Top 5 Best Small Biometric Handgun Safes – [2020 Reviews]

Biometric fingerprint sensors have come a long way over the past several years. What was once a luxury feature that cost big bucks is now affordable for the most part. The key to choosing the best biometric handgun safe is to look for companies with the highest grade tech for the most affordable prices. One problem gun owners often run into is aiming too low because cheap biometric safes aren’t the most reliable.

In this guide, I share the top 5 biometric pistol safes currently available. You won’t find any unreliable models here. The whole point of owning a biometric safe is to have quick access, right? The last problem you want to run into is a faulty sensor in the event of an emergency. Plus, it’s not a bad idea to consider safes with multiple access methods, including keypad access as a backup option.

Let’s first take a look at an overview of my five favorite models before going over the reviews of each safe. In just a few minutes, you’ll know exactly what’s available and which model(s) suits your needs the best.

Safe Description
#1) Verifi Smart.Safe. Fast-Access Biometric Gun Safe

  • Material: 14-Gauge Steel Walls, 8-Gauge Steel Door
  • Lock Type: TouchChip TCS1 Capacitive Sensor, Cross-Cut Manual Key
  • External Dimensions: 7.9″ x 13.2″ x 13.8″ (HxWxD)
  • Internal Dimensions: 7.3″ x 13″ x 9.5″ (HxWxD)
  • Capacity: .52 cu ft
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Model: S5000
  • Price: $$$$
#2) Vaultek VT20i Biometric Bluetooth Pistol Safe

  • Material: 16-Gauge Steel
  • Lock Type: Biometric, Keypad, Back Up Key
  • External Dimensions: 2.625″ x 11.5″ x 9″ (HxWxD)
  • Internal Dimensions: 2″ x 11″ x 5.75″ (HxWxD)
  • Capacity: 1 Full Size Firearm w/ Mag(s), e.g. Glock 17 w/ Mag
  • Weight: 7.2 lbs
  • Model: VT20i
  • Price: $$$
#3) awesafe Biometric Handgun Safe

  • Material: 18-Gauge Solid Steel
  • Lock Type: Biometric, Keypad, Override Key
  • External Dimensions: 3.3″ x 12″ x 10″ (HxWxD)
  • Internal Dimensions: 2.4″ x 9.6″ x 6.3″ (HxWxD)
  • Capacity: Up to 2 Full-Size Handguns
  • Weight: 10 lbs
  • Model: awesafe
  • Price: $$
#4) RPNB Multifunction Biometric Pistol Safe

  • Material: Seamlessly Welded 18-Gauge Solid Steel
  • Lock Type: Biometric, Keypad, Manual Key
  • External Dimensions: 3.34″ x 14.37″ x 10.82″ (HxWxD)
  • Internal Dimensions: 2.95″ x 12″ x 7.87″ (HxWxD)
  • Capacity: 3 Subcompact or 2 Full Size
  • Weight: 13 lbs (Shipping Weight)
  • Model: RP19001F
  • Price: $
#5) SentrySafe Quick Access Biometric Pistol Safe

  • Material: 12-Gauge Steel
  • Lock Type: Biometric, Keypad, Override Key
  • External Dimensions: 3.2″ x 12.1″ x 9.9″ (HxWxD)
  • Internal Dimensions: 2.2″ x 9.7″ x 6.7″ (HxWxD)
  • Capacity: .08 cu ft
  • Weight: 11.9 lbs
  • Model: QAP1BE
  • Price: $$

Best Biometric Pistol Safe Reviews

Outside of the Verifi model, these safes are some of the best nightstand gun safes on the market. Several of them feature pre-drilled holes to make mounting them inside a drawer or beneath your bed easier. Another point I want to mention before we get started with the reviews is that these safes allow you to store multiple fingerprints.

For this reason, these models are good for couples or families who have multiple people planning to access the safe. Also, it gives you the option to store multiple fingers and/or scan the same finger multiple times for more reliable access.

