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Published Apr. 12, 2022

Gun safety is essential for each and every gun owner, and one of the best ways to secure your firearms while providing easy access is a biometric gun safe. Designed to open only for your fingerprint(s) or those of other designated users, a biometric safe allows you to quickly and effortlessly access your guns literally with the touch of a finger, all while keeping any unauthorized people at bay.

The ability to access your firearms rapidly is the biggest advantage of a biometric safe. But traditional methods of entry are still an option with many of these high-tech models. Any biometric safe that’s worth anything also has one or more backup entry methods. These range from keypad combinations to traditional key locks. Dive in and explore the best biometric gun safes on the market.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Biometric Gun Safe

Just like trying to choose one of the more traditional gun safes, the process of buying a biometric gun safe can also be daunting because of the myriad options on the market. Obviously, the final decision is up to you, but here are some of the things you should think about before buying a biometric gun safe:

Storage Needs

How many guns and accessories do you plan on keeping in this safe? Is it just for a nightstand gun and therefore only needs to hold one gun and a spare magazine? Or are you looking to store multiple guns—even including rifles and shotguns—and use it as your primary safe?

Size and Weight

Is this biometric gun safe going to be mobile? That is, will it be going with you from place to place? If so, you want to make sure that you’re balancing the storage needs with the size and weight of the unit when it comes to portability concerns.

Backup Entry

Technology is great, but it’s also fallible. You absolutely need a backup way to get into your safe should the biometric option be unavailable. It could be because the power source has failed, or perhaps your hands are dirty and the sensor is unable to read your prints. Regardless of the reason for the failure, you have to be able to get into the safe via a secondary option.

Price

Money is always on everyone’s mind, especially when it comes to gun safes. Typically, a gun safe of any kind and size is viewed as an investment, and you want to get the best return from your initial investment. It’s important to remember, though, that a higher price doesn’t always equal higher quality. Obviously, the size of the safe plays a big role in its cost, so be sure you know what your storage needs are before committing to a purchase. (Go back and read the first bullet point again!)

If you decide that a more traditional safe is right for you, take a look at our roundup of best gun safes. And remember, gun safety is everyone’s responsibility. Review our gun safety rules, as well the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s guidelines.

Best Bedside: GunVault SpeedVault Biometric

GunVault

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Why It Made the Cut

The SpeedVault keeps your handgun at the ready in the bedroom, but out of sight and off of the top of your nightstand.

Key Features 

  • Pops open quickly, ready to grab
  • Lighted interior
  • Mounts to nightstand, wall or other surface

Pros

  • Can store up to 20 different fingerprints
  • Opening orientation presents your handgun ready for the draw
  • Mounting hardware is included

Cons

  • No AC/DC power backup for the battery
  • Only holds one gun

While plenty of options are available for biometric gun safes that can sit atop your nightstand, the GunVault SpeedVault is designed to mount on the side. This adds to the safe’s security potential by keeping it out of view of potentially prying eyes when they do a quick visual scan of the room. You can also mount it inside a cabinet or closet, further hiding your firearm. Out of site is out of mind.

Using any of the 20 different fingerprints that you can store in its memory for access, when the SpeedVault opens up, the handgun is presented right to you. The gun is ready for you to grasp the grip right away without having to actually pick the gun up and then get a good grip on it. This makes it an excellent choice when seconds matter.

Best for Rifles: Vaultek RS500i

VAULTEK

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Why It Made the Cut

Vaultek is one of the best-known names in the business, and their rifle-sized biometric gun safe takes everything they’re known for and puts it in a bigger package.

Key Features 

  • Oversized biometric scanner
  • WiFi-enabled
  • Made from 14-gauge carbon steel
  • Four solid steel locking bolts, interior hinges, anti-pry bars, and impact detection

Pros

  • Can program up to 20 different unique fingerprints
  • Lighted keypad and hidden keyhole for backup entry options
  • Comes with an accessory kit
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack

Cons

  • Steep price may be out of reach for some people

The Vaultek RS500i is the Goldilocks of their rifle-sized safes, right in the middle of their size lineup. With modular configuration options to fit your specific needs, this safe will hold 5-7 rifles and 6-8 handguns, depending on your particular setup. There’s even room for a dehumidifier if you so choose. (Check out our roundup of best gun safe dehumidifiers and read some good advice to keep your guns from getting rusty.)

When authorized access is granted, the door opens automatically on springs to provide immediate access to the automatically lighted interior of the safe. Equipped with WiFi, the safe can alert you to impact detection and other access attempts. You can also access the safe’s information via website and smartphone app, ensuring that you always know exactly what’s going on with the security of your weapons. The safe’s technology is powered by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, which is included.

Best Budget: SentrySafe Quick Access Gun Safe

SentrySafe

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Why It Made the Cut

SentrySafe provides name recognition you can trust at a price that won’t break the bank for the average person.

Key Features 

  • Pre-installed interior lighting
  • Made of steel and able to be bolted down
  • Uses commonly available AA batteries

Pros

  • California DOJ Certified for firearm storage and protection
  • Override key access in case of biometric failure
  • Can be purchased at big box stores

Cons

  • Small, only large enough for one pistol and a spare mag
  • Lacks features of more expensive offerings
  • Provides only basic security

SentrySafe has been making safes for almost 100 years, so they know what they’re doing. If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to protect a handgun yet still have immediate access, then the SentrySafe Quick Access Gun Safe is a solid option. This smaller safe will fit just about anywhere, while offering rapid access and security for your handgun.

