Should I Use A Key Or A Combination Safe

The Key Safe

The most traditional safe uses a key and was invented in 1818 by the Chubb brothers whose variation of a lever tumbler system provided a tamper proof mechanism that remained locked until the correct key or regulator key was inserted. A key locking safe offers a reliable, secure option at a relatively low cost when compared to digital combination locks. Sturdily built, they require little or no maintenance and once installed, can last for many years. Some versions can be adapted to incorporate a combination lock. Due to the traditional mechanism, a key locking safe will often withstand hazards such as fire for considerably longer than a combination lock, a factor many householders take into consideration when installing a safe below floor level which can provide more resistance to heat. However, the main problem with a key lock safe is the key itself. Where would you keep it? What if you lost it? Misplacing a key can result in hiring a locksmith to make a costly break or drilling down of the lock and fitting a new one. Key locks can be slow and awkward to open particularly for elderly people.

The Combination Safe

Using either a dial or digital number pad, the combination safe offers a greater degree of flexibility, particularly in businesses with a large number of staff who may have access to the safe. Relying on numerical codes or passwords, the combination can be changed swiftly in the event of an employee leaving. Many people prefer to change the combination data on a regular basis as an enhanced security measure. One drawback is being sure of remembering yet another new code. Combination safes usually have a system that automatically freezes if the wrong code is keyed in more than a few times and many have timing devices. One disadvantage is that the combination safe requires some maintenance mainly with batteries needing to be recharged on a regular basis. In the event of emergencies, some models still retain an access point with key use.


Both types are secure with the combination safe providing speed and flexibility while the key lock ensures a simple, economic option. With so many different styles available including outdoor key safes for multiple users, biometric fingerprint sensitive safes and installations in walls or floors, it is wise to first consult the expert opinion of a reliable safe manufacturer such as Secure Safe.