Tip: Scan the finger you plan to use the most multiple times for the most reliable access to your handgun(s).

#1) Verifi Smart.Safe. S5000

Of the five models, Verifi’s S5000 offers the most reliable and advanced fingerprint scanner. In fact, Verifi is so confident in its capacitive fingerprint sensor that it skips over keypad entry. While this may seem like a drawback since you’re getting fewer access methods, it’s actually a good thing.

Compared to the sensors on the other four safes, Verifi’s FBI-grade tech takes deeper readings of your fingerprints below the skin. This allows the sensor to quickly read your fingerprint, even if it’s dirty or faint. According to Verifi, its sensors are FBI certified to meet the Next Generation Identification (NGI) standard for fingerprint images.

Outside of the sensor, you get a feature-rich safe that keeps you up to date with security and safety alerts. You’ll be able to view access logs, failed login attempts, and get open door alerts. These are some of the features that I really like, especially for homes with children. Finally, this safe offers the most interior space of the five models, though, it does not include good foam padding, so you’ll most likely want to consider adding a modular pistol rack.

Pros

  • The most advanced and reliable fingerprint sensor
  • Each set of AA batteries provides years of operations (1st set included)
  • Beefy recessed 8-gauge steel door
  • Pre-drilled bottom mounting holes
  • Store up to 40 fingerprints with multiple users
  • Keep track of failed login attempts to ensure no one tampered with it
  • LED interior light for clear nighttime access

Cons

  • The keyhole is prone to pick attacks
  • Does not include a modular pistol rack
  • No spring-loaded door

#2) Vaultek VT20i

Vauletek’s VT20i is a pistol safe I often recommend since it’s one of the best all-around handgun safes on the market, if not the best. With this safe, your options are limitless. It’s one of the best portable gun safes, yet it also makes a great quick-access safe that installs easily in a top drawer or under the bed.

As far as quick-access features for emergency situations, this safe does it all. You get a spring-loaded door, backlit keypad & fingerprint sensor, adjustable interior LED light, pre-drilled holes with mounting hardware, and silent mode for stealth access. Plus, if you’re a fan of tech gadgets, this safe is the only model in this guide that features an app with Bluetooth to customize your settings using your phone.

Several security features I like are the interior mounted hinges, beefy dual anti-impact latches, anti-pry bars, and a covered keyhole rather than a barrel keyhole that screams, “Look at me!” Overall, this is an awesome safe and the most versatile model in this guide.

Pros

  • Store up to 20 unique fingerprints
  • The best model in this guide for clear nighttime access
  • Easily transition the safe between indoors and outdoors (includes a security cable w/ a quick-release cable mount)
  • Use the free Vaultek app to control the settings from your phone with remote access
  • Adjustable interior light (use the app to adjust brightness)
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries last for months before needing a recharge
  • Concealed key slot

Cons

  • The fingerprint sensor is not as good as Verifi
  • You might not use the app
  • You might want a safe with more interior space

#3) awesafe Biometric Handgun Safe

This model by awesafe is essentially a budget version of SentrySafe’s QAP1BE safe, and I actually like it more. For one, awesafe’s model features an interior light and the QAP1BE does not. Second, it gives you mostly identical features for a reduced cost. Next, the fingerprint sensor works quite well, especially for a safe in this price range.

Compared to Vaultek’s VT20i, you may find that the sensor on this safe works on the first try more often and opens more quickly after reading your print. Because of this, you might prefer this model over Vaultek’s if your main goal is to purchase a quick-access safe to protect your home and family.

Several additional highlights of this safe are the gas strut assisted door for one-handed access, the roomy interior for up to two handguns or a full-size pistol with extra mags, silent access, an interior foam lining to protect your firearms, and a 1-year factory warranty.

