep in mind that while both of these safes may just be RSCs, there are varying levels of residential security containers. If you don’t quite know what I mean, read this article on Underwriter’s Laboratories’ site.

3. Fire rating – 2 points (Winner: Liberty)

This is where Liberty Safes shines, as their Presidential Series sits at 2.5 hours of fire rating at 1200 degrees. This is an impressive number that only a few other companies can match right now.

Fort Knox has an upgraded fire rating option. However, that is only included in some safe and would add to the cost.

4. Security Features – 2 points (Winner: Tie)

Image courtesy of Liberty Safes

I would put both the Protector and the Presidential at an even match in their stock configurations. They are highly technologically advanced, have American steel, and are just a quality safe in and out.

Suppose you look at a lower price bracket than these safes. Fort Knox tends to win out in that case, as their standard safes have thicker steel than Liberty offers on anything lower than the Presidential.

Where Fort Knox does show off a bit is its ability to pick and choose what security features you want to add to your safe. As mentioned in the steel thickness category, you can upgrade the steel; however, you can also add corner bolts (read more about those here), different hinges, and more.

That said, there is a tie between the stock safes overall.

5. Warranty – 1 point (Winner: Fort Knox)

While many people don’t think about a gun’s safe warranty, it is an essential feature. While both manufacturers have an exceptionally similarly phrased warranty, Fort Knox is considerably better, as they also cover the locking mechanism for the safe’s lifetime.

The lock is the most complicated part of a gun safe and the most likely to fail, so Liberty’s 5-year warranty on these expensive safes doesn’t quite cover it.

6. Aesthetics – 1 point (Winner: Tie)

The aesthetics of a safe really is up to the eye of the beholder, not just because people have different styles but also because only some believe you should have your gun safe on display.

Regardless of your belief (make sure you are safe), both of these gun safe manufacturers offer a fantastic array of colors and styles to fit your needs.

Fort Knox offers a wider range of colors; however, I don’t want to discount Liberty, as they have amazing craftsmanship.

If I chose either for myself, though, it would probably be a Fort Knox with a 2S Crange Hinge and their black cherry color.

7. Additional Features – 1 point (Winner: Fort Knox)

While Liberty may offer some options to customize your safe, you can’t beat the additional features that Fort Knox provides.

You can convert much of the Fort Knox safe into drawers, add a mirror in the back, change the hinge style, use different colors, use different interior combinations, and so on.

If you want to see the full list, read my article about Fort Knox here.

8. Ease of purchase – 2 points (Winner: Liberty)

Image courtesy of Liberty Safes

This is one section where Liberty definitely beats out Fort Knox. Liberty is a massive manufacturer with a huge network of dealers, including companies like Cabela’sNorth 40Tractor Supply, and more.

If you are shopping for a Liberty, you could more than likely drive down the road and get one. Unfortunately, buying a Fort Knox is a bit more difficult, as you would have to go to a specialized store for gun safes or buy it online and have it shipped to your door.


There you have it! Fort Knox wins out with 7.5 points, and Liberty at 5.5 points! I’ll be honest. I am a huge fan of Fort Knox safes and was surprised by how close Liberty was after putting this all together.

Regardless of who you choose, Liberty or Fort Knox, you are buying a safe quality gun that you likely won’t regret owning. They both have great things about each. It reminds me a bit of comparing iPhones and Androids. 

If you want something that you can just buy, works well, and looks great, the Liberty Safe is perfect (iOS). If you prefer to customize and have full control of your experience, Fort Knox is the better option (Android). These gun safe companies appear on my overall best gun safes list here. It’s worth the read!

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