Research Outline

Digital and Mechanical Safes


To provide an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of using digital safes as compared to using mechanical safes. The ideal response would include:
  • pros and cons of digital safes and mechanical safes
  • information on the safest models or top of the line models
This will be used to inform a purchase decision for in-home use.

Early Findings

Data Availability

  • The initial hour of research reveals sufficient available information in the public domain regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using digital safes or mechanical safes.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Safes

  • Digital safes have several benefits or advantages. Digital or electronic safes are able to provide faster access and an easily changeable user-generated passcode. Also, digital safes can block unauthorized users after five failed entry attempts.
  • Aside from that, some digital safes, such as the Cannon Safe, also allow the user to enter the passcode even in the dark. There is also a lifetime warranty on the keypad and lock of the Cannon digital safe. Digital safes also have a nonvolatile lock memory that holds that passcode even without an installed battery. Lock memory is able to remember passcodes when batteries are being changed.
  • According to Liberty Safe, "It could take up to 27 years for a thief to manipulate a digital safe lock."
  • The drawback comes in the use of batteries. Batteries of digital safes have to be changed every 6 to 12 months. Also, a temporary lockout may be experienced if batteries are not replaced and are allowed to die.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Mechanical Safes

  • The use of mechanical safes also has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is mechanical safes have a longer lifespan, and there is no need for a power source or batteries.
  • However, there are also drawbacks. Mechanical safes are slower to operate and are therefore not easily accessible when there's an emergency. Also, the factory set code may be difficult to remember and the code can only a locksmith can change the code. Aside from that, " tumblers can be misaligned overtime which would require maintenance from a locksmith."
  • According to Liberty Safe, "a professional thief could crack the combination in 15 minutes or less."

Best Safe Models

  • The MSAFE PSB 220 Safe is considered by Security Nerd as the best safe model for apartments. This digital safe has a compact size, fire-proofed, and is described to have superior construction. This safe is portable as it only weighs 31 pounds, though its size may also be a disadvantage since it's too small to contain standard-sized documents.
  • SentrySafe Combination Safe is considered the best combination lock safe. This mechanical safe "will stay safe in a fire up to an hour and is waterproof in up to 8 inches of water for 24 hours." The drawback is it only has a one-year warranty period. Also, the safe has condensation issues.

Summary of Early Findings

  • We have provided details regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the use of digital safes and mechanical safes. The initial hour of research was also spent checking for the availability of the needed information.
  • We have assumed a global view for this research. If a narrower view is desired, for example, a US focus, this will have to be communicated to us in the reply.