How Thick Should A Gun Safe And A Home Safe Be?

Why Steel Thickness Matters for Your Safe

Have you ever thought of how thick should a gun safe and a home safe be? Do you think that all safes are equally pry-resistant? If you are looking for an affordable home vault with a stringent security level, watch our video before choosing the safe. Here you will find out the difference between a robust storage and the one of an entry level. Our expert James Stoddard is also sharing his suggestion on how to buy a stronger vault at the price of a thinner steel safe.

Today I want to cover what I think is the most important aspect of purchasing a gun safe, and that is still thickness. In the previous photographs, I show a lot of safes that have been broken into of many brands. In this video I want to show what to look for to prevent that from happening in your safe. One of the things that was common to all of those safes is that they were made out of 12 or 14 gauge steel. I think steel thickness is one of the biggest issues in the strength of your safe and the protection of your valuables. Most of your entry-level safes are going to be made out of 12 or 14 gauge steel as shown here. You almost can't tell the difference in steel thickness by looking at them. However, there is a big difference in strength on a press brake if you're bending the steel. 14 gauge per foot takes 2.1 tons to bend. If you jump to 12 gauge, you're doubling your strength roughly to 4.4 tons. You go to 7 gauge and it takes 16.4 tons to bend it. That's important because as in the photographs, this portion of the door has to bend out when people pry. If that can't buckle out, they can’t pry the safe. And as you can see still thickness makes a big difference in the strength of that happening.

How to Choose the Right Steel Thickness for Your Safe

Most of the gun safes on the market will have an underwriter's laboratory rating and they're rated as a residential security container. As you can see on this sticker, 14 gauge safes are not strong enough to pass this rating. However, with careful shopping, you may be able to buy a 12 gauge safe for the price of a 14 gauge safe.

You may be able to buy a 10 gauge safe for the price and 11 gauge safe so you're jumping a lot for the dollar in your purchase when you buy a heavier safe. Hopefully this helps you make a better decision on your safe purchases.

James Stoddard gun safe video guides:

Written by

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