Whether you need to replace an old safe lock or upgrade to a new one, you’ll find the best safe lock here. As technology progresses, locks may become outdated. Or, perhaps you prefer to use an electronic lock that saves you some time and hassle. Most homeowners own at least one safe to store valuables, firearms, important documents, and jewelry.
After all, the integrity of your safe depends on its lock. With that being said, it’s always best to stick with reputable brands when choosing a new or replacement safe lock. Why? Primarily because you want to stick with a company that you know isn’t going anywhere. Just imagine choosing a budget model by a brand that disappears when you need support. Plus, locksmiths know their way around commonly used lock brands.
In this article, you’ll discover the best electronic safe lock along with a mechanical option that fits most safes. For safe owners who are somewhat handy, installing the new lock yourself should require minimal to zero modifications. For everyone else, it’s best to stick with professional installation to ensure years of trouble-free use.
Top 5 Safe Locks
Best Safe Lock Reviews
When choosing a new safe lock, the first step is to always check compatibility. The locks listed above fit most major safe brands, and there are options for just about any type of safe. In most cases, industry-standard sizing should require no modifications to replace the lock. You may even find that removing your current lock is more of a challenge than installing the replacement.
If you landed here today on the hunt for an EMP-proof lock, please refer to our article outlining how to choose the best long gun safe, or stick with one of the S&G locks in this guide. While mechanical locks aren’t as convenient, they do provide ultimate security in all circumstances.
The following reviews of each lock will help you to get a better understanding of each model. Once you have the chance to get a clearer idea of what to expect, your final decision will be an easy one.
#1) Sargent & Greenleaf S&G Model 6730 Mechanical Safe Lock
For fans of mechanical safe locks, it doesn’t get much better than Sargeant & Greenleaf’s Model 6730 mechanical lock. First, the three all-metal combination wheels are built to take a beating and keep on trucking. One drawback that you’ll commonly find on electronic safe locks is plastic parts, but you won’t find that here. In total, this mechanical lock offers up to 1,000,000 unique combinations. In other words, no one is going to guess your combination unless they have a lot of time on their hands.
Next, for gun safe owners, a mechanical lock comes with inherent EMP resistance. As a result, you’ll save some bucks to get that assurance compared to buying an EMP-resistant electronic lock. Regarding operation, Model 6730 offers butter-smooth, one-handed movement and the familiar left-right-left dialing sequence.
A couple of final highlights are the solid brass lock bolt that’s able to withstand 225 lbs. of force and the built-in relock trigger. In the event of dial and spindle punching attacks, the relock trigger will kick in to protect your valuables. All in all, S&G’s 6730 mechanical lock is a rugged safe lock that’s sure to please even the pickiest safe owners.
- Rugged all-metal construction
- Up to 1,000,000 possible combinations
- Built-in relock trigger
- Features S&G’s Magic Module for easy installation
- Made in the USA
- Easy combination changing
- Written instructions could be better (refer to the video above)
- Installation may require a cut to the spindle dial
#2) Amsec ESL20XL Electronic Safe Lock
Now if you’re on the hunt for a feature-rich electronic safe lock that’s both rugged and advanced, this is the one. Currently, Amsec offers a line of electronic safe locks, including the ESL5, ESL10XL, and ESL20XL. Of the three, the ESL20XL is the most advanced, while the ESL5 is the most basic. Additionally, the price of each lock reflects the quality of each.
Comparatively, there are some worthy upgrades offered by the ESL20XL compared to the ESL10XL for both commercial and residential use. Namely, Time Delay Mode, Multiple User Mode, Dual Control Mode, and Armored Car Override. For residential purposes, the ability to add multiple users is advantageous for married couples and larger families.
Plus, the option to initiate Time Delay Mode is a worthy feature to have on board in the event of a break-in or home intrusion. Finally, Dual Control Mode allows you to beef up the security even further by requiring two combinations to open the lock. Overall, Amsec’s ESL20XL is a lock that will stand the test of time and offer more than enough security features for the average or advanced user.
- No cheap exterior parts
- Dual Control Mode allows you to program two combinations for access
- Multiple finishes available from brass to chrome
- U.L. Type 1 listed
- Convenient factory reset combination option for lost combinations
- Enter random digits before final number to confuse observers
- Higher upfront cost than other options
- Not EMP-resistant
#3) Sargent & Greenleaf S&G Model 2007 Titan DirectDrive Electronic Safe Lock
Now for one of the most exciting safe locks in our guide, the Titan lock by S&G. Firstly, this is the best EMP-resistant electronic safe lock on the market for gun owners. Compared to inferior S&G models, the Titan lives up to its name with its rugged construction. The motor-driven locking mechanism is one of the finest and most reliable you’ll find.
Next, the Titan lock offers three modes for added versatility. Choose between a single user, dual user, and manager/employer mode for both residential and commercial applications. Regarding battery life, the lock offers up to 10,000 openings on a single 9V battery. Security features include a stainless steel locking bolt (built to withstand 225 lbs. of bolt end pressure), time delay up to 99 minutes, and penalty lockout.
