Internal or External Hinges - Which One Should You Choose for Gun Safe?

When people consider buying a gun safe, one of the most asked questions would be, “Is it really safe?” The answer to this of course would depend upon the features of the gun safe. One of the features that people are intrigued about are the “hinges.”


You see, there are two types of hinges for gun safes – the internal and external hinges. Some people say that internal hinges are better than external hinges. But are they really?

To finally put an end to the never-ending question, let’s take a closer look at what both have to offer. We’ve listed down their benefits below​:

A Gun Safe with External Hinges

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    Gun safes with external hinges scream old-fashioned. For some, this is actually a good thing. Some owners view safe guns as more than just a safety storage for guns; they also want to see something that would blend well with the interior of their homes.
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    These will have active or dead bolts on the sides. The bolts are designed to prevent door removal even when hinges are removed.
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    You can swing the door as wide as 180 degrees. The wider door swing will give you better access to the contents of the gun safe.
external hinge

Advantages of Internal Hinges

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    The internal hinges can’t be tampered with. Since you can’t see these from the outside, there’s no way for thieves to remove or tamper with these.
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    They provide protection against bending or prying on the door. This is another feature that will ensure that your safe is secure from the burglars.
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    These are sleek. Since you can’t see the hinges, gun safes with internal hinges evoke the modern feel to them, perfect for contemporary interiors.
internal hinge

Which One Should you Choose?

Some would say that that internal hinges are better because you can’t tamper with these. Others on the hand argue that they are overrated. Why?

Gun safes with external hinges have received negative reviews because of those that come with internal hinges. However, some experts claim that it doesn’t really matter if you choose one over the other – both will still be able to provide some level of protection to a gun safe?

What does this mean? While it is true that you can’t tamper with that of internal hinges, the external hinges often come with bolts as an added feature.

The hinges aren’t the only things that can safeguard a gun safe. It’s a combination of all sorts. Hinges, whether this is internal or external, won’t really matter if the body or the door itself is made of substandard materials.


One of the main differences that you can see between the two is how far these would allow the door to open. With external hinges, you can open the door up to 180 degrees. Internal hinges would only let you open it for 90 degrees.

As for being tamper proof, it is true that external hinges could be cut off from the outside of the gun safe.

But this comes with a safety net in the form of bolts; the bolts will keep the door closed even without the presence of the hinges. Just like external hinges, internal hinges have bearings on them that offer extra protection.

When it comes to security, both types of hinges can keep a gun safe secure. The choice now depends whether you want a gun safe that looks old school and allow you to open its door wide, or if you want something sleek and modern.

Could Affect A Gun Safe’s Security

Like mentioned earlier, hinges are just one of the things that you should consider when buying a gun safe. Here are the other important stuff that you should also look into.


Check The Walls and Door

See to it that this is made of durable steel. You see, burglars will not only attack the hinges of a gun safe. They can also drill into the doors or walls.

open gunsafe

Choose the ones that are made of steel. And then, check the steel grade. You would soon find out that experts would recommend getting a gun safe that has a steel grade of ten.


Check If The Lock Is Secure

There are three popular types of locks – the manual, electronic, and the EMPS, Biometric. Manual locks are what you often see with the dials. These usually have a three digit combination that opens the gun safe.

Manual locks are the oldest form and very reliable. However, the numbers can be a little bit too small for the visually impaired.

dial lock

​Electronic locks on the other hand are easy to operate with the push of several buttons. If there is one downside to it, it’s the fact that you can’t open the gun safe once the battery is dead. While this may be so, replacing the batteries is very easy.

EMPs are the newer breed of locks that combine the best of both worlds – they have the electronic lock and a manual lock at the same time. Whatever lock you choose, make sure that it’s secure and won’t be easily tampered with.


Check Out Its Security Rating

Gun safes come with security ratings. The more secure ones are usually the high-end kinds, which often justifies their cost.


While you can save on a cheaper gun safe, this is not the smartest buy especially if you will be keeping valuables in there. Cheap gun safes are often made of thin pieces of metal – these won’t do much in protecting your assets.

Final Verdict

​A gun safe will be secure with either an internal or external hinge provided that it has a high security rating. This means that it should have bearing or bolts in place. This should also be made of quality material.

​If you think that you’re safe just by keeping your gun inside a cabinet with an ordinary lock, think again. Criminals often steal their firearms from guess what – from unsuspecting households. With a quality gun safe, your guns are really secure.

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