Safe Lock Mechanism: How Does a Safe Lock Work

Burglaries, floods, fires, and even insect damage may destroy objects that are “safely” placed behind secured doors in your house. Adding a layer of security in the shape of a digital home safe to those valuables is a sensible method to ensure that your essential documents and other belongings are genuinely secure.

When it comes to choosing the proper safe for your house, there are several factors to consider. Aside from deciding on the sort of safe you want, the size you want, and other characteristics like fireproofing, you should think about how you want it to lock. For home safes, there are various distinct types of locking systems, each with its own function.

The sort of lock you pick is mostly determined by your tastes. Do you have a knack for memorizing passwords and combinations? Do you like instant access? Consider this: When you need to extract your items, what would be the easiest to unlock? Keep reading to find out more!

Types of Safe Lock

Electronic(Digital) Locks

digital safe box 1
source: safewell

The electronic lock has a terrible recognition for being problematic throughout the decades, and many folks avoid it as a result. Nevertheless, in recent times, these locks have shown to be quite trustworthy if you know what you’re getting.

It is highly recommended to only purchase a lock that has a visible name on it so that you are aware of what you are getting. 

A predefined code is input into an Electronic (Digital) lock, which is simply a plastic/metal pad. Once inside, the intrinsic lock is released, and the handle can be turned to rescind the bolts, allowing access to the safe.

A predefined code is input into an Electronic (Digital) lock, which is simply a plastic/metal pad. Once inside, the intrinsic lock is released, and the handle can be turned to rescind the bolts, allowing access to the safe.

Biometric Locks

There are an increasing number of biometric safe locks on the market, and as technology improves, so will these locks.

Their dependability rating may not be what many individuals want in a safe that they need to open fast, but if you look around and are wise, it might be enough for your requirements.

Biometric safe locks are opened with, as you have guessed, a part of the owner’s body. This could be face, retina and fingerprint. In most cases, fingerprint lock safe is much prevalent in gun safes, especially those that are smaller. 

Mechanical Locks

Alt-Text: Mechanical Lock Safe

The mechanical (dial) lock is noted for its dependability and longevity due to the absence of any electrical components. These locks are similar to those seen in classic films. It’s also reminiscent of the lock you used in high school.

To remove the final code, rotate the lock to the right 4-5 rounds, then to the left 4x for the initial code, 3x for the subsequent code, 2x for the third code, and then to the left till it catches (usually around 87).

It takes some practice, but after a few tries, it becomes subsequent in nature. However, due to this procedure, accessing the contents of your safe takes substantially longer (about 45 seconds).

If you’re in a hurry, you may make it even longer since mistakes happen. This sort of lock is best for folks who don’t need to get in quickly or who use their safe mostly for storage. Especially common for a gun safe with mechanical lock.

Other than the tampering proof variants, which don’t have almost as much leniency if a number is somewhat off, there aren’t many other types of a mechanical lock.

Different Safe Locking Mechanisms

How do Key Safes Work

key safe
source: Safewell

A simple key-operated mechanical latch may be incredibly dependable, minimal-maintenance, and simple to use. For key-operated safes, a pick-resistant safe lock is normally used.

Key lock safes are a good option for consumers who don’t want to mess with a combo lock or an electronic access keypad. The only catch is that you’ll have to keep a record of where you keep your safe’s keys.

Key-operated safes with dual locking are also accessible. They are more secure because they necessitate two keys to open the safe.

How do Mechanical Code Safes Work

A wheel pack is a series of wheels that operate together to ‘know’ the combo in most combination locks. The design of all-wheel packs is based on the same premise.

In a conventional combination lock, a keypad is connected to an axle. The spindle goes via numerous wheels and a driving cam inside the lock.

A wheel pack’s amount of wheels is defined as the total number of digits in the combo – one wheel for each digit. The wheel rotates the drive cam as you turn the dial. A drive pin is connected to the drive cam. The driving pin finally makes an impact with a little tab on the neighbouring wheel called the wheel fly as the cam rotates.

On either side of each wheel is a wheel fly. The driving pin spins the first wheel until it collides with the neighbouring wheel. This process is repeated until all of the wheels are rotating. Picking up the wheels is the term for this. A notch is carved into each wheel on the axle. All of the wheels and their notches line up flawlessly when the appropriate combo is dialed in.

