With so many options and brands for safes, it’s hard to really sift through all the information and figure out if the safe you’re buying is worth it. Even if the safe you think you’ll buy ticks all those little boxes on your list, how do you know it will stand the test of time? Or in this case, the test of children or robbers?

I’ve taken a few days out of my schedule to sit down and do some research about Barska. Sure they’re well-known for making decent scopes, but I wanted to find out how well they do with making safes.

I’ll be reviewing two really popular biometric safes that Barska has made. You’ll learn about their safety, comparisons to other products, and in one case, a Barska safe that I just can’t seem to get on board with.

Sorry, safety’s my number one priority here! (Don’t worry, though, I’ll outline a few alternatives so you aren’t completely in despair!)

Click here for my favorite of these two Barska safes on Amazon.   Or, if you were initially going to buy the smaller Barska safe, check out the better rated, higher quality Verifi S6000 safe at Amazon here.

Who Makes Barska Safes?

Barska safes are made by a well-known company called Barska. They specialize in popular sporting optics. That means, binoculars, rifle scopes and telescopes.

The company’s headquarters are located in California where they house their products and distribute them all over the world.

Although they’re known for specializing in optics, Barska decided to try their hand at creating reliable and secure safes, with some of their most popular safes being biometric and/or gun safes. I’ve outlined their two most talked about safes below in this review.

Where are Barska Safes Made?

Like most products today, Barska safes are made in China. I know it’s a bit disappointing that it’s not a product that’s made in America, but the most important thing is to focus on whether or not it’s a product that solves your needs and is right for you. And that decision is completely up to you.

Is Barska a good brand of safes?

After researching and studying their most popular safes, I’ll give you my honest opinion. Barska isn’t known for their safes. They’re known for their sports optics.

Does this mean they can’t compete in the safe or gun safe market?

Absolutely not. They have already proven that they can compete in this market and provide quality products that are high in demand. People want their safes.

But is this the right brand for you? I’d suggest you read the reviews about each product before making that decision. Find out if you stand with the Barska brand.

What warranty does Barska offer?

Barska has a warranty on any manufacturer defects and limits it to one year. It’s also non-transferrable. So if you’re the original purchaser of the safe and you give it away as a gift, make sure to let the person know that if they find anything wrong with it, they’ll have to go through you to replace the safe.

The downside is that you will need to pay $40 for shipping costs when they ship the fixed product back to you. It’s frustrating when the safes don’t cost much more than that. They also specify that it may take 6-8 weeks for the safe to get back to you.

The warranty doesn’t cover any damage that you might inflict on the safe during installation, it’s just manufacturer defects. So to be sure, remember to inspect your safe the moment you get it.

Give it a once over, open and close the door, and try to unlock/lock it to check the locking mechanism. Make sure the safe is perfect before installing it and possibly damaging it even more. Returning it immediately due to damages will save you a lot of time and frustration down the road.

Barska Biometric Safe AX11224


I’ll give you all the details on this safe and also my opinion of it (especially in regards to protection around children). It probably won’t be well-received, but I’d rather be honest than not.

Towards the end, I’ll give you alternatives to it in case you’ve been convinced that it’s not right for you.

This safe is one of Barska’s smaller, more compact safes. It is decently priced for the biometric technology and is large enough to hold documents, electronics, handguns or jewelry. Basically, it can hold a small number of things and would work best for the person who won’t outgrow the safe.

Interior

Since the safe is so small, there aren’t any shelves inside. There’s some felt lining the bottom of the safe to add some padding and protect your valuables. The inside measurements are 16.25 x 7 x 14.25 inches. It can definitely hold documents with those dimensions. It could even hold smaller laptops as well.

The contents of the safe are protected with two steel bolts on the door.

There is also a spot to install batteries on the door. Since the safe is biometric, it will need batteries to run properly. It takes 4 AA batteries which are conveniently included when you buy the safe.

Barska claims the batteries will last two years, but you’ll hear beeping noises to let you know the battery is dying when it gets low.

