Trust Guard Security Scanned
Skip to content
Gun Cabinets vs Gun Safes

Gun Cabinets vs Gun Safes

If you are a gun owner, you are probably familiar with or have either a gun safe or a gun cabinet. These two are very different in many aspects but a lot of people usually mistake one for the other. Let's have a look into the main features, differences, advantages, and disadvantages of both gun cabinets and gun safes.

Gun Safes

Gun safes are like normal vaults and safes but are specifically designed to store and secure various types of guns. They are used to store valuable items and have locks like biometrics, key, or combination locks. Safes are usually made from very durable and heavy materials to make sure burglars cannot carry them out of your homes or businesses.

Gun Cabinets

Gun cabinets are designed to showcase and display your firearms. They are like your common kitchen cabinets but made for your guns. It usually has glass doors and can be built-in or freestanding. You can either get gun cabinets premade or custom made depending on your budget and the number of your firearm collection.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Both gun cabinets and gun safes have advantages and disadvantages and here are a few of them:



Gun Cabinets

Very Visually Pleasing
Not that Secured
No Fire or Flood Protection

Gun Safes

Thick Steel Walls
Fire, Water, and Theft Protection
Too Heavy to be Carried by Thieves
Not Visually Appealing
Too Heavy to be Moved Around

Gun Cabinets vs Gun Safes

Choosing between a gun cabinet vs gun safe can be very confusing. Aside from your budget and space in your home or business establishment, you have to consider what you want, what you need, features, materials, capacity, etc. of each product. Do not worry, we are here to make things easier for you! We listed some of the things you need to consider if you can't decide if you are going for a gun cabinet or a gun safe.


Gun Safe Capacity

Gun cabinets usually let you store 5 - 32 firearms at a time. And if you have above 32 firearms, your only choice would be a gun safe. If you have that many guns and ammo in one place, it is safer for you, your family, and/or employees to have your firearms in a safe or vault where unauthorized people won't be able to access them.


Gun safes are usually made from heavy-duty and high-quality steel, at least 1/2" thick to withstand a lot of abuse and force. It is also heavy and cannot be carried by thieves or burglars. While gun cabinets are typically made from sheet metal or solid wood around 1/8" thick. 

It can be easily damaged and cannot withstand a lot of abuse or force. Be careful when you are choosing a gun cabinet, whenever you see that it is made from sawdust or solid wood veneer. It might sound or look like real solid wood but it is not. They use sawdust composite as a thin layer of the veneer.


Stylewise, both gun safe and gun cabinet have appealing styles. But gun cabinets tend to be more rustic while and the other is more modern and sometimes feature a more contemporary style with various designs.

Some gun safes are very utilitarian in style. Meaning they might now look very decorative. This is common for some old or vintage-styled gun safes. But today, some gun safes come with designs and in various styles. 


Typically, gun cabinets do not have a key or a combination to remember. This might be great to easily access your guns but it is also a disadvantage when it comes to the security of them. Also, if your gun cabinets do not have any locks, your children can easily access your firearms as well. Gun cabinets are made from wood or sheet metal with glass to showcase your firearm collection, an average person with a crowbar can easily break the glass and steal your guns. 

Gun safes are built to secure your firearms. While nothing is actually 100% theft-proof, gun safes are designed to discourage theft with their robust and heavy structure and thick and high-quality materials used. 


Gun cabinets will not be, to any degree, fireproof but gun safes will, to some degree. Safes have a fireboard lining their interior walls. Yes, you can add fireboard lining in your gun cabinets, but it will not be as "fireproof" as a gun safe.

Even with fireboard lining, gun safes are not totally fireproof. Most safes start with 30 minutes fireproof and if you want higher fireproofing, you can choose bigger ones, but they are more expensive too.


The biggest difference between a gun safe and a gun cabinet is its pricing. Gun cabinets are much cheaper compared to gun safes. Again, we should look into the materials used for each, the features, and its firearm capacity. The introductory price for gun safes is at least $400 - $500 while gun cabinets start around $200 - $300.

Which One is for You...

Both gun safes and gun cabinets come in a wide variety of styles, capacities, sizes, materials, and prices. While gun cabinets can be great for displaying your precious firearm collection, they are not really that safe from unauthorized access. If you have kids in your home, it might not be advisable for you to have a gun cabinet instead go for gun safes that are more secure.

Also, if your place is vulnerable to invasion, got for gun safe they are heavier and comes with various types of locks to keep your firearms safe from thieves. But if your goal is to showcase your firearms, go for gun cabinets. It will let you display your guns without any blockage. 

Gun safes are slightly more expensive compared to gun cabinets but if the safety of your family is in line, we highly advised go for gun safes. But whichever you choose, remember both gun safes and gun cabinets are NOT a substitute for your insurance. It is better to get your firearms and other valuable items inside your safes or cabinets insured, just in case your gun safe or gun cabinet fails.

Previous article Burglary & Fire Safe Ratings: Buyer's Guide
Next article Best Gun Safe Buying Guide

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields