Digital Safe – Locks vs. Mechanical

Digital Safe Locks vs. Mechanical

Since the first invention, mankind has struggled with the dilemma of choosing between the old and the new; the classic and the modern; the automatic and the manual. Another dilemma is that of security; with hackers and thieves becoming more and more skilled and adept, one has to continuously remain a step ahead.

Bringing these two problems together are locks, especially safe locks. It’s not just safe to lock your valuables in a box and use a key to open or close it. Keys can be copied, locks can be picked, and keys can also be lost. Thus, we have to make a decision between an old-fashioned combination mechanical lock and an electric digital one. Below are some of the ways in which the two kinds of locks may be compared.

1. Ease in seeing:

One of the first tasks in opening a lock is, of course, to see it. However, a mechanical lock, especially the kind that opens by dialing a number, needs more focus and better eyesight. This is because you have to see the numbers printed on it, which are usually small. This means that many elderly people might have difficulty in opening combination dial locks, probably needing to put on glasses to do so. The same goes for people with prescription glasses.

Having numbers on a dial also mean that the numbers themselves might wear away with time, leaving it tough to open the lock without a lot of trial and error.

With a digital safe lock, this is not the case. The numbers would be on a keypad, which might even light up in the dark. As the arrangement of the figures is on simple keys, one doesn’t have to worry about hitting the wrong number by mistake.

2. The Time Factor:

Spinning a combination dial around can be time-consuming and cause frustration as well. If you’re in a hurry, you’re more likely to get it wrong, resulting in even more delays and frustration. In this case, the digital safe lock is much faster, making it less of a hassle and a blessing in an emergency. If you had to get some cash out quickly, spinning a combination would be a real pain.

3. Power usage:

Mechanical dial combination locks don’t need batteries. They are self-operated and as such can last a lifetime. Electronic digital safe locks, on the other hand, require batteries, which are an additional cost to maintain.

However, the batteries for digital safe lock also last a long time. This could mean anywhere from one year to six years. Even if the batteries last for the shortest period expected (i.e. one year), the cost would not be so much when spread out.

On another note, it can be extremely inconvenient if a battery or batteries run out when you least expect it. It might not always be possible to get a replacement quickly, and replacements might not always be available in the market either. With a digital safe lock, you also have to keep up with the times, perhaps even changing the whole lock altogether when it becomes obsolete.

4. Safety:

When you buy a combination safe lock, the combination might come with the product itself. This means that the factory and possibly the shop owner have access to your combination. This is risky and increases the chance of the combination leaking out. Plus, once you have your combination, it’s difficult to change it. Usually, you have to call someone to change your mix, as the process if a bit complicated. This again increases the risk factor.

With a digital safe lock system, it is possible to change the combination yourself. So, you have absolute privacy, as well as the freedom to change your password. You can even give out your password to someone in an emergency and then simply change it when you get the chance. Here, the only problem is that with frequent password changes, the password may be forgotten or mixed up.

The combination lock, especially if it as old fashioned kind, can easily be opened within an hour by a professional burglar. For a digital lock, someone must try all possible combinations, which could take almost three decades. There are also digital locks called Grade One locks, which are nearly impossible to manipulate, meaning that it would have even more security.

5. Cost for a digital Safe:

A digital safe lock costs more in installation than a dial combination. It also costs you time if you forget the code more than a few times, causing the bolt to go into lockdown. On the other hand, a combination dial lock would cost less to install.

Conclusion: Choosing which kind of lock to buy depends on several factors. You need to know the frequency of usage, budget, and risk factor you have, and then take your pick.


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