Honest Gun Safe Reviews

Gun Safe Reviews You Can TrustThis site is dedicated to sharing the truth about gun safes.  That means the good, the bad, and the ugly that you won’t find most anywhere else.

If you’re in a hurry, in 4 minutes you can cover the most important things you need to know.  Click here to read the 4 Minute Gun Safe FAQ.

Choosing a gun safe is not easy.  It’s actually harder than picking the guns inside it, or the house it sits in.  What’s the minimum fire rating you should look for?  How many locking bolts does a gun safe really need?

Believe it or not, neither of those spec’s is usually very important.  For the fire rating to matter, it would have to be tested to an accepted standard.  For the number of locking bolts to make any difference, they must be supported by a strong enough door and door frame.  For most gun safes, neither is true.

Gun safe companies have created a range of features to make their models seem better than their competitors’.  These features are marketed to buyers, giving us the impression we’re buying more protection than we really are.  Many of the features on today’s gun safes are basically jewelry designed to get our wallet out.

As a result, most gun safes are overpriced for the protection they actually give you.

What do I mean?  For the quick TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) answer, see the 4 minute summary in the Buyer’s Guide.

If you are interested in in-depth information, the six article series below is entitled What You Need to Know Before Buying a Gun Safe:

These articles put together are the length of a short novel.  I tried to make it easy to read as little or as much as you want.  Everything is here that I wanted to know before I spent thousands of my hard earned dollars.

In addition to traditional rectangular gun safes, there are many other options.  These including modular gun safes that you can disassemble in case you move a lot, and for discrete installation.  There are hidden gun safes disguised as couches and furniture so you don’t have to give up a closet.  You can buy quick-access bedside gun safes, vehicle gun safes, wooden gun cabinets, and even buried gun safes. The Buyer’s Guide has a summary of all of the different commercially available gun safe options.

Separate recommendation pages are devoted to the Best Gun Safes, as well as for Small Gun Safes and why I don’t recommend Biometric Gun Safes.

Making Sense of Gun Safe Reviews

When I started looking for a gun safe I just wanted to protect my guns, get a good deal, and support American businesses.  That was a lot harder than I expected.

I researched this subject until my head was spinning.  Thanks to the internet, there’s enough information to drown in.  Unfortunately much of it is misleading or plain wrong.

Gun Safe Reviews, Beautiful Paint but pried open with Screwdrivers

This Gun Safe had beautiful paint, but it was pried open with these Screwdrivers.

For starters, most gun safe reviews aren’t useful.  Every person seems to have their own rating criteria.  Some guys describe safes as “solid” or “sturdy”, which I thought were flimsy.  Some talked about how cheap it was, how good the paint was, or how great the shelving was.  I wanted to know if it would actually stand up to a burglar or a house fire before I worried about the paint.  Otherwise, I might as well buy a nicely-finished wood cabinet.

Everyone who wrote a review right after buying a safe seemed happy with it, until the day it got stolen or broken into.  Then their friends or the police shared photos of what was left.  Once I found gun safes that had actually tested by real burglaries and fires, things got interesting.

I learned some surprising things, like:

  • Gun safes are not safes.  Most are closer to a gym locker than a safe.
  • Gun safe fire ratings means very little.  They’re not exactly made up out of thin air, but close to it.
  • The protection per dollar offered by most gun safes is low.  Readers on a limited budget will be better off with the many gun safe alternatives, or buying a cheap gun safe and taking steps to make it more secure.  You can find ideas for both in 100 Money-Saving Ways to Protect Your Guns.
  • How and where the safe is installed, can be more important than which one you choose.  A cheap gun safe, bolted down, in a good location, is often more secure than an expensive one, un-anchored, in a risky location.  Make sure you know Where to Put a Gun Safe.

To make sure I didn’t buy a gun safe I regretted, I spent hundreds of hours researching gun safes.  I talked to friends, family, and FFL dealers about their gun safes, researched burglaries and fires, reviewed gun safe failures, visited gun safe showrooms, talked to safe professionals, had discussions with friends who design biometric security products, poured over thousands of internet forum posts and reviews, and researched manufacturers and models.

The internet gun forums and a few safe technicians that post there were a great source of information, but much of it is repetitive, unfocused, and poorly organized.  It seemed like every few months another person would join and ask “I have $X to spend on a gun safe, what’s the best one?”   Or, “I’m considering Brand Y or Brand Z gun safe, which is better?”, when both models had already been covered in hundreds of posts.