What happens if the battery dies?

If the batteries die, there are two emergency backup keys that you can use to open the safe. There’s a little access plate on the front that you unscrew and you’ll find the keyhole behind it.

How many fingerprints can it hold?

It can hold up to 30 fingerprints. You’ll want to register a few of the same prints simply because your fingerprints can morph based on the conditions. You definitely don’t want to be stuck hunting for those emergency keys if your safe can’t read your prints.

It takes 3 seconds to read your prints and open the safe.

Can a gun fit in it?

Handguns can easily fit in it. A lot of people have used this safe for storing handguns, simply because it’s cheap and sized perfectly. Others have stored a decent amount of ammo inside. So this could even be used as an ammo safe that you keep near your long gun safe.

Can it be used in a car?

It won’t fit under a car seat, but it’s possible in an SUV or truck since their benches are normally higher. The exterior dimensions are 16.5 x 7.75 x 14.5 inches, so you can measure your seats and see if it would be able to fit in your vehicle.

Can I anchor it down?

Yes, there are 3 drill holes in the back and bottom of the safe, so you can secure it to a wall or a shelf or floor. You’ll need to buy the hardware to do that, though because it’s not included.

Is this safe fireproof?

No, this safe doesn’t protect against any fire damage. You’ll have to pay a bit more to get that kind of protection.

How far does the door open?

The door doesn’t open 180 degrees. It only opens a bit past 90 degrees. This can make it difficult to see inside the safe and grab things out of it. It may make sense to add some small lighting in there or use a flashlight to really see its contents. That’s if you want to be fancy, though.

If you want to buy this Barska safe, find it here on Amazon.

Here’s a short video about the safe:

Alright, let’s talk about the problems.

Why I don’t recommend the Barska Biometric Safe AX11224

I’ve read multiple reviews saying that kids were able to open this safe. That’s right. Even Forbes wrote a piece about how a three-year-old can break into the safe. This greatly concerns me because so many people buy this safe to store their firearms from their kids.

Who wants to buy a product to protect their children from a firearm, only to find out that they are able to get access to the pistol? No one.

Sure, you can teach them about guns and make sure they know when they can touch them and when they can’t, but that is only half the battle. The other half is making sure their curious hands can’t get to the guns. And I’m sorry, but this safe cannot be used for those purposes.

Even if you’re not storing items from kids, there are issues with this safe. The amount of stories where people tried to access the safe with their fingerprints and failed is countless.

Many reviewers talk about how they tried opening the safe after several months and could not get it to open. Even after several attempts. If I needed something quickly from the safe, I’d expect it to be nearly foolproof, especially after paying extra for the biometric technology.

Some people were frustrated because their warranty ran out when the safe decided to quit working. In the end, they weren’t able to get a replacement.

What’s an alternative?

Barska Biometric Safe vs. Verifi S6000


Ok, I won’t hide my feelings. I love the Verifi S6000. It’s pretty new on the market, but it’s gotten amazing reviews.

This safe has a newer technology for fingerprinting, which means it’s way more accurate than other biometric safes. People who normally have issues with fingerprint readers have no issues with this safe.

Here’s me showing how the safe opens:

Check out the current price of the Verifi Safe on Amazon here.

It takes about 3 seconds to open.

Here’s some photos of what items the safe contains. It comes with two backup keys, batteries and mounting hardware.  In the top right is a photo of the interior.  See more images below to check out how roomy this safe really is.

It’s also extremely intelligent and will remember who attempted to open the safe and who gained access when. It basically logs all interactions with the safe.

This is the safe I recommend if you’re trying to protect guns from children! Or even if you want a dependable safe to store your valuables that won’t accidentally leave you locked out.

Here’s an example of how much of my items could fit inside this safe. You’ll definitely want a pistol rack to fit more than 2 or 3 handguns.

It also has holes to bolt the safe down and its dimensions are 17″ x 16″ x 8″. Pretty similar to the Barska safe.

