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Store your weapons safely

Gun Safe vs Gun Cabinet – Which is better?

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Every responsible firearms owner will prioritize keeping their firearms safe in a gun safe or a gun cabinet. Gun safes or gun cabinets help protect your life, the lives of your guests, and your kids from danger. Storing your gun in a gun safe or a gun cabinet saves you the bother of continuously worrying whether someone might find your gun and cause disaster.

Store your weapons safely

If you fail to secure your weapons, you may be charged for careless storage of firearms, and you could land yourself in jail with a maximum of two to five sentences. The law doesn’t care if your actions were intentional or unintentional. So, getting a gun safe or gun cabinet is the right preventive measure to take if you don’t have one already.

The problem arises when deciding where to store your firearms. A gun safe or a gun cabinet are the two popular storage systems that come to many people's minds. In this article, you will discover the difference between gun safes and gun cabinets, their pros and cons. Then, you will decide which of them you consider better.

What is the significant difference between Gun Safes and Gun Cabinets?

The significant difference between gun safes and gun cabinets is the locking system and steel thickness. A gun safe typically has a true lock and thicker steel compared to a gun cabinet with a key lock and thinner steel.

Overview and Key features of a Gun Safe

A gun safe is a high-quality and fantastic storage medium to secure your weapons. Here are the key features of a gun safe:

Locking Mechanism

Safe locking mechanisms

Many gun safes will have an external lock. It ranges from facial recognization, fingerprints, digits, and many types of advanced locks. It may send an alert to your phone if tampered with. Gun safe locking mechanism offers top-notch security.

Steel Thickness

Steel thickness of gun safes is crucial to category something as safe. Many gun safes provide 14-gauge steel thickness or more. To cut into a 12-gauge steel is very challenging. 14-gauge is the standard steel thickness to category for a gun safe. Gun safe thickness level makes it hard to penetrate.

Fire Rating 

Many gun safes have a fire rating. Fire rating tells the level of security that a gun safe possesses if exposed to fire. However, a few gun safes may not have a fire rating—especially the hybrid gun safe. A hybrid gun safe is a gun safe with some gun cabinet features.

A gun safe fire rating ranges from 30 minutes to 200 minutes, depending on the brand. I recently reviewed three Steelwater gun safes with good fire ratings.

Overview and key features of a gun cabinet

A gun cabinet is a low-quality, less secure gun storage medium. Less secure implies it offers basic protection against snatch and run robbery operations. However, a professional criminal will have no problem unlocking it.

Here are the key features of a gun cabinet:

Key Lock

Key locking gun cabinet

Many gun cabinets are known for their poor locking mechanism. Gun cabinets either have a regular key lock or a barrel key locking system. The key lock makes a gun cabinet less secure compared to a gun safe.

Zero Fire Rating

Gun cabinets don’t have any fire rating because it will cost the manufacturers more money. The manufacturer will want to make profits and thus set it at a high cost – well above the price range for standard gun cabinets.

Low Steel Thickness

Gun cabinets tend to have low steel thickness. Many gun cabinets have a steel thickness of 18 gauge. Cutting through an 18 gauge is not tricky.

Pros of Gun Safes and Gun Cabinets

Now we’ve understood the key features of gun safes and gun cabinets; it’ll be essential to know their pros.

Gun Safes

Gun safes are the safest place to store your weapons. They have high security - improved locks, excellent fire rating, thicker steel. Gun safes will keep your guns safe from kids and criminals.

Gun Cabinet

On the other hand, gun cabinets offer low security. They cost less. They are portable and give easy access to your firearms.

Cons of a Gun Safe and a Gun Cabinet

Gun safes and gun cabinets both have their cons. We’ve outlined some characteristics to consider before buying gun safes or gun cabinets:

Gun Safes

Gun safes are expensive. It also has a high quantity of weight and comes with a complex design. They are challenging to move from one place to another if the need arises.

Gun Cabinets

Gun cabinets provide low security - this is a significant con. While it’s a good place to keep your guns rather than leaving them out in the open, criminals can easily tamper with them.


Gun safes and gun cabinets both have their pros and cons. It’s your call to decide which is better for you. If you have a low budget, go for gun cabinets. If you desire high security, go for gun safes.  We hope you make the right decision!