Goals of Gun Safe Reviews Guy

Which brings us to the goals for this website:

  • Save gun owners time by providing a centralized and easy to read resource for learning about gun safes.
  • Separate the facts from the B.S. and marketing hype to so that you know exactly what you’re getting.
  • Save fellow gun owners from wasting our hard-earned money.

What’s in this for me?  That’s a great question to ask before taking anyone’s advice.

My gun safe research started for my personal purchases.  Then I decided to put this site together to work on my writing and web design skills and see what blogging was all about.  It’s taught me a lot about the realities of hosting a site on the web — from industry trolls, to other websites using “negative-SEO” (linking to this site from bad websites, duplicating my content, and sending SPAM emails in my name).

Negative SEO links to GunSafeReviewsGuy.com

“Negative-SEO” links from a bad actor.  The skull icons are a nice touch, he must feel like an evil genius in his mother’s basement.

To help pay for the increasing costs of proper web hosting I’ve included advertisements.  Where I’ve linked to a product sold online, if possible I included a commission link.  If you buy something through the links, at no cost to you I get a couple bucks for ammo.  Likewise I added a donate button for anyone to contribute a couple dollars if you wish.

I make all recommendations honestly, which means usually there is no way for me to make a commission.  For example, many of the best gun safes for the money are only sold factory-direct, so I don’t get a penny.  Most of the recommendations are actually products to avoid buying.  In general my advice is not to buy online anyway.  Instead, buy American made gun safes or used commercial safes from your local safesmith.

To me, in the long run supporting American workers and local businesses is more important than earning a few quick bucks.  We gun owners already have enough to deal with in the current political climate.

What’s with all of these Gun Safe Reviews websites?

At this point there are dozens of gun safe reviews websites.  Where did they all come from?

Internet search engines have created a new industry called Internet Niche Marketing.  If someone searches for information like “gun safe reviews” on Google / Bing / etc., the search engine will try to find that information.  Internet Marketers look through lists of what people are searching for to find “niche” search phrases.  If they find one that meets their needs, they’ll make a website to provide that information and make money off of it.

You’ve probably come across these Niche Marketing sites before.  Some of them provide good information.  Unfortunately most of them don’t really tell you anything.  Or worse, some make recommendations based only on whatever pays the highest commission.  These days, you’re probably aware that the same applies to many YouTube channels.

How is Gun Safe Reviews Guy any different?

Internet Niche Marketers often have hundreds of niche websites.  They can cover completely unrelated areas from electric toothbrush reviews to bed bug treatments.  The marketers often don’t know much about their topics, so pay others to write for them.  Some pay for traffic (ads) to bring people to their site, just to sell that traffic to someone else.  Their goals are to make as many commissions as possible, by maximizing traffic and recommending every product they can.

Gun Safe Reviews Guy is an Online Information/Critic site.  I belong to the gun community and care about it.  My first priority is to provide honest information, like many other gun websites and forums have done for me.  I recommend the same things here that I have bought myself, and suggest to my friends and family.  If they didn’t like what I recommended for them, I would have to hear about it.

Proper safe construction is a unique field that requires some research for most people (including me). Most companies don’t try to educate their customers because it is usually less profitable than playing to customer misconceptions.  Fortunately I have more freedom than they do, because I’m not selling a product, just offering information.

If you find useful information here, you can help spread the word by clicking the Sharing links at the top or bottom, posting on your gun forum, or telling a friend.  I welcome any suggestions for improvements; leave a comment on the page.

It’s been gratifying to publish this site now for over five years.  It slowly rose to, and has remained at, the top of many gun safe-related internet searches, despite underhanded competitors.  It’s been great to get feedback from readers and see links in gun forums.  I’ve even received pictures of custom built-in gun safes, fabricated after reading my articles.

The best part though, is that gun safe consumers have gotten more educated.  Products are actually improving.  I’ve had to update articles, several times now, because bad gun safes I criticized were discontinued or upgraded. When I started this site, there was one handgun safe I could heartily recommend.  Now there are multiple models from several manufacturers.  Good gun safes also have gotten better.  Both my best gun safe for the money models have added worthwhile steel upgrade options.  I’m happy to have played whatever part I have in gun owners getting more for our hard-earned money.

Ready to get started?  Head over to the first article 16 Reasons to Own a Gun Safe (and 12 Reasons Not To).  Or if you’re in a hurry, skip to the Buyer’s Guide.