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Which small safes are best?

A small safe can help you keep your belongings safe and secure, whether you have belongings you want to keep locked away for safety reasons, crucial valuables or sentimental things that you want to preserve in the case of a flood or fire. It can be overwhelming to buy a small safe, especially if it’s your first time purchasing one. If you are searching for a top-notch small safe, the AmazonBasics Security Safe – 0.5 Cubic Feet is a superb pick.

What to know before you buy a small safe

Understand why you should buy a small safe

People buy small safes for a number of different reasons, including to lock away harmful substances and dangerous medications, to keep firearms secure when they’re not being used, to keep valuable items safe in the case of a flood or fire and to secure valuables and cash to prevent theft.

Different kinds of safes

There are several different kinds of small safes, including free-standing safes, document and data safes, drawer safes, wall safes and lock boxes. 


It’s important to consider what you want to place inside your small safe and keep in mind that the internal dimensions of the safe are usually much smaller than the outside dimensions, especially if you are purchasing a fireproof safe.

What to look for in a quality small safe

Burglary protection

Many organizations test small safes independently for their protection level against burglary. There are a number of different ratings for burglary protection, which help insurance companies figure out the value of contents they will cover if someone breaks into your safe. For example, RSC-rated safes can undergo a 5-minute attack and are usually approved to hold up to $5,000 worth of belongings by insurers. 

Fire rating

There are also fire ratings for fireproof safes, which tell you how long the safe you choose can resist fire and the maximum temperature of the inside of your safe when it’s exposed to fire. Most small personal safes are fire-rated for up to 30 minutes, which works well in the case of a home fire. 

Lock type

There are a few different kinds of locks for small safes, including fingerprint locks, dial locks, key locks and keypad locks. Keypad locks are the most common, and key locks are also fairly secure and simple.

How much you can expect to spend on a small safe

Small safes vary in price, depending on the type of small safe and the quality. For example, basic free-standing safes cost about $50, while heavy-duty freestanding safes can go for over $10,000. 

Basic data and document safes range in price from about $40-$80, while high-end data and document safes cost over $3,000. Basic drawer safes cost about $30-$50, and high-end drawer safes go for $150-$200. Compact wall safes typically cost less than $50, and lock boxes go for $15- $50.

Small safe FAQ

Do you need to hire a professional to install your small safe?

A. Most small safes don’t need to be installed, but if you select a wall safe, you might need to hire a professional to install the wall safe for you. Also, you can bolt some free-standing safes to the floor or wall. You might be able to bolt these safes on your own, but you might need to hire someone.

Should you select a small water-resistant safe?

A. Waterproof or water-resistant safes keep your things protected in case there is a flood. It could be overkill if you don’t live in an area with flooding, but if you do live in a place with lots of flooding, it’s very helpful.

What would happen if someone tried to tamper with your safe?

A. You can find a small safe that includes an alarm that will sound if someone tries to tamper with the safe. Some safes have keypads that automatically lock out people who fail to enter the right code after three attempts.

What are the best small safes to buy?

Top small safe

AmazonBasics Security Safe - 0.5 Cubic Feet

AmazonBasics Security Safe – 0.5 Cubic Feet

What you need to know: This small safe from AmazonBasics works well as a sensitive document holder or as a gun safe.

What you’ll love: This compact AmazonBasics safe can be bolted to the closet, the wall or the floor. It is also fairly simple to program and can hold multiple different guns and ammunition, as well as documents.

What you should consider: Some people say that the locking mechanism on this small safe is easily defeated.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top small safe for the money

Safego Portable Indoor/Outdoor Lock Box

Safego Portable Indoor/Outdoor Lock Box

What you need to know: This stylish lock box from Safego enables you to store your personal valuables in places with little to no security, like parks, beaches and open houses.

What you’ll love: This inexpensive Safego lock box comes in a wide range of different colors and enables you to store your phones, cash, wallets and other valuables. It also resists the elements, including saltwater, sand and sun.

What you should consider: There is some limited storage space with this safe, since the interior dimensions are smaller than you might expect.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

SentrySafe Fire-Safe Waterproof File

SentrySafe Fire-Safe Waterproof File

What you need to know: This waterproof safe from SentrySafe is a great option to consider if document protection is your biggest priority.

What you’ll love: This small SentrySafe safe is extremely roomy and both fire- and water-resistant with a heavy-duty construction. It holds documents like hanging files and is not removed easily by criminals.

What you should consider: The original keys for this small safe are not very durable, so you should probably make duplicates.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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