Dial or Electronic Lock?
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Thread: Dial or Electronic Lock?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sandpoint, Idaho
    Posts
    1,315

    Dial or Electronic Lock?

    Hi Guys (and Izzie),

    I'm writing a piece on lock options for gun safes.

    Could you help me out by telling me whether you prefer dial or electronic, and why?

    Thanks,

    localgirl (Cori)

  2.   
  3. Dial.

    Mechanical locks are my preference. No batteries to change out, no reliance on a power supply.

  4. #3
    Dial.

    I have never seen an electronic lock that had the strength of a dial lock. All steel tumblers, cams and rods are going to work for hundreds of years and have. On the flip side, I have seen batteries fail and then leak in an electronic lockpad, causing the entire unit to be replaced and the inside of the door and lock to be cleaned, a huge expense. Also, many electronic locks have a key bypass for the eventuality of a lack of power. This, to me, is a security weakness, because it gives another way into the safe that doesn't need to be there, a key that needs to be separately secured and just adds to the number of weaknesses allowing someone to exploit to possibly break into this safe.

    Steel doors, one dial, very few, all known ways to defeat it, and they all are expensive to execute and take a long time. Not so with electronic locks. The safe can be defeated the same as the dial lock, but it can also be hacked, more likely to be videographed, print lifted, fluoresced, or many other of the keypad defeats. An electronic lock is a gimmick that someone thought would help sell safes to the techno-geek crowd, and it worked. But it does not make them better or safer or harder to crack.
    Edmund Burke: “The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.” – 1784 speech. Taken from Founding Fathers Notes. "The unarmed man is not just defenseless -- he is also contemptible." Machiavelli

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The Honest Washington
    Posts
    28
    I was certain I wanted a mechanical dial on my safe until the Liberty factory rep' showed me a couple of things about electronics. For instance,
    - Electronic locks allow for multiple combinations. i.e. you can give a friend or family member their own combination TEMPORARILY.
    - Electronics allow you to change the combination at any time but a mechanical lock requires paying a locksmith to change the combination.

    After trying them, I prefer electronic locks by a large margin over mechanical.

  6. #5
    Our Multivault has an electronic lock with a keyed backup. We keep one key off-site and one hidden in a secure location in the house (half the time *I* can't find it and I'm the one that setup the secure location. :P).

    The electronic lock allows us access to the safe with minimal trouble as well as showing any attempts to open it while we were away (we had a baby sitter that tried to get into it one night while we were out ... needless to say she doesn't work for us anymore).

    As for the battery/power issue, the closet that the safe is in already had power in it, so adding another device to it wasn't a problem. As far as the batteries go, we swap them out at the same time we swap out the batteries in the smoke detectors and the emergency flashlights - every 6 months whether they really need it or not. With the kids' battery operated toys, what does an extra package of AA batteries cost every 6 months? If I wanted to, I could push it back to every 12 months without a problem according to the manufacturer's documentation. But then, I tend to be a little anal about replacing them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    597
    Electronic

    In Mass. we have a storage law that requires all firearms to be locked up if not being carried (the law reads under your direct control). If you need quick access in the dark dials would be an issue.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jtg452 View Post
    Dial.

    Mechanical locks are my preference. No batteries to change out, no reliance on a power supply.
    Agreed. A bit archaic perhaps, but sound thinking.

    GG
    Fanatics of any sort are dangerous! -GG-
    Which part of "... shall NOT be infringed..." confuses you?
    Well now, aren't WE a pair, Raggedy Man? (Thunderdome)

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_S View Post
    Electronic

    In Mass. we have a storage law that requires all firearms to be locked up if not being carried (the law reads under your direct control). If you need quick access in the dark dials would be an issue.
    I'm sure that is VERY helpful in home invasion scenarios. (NOT!)

    GG
    Fanatics of any sort are dangerous! -GG-
    Which part of "... shall NOT be infringed..." confuses you?
    Well now, aren't WE a pair, Raggedy Man? (Thunderdome)

  10. #9
    I went electronic due to a killer sale. I like that I can change the combo at any given time. But I would have preferred a dial lock.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Grognard Gunny View Post
    I'm sure that is VERY helpful in home invasion scenarios. (NOT!)

    GG
    Ha. Don't get me started...
    S&W M&P 45; Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum; Charter Arms .38 Undercover
    http://www.usacarry.com/forums/members/phillip-gain-albums-phil-s-photos-picture3828-reciprocity-map-29jun11.JPG

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