They also offer a 30-day guarantee. If you don’t like the safe, return it. So, what’s there to lose?  Find this highly rated Verifi S6000 safe on Amazon here.

Or Read more about the Verifi S6000 here.

Barska Biometric Safe vs. GunVault


The GunVault brand is widely known in the firearm community. If you were planning on purchasing this safe for a gun, you may want to look at the GunVault SpeedVault 500. It comes in both Biometric and Electronic versions, and there’s, of course, a bit of a price range difference. The nice thing about the Gunvault is that it can be mounted near your bed, on a wall, and it perfectly fits a single handgun. You can read more about this gun safe here.

I recommend it over the Barska safe simply because there haven’t been as many complaints, and the line of GunVault safes are made by a larger well-known gun safe company called Cannon.

They offer a BETTER warranty than Barska. Along with the one-year manufacturer warranty, they offer a five-year warranty if someone tries to break into the safe or if it’s damaged by fire.

I’ve spoken with Cannon’s customer service and they are extremely helpful and nice. Compared to the reviews about Barska’s customer service, I’d highly recommend the GunVault.

Barska Large Biometric Safe AX11650


This large safe is one of Barska’s most popular safes. For a relatively good price, you’re getting some secure biometric backed storage for your valuables. The price you’re seeing is due to the biometric technology.

Interior

Alright, let’s talk about the inside of the safe first. Interior dimensions are: 13.5″ x 9.5″ x 19.5″. It has a decent interior space with shelving that will help you maximize the space to the things you plan on storing in there.

What is the shelving system like?

Two shelves come with the safe. These are adjustable and removable. So if you plan on storing a tall item, simply remove the shelves and you’ll maximize vertical space. If you plan on storing documents, a firearm, and some jewelry, the shelves come in handy for organizational purposes. Since they’re adjustable, you can make certain shelve spaces taller than others. Simply put, there are a lot of ways you can customize the inside of this safe.

The shelves themselves are not carpeted, although the floor in the safe has a nice lining of felt/carpet. You could easily install a piece of fabric on the shelves or back of the safe to give them a bit of cushion if you’re concerned about the items you’re storing.

Batteries are installed on the inside of the door. Since this safe is biometric, it requires power to run the electronic finger scanner.

What batteries does it use?

This safe runs on 4 AA batteries. They’re conveniently included with this safe, so don’t worry about needing to run out and buy them. Reviewers have said that the safe has lasted 1 year without needing to replace batteries. Barska says the batteries can last up to two years. Normally that depends on the quality of the battery and the amount of use that the safe gets. The safe will alert you with beeps when the batteries are getting low.

This seems like a good point to transition to the outside of the safe.

Exterior

Ok, let’s move on to the outside of the safe.

What happens if the batteries die on me? Am I locked out of the safe?

Luckily this safe comes with two manual ‘back-up’ keys that you can insert into the handle to open up the safe. I like to hide my keys in two different spots in the house. That way it’s less likely that I’ll lose them both. Yes, I’m absent-minded like that. (In reality, I’ve actually forgotten one of the spots I hid my key. I do know where the other one is, though, so I’m ok, right?)

Can I bolt it down?

Absolutely. There are two small holes on the back and the bottom of the safe. You can use these to anchor the safe to the floor or the wall.

For a few reasons, you’ll want to bolt your safe down. If you live in an area with earthquakes, it’s always smart to secure your large items down in case of an unexpected quake.

Another reason to anchor your safe is to prevent someone from picking it up and taking it away. This safe doesn’t weigh too much and could easily be lifted up and stolen.

How much does this safe weigh?

It weighs 48.5 pounds. It’s easily able to be moved, so placing it in your home won’t take much effort.

Is it fireproof?

No, this safe offers no fire protection.

If fire protection is a must, keep looking. Maybe check out some of Stack-On’s safes, although they are a bit more pricey and don’t offer the same biometric technology.

How many fingerprints does it store?

