Mechanical Safe Locks vs. Electronic Safe Locks

Translated from German by Abha Vardhan (2019)


Home security is as important today as it has even been today. The increase in criminal incidences, burglaries, economic downturn and the constant threat of natural disasters have made it necessary for people to keep their valuables protected.

A safe is the most practical and effective means to keep your belongings safe and guarded against prying eyes. Therefore, the industry is making improvements to assist people with advanced lock systems.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mechanical Safe Locks

In spite of the advancement in the lock and key system technology, mechanical safe locks are regarded as one of the most dependable and long-lasting locks. As suggested by its name, these locks are completely based on a mechanical system.


  • They are very robust and reliable.
  • They can also be used in damp rooms and rooms with temperatures below the frost limit.


  • They are problematic to use as they require a steady hand, a good eye, and concentration when setting the number combination.
  • It is complicated to change the number combination or code and you need to call a professional home locksmith to get it done.
  • It is doubtful whether one can open the lock in an emergency situation since it is a slow machine to operate.
  • Tumblers usually get misaligned with time and would need the assistance of a locksmith for its maintenance.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic Safe Locks

An electronic safe lock makes use of electrical technology to ensure that your belongings remain safe. There are several advanced security features in these locks, which make them most popular among users. They can have a single or numerous security features depending on your needs.

A few of the popularly used security features in an electronic safe lock are the use of smartcards, Biometric locks, Keypad locks, Electromechanical locks, and Electronic dials.


  • These locks are simple and convenient to use. The vault can be opened quickly by entering the right code.
  • They are number combination locks, which means there is no physical key that needs to be kept somewhere, so no key can be lost.
  • The number combination can be quickly and easily changed if necessary. This can become crucial if the combination has become known or an employee leaves a company that no longer has access to the vault.
  • There are several high-quality self-closing electronic combination locks, which are locked automatically when the safe is closed. The two popular locks of these kinds are Swingbolt locks and motor locks. They come with a latch pressure switch, which automatically closes the lock when the safe handle is closed. This feature is useful as it ensures that the vault is always locked even when you are in a hurry.
  • Some electronic safe locks are available with two user codes to open the vault.
  • There are high-quality locks with an inbuilt mechanism that helps track the instances when the safe is opened, as well as when manipulation attempts are made.
  • These locks come with time functions that can be programmed and one can set timings for when to block the safe from opening.
  • Electronic locks are connected with the burglar alarm system.


  • Electronic locks are usually more expensive than mechanical locks.
  • You need to replace batteries as a precaution once a year, but the vault can be opened even with empty batteries by emergency power.
  • They are not quite as reliable as a mechanical lock.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mechanical Key Lock - Double-Beveled Lock


  • They are considered very reliable and robust.
  • They are easy to operate and convenient to use.
  • These locks can also be used in damp rooms and rooms below the frost limit.
  • The safe gets locked when the key is removed.


  • One must keep the safe key secure and away from the eyes of burglars. The key can wear with time so one must ensure to change it when needed.
  • If the key is broken or lost, you need to get in touch with a professional locksmith to get the safe unlocked.
  • If a key is lost, the lock code can only be changed by a specialist.

The Best Lock for Your Safe

When faced with getting a lock for your new safe, pay attention to the following points.

  • If the vault is in a cold or wet garage, only a double-bevel key lock or a mechanical number combination lock should be considered.
  • If you need to access the vault more often and the vault is located in a dry interior, an electronic lock would be the best choice or even a double-bitted key lock.

Key lock: Yes or No?

If the key is placed in the vicinity of the vault or is hidden, it is ineffective. Likewise, it is not good to carry the key with you every time as there is an increased risk of unauthorized copying the key. From the point of view of convenience and safety, it is good to consider a lock without a physical key. However, it is still possible to retrofit a vault with a key lock along with an electronic lock.

Mechanical or Electronic Combination Lock

For most customers, the electronic combination lock would be the best choice. The mechanical combination lock also has its charm and should be used in wet or outdoor spaces.

Which Lock Offers the Best Security: Double-Beard Lock, Mechanical Combination Lock, and Electronic Combination Lock?

All three types of locks (double-beard lock, mechanical combination lock, and electronic combination lock) are considered to be absolutely equal. A mechanical or electronic combination lock offers the same protection as a key lock. All these locks are VDS certified.



Written by: Robert Grahs

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