If you’re here reading this article about the best biometric gun safes, you probably already know how important it is to keep a firearm out of unwanted hands while also having a method of rapid firearm retrieveal if needed.
Small electronic safes, like these biometric gun safes, are super handy but they aren’t a replacement for a full-size/strength gun safe. They’re better than nothing (especialy with kids), but they won’t stop a theif with a pry-bar and sledgehammer.
What biometric safes are perfect for is this: a night-stand safe to protect a handgun from kids/casual thiefs that is super fast to open with just your fingerprint.
There is one piece of hard truth that you’ll notice in our reviews: biometric (fingerprint) gun safes are fast but they can be unreliable with dirty/sweaty/bloody hands. We strongly recommend a biometric gun safe only if there is a backup method of getting in.
Best Biometric Gun Safes From Best to Worst
Reviews of the Best Biometric Gun Safes
Vaultek VT20i Biometric Smart Hand Gun Safe
This full-featured unit is exactly what we’re looking for to be the best biometric gun safe!
Final Grade: A+
When it comes to the best biometric gun safes, this unit rises above all the rest.
Vaultek has quickly become our favorite pistol safe brand and our favorite Vaultek pistol safe isn’t a biometric model at all, it’s the Vaultek LifePod Safe
However, you’re here for the best biometric safe, so this fingerprint-reading model by Vaultek is our best biometric safe.
So, why is this our favorite biometric safe? Easy… in addition to great build quality, design, and features, it also has a backup to the fingerprint reader!
As we mentioned above, fingerprint readers are fast… when they work. Unfortunately, they can sometimes be finicky (especially with sweaty or bloody hands) and therefore we strongly recommend a backup method of getting into the safe if you’re relying on this firearm for your defense.
As the name implies, this is a smart device. It comes fully equipped with WIFI and its very own app. The app allows you to monitor critical safe parameters and receive alerts in real time such as temperature, humidity, keypad and fingerprint pad tampering, and even bumps and jostles!
But aside from all the high-tech monitoring, the fingerprint reader on this bad boy can store 20 unique fingerprints! That all fingers and toes for most folks–or trusted family members.
This is the priciest safe on our list, but you get what you pay for.
Vaultek Pro Specs
|Power System||Rechargeble Lithium Ion Battery|
|Capacity||1 Full-Sized Handgun|
|Dimensions||11.5″ x 9″ x 2.75″|
|Backup Entry Method||Manual key, Smart key, Backlit, Keypad|
Vaultek VT20i Biometric Smart Handgun Safe Pros and Cons
Wifi enabled with app connectivity, multiple backup failsafes including Smart panic button, oversized fingerprint scanner, anti-theft protection, etc…
Excellent for air-travel
A bit pricey
Gunvault MicroVault XL MVB1000
If you have limited resources, but are still looking for one of the best biometric gun safes…
Final Grade: A-
A quality biometric gun safe doesn’t need to be expensive.
The GunVault MicroVault XL MVB1000 can help you not only protect your gun, but your wallet as well.
Now while the MVB1000 doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles as our #1 biometric gun safe above, it does provide reliable housing for a single handgun of your choosing an it’s made out of a high-quality , heavy-gauge steel that’ll keep your gun safe from prying hands.
Also, like our #1 recomendation, it has combination buttons as a backup method of entry (YES!).
The combination buttons are our favorite design – GunVault puts the buttons into finger-grooves so that it is easy to align your hand/fingers in the dark and press the buttons.
I personally own two GunVault safes (as does another team-member) because we love the finger groove buttons so much. However, now that Vaulteks exists, they’re our new favorite overall.
MicroVault XL MVB1000 Specs
|Power System||9V Battery|
|Capacity||1 Standard Sized Handgun|
|Dimensions||12″ x 10.5″ x 3.5″|
|Backup Entry Method||Manual Key|
MicroVault XL MVB1000 Pros and Cons
Heavy-guage steel construction, much cheaper than other alternatives.
Reported problems with fingerprint sensor capabilities, manual key only backup.
SentrySafe Biometric Gun Safe
This isn’t our favorite biometric gun safe, but it’s worth adding to the list.
Final Grade: B-
We inlcuded this safe even though we listed our favorite overall biometric gun safe above and then the best budget biometric gun safe.
This safe receives a lower grade because it is between the two above on price but it falls behind both on features.
What does it have going that’s good? It is steel construction and it has button backup!
However, the latch mechanism leaves something to be desired.
If you love the sentry-safe brand, this biometric safe may be for you, howver, for us, it is a bit of a big-box store option as a gun safe versus a biometric safe from comapnies dedicated to making firearm safes.
SentrySafe Gun Safe Specs
|Power System||4 AA Batteries|
|Capacity||2 Standard Sized Handguns|
|Dimensions||14″ x 6.5″ x 2.2″|
|Backup Entry Method||Manual Key, Digital Keypad|
SentrySafe Biometric Gun Safe Pros and Cons
Dual bedside capacity with interior light
Not the most secure against dedicated gun thieves
Barska Biometric Rifle Cabinet
This cabinet is loaded with everything you’ll need to secure your long guns–and a couple of pistols too.
Final Grade: A
When most of us think of biometric gun safes, the first thing that often comes to mind is a quick open for our handguns. But what about our long guns?
With the Barska Biometric Rifle Cabinet, your rifles and shotguns can be safely stored and abruptly accessed as well.
