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Home > Safe Info > Keypad VS Dial

Electronic Locks VS Dial Combinations

Your safety is of the utmost importance. That’s why when buying a safe for your home or office, there are many decisions to make. Whether you’re in the market for a wall safe, floor safe, or any of the several other types of safes we offer, choosing the best one that fits your lifestyle includes many considerations. One of those is the choice between a safe with an electronic keypad, and one with a dial combination. Here I have collected a lot of thoughts and information about the two so you can make an educated and informed decision.

First up is the electronic keypad and the advantages of purchasing a safe with one. If your lifestyle warrants the need to open and close your safe numerous times per day, this may be something that is worth an investment. Sometimes using a dial combination can be a bit of a hassle, and I have found that when customers begin to feel this is an inconvenience, they abandon using their safe. Of course, if you stop putting valuables in your safe, why own one at all?

I’ve also been asked which one is better between an electronic keypad and a dial combination safe. The truth is, through my long experience in the safe industry I have discovered that both are very difficult to crack or get into. After 4 repeated invalid codes, a safe with an electronic keypad will go into “lockdown” mode. Once in this state, the electronic keypad becomes unworkable for 5 minutes. After that time has passed, the user is able to try again two more times, if more invalid entries are made, the safe will go into lockdown mode once again. This process essentially eliminates the ability to enter a random code to crack the safe.

Customers also tend to have concerns about the battery life a safe using an electronic keypad, what if it goes dead? It’s actually very easy to switch out a dead battery! Simply open the battery compartment on the outside of the keypad and replace the nine-volt battery. A dead battery will not compromise your safe or the combination code, as the internal computer component’s memory will maintain the combination.

To make it easier on you to decide, we have mapped out a pretty straightforward pros and cons list. I hope this will help you in your decision:

Electronic Keypad

1. Ease of changing code combination

2. Quickly input combo

3. User is able to customize his or her own code, so memorizing it should be easy

4. When an incorrect code has been entered 5 times, the safe will lockdown and the user will not be able to try again for 5 minutes.

5. The same security and strength of all our quality safes.


1. Batteries do require changing, on average about once every year. Of course the combination will be remembered when the battery dies.

2. More expensive than a dial combination safe

3. If lockdown mode occurs because your combination code is forgotten, you will have to 5 minutes before trying again.

4. This is a new technology, only having been on the market for about 20 years.

Dial Combination Lock

1. The safes can maintain the same combo and will not display wear

2. With good upkeep, dials will keep for very long

3. Usually much less expensive than an electronic keypad

4. Dial combination locks have a 150-year history


1. A locksmith is needed to change combination

2. Unlocking and opening the safe takes longer

3. People who have arthritis or unsteady hands may find it hard to open

4. There is no “lockdown” function

5. Old fashioned and not very convenient

It is also a concern of many people that they must change their combination code through the keypad only. This is simply not true, and there is a simple process that can change the code whenever you feel like its integrity has been compromised. The safe will come with step-by-step instructions on how to do this, but I have also included some easy directions that may help you determine whether or not this is something you could manage with an electronic keypad safe. You may download the instructions in PDF format: click here.

We hope that this has given you some perspective on what is the best choice for you. It truly does come down to your lifestyle, comfortably and convenience needs. However, we are confident that no matter what you choose, one of our high quality safes is right for you. If after reading this you still have questions regarding Electronic Keypad vs Dial Combinations, Contact us at 877-629-6214 or send us an email at, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

24123 Peachland Blvd. Suite C-4
Port Charlotte, Florida 33954
Fax: 1 (866) 408-7303 Phone: 1 (877) 629-6214