At a Glance: Best Budget Gun Safe
Comparison of Best Budget Gun Safe
Our Top Pick
|Awesafe gun safe with fingerprint identification and biometric lock||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|CACAGOO quick access biometric gun safe with auto open lid||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|American Furniture Classics 906 five gun metal safe with separate pistol compartment||View Latest Price|
Our guns are investments that require the best protection possible. If there is any chance that your weapon could end up in the hands of an unauthorized family member, child, or burglar, then a top-quality gun safe is a vital investment.
There are many gun safes on the market but unfortunately, many come with a high price tag. However, if you’re on a budget, rest assured that there are many great affordable models available offering top-notch security. In this guide, I’ll break down everything you need to know about these crucial security products as well as how to find the best budget gun safe for your money.
You will learn about the different types of locking mechanisms, fireproofing aspects, and security features to look for a safe. Considering the factors in this guide will ensure you find the best budget gun safe that offers the utmost security.
Our pick of the top 8 budget gun safes on the market today
To assist you further with narrowing down your choice, we’ve picked out the 8 best budget gun safes for both handguns and long guns. We’ve tested each safe to provide an accurate and trustworthy review of how well each one can protect your treasured possession. Moreover, you’ll find a list of the pros and cons of each safe for easy comparison.
Awesafe gun safe with fingerprint identification and biometric lock
This biometric gun safe by Awesafe provides extremely quick access and super secure storage for two standard handguns or one larger pistol and extra ammunition. It uses a trusted biometric fingerprint technology that can store up to 30 fingerprints, giving the option for shared access.
Along with the fingerprint access, you can open the safe via the digital keypad. This zero-feedback keypad gives a silent entry. The safe also comes with an override key for convenient backup access if the electronic mechanism was to malfunction.
Another impressive feature of this safe is the compressed gas pillars which automatically open the lid when the combination is entered, allowing one-handed, low-pitched entry. Combined with this is LED interior lighting for night visibility if needed. These attributes mean you can access your guns quickly, quietly, and reliably whenever you need them.
The safe boasts a solid steel build and a pry-resistant door to provide the utmost strength and security from intruders. Furthermore, the reliable high-strength locking mechanism and precise fittings make it almost impossible for burglars to pry the safe open with hand tools.
Something else I like about this safe is the portable design. It’s compact and lightweight which makes it equally a good option for keeping in a drawer or taking with you in the car. Overall, this safe is fantastic quality and a great choice for protecting your guns from unauthorized users. That being said, if you’re looking for the best fireproof safe, other models will offer greater fire and water protection.
- Secure, high-tech biometric access
- Alternative entry options including an override key
- Automatic lid opening for silent, one-handed access
- Solid steel pry-resistant door
- Compact and lightweight – a portable safe
- One of the best options for protecting your guns from burglars
CACAGOO quick access biometric gun safe with auto open lid
The CACAGOO biometric gun safe gives lightning-fast 0.1-second access with just the simple touch of your finger. It can hold up to 40 fingerprints and has a touch lifetime of over 1,000,000 times. The gun safe can store 2 pistols, 4 clips, and 2 pistol bullets at the same time.
This pistol safe features a reinforced solid steel wall construction, built-in hinges, and a new internal safety bracket for the maximum prevention against break-ins. It has also been finished with a durable powder coating to ensure longevity.
The CACAGOO safe takes protecting your guns one step further with its interior protective foam. These foam pads protect your valuables from scratches or damage during transport but can also be removed to increase storage capacity if preferred.
This is a battery-operated safe that runs on 4 AA batteries. Mounting the safe to a wall or the floor is possible thanks to the pre-drilled holes. What’s more, the compact size gives you multiple placement options – you can keep it on a nightstand, closet shelf, desk drawer, and many more places.
The construction of this safe is strong and solid and the fingerprint lock is easy to set up. Moreover, the batteries last for months and there is a backup key supplied should you need manual access.
- Super speedy 0.1-second access
- Can hold up to 40 fingerprints
- Strong and sturdy construction with internal safety bracket
- Interior scratch protection foam
- Can be placed in multiple spots
- Some issues with fingerprint security have been reported in the past
American Furniture Classics 906 five gun metal safe with separate pistol compartment
The 906 metal security cabinet from American Furniture Classics holds up to 5 guns in the main compartment plus there is a smaller compartment with a separate lock which is perfect for storing pistols and ammo.