This is an awesome gun cabinet in general. It’s relatively lightweight for a steel rifle box and is easily bolted into wall studs or home foundations through it’s pre-drilled mounting holes.
The Barska can hold up to 5 long guns with accessories (all depending on your customization’s, of course) and an additional two pistols.
But what really makes this one of the best biometric gun safes is its ability to store and register 120 different fingerprint scans. Now, you may be wondering…Where the heck am I going to get 120 fingers?
All jokes aside, this is more important than you think. Ever come across one of those fingerprint sensors that didn’t read your finger because you didn’t put it on the sensor just right? That could really be a liability if you needed to access your guns fast. But by storing your fingerprints at many different angles and positions, you can ensure your cabinet opens every time.
Barska Rifle Cabinet Specs
|Power System||4 AA Batteries|
|Capacity||4-5 Long Guns + 2 Pistols|
|Dimensions||13″ x 13″ x 52.25″|
|Backup Entry Method||Manual keys, PIN Code|
Barska Biometric Rifle Cabinet Pros and Cons
Biometric security for your long guns! 120 different fingerprint impressions stored.
It can be a little heavy during setup. You might want to call a friend or family member to help.
Best Biometric Gun Safe BUYERS GUIDE
What is a Biometric Gun Safe?
Biometric gun safes are the next evolutionary step of gun safe technology. First there was the ole lock and key–followed by combination, then electronic keys.
Now, with the power of your fingerprint, you can now quickly access your secured firearm. These particular safes do have some distinct advantages too. First, the speed in which you can open your safe has expontentially increased. Instead of fumble-fingering around with a lock and key or spinning dials, just one tap from your finger and you’re ready to go.
Next, you can actually program multiple fingerprints. This may seem counterproductive to keeping people out, but if you have an entire security force or multiple individuals needing access…This is a good option.
But….that’s only if the biometric scanner actually works.
Biometric Gun Safe Backup Entry Methods are a Must
When it comes to electronics vs mechanical systems, there’s one thing that always holds true.
Mechanical systems are more reliable.
Not saying that these biometric gun safes don’t work, but what do you do if they don’t? A failed-shut biometric safe not only prevents others from accessing your weapons but you as well.
That’s why it’s super important that your biometric gun safe has a manual backup for opening such as a push button code, electronic PIN, or manual key.
DO NOT PURCHASE A BIOMETRIC GUN SAFE THAT DOESN’T HAVE A MANUAL BACKUP!
How does the Fingerprint Scanner work?
If anything is really going to fail on these systems, it’s the fingerprint scanner itself. So how do they work?
Fingerprint scanners have a few responsibilities. When you first scan your finger, the scanner takes a visual input of the different peaks and valleys of your fingerprint. Every single fingerprint is completely unique. Your fingerprints will be different than everybody else’s and even your own other fingers.
Once the scanner has developed this topographical map of your fingers, it converts this image into a series of numbers. This series is then stored within the electronic memory of the scanner to allow operation of the lock. If that same string of number is inputted back in the system (i.e. it scans your finger again), the lock mechanism is actuated and unlocked.
Pretty simple, right? Well, it is in theory anyway. But there a huge number of things that can happen that will affect the operation.
First, let’s start with dirty hands. Dirty hands can keep you locked out of your safe. If some of your prints peaks and valleys are smudged with dirt, a different set of numbers could be produced–barring you out of your safe. A dirty scanner could do the same. Placing a finger down on a dirty surface could cause misreads and you stuck on the outside. Keep your fingerprint scanner clean with some appropriate cleaning solutions and cotton swabs to minimize fingerprint fails.
Another reason your safe could fail is if you have in anyway changed your fingerprints. If you’ve burned, cut, or otherwise mangled your fingers and their prints… you may not have access into your vault. Even taking too long in the shower or pool could affect the operation of the scanner. Pruny fingers can provide different ridges, thus different numbers strings and denied access.
What Should a Buyer Think About When purchasing
When purchasing a biometric gun safe, there are a number of criteria you need to consider in order to make the right decision.
- The Intended Purpose
Before you pickup the first biometric gun safe you see, figure out exactly what you need one for and why. If you’re looking for a bedside pistol safe, make sure you determine what’s important for that. You’ll probably want an interior light, silent operation, and a size that fits your home protection weapon.
- Size and Weight
Do you plan on putting a gun safe in a single location? And never move it? For instance, take the Barska long gun cabinet above. It’s really freaking heavy. That’s why you’ll probably move it somewhere and have it mounted. But what if you want something that you’re going to move place to place? Maybe underneath your bed or a top shelf in a closet. Keep this in mind and don’t get something too big for what you’re going to use it for.
The best biometric gun safes can get expensive. But here’s the thing… You don’t need to pay for things you can’t and won’t use. For example, our top pick (Vaultek Pro MXi) is amazing. I love the Wifi and app concept that I can access from my cell phone. But if your cellphone is still T9 Texting… you’ll have zero use for a smart safe. So instead, opt for a cheaper option better suited to your needs.
How many guns do you plan on storing in a single safe? If you only have a single pistol, I recommend choosing a smaller single capacity gun safe. This way you can move the safe around as you need to while providing secure housing for your firearm.
- Power Considerations
Biometric gun safes require electricity to operate properly. After all, what’s an electronic scanner with power? The answer is useless. Many of the gun safes you will find out there will run on some form of battery. This is actually a gripe of mine–particularly for gun safes that will be mounted in a stationary position. There are a few though that have AC Adapter accessories and capabilities.