Which one's better? Mechanical vs. Electronic Safe Lock

Mechanical Dial vs. Electronic Safe Lock — Pros & Cons

Which is better -- classic mechanical combination dial safe lock or newfangled electronic digital safe lock? Ever wondered how much quicker opening an electronic safe lock is than opening a mechanical combination dial? We put both to the test.

John Dean and daughter Jackie Dean go head to head on opening two different safes at one time. One has the electronic safe lock, the other the old fashioned mechanical dial.

Who will win?


Hi, my name is John Dean and this is my daughter, Jackie.

Jackie: Hello

John: What we want to do today is show you some of the differences between a standard group two combination dial lock, and a high security electronic lock.

Okay, let me get my glasses on here, you do not need that with a digital. Um ... are you ready Jackie?

Hands on the safe.


Four times to the left to my first number, sixteen, three to the right, fifty two. Pass it once, pass it twice, sneak up on it. To the left twice to eighty one. There is once twice, go back to the right...got it.

Now that is just a short demonstration. You can see that the digital lock is considerably faster.

Some of the other advantages to the digital lock is, I do not need my reading glasses to get it open. It does take batteries, they are a loadable from the outside.

We were told by the factories to replace the battery every year, but we are finding that they last three four, even five, or six years which is amazing.

Not only are they quicker, you can change, and put in your own combination, and you can do it all by yourself. You will be the only person in the whole world that knows it. With a dial lock, you have to hire somebody to come out and do it, it is a fairly complex procedure. With this it is so easy, you can change it every single day.

I don't need my reading glasses I don't have to worry so much about light. If you can find the keypad you can open it up. So you don't have to turn the lights on to do it.

There is a lot of tremendous advantages to Keypad, they are very, very user-friendly. As far as security goes, there are a lot of the old-timers out there, who think that the dial lock is better. Actually it is not. This is a Group Two lock. It can be manipulated in eleven to fifteen minutes by a professional. There are not a lot of those running around, but it can be done. The digital lock the average estimated time for manipulation is twenty seven years, because there one million full possible combinations (minus one), and in addition to that there are six or seven quality digital locks out there. They are called Grade One locks. Much higher security than a group two because of the high manipulation resistance.

Drill points are very vague compared with the dial lock. Remember the dial lock was made in the Civil War, that was the first one, and it remains virtually unchanged. Trust these new electronic locks. Eighty percent of the safes we are selling have them. We think they are wonderful, it solves a lot of problems.

I want to thank you very much for this moment, and hope you have a good day.