The American Furniture Classics gun safe utilizes a 3 point locking system for additional security. It’s approved by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) as meeting their strict standards for firearm safety. This gives you total assurance that this is one of the best budget gun safes for protecting your firearms against unauthorized users.
Despite the large capacity, the cabinet is still small enough to conceal inside a cabinet. One negative I found was the lock on the pistol compartment does not seem as high quality as the lock on the main one.
The design of this cabinet is the biggest highlight, allowing you to store your rifles and long guns separate to your pistols and ammo. As a cabinet, it won’t give you the top-notch security of a fireproof safe, but it’s a fantastic option for keeping your firearms away from kids.
- Large capacity fitting 5 guns
- Separate pistol compartment with own lock
- Meets DOJ standards
- Small enough to conceal in closets
- More of a storage solution than a high-security safe
- No water or fireproofing
RPNB mounted firearm safety device with biometric fingerprint
The RPNB quick access firearm safe has a unique slim, vertical design perfect for mounting under a desk, on a bookshelf, or in a vehicle. This safe rates high for convenience as it allows you to mount from the right, left, or top side.
The safe operates using either biometric fingerprint access or the easily programmable electronic keypad which allows you to program your chosen code in an instance. These high-tech locking mechanisms result in single-handed operation and fast-activation via the drop-down drawer. Your stored pistol is delivered to you in the ready position in fractions of a second.
Both the appearance and build quality of the safe is excellent. The sturdy steel construction and sleek, black finish gives long-lasting strength and prevents corrosion. Moreover, with such precise fittings, an intruder can’t pry open the safe with hand tools.
The inside of the safe hasn’t been forgotten. There is a protective foam-lined interior to protect your weapons from scratching or damage. What’s more, the battery-operated safe will warn you when the batteries need to be changed and there is a key included for manual access too.
The fingerprint technology works flawlessly. The only thing I would change is adding a silent option that removes the beep before opening. If you’re looking for a reliable but affordable device that gives you speedy access to your pistol in an emergency, this is certainly one of the best budget gun safes for that purpose.
- One of the best options for quick access
- Flawless, biometric access
- Additional key access
- Unique, desk-mounted design
- Well constructed for strength and durability
- Protective foam-lined padding inside
- Does not provide silent access to your gun
Bonnlo quick access pistol safe with auto-open lid and security alarm
The Bonnlo compact pistol safe gives you fast and easy access to your gun via the spring-loaded, auto drop-down lid, and additional security thanks to the Alarm-U security alarm. You can program the combination code lock with a 3-8 digit code and there is a silent entry mode too.
The tamper sensitive alarm will activate if 3 incorrect attempts are made in succession. The alarm will sound for 1 minute and lock the user out for 2 minutes. The electronic keypad is run on batteries but there is a key included for manual override.
Another highlight of this safe is its heavy-gauge steel construction. The top-quality build results in a sturdy and durable safe. The high strength locking latch gives maximum prevention against break-ins.
The safe has pre-drilled holes, and mounting hardware included so you can easily install it in a closet, on a wall, or the floor. There are two size options to choose from (small or medium) depending on how many guns you have. I found the medium size model has a perfect capacity, comfortably fitting 2-3 pistols or one pistol with ammo.
The keypad access may not be as speedy as fingerprint activation, but you can still get to your gun in 3-4 seconds. One thing I would have liked to have seen is an interior light, but for such a low price, the quality of this safe is still first-class.
- Tamper sensitive alarm to alert you of intruders
- Electronic or manual access options
- High-quality, heavy-gauge steel construction
- High strength locking latch
- Easy to mount with pre-drilled holes
- Two size options
- No interior light
- Not as speedy as fingerprint operated safes
Golval RE4236 8-gun security safe with electronic lock
This large safe from Golval stores up to 8 rifles or long guns in a single-container compartment. It uses an electronic combination locking system with 5 live-action locking bolts that secure the door.
The electronic safe is operated with a 9-volt battery. A warning light will come on when the batteries are low and they can easily be replaced via the front of the safe. It also comes with 2 override keys for additional assurance.
The 8-gun security safe has some cool features such as a removable accessory shelf, allowing you to customize the space to meet your needs, carpeted interior, and a barrel rest. Furthermore, there are pre-drilled mounting holes on both the back and bottom giving the option to anchor the safe to the wall or floor.
