The 10 Best Cash Boxes
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in September of 2015. At events like bake sales, concerts, street festivals and flea markets, keeping track of earnings is an important job. These convenient cash boxes allow whoever is assigned that critical role to securely organize all the bills and coins collected from sales in an orderly fashion. They come in various sizes to suit different needs, with key or combination locks to deter thieves. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 16, 2021:
Cash boxes are useful both in the home and when running public events, in order to keep money and valuables organized and secure. They are also a great gift for children to help encourage saving and responsible care of precious items. Those ranked here cover a wide range of practical applications and have varying degrees of security, with some, such as the Master Lock Deluxe and JSSMST CB0701M having basic combination locks, with the JSSMST Lockable having a choice of this or key operation, and the rest of our list featuring secure barrel lock mechanisms.
Our latest update introduces the XY-Firestar Money Safe, which is a familiar-looking, tried-and-tested option that ticks all the basic requirement boxes, including a cash tray, rear slot for valuables, and spring-loaded bill clips. Similarly, we included the Master Lock Deluxe, which has the distinction of having its bill clips in the lid. This does mean that there is more space for other valuables within its tray, but if you are working with a large turnover of money, this could be impractical.
The SteelMaster Heavy-Duty is about as basic as they come, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It excels as a sturdy security box that can be used for a multitude of valuable items, and its low profile makes it easy to stash where opportunists are less likely to see it, such as under a car seat, for example. Our final addition is the JSSMST CB0701M, which is the perfect choice for a child or young adult to keep their valuables safe, especially as it is available in a wide range of vibrant colors. This is not ideal for vending use, however, as the lower tray is not easily accessible, and there are no dedicated bill compartments.
January 30, 2020:
Three items were no longer available — the BuyASafe B598, Buddy Products Jumbo, and Decaller Storage — so all were eliminated from the list. It’s worth nothing that the ringing bell feature on the Certus Global Manual (a potential annoyance for some users) can easily be removed.
Two of the new models we’ve added allow you to attach a cable, which enables you to secure the box to a desk or similar structure for additional theft protection. While the WOT I Steel isn’t huge, it provides an extra space that comes in handy for storing small accessories and office supplies, and we’ve noted that users appreciate that it has rounded corners versus sharp edges.
Mr. Lock Box For those who wish to keep a low profile, Mr. Lock offers a slim, portable model at an affordable price. However, several heavy-duty boxes are available as well, some of which can be installed under counters for concealment. These are made with thick steel and feature deposit slots. mrlock.com
Uline H-5220 It doesn’t offer many flashy features, but this rugged box from Uline should deliver dependable security for any enterprise that deals in petty cash. The plastic trays are removable, allowing you to access the area underneath for additional storage. uline.com
For That Occasion Personalized Cash Boxes If you are looking for a practical and affordable gift for a child, why not consider a personalized cash box? These examples have key or code functionality, have a sturdy metal construction, and can have a name or message printed on their tags. For those looking for extra security, there is also a range of combination safes with coin slots for easy access. forthatoccasion.com
Choosing a Cash Box
Some cash boxes use codes to allow entry, but a key-operated option is the best choice for a cash box that might be shared among various people.
Whether you are helping the kids manage a lemonade stand, you are in charge of concessions at a bake sale fundraiser, or you are operating a booth selling artisans goods at a country fair, if you're handling cash you need to have a reliable cash box in which to store it. In such cases, a good cash box will provide two vital services: it will help you keep your various bills separated and organized, so you can quickly make change during transactions, and it will keep those bills safe against sticky fingers that might try to abscond with a bit of ill-gotten cash.
Any cash box worth your consideration for use in manning the till, as it were, should close securely but should also be able to open quickly, ideally with a key. Some cash boxes use codes to allow entry, but a key-operated option is the best choice for a cash box that might be shared among various people. That way you don't have to share a private code among multiple people, and you can render a box reliably closed simply by removing the key when needed.
For fundraising at schools, churches, and other such organizations, look for cash boxes that have slots through which money can be inserted even when the box is locked. These are great options for use to accept donations when no one is on hand to oversee the cash box directly, as they make giving money easy and still dissuade a crime of opportunity theft that might come with cash dropped into a jar, collection plate, or any other vessel that cannot fully be sealed.
Other people may want a cash box not for use in managing funds during sales, but simply to add a level of security to the money and other small valuables kept in the home. In these cases, a cash box need not have the same type of slots and compartments that sort bills and coins, and can instead have more open space suitable for irregularly shaped items worth storing securely. A secure locking box like this is a wise idea for use in the home or the office, and in these cases, units that are opened using a combination lock or digital code are a great idea. That way there is no key to worry over losing (some locking boxes can be opened with a key or a code, of course) and access can be remotely granted to any trusted family member, friend, or colleague simply by sharing the code information.
Consider also a smaller, basic cash box as a potential gift for a child. Children like to feel that they are empowered and being treated with respect, and giving a child a cash box is a great way to feed this sensitivity while teaching the youngster responsibility. A cash box is an ideal place for a young boy or girl to keep her allowance or to safeguard gifts of money received at birthdays or holidays.
Adding Security to Your Cash Box
As even the most securely-locking cash box can simply be carried away by the dedicated (and brazen) thief, you may at times need to protect the item that is protecting your cash in order to ensure you aren't parted from your currency. Most cash boxes are designed for theft deterrence, not prevention, as most such units can be forced open with relative ease using a pry bar, or can be smashed open using a large hammer or even a stone or brick.
If you want your cash box to truly keep your money and valuables secure, you need to consider these additional measures to secure the very box itself.
If you have the resources at your disposal to get a safe installed in your home, school, or office, do so, and leave the cash box inside the safe whenever it is not in use.
First, a simple chain lock such as can be used to secure a bike to a stand or sign post, can keep a cash box lashed to a booth (or post or other large or mounted fixture) and prevent the box from being carried off wholesale. Tying down a cash box in this manner won't prevent it from being forced open, but it can prevent the simplest form of theft associated with these items.
The safest place for your cash box to be when you are not using it is in an even safer container, such as an actual safe. A cash box will not resist serious attempts at entry, but a genuine safe will. If you have the resources at your disposal to get a safe installed in your home, school, or office, do so, and leave the cash box inside the safe whenever it is not in use.
If you are worried that your cash box might be swiped from a booth, from your home, from your hotel room, or anywhere else but you don't want to or cannot physically secure the box with a locking chain or other feature (such as a safe), then you can consider surreptitiously tucking a GPS tracking device into the box. Many such units are small enough to fit on a keychain and will almost surely be unnoticed beneath a stack of bills, and can lead you (and/or the authorities) right to the box no matter where it is taken, thus reuniting you with your valuables and snaring a crook in the process.
Other Uses for Your Cash Box
Just because it's called a cash box does not mean you have to use these secure devices for storing currency. As noted above, many so-called cash boxes are really just securely locking containers that are the perfect size for housing anything from jewelry to small electronics to other valuable goods. This is especially true when the box you have chosen has a removable cash tray, as so many do.
A robust, secure container need not protect goods only from crime; most cash boxes are also resistant to damage from drops and impacts, making them a good place to store delicate items while you are on a road trip, for example. Consider using a cash box to protect your tablet computer, camera, and other sensitive gear at all times when you are not using them even if theft is not a concern.
Also consider repurposing an underused cash box for keeping hardware, like screws, nails, and bolts, or as a durable tackle box. The same slotted compartments that separate different bills can help you keep your floats, sinkers, and hooks organized, and will protect those delicate fly fishing lures, too.