Gun Safe vs Gun Cabinet - What Kind of Safe Storage You Need

The law on secure gun storage makes a responsible owner keep their firearms hidden and locked. A special device is a smart solution for this purpose. Looking for the best storage for their guns, people face a tough choice: Gun Safe vs. Gun Cabinet. The dilemma is hard to solve as both of them are suitable for keeping guns and each has its own benefits as well as drawbacks.

In order to sort it out, run through our findings about the main differences between the two.

Gun Safe vs Gun Cabinet

Gun safe explanation

First of all, let us explain what each of them is intended for.

A gun safe is a device designed for storing firearms, ammunition, jewelry, documents and other valuables. In general, they are larger than gun cabinets, built from thick steel materials, and have a significant level of protection from burglary, fire, water and other disasters.

Gun cabinet explanation

Meanwhile a gun cabinet looks like a small closet or a piece of furniture. It is meant for keeping one, rarely two or more firearms. A gun cabinet can have wooden or glass doors, is embedded or freestanding and is not equipped with security or fire resistance features.

What is the difference between a gun safe and a gun cabinet?

As we mentioned above, both are intended for the same purpose, however, they have absolutely different designs. Which presents a long discussed dilema: Gun Cabinet vs Gun Safe? Let us compare them referring to the main criteria.

Steel thickness

Steel thickness determines a safe security, as it is almost impossible to cut into a storage made of strong steel. According to industry standards, gun safes are built from 12 gauge steel. Whereas gun cabinets are made from 18-gauge steel or less, which is much thinner.

Fire rating

As for the fire rating, gun cabinets don't have it at all. Meanwhile almost all quality gun safes are lined with a fireboard and offer from 30-120 minute fire resistance.

Locking mechanism

As a rule, gun safes are equipped with either a dial, electronic or even biometric lock. A quality locking mechanism provides a high level of security against burglars as it prevents any break-in attempts and can even notify the owner about a theft attack.

Gun cabinets have a sliding bar or a conventional key lock that don't protect from any pry attacks.

Locking bolts

Locking bolts increase a level of security as they reinforce the perimeter. All modern gun safes are equipped with some locking bolts. High-end safes come with up to 12 thick steel bolts.

Most gun cabinets have no locking bolts at all.

The cost

Speaking of price, we should admit that a gun safe costs almost twice as much as a gun cabinet. Depending on the materials the device is built from, included features, capacity and design, gun safe price starts at $600, while the cheapest gun cabinets will cost around $200.

Gun cabinet vs safe - which one should you buy?

Price is not the only advantage a gun cabinet has in the competition: gun safe vs security cabinet.

It is lighter, doesn't require much space and effort to be installed; and provides easy access to the firearms. However, if you are looking for a secure storage that can give ultimate peace of mind that your weapons will not be stolen, damaged by fire or taken by your kids, then gun safe is a pure winner.


In conclusion, we need to acknowledge that despite the obvious advantage of gun safe vs gun cabinet, the right choice belongs to the future owner. No matter whether it will be a safe or a cabinet, it should be of high quality and made by a reliable manufacturer. Buying a storage for your gun from The Safe Keeper online store, you may be absolutely sure that it will meet industry standards and your expectations.

Written by

Kirillo Byelin
General Manager at The Safe Keeper Las Vegas
Security Safe Expert
Kirillo Byelin