It stores up to 120 fingerprints. Most people use multiple for the same finger. Since this technology really isn’t that old, it still has a hard time reading certain prints. Things like a paper cut or being in water will morph your fingerprint and may make it hard for the reader to interpret it.

It’s definitely advised to program multiple of your prints and anyone else who plans on using the safe.

Can I delete fingerprints?

So if someone that has access to the safe has moved, or if you don’t want them to get access anymore, you may want to remove their fingerprints from the safe’s memory.

Unfortunately, the only way to do this is to reset all the fingerprints in the system, so you’ll have to reprogram your own as well.

Here’s a quick video about the Barska Large Biometric Safe AX11650


Get the large biometric safe from Amazon here!

Last minute details

Ok, here are the rest of the details about the safe.

Exterior dimensions: 20x14x15 inches
Interior dimensions: 13.5×9.5×19.5 inches
Weight: 48.5 lbs
Body material: Steel
Fingerprints remembered: 120
Backup key: 2 keys
Warranty: 1 year, limited

Where to buy Barska safes

The best place I’ve found to buy these safes are on Amazon. Why? Well, they have free 2-day shipping when you have Amazon Prime. I believe shipping costs are still free without Prime, but hey, then you’re missing out on getting your safe in two days!

Get the large Barska biometric safe on Amazon here!

Conclusion

I hope this review gave you some much-needed insight. Leave me some love in the comments section and let me know what you think!

For more biometric options, check out my review of the top 3 biometric safes here. >>

Leave a Comment:

12 comments
Elizabeth says August 23, 2016

Thanks for the opinions on which safes don’t work for kids. That is a very big concern of mine. The last thing you need is something to go wrong with your own kids or their friends. Not something anyone would want to live with.

Reply
    Lauren says August 24, 2016

    Exactly! I’m glad you found the article helpful.

    Reply
Bonnie says August 23, 2016

Thanks for the review. I found it super helpful and liked the idea of the Gunvault. I hadn’t come across it before but it looks like the better option especially when keeping the kids safe!

Reply
    Lauren says August 24, 2016

    The gunvault is definitely a better alternative if you’re looking to store a single pistol! Glad you stumbled upon the article. 🙂

    Reply
Martin says August 23, 2016

For some reason I thought biometric safes would be a lot more expensive. I have done my own research on Amazon and I wasn’t very impressed with some of the customer reviews for the Barska. Your article has made me make the decision that the Gunvault is the best buy for me and the reviews on Amazon seem to confirm that too.

Reply
    Lauren says August 24, 2016

    In some cases the biometric safes are more expensive, but brand and quality definitely play a part in the price! Glad you stopped by and found the review helpful.

    Reply
Suze says August 23, 2016

Thanks for the review! I have to admit, I am really happy you gave the Verifi as an alternative to the Barska. I was looking for a small biometric safe and decided to look for reviews. Thank you for your honesty! BTW, I’m sure that other pesky key will turn up. When it does, write on each one a little clue to jog your memory where the other one is. LOL, hope that helps!

Reply
    Lauren says August 24, 2016

    Haha! I’ll admit, I’m still looking for that pesky key 😉 Thanks for the good wishes though, I’m sure it will turn up eventually! I love the Verifi and I hope it becomes more popular. It’s a newer safe, but it seems so powerful compared to the others! Thanks for stopping by.

    Reply
debbie says March 9, 2017

This write up is amazing

Reply
srinivash says May 4, 2017

Thanks for sharing educational article. I have been searching this type article.

Reply
Best gun safes 2017 says July 1, 2017

A weapon safe is a safe and defensive stockpiling holder for at least one guns, and, or ammo for those firearms. Firearm safes are basically used to avert access to unapproved or unfit people, for thievery insurance, and, in more fit safes, to shield the substance from harm amid a surge, fire, or catastrophic event.

Reply
saigon safes says November 3, 2017

Thanks for the review. I think my child has safe more with this

Reply
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