Made of pry-resistant steel and featuring an automatic opening with a compression strut for quiet access, this biometric safe provides access with a fingerprint or keypad, plus backup key access. Inside, the safe’s high compression foam will help keep your gun secure from sliding around if the safe gets jostled around, and the built-in lights will ensure that you can see what you’re doing even in the dead of night.

Best Portable: Vaultek LifePod 2.0

VAULTEK

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Why It Made the Cut

The Vaultek LifePod 2.0 is proof that big things really do come in small packages.

Key Features 

  • Battery life of one year
  • Water-resistant, floats, and is airtight
  • Removable tray for modular configuration

Pros

  • TSA approved
  • Can fit two full-sized pistols
  • Lighted interior

Cons

  • Runs on a 9-volt battery instead of something that’s rechargeable

If you want the best in portable protection, this is it. The Vaultek LifePod 2.0 improves on the already fantastic design of the original LifePod. It’s water-resistant, floats, and is airtight. Bigger than the original version but still small enough to toss in a backpack, you can now store two full-sized pistols in this portable biometric safe.

Weighing just over three pounds, it won’t draw any unnecessary attention to your bag because it seems unusually heavy. With the increased size of the LifePod 2.0, you now have the option to store any other essential EDC gear you might need in the removable tray and the interior lid organizer. Wallet, keys, knives, passport, you name it. Use the included security cable to lock the unit down someplace, like a hotel room, when it isn’t traveling with you and rest assured that you’ve got the best portable biometric gun safe on the market.

Best for Car: Hornady RAPiD Vehicle Safe

Hornady

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Why It Made the Cut

It may not be biometric, but the access options for this gun safe are unbeatable for in-car access.

Key Features 

  • Inflatable mounting system
  • Exceeds ASTM International safety standards
  • RFID access

Pros

  • RFID activated by watchband, key fob, or sticker that instantly opens spring-assist lid
  • Up to five RFID tags can be programmed
  • Keypad and physical key for backup access options

Cons

  • Only designed for smaller handguns

The RAPiD Vehicle Safe from Hornady isn’t a biometric safe, but it is a safe that uses technology for access. In this case, the technology is RFID, and it might be a better option for use in a car. You can access this pistol safe with RFID-equipped watchbands/wristbands, key fobs, and even stickers that can go on your phone case. This means that you can gain access to your safe without drawing unwanted attention.

These days, everyone is wearing a smartwatch, everyone has a smartphone, and you’ve certainly got a key fob in your car. As a result, none of those items will draw attention to you accessing your gun. As an added bonus, the inflatable mounting system allows you to securely fit the safe into your car’s interior without having to make permanent modifications.

How I Made My Picks

I own multiple gun safes myself and know dozens upon dozens of people who have different models that were chosen because of needs that differ from my own. As a result, I’ve seen, used, and had the reasoning behind a purchase explained to me for countless different biometric gun safes on the market. Aside from the companies mentioned specifically in this list, it’s worth mentioning that Awesafe, BARSKA, and Viking also make solid options for biometric gun safe needs. When it comes down to picking which one is right for me, I evaluate products using the following criteria:

  • Reliability: How good are the biometrics and the backup access should I need to get into it another way?
  • Capacity: Am I looking to store just one gun by the bed, or multiple guns and other items that also need to be kept secure?
  • Security: Does this safe provide the adequate level of security that I need in order to feel confident in trusting it to do the job?
  • Cost: Are the features and benefits of this biometric gun safe in line with the price?

FAQs

Q: Are fingerprint safes reliable?

Yes, fingerprint safes are reliable. Thousands of people use them each and every day, trusting their lives to the fingerprint safe’s reliability. The technology is very good and it works exactly as it should—most of the time. Technology can and will fail, just like anything. That’s why fingerprint safes have reliable backup entry methods to ensure that you’re never completely locked out of your safe. Of course, that’s a worst-case scenario and it is something that only happens very rarely. For the vast majority of gun owners, they will never have an issue with their fingerprint safe for the entire time they use it.

Q: How much does a biometric gun safe cost?

The cost of a biometric gun safe varies widely depending on the exact make and model and what kind of features it offers. They can be had for as little as a couple of hundred bucks or as much as a few thousand dollars. Your budget is the only limit to what kind of biometric gun safe you can get.

Q: Are biometric gun safes worth it?

This is a very subjective question, but in general, yes, biometric gun safes are worth it. They provide the best of both worlds when it comes to gun safety: peace of mind knowing that unauthorized persons can’t get to your guns, balanced with the fact that you as the gun owner can get to your guns in an instant due to the biometric technology. Plus, with the different varieties of backup entry, you don’t have to worry about being locked out from your guns should the technology fail at a crucial moment.

Final Thoughts

Biometric gun safes are cool and all, but they aren’t an absolute necessity. People have been securing and accessing their firearms safely and quickly via other methods for a very long time. But if you think you need rapid access to your firearms, they can be a great option. You can’t go wrong with any of the ones on this list.

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