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Pros and Cons of Biometric Fingerprint Safes

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Pros and Cons of Biometric Fingerprint Safes –  Introduction

Technology has come a long way in recent years. It wasn’t that long ago that biometric locks on doors and safes were only seen in sci-fi movies. Now, though, biometric fingerprint gun safes and biometric home safes, like the Stanley solid steel biometric personal home safe pictured above, are commonplace. But, are fingerprint safes as reliable as regular key and digital combination safes? To help you make the best choice, here are the pros and cons of biometric fingerprint safes.

How Do Biometric Fingerprint Safes Work?

Before we get into the pros and cons of biometric fingerprint safes, let’s take a quick look at how they work.

Biometrics is the technical term for physical characteristic of an individual that can be accurately measured. The term is usually used to refer to fingerprint scanning or retina scanning. Currently, retina scanning technology is used for some applications. But, in terms of gun safes and home safes, if you see the words biometric safe, it will most likely be a fingerprint safe.

A biometric fingerprint scanner takes a detailed image of your fingerprint. It records the pattern of ridges in your skin that make up your fingerprint. Everyone’s fingerprints are unique. This is why fingerprints are used to identify an individual. A biometric fingerprint safe records the features of your fingerprint in an encrypted digital format. It doesn’t keep a conventional photograph of your finger. When you come to open a biometric fingerprint safe, your fingerprint is compared to the digital record held. If the two fingerprints match, the safe will open.

The Pros and Cons of Biometric Fingerprint Safes

Biometric fingerprint safes have become common. They are especially popular for use as gun safes. Fingerprint safes do have their advantages. But there are both pros and cons of biometric fingerprint safes. Here’s a rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of biometric fingerprint safes.

The Pros of Biometric Fingerprint Safes

The main benefit that you gain with a fingerprint safe is convenience. The safe can be used by many people, and there is no combination to remember. Fingerprints are unique, so biometric safes should be more secure as well.

No Combination to Remember

One of the biggest advantages of biometric fingerprint safes is that you don’t need to remember a combination. All you need to open the safe are your own fingers. You simply place your fingertips on the scanner, and the safe will unlock.

No Key to Lose

A biometric fingerprint safe also removes the need for key. Traditional safes that use a key to unlock them are only any good if you don’t lose the key. Losing a safe key is not only a security risk, but it can also be very expensive to get a safe opened if you have lost the key.

Faster Access

Biometric fingerprint safes provide fast access to the contents. This can be especially useful if it’s a gun safe. If you are faced with an emergency, finding a key or remembering a combination might take too long. You can access a fingerprint safe by simply pressing your finger against the scanner.

Easier for Multiple People to Use

Many of the best biometric fingerprint safes allow you to store several people’s fingerprints. So, several family members, or several people in an office, can have access to the safe. This is much safer than having many keys in circulation, or many people knowing the combination to a safe.

More Secure

Biometric fingerprint safes are, in theory, more secure than keypad safes or lock and key safes. A child could guess or find out a combination or they could find a key to a gun safe, for example. However, most biometric safes have a fallback means of accessing the contents. This might be a combination keypad, or a key. So, to take full advantage of the extra security provided by a fingerprint safe, you would still need to be careful with the fallback key or the combination.

The Cons of Biometric Fingerprint Safes

As you might expect, biometric fingerprint safes are not perfect. Like any products, you need to weigh up the pros and cons. Here are the main disadvantages of fingerprint safes that you need to be aware of.

Needs Power to Work

Biometric safes use electronic scanners to scan fingerprints. So, they need power to operate. Fingerprint safes are usually battery powered. The best biometric fingerprint safes usually have battery monitors that will warn you when the batteries need charging or changing. But, if the battery runs down, the fingerprint scanner will stop working.

False Scans

A false scan occurs when someone whose fingerprints are not recorded in the system is able to open the safe. False scans, or false positives, are not as common with modern safes as they were with older models. But they can still occur, especially with very cheap biometric safes.


A non-scan occurs when a biometric fingerprint safe fails to recognize a stored fingerprint. Non-scans can occur due to a fault with the system or dirty fingers. There is also a potential issue for older people who want to use a biometric safe. As we get older, our fingerprints become less well defined. Some seniors find that fingerprint scanners don’t work for them. Poor blood flow and general wear and tear on fingers can also make fingerprint scanners difficult for some people to use.


The price of biometric fingerprint safes used to more of a problem than it is today. The prices have fallen a lot in recent years. You will find that biometric safes are more expensive than combination or lock and key safes, but they do not cost a lot more. Like everything, though, you get what you pay for with fingerprint safes. Very cheap biometric safes will be more prone to problems than the more expensive models.


So, there are both pros and cons of biometric fingerprint safes. The advantages revolve around convenience and fast access. The main disadvantage is the possibility of false readings. It is worth noting, though, that the technology has improved a lot over the past few years. There are no guarantees that you will never get a false reading with a fingerprint safe. But, if you spend enough money, a biometric fingerprint safe will provide you with a convenient and safe way to keep your valuables or guns, secure.

To learn more about the various types of house safes, read our Best Home Safes Review and Guide.


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