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325
4.2 out of 5 stars
Stack-On PS-514 Personal Safe with Electronic Lock
Price:$57.72 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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514 of 522 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
The video is long at almost 10 minutes, so here is a short break down:
0:00-2:10 : Introduction, keypad operation, and some quick fixes to issues that I had upon delivery
2:10-End : Tear down and display of door locking hardware, discussion of security concerns

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I bought this safe to store a loaded handgun for relatively quick retrieval, and I'm going to depart from a number of the reviews here in that I'm not convinced of how secure this safe is. It is unquestionably more secure than keeping the gun in an unlocked desk drawer or the like. It's also significantly larger than a handgun and therefore more difficult to hide, so it could attract attention. The information that I provide below and in the video is to educate you if you didn't know it already (like I didn't when I bought this), just so that you can make an informed purchase. This safe might be perfect for you, or it might be completely inadequate.

If your goal is to keep young children out, then I'd recommend this safe and call it a good value assuming that you're smart about hiding the keys from your kids. Young kids shouldn't be able to get into this safe.

If your goal is to keep teenagers or thieves out, then my recommendation begins to drop assuming that your teenagers are anything like I was when I was that age - inquisitive, interested in solving puzzles, and with some spare time. Below are some things to be aware of just so that you know about them (I didn't know any of this until I spent about 30 minutes on the web and YouTube, so it's out there for your kids and crooks to find quickly and easily).

Potential Security Concerns:
- Security Code Reset: There are methods to reach the reset button to the dialpad from outside the safe, giving someone entry into the safe without knowing the code. In the video at about the 8:30 mark, I show how to use a twist-tie to defeat this attack.
- Lock Picking: This safe can be opened with a single key that overrides the keypad, meaning that there is a single lock to pick. You (and anyone) can research online how to pick this kind of lock, and you might be surprised how easy it can be. You can disable the key function by removing part of the mechanism inside the door, but then you risk locking yourself out.
- Safe Bouncing: This is the method of opening this type of safe by imparting a shock on the door (e.g. with a hammer). I show in the video the basis of how this works. From what I saw in the mechanism when hitting the door, it looks like it would be possible with this safe. However, in fairness to this product, I admit that I have not yet gotten this to work on this safe. [UPDATE 2011/02/09: After a couple of minutes of practice tonight, I bounced the safe with a rubber mallet. It was not difficult at all, so just be aware of it.]

That said, it's probably perfect for keeping out younger children - and there are some nice features.

Pros:
- The beeping on the keypad can be disabled. That's really nice
- Fairly small and can be placed on a shelf in a closet or pantry
- Can be bolted to the surrounding structure (on the bottom and/or back face) and comes with the bolts
- Comes with the batteries for the keypad
- Comes with two copies of the key used to override the keypad in case the batteries are low or you forget your code

I had some issues when the safe was delivered but here are some easy fixes for a few shortcomings that you might experience, too:
- The shelf is held in place by two (one on each side) plastic inserts. My safe arrived with one of the plastic inserts broken, and the shelf was rattling around as I unpacked it. Given how it was packaged (and how delivery companies transport goods), I wasn't suprised. I secured the shelf in place easily with a twist-tie.
- The door was loose when closed and would clank (it is metal on metal, after all) when I touched the dial or entered my code. Not what I want when trying to be covert. The two bumpers on the door were overly compressed (perhaps during shipping), and I replaced them with more solid bumpers that I had bought at Home Depot for my kitchen cabinet doors (similar to these). The door is nice and snug now.

Overall, well worth $60-$70 for piece of mind with young kids. I do not recommend relying on this to keep out a burgler or inspired teenager, though.

UPDATE 2011/08/07: I want to give a hats off to Stack-On. While trying out a way to make this a bit more secure, I damaged the circuit card inside the door. I contacted Stack-On, told them it was my fault, and asked how much it would cost to get a new one. They immediately replied that they'd send me another one for free (not even a charge for shipping). Totally unexpected and much appreciated - that's outstanding service, IMO. It arrived within a week and works perfectly. Thanks, Stack-On!
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714 of 732 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2012
Verified Purchase
I just read an article by Marc Weber Tobias detailing how the Stack-On safes can be opened with a paper clip (search for his name and "thesidebar" and/or "Security Labs" and/or "Forbes"). So I tried it myself on the PS-514 I have. See my video. I've never cracked a safe in my life and I did it on the second try. The video is my 5th time opening it with a paper clip. I showed my wife how to do it and she got it open on the first try. Enough said. Everyone should ask for a refund. I will. These are sold as gun safes. The California DOJ has approved them. A child can get into them. Unbelievable!!!

I sent a letter to Stack-on telling them I could pick their safe with a paperclip and got a response on 7/31/12 from Don Pannier, Executive Vice President (although the email address is someone else), this is the main part of it:
"We are proud to provide secure solutions that are certified to meet the California Department of Justice (DOJ) standards. Stack-On Personal Safes (non-portable) are certified by California DOJ. This certification involves testing, by an independent laboratory approved by California DOJ, for compliance with their adopted standards.
We continue to look for ways to provide new secure storage solutions and we appreciate your comments. Regarding your question on the PS-514, I will get back to you with additional information, when it becomes available."
On 8/2/12 I sent back an email saying the CA DOJ certification is meaningless and they should issue a recall. No response yet.

