Locks in home safes play a very important role: should they fail, the safe can be easily opened, compromising the security of the items inside it. On the other hand, if the lock mechanism of the safe is very complicated, its owner may forget how to operate it, resulting in a variety of problems as well. But then, it should be considered that the more complex a lock is, the harder it would be for strangers and particulars to open it, and therefore highlighting its effectiveness as a safe.
So, here are the some varieties of locks that go beyond the key lock or mechanical key lock:
What is it: This lock is made up of combinations (hence the name) of three numbers. The user chooses digits by turning a twisting a very small wheel inside the safe that has the same numbers as the dial on the front. The three chosen digits need to be aligned with a mark on the side of the lock. Once the three correct digits are aligned to the mark, the safe’s door should open.
Pros: Combination locks do not expose the safe to risks of being opened by a duplicate or skeleton key. Home safes with a combination lock only (as some safe are installed as a combination with other lock types, to be discussed later) do not require power to operate. There is no risk of losing anything like a key that would jeopardize the safety and secrecy of the safe. Lastly, personal combinations are easy to remember – they’re only composed of 3 digits!
Cons: Even if a combination is only three-digits long, some people still vow of having a hard time memorizing it, and thus not allowing them to open the safe even in emergency situations. Also, if the combination is received by people intending to do malicious acts like stealing, there may be no stopping them.
The verdict: This lock should be good for home safes that would host important documents. It would be the owner’s prerogative if he or she wants to risk putting highly valuable items in a safe with a combination lock.
What is it: As its name implies, this lock may require some sort of power source, which can come in the form of a battery or a plug to an outlet. The power is for the electronic keypad to function, where the user could punch his own password.
Pros: Those who want to do away with dials and knobs should go with electronic keypad locks. Moreover, some models of this also allow multiple users, each having their own pass codes and therefore reducing the need for pass code sharing.
Cons: High-tech lock pickers may be successful in figuring out the punched in combinations through a device or through the fingerprints left behind by the owner.
The verdict: This should be a very safe lock, so any item that could fit in the safe, even the ones with very high value, can be stored in home safes with an electronic keypad.
What is it: A combination of an electronic keypad and a mechanical dial or a dial and key, or a key and an electronic keypad. Meaning, after punching in the right combination on a keypad, the user may still have to operate a mechanical dial or use a key to open a second key lock beside the keypad.
Pros: This should provide ultimate security since the locks can be programmed in such a way that both need to be opened. On the other hand, the locks may also be programmed in such a way that only one lock needs to be opened; for example, if a user forgets a key, punching the right combination may override the unlocked key lock, or vice versa.
Cons: It may be frustrating for some users who have their home safes to have two locks because it takes a little more time to get them opened, which is bad news in case of an emergency.
The verdict: Any item should be safe to be stored in a safe with this lock combination.
In the end, it would still be up to the user to decide whether to prioritize ease and convenience of use, familiarity with the lock mechanism, or the level of security the lock provides.