Should I get a Safe or a Lockbox?

CCTV Camera with house and village in background

There’s a ton of options that consumers have in terms of technology that can help them secure their belongings. However, there’s some crossover with these items – specifically with safes and lockboxes. How secure are they? How much protection do they provide for valuables? In this article, I’ll elucidate on some of the essential distinctions between safes and lockboxes, so you can know which one is better suited for your needs before any sort of purchase.



The security level of safes vary wildly. There’s a ton of factors that need to be taken into consideration. How much steel is inside the safe’s body and door? What was the welding technique? What burglary and fire standards were the safe tested against? Where was the product made? Is there a warranty? What’s the assembly technique of the bolt work?


If you’re able to find a secure safe, you need to store it in a safe place. First of all, it should be placed somewhere not easy to access. By hiding the safe, you’re doubling the protection of your valuables. It’s your choice whether or not you want to use a safe with a digital lock or a combination dial lock. Combination locks are somewhat slower, although once you get the hang of it, you’d be able to open it quickly. With expert manipulation, you can open one in around 15 seconds. Electronic safes allow opening within 2 to 3 seconds.


All safes operate under the principle that all items placed inside will stay inside until you decide to take them out. However, all safe’s are somewhat imperfect. If you lose your code, or an EMP or mechanical failure causes electronics to fail, a safe can still technically opened – but only with the right tools. We’re wise enough to understand that all safes have the potential to fail or be opened – however these are rare, rare circumstances.



Lockboxes are a kind of safe – with a few major differences. There are two essential kinds of lockboxes – standard lockboxes and personal protection boxes. They are both small and somewhat easy to access. Standard lockboxes are meant to be opened on a frequent basis – they can hold money during garage sales, swap meets, parties, or the like. Personal protection boxes are lockboxes that are meant to hold a gun or another weapon – their purpose is to keep a gun out of the hands of children, but not so secure that it can’t be retrieved quickly. While standard lockboxes can be opened with a key or a digital lock, personal protection boxes are meant to be opened quickly, in about a second.


All lockboxes can be bolted down to a surface to prevent it from being stolen. The metal involved in the locks can somewhat vary in quality, but usually are not as strong as the metal used in a safe. The degree of difference between a safe and a lockbox is similar to the degree of difference between a safe and a vault. Because of the lack of industrial grade metal, lockboxes are usually much cheaper than safes.


Key Safes

Key Safes are a kind of lockbox meant to simply hold keys. They’re made out of a thin metal or plastic, with a combination dial or wheeled combination lock. These kinds of boxes are almost never opened with a key – since they are meant themselves to be used as protection against forgetting or losing keys. Some real estate agents or Airbnb’s use these lockboxes to keep a key securely placed on a property for open houses. These safes get screwed into walls, and are somewhat easy to remove. They aren’t built for security, but rather convenience. However, with some additional concealment, the security level of Key Safes can be bolstered.


Which should I choose?

There are definitely situations that merit the purchase of both a safe and a lockbox, since they both serve separate functions. It all comes down to what you’re looking to secure. It’s all about what you’re concealing, the space you’re doing so in, your personal needs and wants. If you need easy transportation and simple concealment, a lockbox is the choice you should go with. If you need heavy durable construction and integrated protection from multiple types of attacks, you should go with a safe. A safe is somewhat more of an investment, but provides lots more security.


How do you want to lock it?

Kyes can be left inside the keyway of a lockbox, and can be removed whenever the box needs to be secured. However, if there’s a keyway, the box can easily be picked. Electronic locks are easy to operate, but can fail in electrical outages. Dial combinations are unrivaled in their reliability, however, they are quite slow. If you can’t make up your mind, go with a redundant locking mechanism – that includes both an analog and digital dial.

Posted in Lock Installation NYC, Locks, Locksmith, Locksmith Manhattan, Locksmith NYC, Safes installation NYC, Safes repair NYC, Safes service NYC, SOS Locksmith NYC Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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