Gun Safe vs Gun Cabinet – What To Choose?

You’ve just purchased your first gun, or perhaps you already have a few. Your government has required that you store it in some manner – so now what? There are plenty of options to choose from when deciding where to put your firearm, but storing it in a rifle safe or rifle cabinet is an option many people prefer for their own reasons. Which one should you go with though?

A Quick and Dirty Rundown

Before getting into specifics, let’s cover the general differences. A gun safe is more protective than a cabinet. Made for show, a gun cabinet is good for aesthetics but lacks protection. Gun safes are harder to get into and cannot be broken through by even the most skilled thief; some of them can also withstand fire up to a certain point.

Gun Cabinets, on the other hand, are simpler and easy to put up in your house. They give a nice sense of security- enough for children but not for burglars- so you can still easily access them when you need them. Also if you’re looking for a way to show off that one antique gun that means so much to you then this would be an excellent option too.

Both these devices store your favorite guns, but there are many more differences that could make one or the other much more suitable for your specific needs.

Gun Safe vs Gun Cabinet: Making a Choice

Understanding Safes

Fires and Environmental Damage

With a fire, you have many hazardous factors to consider. There are fires themselves, the chemical-laden water needed to extinguish them – which can easily damage your firearms – and finally the time taken for clean up after these incidents so that you may enter your home again.

A gun safe offers far greater security than a cabinet in this situation. Many safes come equipped with dehumidifiers, which will protect your firearms from the surrounding environment. If you happen to live in an area where there is a lot of humidity, these dehumidifiers will work wonders for preserving and protecting your guns against corrosion.


You’ve probably heard it said that nothing can stop a thief when they really want your things, and that’s mostly true. A determined thief with the right tools and enough time could get into any home or safe – but in reality, they’re usually lazy and look for easy marks.

In real life, thieves work against the clock and use tools they can easily carry to steal from others. Gun safes come with bolting mechanisms that keep them secure to the walls of one’s home, making it impossible for thieves to simply take them away without being noticed or seen in time. Guns are also built out of sturdy steel which makes it difficult for anyone trying to break into them using a drill.

However, this same security that protects the guns from burglars also makes them hard to access in the event of a home invasion. Unless you’ve got a personal weapon you carry with you and secure near your bed at night, you will waste precious seconds getting a gun safe open if there is an intruder inside your house while they break in.

Kids and Safety

An additional benefit of gun safes is how they protect your firearms from injury- even if it’s just minor damage that might occur over time. Of course, there are two types of accidents to be worried about; the first being the most obvious: Kids (or foolish adults) shouldn’t get their hands on guns and hurt themselves or someone else by accident. Gun cabinets will stop clumsy little ones, but not more intuitive older children and grownups.

Of course, we’d also advise parents to teach their children about responsibility when handling tools such as guns. It might be easier than teaching them how to safely use a chainsaw or kitchen knife.

The two types of accidents you want to avoid most are your gun storage unit toppling over onto someone or if it’s accidentally opened when it shouldn’t be. As an alternative, gun safes are often the best option for protecting one’s guns because they’re heavy and more difficult to open than a cabinet would be; these can also be securely fastened to the wall.

Understanding Cabinets

Fire and Environmental Damage

Guns cabinets offer protection for guns against high humidity levels. They are usually made of wood and have glass doors which make them visually appealing, but also means that they could shatter easily in a fire. Even if they do survive the flames, water and chemicals used to extinguish the fires would still likely ruin them.


No matter how tough the protection may seem, no burglar will be deterred from getting inside of your house for long. And if you’re away and somebody gets past your home security system to break in, then prepare yourself for losing all of your guns. But if you’re at home during a situation involving a home invasion – where burglars manage to get inside – then it would prove easier for somebody who has their firearms secured in a cabinet rather than an adequate safety case.

Kids and Safety

According to our statistics, these cabinets will keep out most younger children. If you’re training your kids and they are reliable and responsible around guns as they get older, a cabinet would work well. However, if you don’t want your children to grow up with any form of contact with firearms – it may not be an ideal option. A child who is determined enough will break the glass of a cabinet without fail; while what was once forbidden fruit becomes something all the more attractive when it’s right before them at every turn.

One more thing to consider when deciding on where to put your gun safe would be if there is anyone else in the house who could accidentally knock it over. In order for this not to happen, you’ll need a cabinet specifically designed to mount onto walls. Don’t forget also that although safes are often stored away from plain sight, cabinets are often located in highly trafficked areas of a home.

What is the best option for you? You need to figure out where it will live, if you want to show off or conceal it and whether or not there are children living in the house. Crime rates also need to be considered because of recent events. If none of those things apply to you then it doesn’t matter which one is chosen because they both serve different purposes but if they do it would greatly affect the decision making process.

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