What is the Best Steel Gauge for a Gun Safe?

Any gun safe is designed to store and protect firearms. But not all of them can offer the same level of protection. Buying a new storage for guns, customers would rather pay attention to the design of a body, door, bolts, type of lock, and other obvious details. All of the mentioned above is really important but there is one more critical feature that should be considered. It is steel gauge thickness. What is gauge and how does it influence the level of security that a gun safe offers? Read further to find out the answers to these and other related questions.

What is the Best Steel Gauge for a Gun Safe?

Gauge Meaning

Let`s get started with the definition of “steel gauge.” Steel thickness is not measured by millimeters or inches. Gauge is globally adopted as a unit of measure of steel and overall metal thicknesses. It is also worth noting that with the increasing number of gauge, the thickness of metal decreases. It means if you want your future gun safe to be made of stronger steel, you should choose the one with a lower gauge indicator.

Understand the Different Steel Gauge Ratings

Material should also be taken into account when it comes to steel thicknesses. For instance 8 gauges of pure steel is 0.1644 inches thick, of stainless steel is 0.1719 thick, and yet aluminum sheet of the same gauge indicator is only 0.1285 inches thick.

Steel Gauge Chart

What gauge of steel should a reliable gun safe offer? In order to figure it out, we can look through the steel gauge thickness chart that shows the gauge ratings. According to the steel gauge chart, high gauge ratings vary from 14 to 20. Gun safes with such ratings are 0,04-0,078 inches thick and can be pretty easily pried by means of drill or some other tools. Meanwhile safes with steel thicknesses of 0,1-0,165 inches are considered to have low gauge ratings that range from 12 to 6. Such gun safes are definitely strong and can withstand drill and other safecracking tools.

How Thick Should Gun Safes Be?

It goes without saying that the thicker the steel, the stronger the safe is. But it is also obvious that gun safes with higher metal thicknesses are heavier which can also be an issue. Moreover, such safes are more expensive compared to the same one built of thinner material.

What should you do to buy the safe that you need without overpaying?
In order to buy a gun safe of good quality steel, opt for no less than 12 gauge metal thickness; if you want a better one, then it should be built of at least 10 gauge steel, yet the best steel gauge is 6.5.

It is also worth paying attention to the thickness of a door and other elements like bolts, plates and others if you want your gun safe to offer ultimate security.

Consider the Size and Weight Capacity of Your Gun Safe

But once again, when selecting the best safe for your firearms, don`t miss the fact that safes built of thick steel are very heavy. Especially when it comes to big size safes. If you need a strong, big, and heavy-weight gun safe, make sure that you have a proper place to install it and think about how to deliver it there.


We believe that our overview gave you a clear answer to the questions, What is gauge? and How it can influence the security of your gun safe.

We also hope that the information we provided will help you choose a top-quality robust safe.

Written by

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