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Safe Buying 101: Dial Lock or Digital Lock?

When securing valuables, it’s important to maximize your safe’s security with a lock accommodating for your lifestyle. While combination locks are included as base safe features, digital lock installments typically cost between $100 and $175. Price matters, but it’s normally reflective of equal qualities. For this reason, it’s best to select a lock-based upon your lifestyle needs. Examine the guide below:


The Dial lock

Dial Combination LockDial locks are incredibly classic, but they’re still widely used today. Carrying a very low failure rate, successful dial locks are indispensable security resources.

The Pros

Dial locks don’t require batteries to change. Due to their mechanical design, they’re also immune to power outages, broken hardware and buggy electronics. A dial lock is consistent, too, and will rarely “run down” due to time. Dial locks have come a long way, and they’re relatively resilient to outdated standards.


The Cons

Dial locks, while incredibly accessible, take a while to open. A dial lock use does take practice, but it becomes relatively easier as the handler practices. Being a little slow to access, dial locks may not be suitable to meet quick-access needs. Additionally, safe owners cannot change a dial lock’s combination themselves. A trusted safe technician or locksmith will be needed to alter a dial safe’s combination.


The Digital Lock

Lagard Basic Digital Lock

 Digital locks are increasing in popularity—and for good reason. Homeowners seeking adaptable security options are turning to digital locks, accessing valuables with relative ease on the fly.


The Pros

Because digital locks can be reconfigured at any time, they’re popular among businesses and other professional providers. If an employee leaves, the safe owner can simply change the combination. Many digital locks carry a lockout penalty, too, adding enhanced security if an incorrect combination is entered three times in a row. Frequently, lockout penalties last for about 10 minutes. Many digital locks offer multiple code usage, too. Businesses operating digital locks frequently give separate employees different—but operable—passcodes. If an individual leaves, the singular combination may be changed to enhance security. A high quality digital lock will offer audit trail functionality. Such a feature gives managers the freedom to examine safe access. Often, audits can be viewed on a computer or laptop via software. Some digital locks carry a time delay function measured between zero and 99 minutes. Such locks safeguard out-of-time-slot access, which is similarly useful to certain businesses.


The Cons

Digital locks carry about a three percent failure rate. So, over a 10 year period of time, out of 100 locks, three will fail. A failing keypad can be replaced, yet deeper digital issues may require the entire lock to be exchanged. If a safe’s lock fails, a safe technician or locksmith will be required to drill the safe open—also requiring lock replacement. While digital locks frequently operate for about 10 years or more without issue, their price may not be justifiable to all. If you require protection in a small business environment, or if you seek day-to-day home defense, a dial lock will likely work better. That said, a digital lock’s multi-functionality is certainly useful to business environments. Remember, however, to keep a 9V battery handy at all times when keeping a digital safe. If you have any questions regarding which lock to purchase on your potential safe for your home or business, please give us a call at 800-207-2259 today!