The 10 Best Drawer Safes
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in November of 2018. These drawer safes can help protect all kinds of valuables from fire, water, children, and, of course, thieves. They can prevent unauthorized access to sensitive items, including guns, medications, documents and more, using keyed, PIN-controlled and biometric locks. The models you'll find here are all compact in size, so they are not too obtrusive, and are available in designs to suit most needs When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 16, 2020:
While all of our previous picks for this category were still great picks for certain circumstances, we did do quite a bit of shuffling during this round of updates, in order to ensure that our list reflected offerings that were appropriate to this specific category. The BNFUSA Small Faux Book, for example, was removed because – although it’s admittedly slick, affordable and in some ways effective – we ultimately felt that it would be a better fit for our list of diversion safes. Similarly, we replaced the V-Line Desk Mate – an under-cabinet gun safe – with the Awesafe Fingerprint Identification – a biometric gun safe that can be permanently installed in a drawer – because we felt that it was an equivalent offering that made more sense for the category. There is still, of course, quite a bit of crossover between categories with our listings – for instance, the SentrySafe Fire File is a fireproof safe that we felt was also relevant to this category, and the Viking Top Opening is a digital safe that we felt was also relevant to this category – but we used our best judgement to eliminate questionable models and replace them with sensible selections. The Safego Indoor/Outdoor and Sunnydaze Combination are two portable safes we decided to let go because, although they would technically fit in most drawers, we felt that there were better choices out there for this application.
Some of our new picks this time around include the Barska AX11556 — which weighs more than 21 pounds, and keeps burglars at bay with a pair of 3/4-inch motorized deadbolts; the GunVault MiniVault — a different take on “drawer safes,” as this safe has a drawer of its own that automatically ejects upon opening; and the Casual Home Store Concealment Furniture — a line of tables that contain a hidden drawer suitable for stashing all your clandestine wares.
A few things to think about for this category:
Storage: To store something safely, you must store it first, so make sure you select a unit with enough interior space to accommodate whatever valuables you’re looking to protect. Also, while many models in the category essentially provide a bare box that’s serviceable for miscellaneous storage, others are designed to meet the particular needs of certain users. For example, the Awesafe Fingerprint Identification and GunVault MiniVault feature padded compartments to help prevent pistols from getting scratched, while the SentrySafe Fire File is designed to accommodate letter-size hanging file folders, and the JSSMST Money Box has all the necessary slots and clips it needs to be operated as a makeshift cash register.
Security: While basic models like the JSSMST Money Box and SentrySafe Fire File employ a simple combination lock or keyed mechanism, models like the AmazonBasics Desk Safe do one better, and offer digital-combination access supplemented by a backup key. Fingerprint access is a rising trend in this category, with many advanced models – like the GunVault MiniVault and Awesafe Fingerprint Identification – offering easily programmable biometric access.
The Tokatuker RFID Lock presents an interesting alternative to putting a safe in a drawer, and allows users to convert a drawer to a safe that can only be unlocked via keyless, touchless access using its included radio frequency tags, and the Casual Home Store Concealment Furniture employs a hidden drawer, but it should be noted that this stash spot isn’t protected by any sort of a locking mechanism.
Installation: Many users will be content to keep one these units simply sitting loose in a drawer, which may be enough of a deterrent to keep out curious children or questionable staff, but others will prefer something that can be bolted down, for extra peace of mind. The Awesafe Fingerprint Identification does come with pilot holes that make it simple to screw down, but its slight size also make it a viable portable gun safe, for transporting pistols to the range, which makes a case for not permanently installing it.
The Barska AX11556 comes with mounting hardware. As does the Tokatuker RFID Lock, which most capable DIYers – equipped with the right screwdriver – should have no trouble with. The Casual Home Store Concealment Furniture is one option that, argubally, can’t technically be “installed,” but it will require some minor assembly, as its legs arrive unattached.
November 20, 2018:
Selected the AmazonBasics Desk Safe and Safego Indoor/Outdoor as budget-conscious tools for securing valuables, as well as the V-Line Desk Mate for those who want something more robust. Added the Vaultek VT20i despite concerns that it can be hacked, as the company seems to have patched this issue. Omitted other similar biometric models, including the Stack-On PDS-1500, due to ongoing hacking/picking concerns.