Penalty lockout kicks in after 5 failed login attempts. Lastly, the Titan comes backed by one of S&G’s better warranties at two years, and it meets all of the major certification criteria, including UL, RoHS, and CEN B. Ultimately, for safe owners who want a modern EMP-resistant electronic safe lock, this is the one.
- EMP-Resistant security
- Time Delay mode
- Multiple user modes for a variety of applications
- The modern motor-driven locking mechanism
- Two-year limited warranty
- DirectDrive for manual control of the locking bolt
- Be extra careful to ensure it’s compatible
#4) SecuRAM ProLogic L02 Safe Lock
Another popular safe lock brand that’s worth a look is SecuRAM. Compared to Amsec and the top S&G safe locks, the ProLogic lock won’t set you back as much. Having said that, it’s not quite as substantial or feature-rich as the two preceding locks. First, one clear advantage of choosing this lock is for small business owners who want more than a handful of users to have access.
In total, there’s the ability to program up to 28 user codes and 2 manager codes. For most small business owners, these numbers are more than sufficient to cover their needs. Next, one of the biggest selling points is the attractive OLED display. With the OLED display, you’ll find that it’s easy to program the lock and clearly see the code you enter.
Several final highlights are the good battery life at 5,000 openings per 9V battery, Time Delay mode, Time Delay Override, and the optional recovery code to reset the lock to its factory settings. Plus, you know you’re getting a high-quality lock because of its stainless steel construction. At its current price, this lock delivers good bang for the buck.
- Program up to 28 users and 2 managers
- Stainless steel construction
- Customizable time delay from 1 to 99 minutes
- Attractive OLED display
- Great value for the money
- Pairs with any SecuRAM motorized safe lock body
- Not EMP-resistant
- Better suited for commercial use than residential
- Battery life is shorter than other options
#5) Kaba LA GARD Basic Electronic Combination Safe Lock
Capping off our selections is the most affordable electronic safe lock included here at the time of this writing. However, don’t let the lower price fool you because Kaba is one of the more trustworthy safe lock brands. In fact, you might have landed here today looking to update or replace an old Kaba lock. First, the LA GARD lock offers no-nonsense construction with its all-metal design and soft or foil keypad options.
Second, while not as versatile as the preceding locks, the LA GARD Basic does allow you to configure the lock for up to 2 users. Consequently, this lock is sufficient for couples. Third, the backlit keypad is a nice touch for nighttime access, especially if you plan to install this lock on a home security safe that you may want to access in the middle of the night.
As for installation, installing the Kaba LA GARD Basic is certainly not a chore. Even safe owners who have minimal experience with locks will have no trouble installing this one. One final security feature that’s worth noting is the wrong-try penalty. With this option, the lock enforces a lockout penalty after 4 failed login attempts.
- A good replacement or upgrade for Winchester gun safes
- Program up to two users
- All-metal construction, no cheap parts
- Wong-try penalty after 4 failed attempts
- Backlit keypad for clear nighttime access
- More affordable than other options
- Easy installation
- Fewer users than other locks
- Not EMP-resistant
- Not quite as reliable as S&G or Amsec
Below, we go over some commonly asked questions regarding safe locks in general.
What are safe locks used for?
Safe locks are primarily used in residential and commercial applications by homeowners, renters, and small business owners. While all safes come with a safe lock, you might want to upgrade your current lock or purchase one that’s more suitable for your needs.
For example, a small business owner may require a safe lock that allows the owner to program more than a couple of users. Additionally, gun owners may desire an EMP-resistant electronic lock or a mechanical lock for ultimate security. The main takeaway is that safe locks have many uses to suit everyone’s unique needs.
Do electronic safe locks fail?
Unfortunately, it is possible for an electronic safe lock to fail since it does rely on external electronic components. In the event that your electronic safe lock does fail, you’ll more than likely need to hire a professional to access your safe.
Other than that, it’s wise to first check the troubleshooting guide to see if you can fix the problem without professional assistance. Since any lock can fail, it’s also wise to stick with the reputable safe lock brands mentioned in this article.
Is a digital or key safe better?
Overall, a digital lock is more secure since a key lock leaves you exposed to picking attacks. Skilled thieves can pick most locks. For this reason, it’s also wise to avoid locks with backup key access since it leaves the safe vulnerable to picking. Additionally, a digital lock gives your more flexibility since you remember a code rather than relying on a key. If someone happens to find your key, then your safe is instantly compromised.
How long do electronic safe locks last?
A good electronic safe lock should last indefinitely as long as the batteries are kept fresh. Most safes offer between 5,000 to 10,000 openings per charge on a 9V battery. Also, most of the top brands offer warranties.
Since you made it this far, you now know everything you need to about choosing the best safe lock. For uncompromising quality and reliability, stick with Sargent & Greenleaf or Amsec locks first. These two brands have the most experience designing locks and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The biggest hurdle is to ensure compatibility with your current safe. If you already own an Amsec lock or safe, then replacing it with a new one is an easy decision. When pairing different safe brands and locks, it’s more important to check with the manufacturer or vendor to guarantee compatibility and/or pick up installation tips.