If you have valuable items that need safekeeping, you may be considering getting a vault or safe installation. But have you ever wondered what the difference is between the two? Not many people know the exact distinctions between these terms. In fact, many assume that a safe and vault are just interchangeable words!


However, there are actually some key differences between a safe and a vault. And it’s important that you know about them so that you can decide which one fits your residential or business security needs.


What is a Safe?

A safe is a sturdy, lockable box that protects whatever valuables you place inside the box. It is usually hollow or cylindrical, with one side or face containing the unlocking mechanism. It is commonly made of steel or metal and can be secured to a wall or free-standing. A well-made safe is theft-proof, letting only the owner access the possessions via a key, fingerprint identification, or a passcode. And depending on the quality of workmanship, a safe should be water and fire-proof for extra safety. A home safe is the most affordable way to safeguard everything, including your passports, titles, jewelry, and other prized possessions.

What is a Vault?

Now that we know all about safes let’s differentiate them from vaults. The key thing to remember is that a vault is a type of safe. ‘Safe’ is the broader umbrella term; all vaults are safes, but not all safes can be considered vaults. Both mechanisms keep your valuables securely locked away, but one may be more beneficial for you than the other.

Safe and Vault: The Difference

Before you call your locksmith service, read on to spot the differences between the two.

A vault is a larger-scale type of safe

One big difference is that a vault is usually for bigger-sized valuables, as it is built-in. Think of a bank vault – it is practically a whole room in itself, reinforced with steel locks and a sophisticated opening and locking system. If you have valuables that are pretty large and need to be kept in a secure room, you’ll need to outfit your space with a vault. Otherwise, a safe will work just as well.    

A safe is a smaller, more mobile option

While safes can also be built into your room walls, most of them are freestanding. Safes are therefore more mobile and can be transferred from one place to another. Meanwhile, vaults are room-size, so they will basically stay in that specific spot. If you need a secure mechanism to store your smaller items and be moved about in your home, choose a safe. But for businesses, pawnshops, corporations, and government agencies that need to secure many more items, a vault may be the better option.

Vaults are large-scale safes

Think of vaults as the bigger and larger version of safes. They have more sophisticated locking systems. They are larger in size and sturdier – meaning harder to breach. While there’s no hard-set rule for who can and cannot install vaults, you have to think about your situation. Safes are more common for home use as it already protects a few pieces of documents, jewelry and cash from theft. Even so, for those who have a lot more precious stuff to secure than the average homeowner, they will prefer vaults even in residential spaces. Of course, safe repair and upkeep will differ significantly between a typical safe and a massive vault.

Now that you understand the differences between safes and vaults, you can decide which security system works best for your home or commercial property. Sherman Oaks Lock & Safe can assist you with all types of safes and vaults. Check out their latest locksmith services to get a more profound sense of the market’s best safe and vault models. And if you need custom work, our locksmith professionals are highly qualified to meet your requirements. Call us today to learn more!

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