The Difference Between Safe Dial and Keypad Locks!

keypad vs dial

Recently in the news, a well-known American safe manufacturer, Liberty, provided the backdoor code for an electronic digital safe dial to the FBI after receiving a warrant for the safe. The safe in question was a gun safe suspected of containing illegal items. This, of course, resulted in significant controversy and backlash for the company, as it raises concerns about the security of such safes.

Today, I want to clarify the difference between a digital keypad and a mechanical model. It’s important to note that all digital keypads are not sold with a backdoor code unless explicitly requested by our customers or the person in charge of the safe. With a mechanical safe lock, you don’t have to worry about someone accessing your code because these locks are set according to your specific instructions

Locking Mechanism:

•          Digital Safe Lock: These locks use electronic components such as a keypad, biometric scanner, or electronic card reader to control access. Users input a PIN code or use a fingerprint scan or card to unlock the safe.

•          Mechanical Safe Lock: Mechanical locks, also known as combination locks, rely on a physical mechanism to secure the safe. They require the user to enter a specific combination of numbers by turning a dial or a series of wheels.


•          Digital Safe Lock: These locks can offer a high level of security when properly designed and maintained. They often have features like multiple access codes, time-delay settings, and audit trails. However, they may be vulnerable to electronic hacking attempts if not adequately protected.

•          Mechanical Safe Lock: Mechanical locks have a long history of reliability and security. They are less susceptible to electronic hacking since they lack electronic components. However, the level of security may depend on the quality of the lock and the complexity of the combination.


•          Digital Safe Lock: Digital locks are generally more convenient for daily use. Users can quickly enter a PIN code or use a biometric scan without the need for precise manipulation of a dial.

•          Mechanical Safe Lock: Mechanical locks require users to dial in the correct combination, which can be slower and less convenient, especially if you’re in a hurry or if the combination is complex.


•          Digital Safe Lock: These locks require regular maintenance of electronic components, including battery replacement for keypad or biometric systems. Failure to maintain them can result in lockouts.

•          Mechanical Safe Lock: Mechanical locks are typically low-maintenance, as they don’t rely on electronic components. Lubrication and occasional dial cleaning may be required.


•          Digital Safe Lock: Electronic components can be sensitive to environmental factors such as extreme temperatures and humidity. Quality digital locks are designed to withstand these conditions.

•          Mechanical Safe Lock: Mechanical locks are generally robust and durable, capable of withstanding harsh environments.


•          Digital Safe Lock: Digital locks tend to be more expensive upfront due to their electronic components and added features.

•          Mechanical Safe Lock: Mechanical locks are often more cost-effective initially, but their price can vary based on the lock’s quality and complexity.


The choice between a digital safe lock and a mechanical safe lock depends on your specific needs and preferences. Digital locks offer convenience and advanced features but may require more maintenance and could be vulnerable to electronic attacks. Mechanical locks are reliable and secure but may be less convenient for daily use. It’s important to consider your security requirements, budget, and comfort level with the chosen lock type when selecting a safe.

Both are great options for your safe however, if you are looking for higher security and less issues then you may want to think about the mechanical dial. It is what we recommend if you do not mind the opening of it and the rotations it takes to spin.