Steelwater Gun Safe Reviews: Top 3 Fireproof Models

Knowing which gun safe brand to invest in can be tough. There’s so many, and Steelwater is entering the market with force. You want to finally lock up that long gun collection but which company is best? There is a myriad of options out there.

Which is why we are here.

To do the dirty work for you and help you decide which product is the best for your wallet and safety.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of things out there that you don’t need to read reviews about before you purchase. A shower curtain, for instance, or a coffee table. But a gun safe is something that you really need to be sure about. Which is why we are going to completely review the Steelwater brand gun safe, for a number of reasons.

But we understand that everyone has different needs, so we will touch upon a number of different sizes within the same brand, and answer a few questions about the makers. This way, even the most discerning gun owner can find a satisfactory product and be sure of their purchase.

To get the mid-grade Steelwater safe, head to Amazon here to see it!

 NameCapacityNotable FeaturesFireRead More on Amazon

Steelwater Standard 16 Gun Safe8-10 long guns14 gauge steel construction for theft protection45 Minutes of fire protection at 1550°FSee Current Price
Steelwater Standard 20 Gun Safe10-12 long gunsVery affordable (priced under $1000)45 Minutes of fire protection at 1550°FSee Current Price
Steelwater Heavy Duty 22 Gun Safe12-16 long guns3 plug outlet and 2 USB slots inside1 Hour of fire protection at 1875°FSee Current Price

The history of the Steelwater brand

The best companies tend to start small. The owner of the Steelwater brand entered law enforcement right out of high school, to which he devoted his life for 5 years. After noting unhappiness in the quality of locks and safes, which he encountered numerous times in that profession.

He took up the locksmith trade to make changes to the industry. He has been in the industry for twenty-two years now. Giving the Steelwater product base a holistic approach to safety and security. Not only are they made with devotion, quality, and forethought. But they are made with the customer in mind and over two decades of industry experience.

Where are Steelwater gun safes made?

All Steelwater safes are designed from the ground up in North Augusta, South Carolina, but are manufactured at a facility in China. Though this does not mean the quality of these safes suffers. This is one of the few companies that manages to both save you money and offer you quality and features, as standard, that even the more expensive safes don’t.

What is the warranty on this brand of safes?

All the safes come with a lifetime fire and theft protection warranty. Steelwater will completely replace the safe in the event that someone damages it when trying to break in, or if your safe gets caught in a fire.

Steelwater offers a limited one year warranty on all of its safes. The only stipulation is that the electronic components of the safe are only covered under the warranty for 90 days. It doesn’t seem quite long for a safe you plan on keeping for years and years.

The safe must also be anchored to the floor in order to qualify for the warranty, if the safe is free-standing, the warranty will be null and void. If these requirements are met, any issues with the safe will be inspected by Steelwater and replaced in full. If replacement isn’t viable or available, the company will refund you for your purchase.

Why Steelwater?

This seems like a basic question but is a more important one that you would think. When looking to purchase from a company it’s best to read up on them a bit. Steelwater has assessed the needs of its customer base and created a product that has lent it an excellent reputation.

They offer in garage delivery, and each safe comes with a free dehumidifier. What really drew my attention was their devotion to creating a number of quality products and sticking with them, a lot of companies release new models every year. Including obvious advancements they were capable of making previously, but didn’t. This business practice from other companies often prompts people to buy an updated version of something they already own.
Furthermore, the creation of new models leads to older parts becoming obsolete. So if anything breaks you’re screwed.
Steelwater stands behind their products and uses only the most quality materials. Furthermore, should an issue arise they have excellent customer service and you even the ability to live message a representative on their website. So you’re not simply relegated to a call center where you become a number listening to elevator music.

Fire Protection/Digital Storage

People often ask about fire protection and what they can store in their safes that will still be protected in the event of a home fire.

Of the several brands I’ve reviewed, Steelwater stands out among the rest in this category.

Steelwater safes are all rated to resist fire for at least 45 minutes when subjected to a heat of up to 1550° without letting the internal temperature of the safe exceed 350°. The area around the door is lined with a heat responsive foam that will expand up to 8x its original dimensions when it comes to contact fire. Allowing for comprehensive protection and smoke mitigation. As a result, these are some of the best numbers we have seen on a safe in this price range.

Now, I understand that we live in a digital age. As such a lot of us out there will want to store intellectual or sentimentally valued items in our safe for various purposes. The majority of these will be on a digital medium, whether they be photos of children, banking information, backups, or even just a place to store your laptop. If subjected to heat these items will not survive.

The upper limit of modern technological heat resistance is about 180° which almost no safe is rated to keep itself under. So be warned that technology will not last in the event of a sustained blaze.

Combination vs Digital Locks

When choosing a safe you are inevitably going to face the question of whether to purchase a digital or combination lock.

That being said, there are a lot of bad reviews about digital locks out there. But for the most part, it’s because people have bought cheap safes from companies who don’t take security seriously. And when the lock causes issues the customers assume it is the inherent nature of the lock as opposed to the build quality. As such there are a few things you should be aware of when purchasing a digital lock.

-Make sure the lock has a non-volatile memory, otherwise there is a chance that a burglar can remove the battery and reset the keypad to factory settings. Allowing them access without even using tools.

-Ensure the product is EMP (electro magnetic pulse) shielded. If not the burglar can use a tool that emits a magnetic force to short out the keypad and revert it to its factory settings. Once again allowing them access.