A short metal bar linked to a lever serves as the fence. The gate prevents the safe from being accessed without first dialling the combination. It does this by sitting on the wheels and impeding the passage of the safe door’s bolt.

When all of the wheels are aligned, the notches generate a gap. This gap in a padlock permits the lock’s hasp to disengage. A section known as the fence rests immediately above the wheels in a safe. Beneath the pressure of its own weight, the fence slips into this breach. The bolt may now go easily through the gate, allowing the safe to be unlocked.

How do Electronic Safes Work

A combination dial may be spun to input a combination to open a mechanical safe lock. The correct combination positions the lock’s tumblers in the proper position, allowing the door to be opened. It’s straightforward, yet it’s effective.

Traditional locks have been replaced with digital ones. Electronic safe locks function similarly to traditional locks, but they may be unlocked by inputting a 4–6-digit code on an electronic keypad. The keypad is powered by batteries. When the right combination is entered, the mechanism activates and the handle turns, allowing you to unlock the safe’s door.

Benefits of Electrical Safe Locks

Electrical Safe
source: Safewell

1. Operational Simplicity

For fire/burglary safes and gun safes, digital locking mechanisms are the most consumer-friendly sorts of locks accessible. They are simple to use and eliminate the need to memorize a combo or maintain track of a key. Rather, a safe lock may be configured with an easy-to-remember keycode that can be updated as required. Most safe versions have a light on the digital keypad, which makes it simpler to use in the dark.

Mechanical safe locks, on the contrary, are difficult to operate since the combo must be exact when the dial is spun. Some safe users may find this challenging. Furthermore, turning a dial takes more time. Even if you get the combination correct the first time, unlocking the safe this way takes much longer than with an electronic lock. You can’t alter the combo yourself; a safe locksmith has to do it.

2. Reliability

Electronic locks are less likely to be damaged and survive longer than traditional locks. They’ve also progressed significantly over time, and they’re now just as dependable as classic mechanical safe locks.

Check the UL certification on your safe’s lock if you really want to know how good it is. In the hardware sector, UL-listed safe locks are the holy grail. The lock has been carefully tested for effectiveness and durability, as indicated by this stamp of certification.

3. Enhanced Security

Electronic locks are the industry leaders when it comes to added security attributes. You may add a variety of important secondary security checks to your safe using current technologies to improve its dependability and safety.

The Downside of Electrical Safe Locks

electronical safe
source: Safewell

1. Price

When weighing the advantages and disadvantages of electronic safe locks vs. mechanical safe locks, we must take pricing into account. For many people considering buying a safe, the price is a decision issue.

Mechanical locks are the industry norm for the most part. While a particular safe manufacturer may provide a few safes with electronic locks as standard, the majority of safes will begin with a mechanical dial lock. Then you’ll have the option of upgrading to a battery-powered electronic lock, although this will usually come at a cost.

2. Replacing Batteries

The batteries in digital safe locks, like other electrical devices, will need to be replaced from time to time. Absolutely guarantee, even if the battery dies, the electronic lock will remember your combination. In addition, if the battery power is getting low, the safety lock will offer you some form of warning. To learn more about your device’s requirements and notification system, see the owner’s handbook.

How do Biometric(Fingerprint) Safes Work

fingerprint safe boxG
source: Safewell

The registered fingerprint is used to unlock locked security safes. You may enrol more than one fingerprint to unlock the safe, giving you complete control over who has access to the fingerprint lock safe.

The advantage of a biometric locking mechanism is that you don’t have to memorize any codes or retain a key, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting your code or misplacing your key. It’s simple, secure, and tough to replicate your fingerprint to access your safe.

Finger scan biometric system has been operational for quite some time and has shown to be a reliable and safe locking mechanism. Safewell has a large selection of safes with biometric finger scan locks. This locking mechanism has some major drawbacks that you should keep in mind.


So there you go, all the safe locking mechanisms explained. Now, all that is left is for you to get quality safe with the locking mechanism that you are comfortable with. So, for whatever reason, you need the safe, we will provide it. Simply contact us and we are sure we can meet all your requirements.

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