Golval states that the safe will fit 8 rifles or long guns plus 3-5 handguns, however, when testing the product, I found this statement to be a bit optimistic. Even so, it’s still spacious and I was able to comfortably fit six rifles with a bit of additional space left.
This is a great choice for gun owners with multiple firearms that need to be securely locked away. The safes lockout function helps keep unauthorized users from accessing your valuables by timing-out after 3 incorrect attempts. This secure and affordable way to protect multiple guns is what makes it one of the best budget gun safes out there.
- Large capacity
- High security locking bolts
- Has some nice additional features like a removal shelf and carpeted interior
- Easy to replace batteries and low battery warning light
- Pre-drilled holes for mounting
- Auto lock-out function after 3 failed entry attempts
AmazonBasics steel security safe with electronic lock
The AmazonBasics 0.7-cubic-foot security safe with electronic lock is a highly secure compact safe for storing handguns. The electric keypad locking mechanism is built with 2 live-door bolts and pry-resistant concealed hinges.
This budget safe does not scrimp on quality. It consists of a solid, steel construction and a carpeted floor to protect your guns against scratches or damage. It’s not fireproof or waterproof but if you’re simply looking to keep your pistol out of harm’s way and guarded against intruders this is one of the best budget gun safes for that purpose.
The reprogrammable digital safe operates using four AA batteries and is super simple to set up. The digital display has three different symbols. These show if the safe is locked or unlocked, as well as if the battery is low. Two emergency override keys are included too.
The safe has four mounting bolts and pre-drilled holes so it can mount easily to a wall, floor, or shelf. What’s more, the sleek black finish of this safe will match well with any home or office setting.
I particularly liked both the look and size of the safe and was able to fit 4 pistols inside. The price is lower than many of its competitors but the quality is the same, if not better!
- Solid construction with 2 live-door bolts and pry-resistant concealed hinges.
- Carpeted floor inside
- Low battery warning light
- Good sized compact safe – It can store 4 pistols
- A rugged, durable product
Scout 14-gun fireproof gun safe with mechanical dial
This large fireproof gun safe from Scout fits an impressive 14 long guns and features a door organizer that consists of 4 handgun pockets and other useful pouches. The safe operates with a durable mechanical dial combination lock meaning no batteries are required.
Many budget gun safes do not give fireproofing but Scout’s model has been tested to withhold fire at 1400F for up to 40 minutes. It’s a heavy-duty security cabinet weighing 240 lbs so bear in mind you will need some assistance bringing it into your home.
Along with the tough, solid construction, the locking system works with 3 1-inch locking bolts and 3 1-inch deadbolts. It also has reinforced brackets on the door frame for prying resistance. These features create a tight seal and give maximum security.
There are removable shelves inside the safe. If you’re storing long guns, note that these will have to be removed. I found the 14-gun capacity statement to be a bit of an exaggeration but all the positive factors easily outweigh this small downfall. Moreover, despite its large capacity, it fits perfectly in a closet.
Overall, if you’re looking for a large, solid, and secure safe that will protect your guns from intruders and prevent damage in a fire, this Scout safe will do all that without breaking the bank!
- Large capacity
- Proven to be fireproof for up to 40 minutes
- Heavy-duty, solid construction
- Removable shelves for storage customization
- Pry-resistant locking bolts and reinforced brackets
- Battery-free mechanical lock
Why you need a gun safe
As a gun owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your weapon under maximum protection. It could be disastrous if your gun is not properly protected and gets into the wrong hands. Here are the main reasons why all gun owners should invest in a gun safe:
- To protect your weapons from intruders. If your firearm is not locked away, a burglar could get hold of it and use it against you.
- To keep your children safe as well as other children that may visit your house. If your gun is hidden in a safe it will be away from the eyes of curious kids.
- To protect your treasured assets in floods and fires. A waterproof and fireproof gun safe could keep all your valuables dry and in one piece in the event of a disaster.
- To be liable. Even though it’s a constitutional right to own a firearm it comes with great responsibility. It’s down to you to keep your weapon secure at all times.
Factors to consider when buying a budget gun safe
There are various factors to think about to ensure you purchase the best gun safe for your money. Considering the factors below will help you find the right safe for your gun and your home.
Most safes have one of two types of locking mechanisms:
- A manual mechanism that’s usually a combination lock.
- An electronic/digital mechanism that typically uses a passcode or a fingerprint.
Both manual and electronic mechanisms have their pros and cons. Let’s explore these further.
Manual gun safes use a simple operation. They have a dial that is rotated in opposite directions to reach three different numbers. You open the door by turning the dials to your combination.
- For this type of mechanism, there is no power supply needed and no need to replace batteries
- The simple combination lock can also mean less potential for hacking.
- As there is no technology, there is very little chance of it letting you down. Therefore, manual locks can be the most reliable choice.
- They are much cheaper than electronic alternatives.
- They also have an increased life span as they hardly ever break down.
- One point to consider with manual locks is that they do require some maintenance. This is because the tumblers tend to get misaligned over time.
Electronic gun safe locks have an internal circuit and a keypad that deal with the locking mechanism. You enter your numeric code via the keypad and once the circuit verifies it, it fires the unlocking mechanism.
- Bluetooth & biometric gun safes are popular choices as they give greater ease of use.
- The technology allows you to set up multiple combinations, and change them easily.
- If faced with a time-sensitive emergency, it’s usually quicker to get into an electronic lock than a traditional mechanical locking system, saving you vital seconds.
- Another advantage is that these locks do not need to be locked every time. Manual systems require re-locking each time but with an electronic lock, you simply close the door to lock the safe.
- Some people believe electronic locks to be more secure. There is some truth in this. Burglars with experience can eventually break into combination locks with practice, although it takes a lot of time and effort.
- There are a few points to take into consideration with electronic locks. Because they are battery-powered, they can be prone to power outages and automatic lock-outs. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure your electronic safe has a backup access method.
- They also have a limited lifespan due to the use of electronic circuits that will eventually die over time.
As you can see, both electronic and mechanical locks are great in specific aspects but suffer from problems too. Weigh up the pros and cons of each style to decide which is most suited to you.
A good safe should have at least four locking bolts, all at least one inch thick and made of steel. Four thick and strong locking bolts will do a good job of keeping the door tightly sealed.
As well as having a sturdy exterior, your safe also needs a robust interior that protects against fire or water damage. Heat-resistant, waterproof and fireproof features are key things to look for.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) evaluates the fire resistance and protection of gun safes to reward them with a UL rating. The test is divided into three classes.
- You should look for a safe with the strongest UL rating called class 125. This class was designed to protect the most materials including guns.
- All the best long gun safes will also have drywall fire protection. The gypsum drywall is a fireproof protection that nearly all gun safes use today. This solution is often used to minimize the spread of fire.
You may want to consider mounting lights inside your new gun safe. Installing lights in a safe will make it easier to manage, plus they give speedy and fumble-proof access in an emergency. You can read more in our review article on the best gun safe lights here.
How to choose the right size of the best budget gun safe
To decide the size of your new safe there are three things you should think about.
- What you need the safe to do
- What you will include in the safe
- How much space you have in your home
- For rifles and long guns, you will need a tall unit that will fit your gun when standing upright with about 2-3 additional inches extra so it’s easy to get the gun in and out.
- If you’re only storing handguns, the capacity of the safe can be much lower.
- Also, consider a safe with some additional space for storing extra items, like private documents or other valuables.
- Think about where you plan to have the safe and how much space you have. Measure the area beforehand. This will ensure that the unit you buy is the appropriate size.
- If space is not a concern, a good rule of thumb is to look for a safe twice the size of what you need. So, if you need to fit 2 guns in your safe, look for a safe that advertises 4 guns instead. This lets you store your guns and some of your belongings as well, such as important paperwork or expensive jewelry.
How to choose the most secure gun safe?
There are a couple of key factors to consider to ensure your budget gun safe is truly secure.
RSC stands for ‘Residential Security Container’. Underwriters Laboratory (UL) coined this term and are responsible for developing standards for consumer products. Underwriters Lab conducts the test and provides certification to the safe manufacturers.
There are three different levels of RSC ratings that you may come across.
- An RSA Level 1 safe has been tested to withstand five minutes of vigorous break-in attempts by one person. These methods of these attempts include prying, punching, drilling, tampering, and more.
- An RSA Level 2 safe can withstand an attack by two people, using more tools, for 10 minutes.
