There are so many brands or specific safes that you should be avoiding on the market today. Really, anyone can buy bulk safes overseas, ship them here, and then sell them. This results in plenty of safes that have no quality control, no warranty to speak of, and no support whatsoever.
Because of that, it is difficult for me to give you any specific brands that you should avoid, however, I can equip you with things to keep an eye out for on gun safes that you are looking for, so you can make an educated decision on every safe you purchase.
By the way, if you want to see gun safe manufacturers that I DO recommend, this article here is an awesome place to start.
1. Low-quality locking mechanism
The lock on your gun safe is by far the most important aspect of your safe. Because of this, it should also be the first thing you check when shopping for your safe. You want to make sure that the locking mechanism is of high quality and not something that can be easily broken into.
One easy way to tell if a lock is a high-quality lock is by checking if there is a name brand on the lock itself. Generally, if a lock has a brand on it, it probably is high quality. Cheaper locks won’t display their name, as reviews of that lock will quickly pop up, showing its shortcomings, and hurting the sales of the product.
That said, use this method in conjunction with other methods on this list, as there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, SecureIt Gun Storage’s products like the Model 52 and Fast Box 47 both don’t have a name brand on the lock, yet they are high quality and trustworthy.
2. You don’t recognize the brand
If you pay attention to reputable sites that offer advice on what safes you should purchase, then you likely have noticed a trend of manufacturers. Companies like Fort Knox, Browning, Liberty, Vaultek, Gunbox (now Konig), and more are constantly showing up on these lists. This is because they make high-quality products, and have built a name for themselves in the industry.
Now, if you start noticing non-sensical names popping up while you are shopping, make sure to second guess that one. This may be just a white-label, knock-off product. While it could be a decent product, you won’t have much backing if that brand goes under, or just outright disappears. Instead, you should make sure you go with a brand that has years of experience under its belt.
It should also be mentioned, along these lines, quality gun safes have websites. If the only place you can find this product is on a retailer’s website, it’s best to avoid it, it likely won’t be there long.
The steel gauge is not advertised
If a gun safe’s listing doesn’t indicate what the steel gauge is for the body and door of the safe, that should be an immediate red flag. The steel gauge is one of the most important aspects of a gun safe, as it determines how thick the steel is. This, in turn, determines how difficult it is to break into the safe.
A good rule of thumb is, that the thicker the steel, the better (lower gauge numbers means thicker steel). However, even gun safes that offer thinner steel options should at least advertise their steel thickness in either millimeter, or gauge, and then tell you why this is, and how they overcame that thinner steel.
3. Promises to be “Fireproof”
This one drives me nuts, there isn’t any such thing as a “fireproof” safe. Sure, there are fire-resistant safes, but not fireproof.
Anything, if heated at a high enough heat, for a long enough time can be raised to the temperature required to burn paper (this is the threshold for gun safe ratings). If you so happen to find a gun safe that claims to be fireproof, you should be extra weary of that safe.
You should not though, that a lot of people do search for “Fireproof Safes”, and some brands are hoping to capitalize on that search, and brand their safes search as fireproof. So go back to the section just above this one, and see if it is a reputable brand of safe.
4. Says it can’t be broken into
Much like the “fireproof” claim above, if a gun safe description says that it can’t be broken into, then you should avoid that safe, because…. it probably can be broken into.
Any reputable gun safe manufacturer is well aware that what they are selling you is time, time to get the authorities to your home to catch a thief. Or, you aren’t home to call the authorities, enough time so that the thief gives up.
In the end, even the best safes from names like Fort Knox can be broken into, if they have the right tools and enough time. However, their premium safes can buy you far more time than a cheaper gun safe.
5. Reviews of the product look fake
Have you seen those products on large retailer websites, where the reviews all seem similar, and they all praise how they bought it for someone else, and they love it? That happens with gun safes as well.
You should always take a look at reviews of products on these sites, not only to see what others think about the safe but also to see if it is painfully obvious that the seller of the safe is buying fake reviews for their products.
Reputable companies that sell high-quality safes do not practice shady tactics for getting reviews on their products. They rely on their quality and good customer service to speak for themselves. There likely won’t be thousands of reviews of the safe either, as it isn’t normal for someone to speak to much about their gun safe. A great example of a safe that is legit is this safe right here!
6. Is much more expensive than the features justify
If you are looking at a gun safe that costs well over $1,000, but offers the same features as safes that cost less than half of that, then you are probably looking at a safe that is overpriced.
Now, I’m not saying that there aren’t expensive safes that are worth the money, but if you are looking at a $2,000 gun safe, and it offers nothing more than what a $700 gun safe offers, then the price is likely just for the name on the door.
7. It just doesn’t feel right
Finally, trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right about the gun safe you are looking to purchase, just don’t buy it. Time, and time again, I have a bad feeling about a purchase, and I have never regretting not making that purchase.
There are several reasons you should avoid certain gun safes, and this list is by no means exhaustive. In the end, you should always do your research on a safe before you purchase it, and make sure you are getting a quality product that will last you for years to come.
That said, we do our best to only recommend safes that we trust, so make sure to take a look through our site, and you should find some great recommendations!