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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 the customizable nature that they offer, as well as the quality and finish of their gun safes.
Before we really dig into the differences between the companies, I think a quick comparison between comparable safes is important. Unfortunately Liberty Safes uses only 11 gauge steel for all of their 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 true vaults, and wouldn’t make a true comparison as it has limited options.
|Fort Knox Protector 7241||Liberty Presidential 50|
|Dimensions||72” High by 41” Wide by 27” Deep||72.5″ High by 42″ Wide by 27.5” Deep|
|Weight||1495 lbs||1555 lbs|
|Steel Thickness||7 gauge||7 gauge|
|Steel Upgrades Available||Yes||No|
|Lock options||Electronic, Mechanical, Biometric, Redundant||Electronic, Mechanical|
|Fire Rating||90 Minutes||2.5 hours|
|Upgradable Security||Can add AR500 steel, stainless steel, or more carbon steel liners||N/A|
|Aesthetics||Upgradable color, hinges, graphics, interior,||Upgradable color|
As you could probably see in the table above, Fort Knox gives comparable features for about $1000 less. Now you may wonder that maybe Fort Knox just doesn’t give you as good of quality, however that just isn’t true. In my opinion Fort Knox will likely give comparable, if not better quality than Liberty does in finish, and metal work.
Locking mechanism – 2 points
Outside of the gauge of steel of a safe, the locking mechanism is going to be one of the most important parts of a gun safe. This is what is going to allow 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, meaning you can choose from an electronic, mechanical, biometric, or even a redundant lock. Meanwhile Liberty only offers an electronic and a mechanical.
I personally am not too worried about the quality of the lock with either Liberty or Fort Knox, as for the most part, USA made gun safes (like these are) use high quality locks, really all from the same brands.
However because of the addition of Fort Knox’s redundant lock (in my opinion you should make sure to get this), Fort Knox edges out Liberty in offering the best locking mechanisms.
Locking Mechanism Winner – Fort Knox
Steel thickness – 2 points
I’m sure you already know where I am going with this one if you read the table of information earlier in the article. 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 that you can’t with Liberty as well. Personally, I would probably get a Fort Knox Defender that has standard 10 gauge steel, then 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 gives you two layers of steel, making it more difficult to cut through. This is something you just can’t do with a Liberty.
Keep in mind, while both of these safes may just be RSC’s, there are varying levels of residential security containers. If you don’t quite know what I mean on this, read through this article on Underwriter’s Laboratories site.
Steel Thickness Winner – Fort Knox
Fire rating – 2 points
This is definitely somewhere that Liberty Safes shines, as their Presidential Series sits at 2.5 hours of fire rating at 1200 degrees. This is an impressive number that not many other companies are able to match right now.
I will say, I believe Fort Knox has an upgraded fire rating option, however that isn’t included in every safe and would add to the cost.
Fire Rating Winner – Liberty Safes
Security Features – 2 points
In their stock configurations, both the Protector and the Presidential I would put at an even match. They both are highly technologically advanced, both have American steel, and are just a quality safe in and out.
If you are looking at a lower price bracket than these safes though, I would say Fort Knox tends to win out, as just their standard safes have thicker steel than what 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 types of hinges, and more.
That said, for the stock safes, this is over all a tie between the two safes.
Security Features Winner – Fort Knox & Liberty Safes
Warranty – 1 point
While many people don’t really think about the warranty of a gun safe, it is an incredibly important feature. While both manufacturers have an extremely similarly phrased warranty, Fort Knox is considerably better, as they cover the locking mechanism for the lifetime of the safe as well.
The lock is the most complicated part of a gun safe, and the most likely thing to fail. So Liberty’s 5 year warranty on these expensive of safes just doesn’t quite cut it.
Warranty Winner – Fort Knox
Aesthetics – 1 point
The aesthetics of a safe really is up to the eye of the beholder, not just because people have different styles, but also because not everyone believes you should have your gun safe on display.
Regardless of your belief (just make sure you are safe), both of these gun safe manufacturers make an amazing array of colors, and styles to fit whatever your needs are.
Fort Knox offers a wider away of colors, however I don’t want to discount Liberty, as they have amazing craftsmanship.
If I were to choose either for myself though, it would probably be a Fort Knox with a 2S Crange Hinge, and their black cherry color.
Aesthetics Winner – Fort Knox & Liberty
Additional Features – 1 point
While Liberty may offer some options to customize your safe, you can’t beat the additional features that Fort Knox offers.
You can turn much of the Fort Knox safe into drawers, you can add a mirror in the back, you can change to whatever hinge style you want, different colors interior, different interior combinations and the list goes on.
If you want to see the full list, make sure to read through my article about Fort Knox here.
Additional Features Winner – Fort Knox
Ease of purchase – 2 points
This is one section where Liberty definitely beats out Fort Knox. Liberty is a massive manufacturer with a huge network of dealers. This includes companies like Cabela’s, North 40, Tractor Supply, and more.
If you are shopping for a Liberty, you more than likely could 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.
Ease of purchase winner – Liberty Safes
So who is the winner?
Let’s count up the points to decide the winner!
|Ease of purchase||2|
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 actually surprised by how close Liberty was after putting this all together.
Regardless of who you choose between Liberty or Fort Knox, I honestly think you are buying a quality gun safe that you likely won’t regret owning.
They both have great things about each. It kinda reminds me a bit of comparing iPhones and Androids.
If you want something that you just buy and it works well, and looks great, the Liberty Safe is perfect (iOS).
If you prefer to customize and have full control of your experience, the Fort Knox is going to be the better option (Android).
It should also be mentioned, both of these gun safe companies do show up on my overall best gun safes list here. Might be worth the read!