Gun Safe vs Gun Cabinet

Keeping your gun safe at home will take more than just storing it in a safe place and out of the way. You will need to find the right gun safe vs gun cabinet to keep it away from thieves and unauthorized users.

We will take a look at safes and gun cabinets in this article to see which one is the best option to use for your firearms. Depending on the type of gun you have, you may need to find one that provides total protection and the best safety you can achieve.

So, let’s find out together whether you need a gun safe or a cabinet to keep your firearms close at hand but safe.

rilfes inside gun cabinet

What Is a Gun Cabinet?

A gun cabinet is a glass door storage space for your guns with a lock and key installed. It is usually made of wood or even a thin metal sheet to provide you with a place to store your firearms out of the way.

Gun cabinets are not primarily meant to keep thieves away from firearms. It is more an option to keep it safe from honest people. Those protected will include visiting family members, children, and other house guests. Essentially, you don’t want anyone to have access to your firearms.

Cabinets may also be manufactured in the same configuration as gun safes with space for rifles and handguns such as pistols. They may also have unique storage spaces allocated for your ammo and cleaning kits to keep them safe and in one place.

Gun cabinets are not very expensive and can be bought for less than a hundred dollars or a bit more for a good quality cabinet. Gun cabinets will not keep your guns safe from fire and can be easily pried open with even a small or lightweight crowbar.


  • The glass door of a cabinet can provide you with a quick picture of the continents of the cabinet at a glance.
  •  It will be easier to have access to your firearms in the case of an emergency with a gun cabinet.
  •  You will immediately see when one of the guns is removed from the storage space through the glass door panel.
  •  Gun cabinets displays can add a significant visual aspect and add to the enhancement of the aesthetics of any room in your house.
  • Gun cabinets usually are much cheaper and are available with an affordable price tag for those who work with a tight budget.
  • Those people who want to build a cabinet themselves as a DIY project can easily do it without being a professional.
  • Gun cabinets are lightweight and can be easily moved to another location if you want to change the environment.


  • Gun cabinets are not the most secure place to store dangerous weapons and can be easily accessed.
  • You have no protection from the elements like water and fire for your guns in a gun cabinet.
  • Gun cabinets can collect moisture on the inside, which may cause damage to your expensive firearms.
  • Because it does not weigh a lot, the whole cabinet can be carried away by a determined thief.

What Is a Gun Safe?

Gun safes are more serious storage spaces typically made from more substantial steel materials to make it difficult to gain entry. Manufacturers will make a typical entry-level gun safe from a 12-gauge steel plate that will be difficult to cut through.

They will also be much heavier than a gun cabinet and may weigh in the range of 300 and up to 800 pounds. They will also have other security features attached to them, such as the ability to withstand heat in the case of a fire.

Gun safes also have much more substantial and heavier locks that potential thieves can not easily bypass to gain unauthorized access to the contents of the safe. They may also have a digital lock or a combination of a digital lock and a strong lock with a particular type of key.

Gun safes typically come with special storage compartments for rifles and handguns, with a small compartment for small valuables and ammo. They are also much more expensive than gun cabinets and may cost a couple of hundred dollars and even more than a thousand dollars.


  • Even an entry-level gun safe will provide a high level of security for your guns to keep them safe.
  • A safe will take much longer to gain unauthorized access due to the more robust materials used in its construction.
  •  Different types of locks are used to make it even more difficult for even the most determined thieves to gain access to your valuables.
  • A good quality gun safe can protect your guns and other valuables from such things as fire and water and even excess moisture build-up.
  • Gun safes are very heavy and can not be easily picked up and carried away by a thief.
  •  A gun safe can be even further secured by bolting it against a solid wall to prevent it from being moved.
  •  To remove it from the safe wall, you need to have access to it in the first place, making it an impossible task.


  •  Gaining access to your safe may take precious time, and that may make a difference between life and death.
  •  If you installed a gun safe, it would take a lot of work to move it if you need to, like when you move to another house.
  • You may quickly forget the combination of the digital lock on your gun safe, and it will be challenging to gain access.
  •  If you forgot your digital access code, you might gain access with the manufacturer’s help, but it will cost you.
  • Gun safes are, in essence, far more expensive than a gun cabinet and may not be an option for those who work with a budget.
  • Cheap gun safes are not much more secure than your average gun cabinet, so they may not be fire-resistant.
  • A budget safe is also not that safe from a determined thief who wants to access your valuables.


As you can see, both the gun safe and gun cabinet have their merits, depending on your budget and your unique situation. A gun safe is usually much safer to keep your valuables locked away, but a cabinet will give you easier access in the event of an emergency.

You should consider all the facts and decide which one will be the best option for you and your guns.

The only way a thief can carry away a safe is if they are a professional, like in the movie ‘The Italian Job.’


If you aren't familiar with the gun safes on the market and you aren't sure which of the gun safe models is the best choice for you, I recommend you to read my Gun Safe Buying Guide so you can learn how to determine which gun safe suits your lifestyle best. I have made a detailed guide about the features you have to consider before you buy a gun safe and they are connected to the size, brand which made it, capacity, materials used during the production and special features like fire or water protection. If you are familiar with all those features, I suggest you visit my posts about best biometric, quick access or fireproof gun safes if you know that they suit your lifestyle best.