Pros

  • Store up to 30 fingerprints
  • The most reliable budget biometric pistol safe
  • Silent operation for stealth nighttime access
  • Interior LED light and backlit keypad
  • The low-profile design makes it easy to mount below your bed or in a top drawer
  • 1-year factory warranty
  • Easy to program

Cons

  • A single latch
  • Not the most heavy-duty steel
  • The keyhole on the face of the safe

#4) RPNB RP19001F Multifunction Biometric Pistol Safe

RPNB is another good budget brand that’s more well-established than awesafe. Of the five models in this guide, this one delivers the most value for the money, and it’s the cheapest at the time of this writing. Also, it’s the most spacious of the five, so if you want to store multiple handguns or a full-size pistol with mags and/or accessories, this is a brilliant option.

The biometric fingerprint sensor is 500 DPI and stores up to 20 fingerprints. According to RPNB, the safe opens in under 1 second after reading your print. In addition to fingerprint access, you also have the option to program your own passcode for keypad entry or use the override key. One thing I like is the position of the keyhole is on the front edge of the safe rather than on the face like the awesafe and SentrySafe models.

A couple of final features I like are the 90º opening automatic door, crate foam padding, and just the overall ruggedness of the safe. For the money, this is a tough one to beat, and it should be high on your list if you want a biometric pistol safe that holds multiple handguns.

Pros

  • Concealed keyhole
  • The lid opens a full 90º for clear access to your firearms
  • Comfortably holds multiple pistols
  • The cheapest biometric gun safe of the five
  • Optional silent mode for stealth access
  • Easy to set up with clear instructions
  • A good choice for mounting inside a nightstand

Cons

  • No interior light
  • Single latch design doesn’t match Vaultek or Verifi
  • 18-gauge steel

#5) SentrySafe QAP1BE Quick Access Biometric Pistol Safe

The final model is the most popular of the bunch, and there are currently two sizes of this safe available. The QAP1BE is for one handgun, and the QAP2BEL is built to hold two handguns. Depending on your preferences and how small of a safe you want, the QAP2BEL also features an interior light. I Included a picture of the QAP2BEL here to give you an idea of its size compared to the QAP1BE safe.

One key advantage of choosing this safe over the budget brands is the heavier 12-gauge steel compared to the 18-gauge offered by RPNB and awesafe. However, outside of the heavier steel, there’s not a whole lot going on here that’s different from the awesafe model. For California residents, this model is the best choice of the three because it’s a California DOJ certified gun safe.

As far as the reliability of the fingerprint sensor, it’s about on par with all the safes in this guide that aren’t Verifi. To get the most reliable access, it’s important to follow the setup instructions to a T and take multiple readings of the same finger. A little patience goes a long way during the setup process to ensure you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Pros

  • Heavy 12-gauge steel body
  • Includes a bolt down kit for easy mounting
  • A California DOJ approved biometric gun safe
  • Reliable access on the first scan when it’s set up correctly
  • Well-built, sturdy construction
  • High-quality compression strut
  • Easily fits a full-size pistol with extra mags

Cons

  • Stores the fewest number of fingerprints (4)
  • The keypad needs to be woken up before it reads your print
  • Not the stealthiest option of the five

Bottom Line

Verifi manufactures and sells the best biometric handgun safe, though, it does come with its drawbacks. Compared to the other four models, Verifi smart safes aren’t quite as low-profile. Also, it’s necessary to install a modular handgun rack or replace the included lining because it’s not the best quality.

Once you go down the ladder away from Verifi’s capacitive sensor, it’s very important to take your time while programming your prints to get the most reliable access. Most people who run into issues with the sensors didn’t take the time to program their prints properly.

Lastly, always be sure to check the interior dimensions of the safe to ensure you have enough space for your pistol(s), magazines, and/or accessories. Of the five safes, Vaultek’s VT20i is the smallest, and Verifi’s S5000 is the largest. Once you enter the budget realm, RPNB’s RP19001F gives you the most space to store two handguns.

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