- RSC level 3 refers to 3 people using even more tools for 10 minutes.
Gauge (Steel thickness)
Gauge is a measure of the thickness of the steel that’s used in the walls of the safe. Confusingly, the smaller the number, the thicker the steel is, just like with a shotgun gauge.
Opt for a safe that is made of solid steel, preferably 7-gauge solid steel. This is fairly expensive, so if you’re on a budget, aim for one between 10-11-gauge steel. This is drill-resistant so even if someone tries their hardest to enter your safe, your gun will remain protected with this gauge of steel.
Where should you put your safe?
First and foremost, you should place your safe where you will have easy access to it in case of emergencies.
- Many people like to conceal their safe under a bed, in a desk drawer, or a closet. These are good options if you have a small safe for handguns.
- Larger safes work well mounted behind a door or under the bed.
How important is it to anchor a gun safe?
Anchoring your gun safe is a good idea to prevent it from being stolen as well as make it more stable. Of course, the size and weight of your safe will depend on how needed this is. Some long gun safes are very heavy to move therefore, the chances of them being stolen are slim. However, for smaller, lighter safes, it’s certainly a good idea to mount it to the floor or wall.
Do budget gun safes properly protect against burglars?
The best budget gun safes are built from sturdy, robust materials that prevent any attempted intrusion. To ensure your budget safe will protect you against burglars choose a model that comes with a UL or DOJ certification.
- A UL certified gun safe can tolerate a professional attack for up to 5 minutes, but this refers to the use of a screwdriver, chisel, pry bar, or hammer weighing less than 3 lbs.
- DOJ is a guarantee from the Department of Justice standards that a safe is secure enough. Even so, this rating does not mean that the safe is unbreachable. Some security experts have tested DOJ certified safes and concluded that they aren’t much better in security than uncertified ones.
Do regular gun safes protect against fire?
Nowadays, many affordable gun safes on the market will provide fire resistance attributes. That being said, just because a manufacturer claims that their gun safe is fireproof, it may not be the case. This is because they could have used cheap drywall as a fireproof material to save money.
Moreover, many gun safe manufacturers use their own fire rating standards, which give them more flexibility to alter their results. Therefore, it’s advisable to look for a trusted gun safe fire certification such as the BF rating.
BF is a specific level of fire rating from ETL-Intertek laboratory testing, which is the industry’s leading independent laboratory for gun safe fire testing. Additionally, all gun safes that can tolerate fire will fall under the UL certification too.
What if I forget the combination?
If you forget the combination of your lock there are three things that you can do to regain access to your gun.
- Check if your safe has a key override. Key overrides allow you to gain access to your safe via an alternative, manual method. This works well for emergencies or situations where you might have to give someone access to your safe. If you’re not sure if your safe has this, check the user manual.
- If your safe does not have a key override, determine if it has a change key. A change key allows you to change the combination that grants access to your safe. You insert the change key into the back of the safe. You then input the reset combination. This wipes the slate clean for you to set a new code to your safe.
- If you have neither a key override nor a change key, your only option is to call out a locksmith. A locksmith can help you gain entry into your gun safe, however, be sure to use a professional and reputable locksmith who is familiar with gun safes. If not handled properly, you could potentially damage your safe and the gun inside too.
Summary – Which is the best budget gun safe for your money?
There are so many fantastic options on this list that it’s extremely difficult to pick just one. It also depends on how many guns you have, the lock mechanism you prefer, and the level of security you need.
If you have multiple long guns or rifles and need a spacious safe, I’d recommend the Scout 14-gun fireproof mechanical dial gun safe. There are not many affordable fireproof gun safes on the market so this one specifically stands out. As well as the fireproofing, it boasts a heavy-duty, solid construction along with pry-resistant locking bolts and reinforced brackets, giving you top security from intruders too.
On the other hand, if you just need a safe box to protect one or two pistols I would go for the Awesafe gun safe with fingerprint identification and biometric lock. This compact safe box has so many cool features. These include an interior light, automatic lid opening, silent entry, and super speedy access thanks to the high-tech fingerprint entry.
Whichever safe you go for, all the products on this list are of the highest quality and performance, yet affordable. I hope this will prove as a helpful guide when it comes to navigating the market for the best budget gun safes and assist you in finding the best protection for your precious firearms.