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5 ways to win at choosing a lock box

Lock boxes big and small

A safe is the ultimate lock box: Six sides (usually), dark gray or black color, heavy metal construction, inscrutable locking mechanism and too heavy to drag away.

Are you uptight or confused about lock boxes? Of course not! This is a special appliance; it’s made from quality materials by professional people and designers. It works without complaint.

Well now wait, the lock box might end up being a big purchase … what are the options?

Let’s go down the list of different boxes starting small and see the details. We’ll work our way up to safes.

1-Super basic lock box

The small specialist

photo of small lock box - Holder's Total Security in Tulsa OK

One example of a very small lock box is the key safe. You may have a remote location, for example, where your staff needs key entry to a building. They may be working at odd hours where management cannot be on site.

A key safe may attach to a strong wall or to a door frame. Typically, these solutions use a combination.

Any of your people with the correct combination can extract the key, use it to unlock the door, and then return the key once they have the door unlocked.

Properly designed, these are physically durable and economical to purchase.

Daily use examples

So you won’t have to take time off work or worry to be home to give people access:

  • Painters what do plumbers and electricians have to do with a lock box? Well, to start with, if these tradesmen need to work inside you home, you may need to temporarily lock up a few select valuables. You’ll be able to cheerfully go about your business while an entire crew clomps around your property.
  • And what about those times when the kids are having a social event? Both teenagers and toddlers may unwittingly pick up something important and carry it around, then just plunk it down in some odd location. Better not get yourself into a conflict with their parents.
  • A household lock box may be valuable if you are showing a house for sale. Keeping track of the key can be a hassle, unless you get a quality key safe (a tough box for holding keys).
  • Wouldn’t it be great if there were a more secure and convenient way to give people access to your home?
  • Children coming home from school. If you have children, you know how easy it is for them to lose things; but with a lock box at least they won’t lose the keys to the house. A lock box isn’t complicated so teaching them how to use it won’t be very hard.
  • Out-of-town guests who need to get in or out of your home when you’re not around.
  • Seldom-used spaces like equipment barns, storage sheds, or other spaces that you don’t need to go to often but need to be secure.

 

2-Medium duty lock box

Enough but not too much

One good example here is a metal document box for desktop use. It helps you focus your attention on ranking items in terms of their importance. It also protects papers from moisture, or just plain getting lost. It may or may not have a simple lock; perhaps just a latch to keep the lid from flying open.

The manual lock box, sometimes called a portable key safe. Common types are: Combination lock style lock box, Internal-wheel style lock box, Push-button style lock box, Wall-mounted combination lock box. In most instances, the combination for each type can be reset. Some require an extra code to remove the shackle attaching it to a post or handrail.

 

3-Heavy duty lock box

Bring in the big boy

photo of larger lock box - Holder's Total Security in Tulsa OK

One example of a larger lock box is a heavy metal drawer that attaches on the underside of a heavy-duty table. This could be a workstation where cash payments are being processed while working with the public.

Another example might be a technical or industrial setting, where expensive tools need to be secured overnight. The employee would simply drop those items into the metal drawer. Then, lock the drawer with either key or combination to keep it safe.

4-How select a lock box?

Measuring success

Let’s create a mental checklist. This will helps to zoom in on the essential features we require.

  • Application — What is the purpose of this lock box? What is its ‘job’?
  • Material — Does it need to be made of metal? Any particular kind? Thick or thin? Rustproof or not?
  • Size — Will this box need to accommodate small objects? Many of them? Larger objects?
  • Complexity — Should this have a complex electronic lock? Or a simple key?
  • Easy-of-use — Daily use will be a smooth and efficient process.
  • Special environment — Resists moisture, heat, cold, vibration, etc.
  • Cost — What budget constraints apply?

 

Application

Now, what is the purpose of this lock box? What is its ‘job’?

Material

Does it need to be made of metal? Any particular kind? Thick or thin? Rustproof or not?

Size

Will this box need to accommodate small objects? Many of them? Larger objects?

Complexity

Should this have a complex electronic lock? Or a simple key?

Easy-of-use

How easy to change the default code? Is it easy to open? How many digits in the passcode?

Special environment

Resists moisture, heat, cold, repeated handling, vibration, etc.

Cost

What budget constraints apply?

 

5-Moving up to safes

Highly specialized and secure lock box

Click here to read Holder’s articles about RESIDENTIAL safes
Click here for our articles about COMMERCIAL safes

 

Lock Box Reviews

Who writes good objective reviews about lock boxes? We collected several external links …

 

GOTCHA: Some folks have noticed moving parts freezing up after months of sitting idle. After a lot of elbow grease and fiddling around they did manage to get the boxes open. To save yourself some frayed nerves, get the most durable lock box you can, then look any online reviews mentioning how to keep the parts moving freely.

Tip: Keep a spare set of passcards or keys
But if you forget the code to open the box, you can probably say good-bye to whatever was stored inside. That’s why we recommend you keep a spare or master key hidden somewhere!

 

Find out more!      

 

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