Dial vs. Elect / Digital Safe Locks

http://www.deansafe.com Dial vs. Elect / Digital Safe “grade 1” Locks. If you’re buying a safe (especially a GunSafe) you should know this information. Why are some Mfg’s only offering “U.L. Grade 1” Elect / digital locks on their safes now? Is the dial lock dead? No, not yet but it’s bleeding profusely.

Hi, my name is John Dean and this is my daughter, Jackie — Hello. What we want to do today is show you some of the differences between a standard group two combination dial lock, and a high security electronic lock. Okay, let me get my glasses on here, you do not need that with a digital. Um … are you ready Jackie?

Hands on the safe. Go! Four times to the left to my first number, sixteen, three to the right, fifty two. Pass it once, pass it twice, sneak up on it. To the left twice to eighty one. There is once twice, go back to the right got it.

Now that is just a short demonstration, you can see that the digital lock is considerably faster. Some of the other advantages to the digital lock is, I do not need my reading glasses to get it open. It does take batteries, they are loadable from the outside. We were told by the factories to replace the battery every year, but we are finding that they last three four, even five, or six years which is amazing not only are they quicker, you can change, and put in your own combination, and you can do it all by yourself. You will be the only
person in the whole world that knows it.

With a dial lock, you have to hire somebody to come out and do it, it is a fairly complex procedure. With this it is so easy, you can change it every single day. I don’t need my reading glasses I don’t have to worry so much about light. If you can find the keypad you can open it up. So you don’t have to turn the lights on to do it.

There is a lot of tremendous advantages to Keypad, they are very, very user-friendly. As far as security goes, there are a lot of the old timers out there, who think that the dial lock is better. Actually it is not. This is a group
two lock. It can be manipulated in eleven to fifteen minutes by a professional. There are not a lot of those running around, but it can be done. The digital lock the average estimated time for manipulation is twenty seven years, because, it will use one million full possible combinations, minus one, and in addition to that there are six or seven quality digital locks out there. They are called Grade One locks. Much higher security than a group two.

Because of the high manipulation resistance. Drill points are very vague compared with the dial lock. Remember the dial lock was made in the civil war, that was the first one, and it remains virtually unchanged. Trust these new electronic locks. Eighty percent of the safes we are selling have them. We think they are wonderful, it solves a lot of problems. I want to thank you very much for this moment, and hope you have a good day.

California’s largest Safe and Vault supplier Located Los Angeles with stores in the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, and now in West L. A. at 11284 Washington Pl., Culver city CA 90230

DeanSafe’s Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/DeanSafe

Website: http://www.deansafe.com/

Store locations: http://www.deansafe.com/store-locations.html



What happens if the Elock fails? Can the safe be opened and Elock replaced without drilling and ruining the door? My safe salesman made it sound like I’m in trouble if the Elock fails and tried to push me twords a dial. 

almetcalf says:

Well, since he is talking about professional thieves that can open combination locks, how about the pros that can open these electronic safes with a laptop?

marv farley says:

Iv seen those electric lock opened in less then a minute with an rare earth magnet .

DeanSafe says:

If there was any way to bypass the keypad it would never get a U.L. rating.

Bill B. says:

Thanks for putting this informative video together.  Looks like I made the right decision by going with the elock.

SCORPION101 says:

Do you have a rare earth magnet. do you know how to get one. only rare earth magnets can and I stress the can part open cheap solenoid locks. gun safes even my cheap sentry safe is immune to that. yes I am a pro lock smith 2nd generation. now I do still have faith in tumbler locks, but don’t shoot digital down because of their ease of use.

LR Hall says:

Point taken Mr. Dean, but pretty far from reality as far as opening the dial lock. Like any safe owner, I know the combo from my S&G dial lock and can open it in about 5 seconds. Surely not as quick as I could open a digital, and light and eyesight do play a part as you noted… but I’m not fumbling around with the combo card a dial, you know very well that once you know your combo and routine it’s much much quicker than you demonstrated.

jetttskiman says:

You can get almost as fast with the dial if you do it enough.  I have a digital on my new one though. It is pretty handy.  I bought a Fort Knox because they are warrantied for life and they are built in the good old USA. I had an issue with one of the numbers on my keypad and they sent me a new one no questions asked. I snapped it on and it works great.  If something with the electronic lock inside goes bad, they will come out and get it open for you.

quelorepario says:

I can open that kind of digital keypad in 5 seconds. Get a flir camera and follow the residual heat from the fingers, from the strongest to the weakest (strong signature will indicate more recent, so follow the numbers from the weakest to the strongest, and voila, safe opened).
Keypads are extremely vulnerable (unless there is a randomizer like in samsung keypads).
If you want digital, go for an electronic dial lock.

Alcatraz Locksmith says:

Very Nice post! I favor the reliability of the Group 2 mechanical locks, but the convenience of the digital is very nice, too.

strikemaster99 says:

On a dial lock how about putting in two of the three combinations prior to going to bed? If something goes wrong in the middle of the night put the 3rd combination in and now your in your safe maybe even faster than with a combination lock being that you dont mess up? Remember to reset whenever your not home? As for me I trust the reliability of a dial lock and less maintenance is also a plus over combination locks… Add discretion…

DeanSafe says:

Get the best of both worlds watch this video; https://youtu.be/CC1c2xN8DI4

Thanks for watching,

vorkev1 says:

I still stick with my comment thear are no high severity digital locks just for the fact alone that digital keypads all have someway of buy passing them and yes they may have a high security lock but not keypad and every keypad dus have a buypass for the fact of safty most locks can even be shorted

service1956 says:

You are not really testing security when it comes to theft resistance. The real way is how the door is made. Do you think a thief is going to take the time to figure out the combination? They will force the door open with pry bars! The door of a safe is the most effective way of force entry. With a cheap safe, less then 5 minutes. With a good safe, too much work and not enough time to open.

Zac Paul says:

It is interesting to see how split safe sellers are on this topic. I think the user needs will dictate which is best.

While I agree that good electronic locks are super reliable, I personally prefer a mechanical lock for the simple reason that there are many mechanical locks made in the 1800s that still work reliably today. It is impossible to know if digital locks made today may still work reliably 100-150 years from now. Additionally, even the best of electronic locks still depend on a power source, and there is no way to guarantee this will always be readily available in the far-out future, especially if a major event were to occur. A mechanical lock does not have this dependence and so I am preferential to it when using with a safe I plan to use for 50+ years.

Loyd Pye says:

thanx just picked up a Liberty w/ digital, also your daughter is gorgeous

Rick S says:

What happens when we have a EMP happen?

mr d says:

whats your take on the 4 inch bar style locking mech? for the poor man whats the best safe for under a 1000$? the military bar style seems to be good on pry test? liberty revolution 24… your take on it? thanks dean…

dan4466 says:

My sisters keypad lock just failed. It’s a Cannon and one of the numbers on the keypad failed somehow and wasn’t letting even the key override open the safe. Had to have a locksmith drill it open for a $350 charge. Since Cannon says this was a limited model they have no lock to send for replacement. Safe is ruined. Locksmith says he makes a living opening these keypad safes. Mine failed, didn’t keep safe from opening and had another keypad sent to me. I was lucky this time.

vorkev1 says:

they are not high severity and the dial lock is better as most people who have basic knolag on cracking safes will have more trouble dial locks as they do not no much on cracking them as most basic safe cracking people no how to buypass digital in a matter of minites and some even secands. 1 of the biggest thinks is most digital safes have a reset button and with a this peace of metal you can get around the safe and hit the button also all digital safes have a master combo

w2k says:

I’d still take the dial.

plainwornout3 says:

Changing the combination on a dial lock isn’t complicated or hard. I have a key that goes in the back when the door is opened then you set your new combo according to directions.

theinsolentlynx says:


00rphb says:

I prefer key safes

whhitestallion says:

Something to think about: the main brain on the electronic lock which sits inside the safe can go bad. Most don’t tell you that. It doesn’t happen often but it still happens. Once this happens it’ll cost you a pretty penny to have someone come drill your safe to open it.

Joe Birdwell says:

Can the push button lock replace the dial lock by a locksmith at home? If so what is a reasonable fee?

airraid713 says:

Old and slow but no EMP….

DeanSafe says:

Your confusing cheep low end locks with High Security U.L. rated Locks. Look at it this way;
1. The worst, Low end E-locks with buttons on the back to change the combo (often have a key override).
2. Better, UL rated Dial Locks group 2. As seen in video
3. Best, UL rated Digital Locks grade 1 As seen in video
I left 4 or 5 other levels of locks but these are the most important ones for what we’re talking about.
Hope this helps,

William Bundred says:

what happens after a fire wouldn’t a electronic dial melt?

Lion Phoenix says:

Nope. When I bought my safe I wanted the dial lock.
I hate electronic locks.
I do not like the idea of batteries in my safe lock. They may last a long time but if you leave them in too long as with anything that uses batteries the batteries can leak and destroy the electronics. Then what?
I don’t need to get into my safe fast.
I keep one gun out just in case,

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