-There should be a drill resistant plate behind the keypad, otherwise, this could be a point of weakness in which the burglar can drill into the safe and electronically override the motherboard. Opening the safe.

-Lastly, if your safe comes with a backup key (which it should). This should be a high-security key, with pick resistant tumblers. Therefore, while no lock is impossible to pick, some are much easier than others.

Reviewing These Safes

For this section, I am going to outline the various sizes of steelwater brand safes. Explaining their differences and the purpose that each would be suited for.

It is important to remember that no one safe is perfect for everyone and that each brand of safe can only hold about three-quarters of the advertised amount of guns if you also plan on utilizing the shelving for other purposes. Each safe also comes in two versions, the regular and “heavy duty”.

The heavy duty has 2 gauge thicker steel and 1/4” thicker bore holes for the locking bolts. I will leave it up to you to decide whether or not you feel you need the added protection.

It should be noted that all digital version of the safe can hold up 2 separate digital opening codes, and each one comes as standard, with a high-security double bitted backup key. If you wish to have an extra key you must order it when you purchase the safe, it cannot be manufactured after.

Steelwater Standard 16 Gun Safe

Outside Dimensions (HxWxD) : 59” x 22” x 16”
Interior Dimensions (HxWxD) : 55 1/4” x 19 1/2″ x 9 3/4”
– Interior Capacity: 7.44 Cubic Ft. (6.08 Cubic Ft usable)
– Maximum Long Gun Capacity: 16 (8-10 realistically)
Weight: 305 lbs.
45 Minutes of fire protection at 1550°F
14 Gauge steel construction
Composite constructed 5” thick door that includes a total of (2) layers of fireboard
Drill/ballistic resistant hard plate to protect the lock from being drilled or manipulated
3 Way direct drive lock & bolt system
internal spring loaded re-locking bolt to secure the safe in case the lock is punched out/removed during a burglary attack
Pre-drilled ½” diameter hole for the installation of a dehumidifier
Pre-drilled ½” diameter anchor holes for securing the safe to the floor
Double bitted emergency bypass key included
2 Reprogrammable (3-8) digit user codes

Read more details about the buying process and reviews here at Amazon. 

Steelwater Standard 20 Gun Safe

Outside Dimensions (HxWxD): 59” x 28” x 18”
Interior Dimensions (HxWxD): 55 1/4” x 25 1/8″ x 11”
Interior Capacity: 11.55 Cubic Ft. (8.84 Cubic Ft. Useable)
Maximum Long Gun Capacity: 20 (12-16 realistically)
Weight: 373 lbs
45 Minutes of fire protection at 1550°F
14 Gauge steel construction
Composite constructed 5” thick door that includes a total of (2) layers of fireboard
Drill/ballistic resistant hard plate to protect the lock from being drilled or manipulated
3 Way direct drive lock & bolt system
Internal spring loaded relocking bolt to secure the safe in case lock is punched out/removed during a burglary attack
Pre-drilled ½” diameter hole for the installation of a dehumidifier
Pre-drilled ½” diameter anchor holes for securing the safe to the floor
Double bitted emergency bypass keys included
2 Reprogrammable (3-8) digit user codes

Find out more details about this 20 gun safe on Amazon’s site here.

Steelwater Heavy Duty 22 Gun Safe


Outside Dimensions (HxWxD): 59” x 30” x 24”
Interior Dimensions (HxWxD): 55 ½” x 27” x 17 ¾”
Interior Capacity: 17.78 Cubic Ft. (15.39 Cubic Ft. Useable)
Maximum Long Gun Capacity: 22 (14-18 realistically)
Weight: 555 lbs.
1 Hour of fire protection at 1875°F
12 Gauge steel construction (thicker than 14)
Composite constructed 5 1/8” thick door that includes a total of (3) layers of fireboard
Drill/ballistic resistant hard plate that is 8x’s larger and protects the combination dial, re-locker, gear drive and linkages
Total of 18 1 ½” diameter solid steel locking bolts
Gear driven lock and bolt system for added strength against prying, punching, and drill attacks
Exceeds California Department of Justice regulatory standards for residential security containers
UL Listed LaGard Group II combination dial with pre-set random combination

Read more about this heavy duty gun safe here on Amazon.
Steelwater is an excellent brand that has a world class reputation for making sturdy, well-priced safes.

The first two safes mentioned are similar in their capabilities. Therefore we recommend that you buy the larger of the two as the useable space is less than you would originally think, and it’s best to be able to grow into your safe as opposed to having to buy another one.

The last, and largest safe, is one in which protection is much more serious. Because they come with a thicker steel construction, more secure lock and two spring-loaded, self-locking redundancies built in preventing forced entry.

Shipping

Shipping from Amazon is completely free.

The driver delivering your safe will bring it as close to your garage as possible, and then it will be your responsibility to move it the rest of the way inside your home.

Conclusion

It is obvious that Steelwater is a safe built for extreme fire protection with all the other amenities of a well built safe. Choosing which of the 3 is best for you is based on what size and protection you are looking for.

My suggestion:

If you plan on purchasing the 20 gun safe, is to spend the extra cash and upgrade to the 22 gun safe. You will fill your safe extremely quickly and be wishing for more room to store your valuables. It’s worth the extra money to get a bigger safe!

Finally, these safes come at an affordable price with extreme fire protection. Plus it doesn’t hurt that they throw in the free dehumidifier either.

Read more about them at Amazon here.

Image source

Leave a Comment: