Top 7 Best Full-Size Gun Safes with a Backup Key in 2023

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Many people prefer an electronic or even a biometric locking mechanism for their day-to-day use of their gun safe, however, the biggest downside to this is lack of reliability (especially in the entry-level safes). Because of this, manufacturers will install a backup key port, so that you can physically unlock the safe without the need for a keypad that is powered by a battery.

In this article, I will go over my favorite gun safes on the market that have a key backup, and why I like them! You will find names like SecureIt, Snapsafe, Barska, and more. So without more to do, here are the best gun safes with a backup key.

Our FavoritesThe Safes
Best OverallSecureIt Agile Model 52
Best ModularSnapsafe Super Titan XXL
Best BudgetWasatch 24EGW
Best BiometricBarska AX12752
Best with Water ResistanceHeritage 24EBH

1. Snapsafe Super Titan XXL

If you are on the hunt for a great gun safe, with an awesome fire rating, and can be torn down to be moved in minutes, then you should have this safe on your shortlist.

If you are looking for that key backup port, you can find it easily behind the keypad itself (push up on the keypad from the bottom).

The Snapsafe Super Titan offers 9 gauge steel (achieved by 2 layers of 14 gauge), a 1-hour fire rating at 2300 degrees, and two openable doors for easy access to the safe.

These doors are extremely helpful, as this is quite a large safe at 46″ wide.

2. SecureIt Agile Model 52

If a fire rating isn’t your thing, and you want extremely quick access to your firearms, then an Agile Model 52 from SecureIt is an awesome option.

You will find this safe all over our site, as they truly are a great product. They (just like the Snapsafe above), can be taken apart, and put back together in a different room, house, or anywhere else if you wanted to. This also makes them ideal for apartments and other spaces that may require going up and down stairs.

This small, non-fire-rated safe offers 14 gauge steel, a high-quality electronic locking mechanism (of course with a backup key), and one of the most flexible interiors of any safe on the market.

By utilizing their cradle grid technology, you can place more or fewer firearms, you can add bins, hangers and so much more to make the safe exactly the way you want it.

These are also high-quality builds but are still reasonably priced for what they are, and what they can achieve.

3. Steelwater SWSD20GUN-EMP 60 Minute Fireproof 20 Long Gun Safe with EMP Lock

This company has set out to make an incredibly high quality, imported, safe for a reasonable price.

You will find plenty of videos out there of this company putting their safes through the wringer. This safe in particular offers a 14 gauge steel body, a 60-minute fire rating, and a basic interior that is somewhat adjustable.

Essentially, this gun safe is exactly what you would expect! It’s not the highest-end safe, but you can be sure it is great quality, at a reasonable price.

There isn’t anything fancy, that would drive up the price, and instead, the development cost goes into making a good quality product.

The one thing they did splurge on though, is an included lighting kit to make sure you can see inside the safe, even in the dark.

4. Barska AX12752 Biometric Gun Safe

This is the only gun safe on this list that offers a biometric locking mechanism! I generally don’t recommend biometric locks, however, Barska has been around for quite a long time and has built its name around this type of lock, so it made it onto this list.

While this safe isn’t the biggest one on the block, being only 13″ wide, it does offer an extremely quick access solution for those that prefer this method.

Thankfully, even if you can’t access the biometric lock for some reason, you do always have the key backup (as long as you know where it is).

The biometric lock can handle up to 120 different fingerprints, and should get you into the safe in just a couple of seconds when done correctly. The backup key port is easily accessible right above the fingerprint scanner.

5. Wasatch 24EGW Safe with Electronic Lock

If you are on the hunt for a gun safe with both a backup key and a water resistance rating, then this is the one you should be getting! It is quite rare in general to find a safe with a water resistance rating, so you should probably jump on this one if that is what you are looking for.

The Wasatch gun safe offers an entry-level 30-minute fire rating at 1400 degrees, and a water resistance rating of 72 hours with 2 feet of water. This makes it perfect for someone that runs into flooding issues, or if you are keeping your safe in the basement.

Wondering where the backup key goes? You just pop off the electronic keypad, and you will find it right behind there.

Outside of these standout features, this is much like the Steelwater above and is your normal gun safe that you would expect to see when it comes to the interior and the aesthetics.

6. Heritage 24 Gun Fire and Water Safe 24EBH

While this is another generic safe, I do like it! Its aesthetics look nice, and much like the Wasatch above, it offers a water rating of 72 hours in 2 feet of standing water (it also has a 75-minute fire rating at 1400 degrees).

It comes standard with a door panel for handguns, knives, and for smaller gear that will fit into the pockets. It is equipped with LED lighting, and an electrical outlet, and looks like a high-quality interior.

Heritage the brand has been around for quite a very long time. While they used to be more on the higher end of gun safes, this one is more entry-level, but still respectable with just under 12 gauge steel.

7. Fortress 14 Gun Fire Safe 14EBF

This is a great little gun safe for under $1000, and it of course comes with a backup key that you will find behind the keypad.

It offers 14 gauge steel, a 30-minute fire rating at 1200 degrees, and everything you would expect from an entry-level gun safe.

I don’t know what else to say on this safe, other than Fortress does make a great product, and this likely will not be any different. If you aren’t a fan of any of the other safes on this list, then you should opt for this one!

Why don’t all electronic lock gun safes have a key backup?

You will quickly notice that the only gun safes on this list are relatively budget-friendly, rather than high-end safes. While even high-end gun safes offer an electronic locking mechanism, they come with many higher-end locks to go along with it.

Backup keys are needed for those electronic locks that are lower-end and have a higher possibility of failing, wearing out, or breaking. Because this is a higher possibility, then a key backup becomes necessary to make sure that a locksmith will not be needed to save you if this happens.

With higher-end gun safes like Fort Knox, Liberty Gun Safes, and Browning, you won’t find key backups at all, as their locks are better, and have a lower failure rate, to the point it isn’t worrisome anymore.

Should you avoid a gun safe with a backup key?

I am a big proponent, that most all products have the right consumer to go along with it. I also don’t recommend ever going into debt to purchase something like a gun safe. So, if your budget only allows for a safe like what you will find on this list, then you are the right person for it!

What is important, is that you have your firearms locked up, and away from prying eyes, or someone that might hurt themselves. If that looks like a safe that requires a key backup, then you probably should make that happen.


When it comes to gun safes, you want to make sure that your firearms are locked up and out of reach from those that shouldn’t have access to them. However, you still need to make sure you have access to the interior, this is why a backup key is an important thing to have, just in case something happens with the electronic lock.

I hope this article helped you understand the importance of backup keys, and also showed you some of the best gun safes on the market that offer them!

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