I also sent the safe back to Amazon and they gave me a refund. Amazon rocks! At least they stand behind the products they sell, even if the manufacturer won't.

Please give my review a thumbs up if you find it useful. I'd like to see it rise in the ranks so that more people see the dangers of this safe for gun storage.
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105 of 110 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2012
[...]

Detective Ed Owens was a member of the Clark County Sheriff's Department since 2004. He was issued a Stack-On safe to store his weapons at home. On September 14, 2010 one of his four children was able to open the Stack-On Strong Box container that was located in the Master Bedroom. At about 9:50 P.M. three year old Ryan was shot and died four hours later.

We were asked by the Owens family and attorney to provide expert analysis of the suspect safe. We conducted an extensive analysis of a container from the same batch that was provided to the Clark County Sheriff's Office.

It is our opinion that these were defective containers, based upon the testing we performed and the videos we shot from inside the safe. The problem, quite simply, revolves around the solenoid mechanism that controls a locking pin. This pin when in its normal state blocks lateral movement of the bolts thereby preventing their retraction. When the correct code is entered, via the keypad, the blocking pin is retracted and the bolt can be turned to the unlocked position. The problem is the design of the solenoid and spring-biased locking pin. It can be bounced to allow the bolts to pass and leave the safe in an unlocked state. As demonstrated by the three year old in our video, this safe can then be opened by simply turning the knob.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
I actually liked this "safe" until it was broken into while I was not home.
I came home and found the safe, pried open with a simple flathead screwdriver which was lying next to the safe. My Sig Sauer P229 was gone. You can see in the inside of the safe door that the box housing the deadbolts simply pried away from the front door. I will refer to the companies website that says exactly this: "Solid steel, pry resistant door has concealed hinges and 2 steel live action locking bolts." Pry resistant? A simple cheap flathead screwdriver defeated this so called safe.
Don't make the same mistake I did. This safe is no more secure than a cardboard box to an adult with a screwdriver.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2012
This safe is a DANGER to loved ones and is simple to breach by an intruder. There is a July 26, 2012 Class Action Complaint filed against Stack-On Products Co. that you can Google to read a PDF of the Complaint.

I have been a LEO for 31 years and am very security minded, including an elaborate home burglarly system. A few years ago I looked for a quick access gun safe to store my duty pistol and some duty gear along with a personally owned pistol in lieu of securing those pistols in a sturdy full-size gun safe. I obtained a Stack-On 514 and mounted it securely to a master bedroom closet wall and a shelf that the safe was situated on.

The digital combination has worked flawlessly along with the key backup when tested. HOWEVER, I recently saw a video by Mr. Tobias, and others, wherein this particular safe can easily be breached by several methods (even by a toddler). I have breached mine 12 - 15 times by simply fist-pounding the top of the safe (toward the front directly above the keypad) while simultaneously turning the knob. And, yes, I waited for the locking mechanism to reset in-between breaches. The percussion of the fist-pounding tripped the locking mechanism.

I am looking to obtain a Fort Knox handgun safe. The cost is 3x greater than this particular Stack-On here on Amazon, but, in this particular instance, you get what you pay for. Frankly, I am appalled how Stack-On can continue to offer such a worthless product. CONSUMERS BEWARE.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2010
Verified Purchase
Very Sturdy Safe, the shelf can be removed but i like it because my Beretta PX4 fits perfect on the bottom in the factory hard case. My Ruger LCP fits right on top of that case still under the shelf. The top shelf holds plenty of ammunition and accessories. The locking mechanism is very strong and very easy to reset combo if needed.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I bought this to secure 4 of my Semi auto 9mm pistols. This is my review:

Pros:
Setup - When you take it out of the box, just put in a battery then set your pass code. You then insert the internal shelf and padding. I secured mine to my wall with the included screws. It took me 30 minutes to set up including the drilling. I didn't want someone running away with my safe and my guns. Very well written instructions.

Security - It comes with a bypass key, in case you forget your passcode and this safe locks you out.

Construction - It is solidly built. All steel and it is heavy.

Price - This is the best price I have seen for this safe in stores and online.

Storage - Fits 4 9mm pistols(without the case of course), 2 on top and 2 at the bottom with 2 magazines each. I actually put my valuable docs underneath the guns so, this serves a dual purpose.

Cons:

Interior lining - The padding inside the safe is a thin foam padding on each shelf. They should have fixed them into place or put them more securely so that it does not move when I take things out of the safe. Not a big deal though.

Summary:

This safe is very well made and looks and functions superbly.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2010
Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a home safe to store valuables and important papers in, this is a good selection. It has available holes in the bottom and the back of the safe to either mount to floor and/or wall. The ability to turn off the beeping keypad is a benefit for those looking for a place to store a weapon for emergencies.
As others have said, this is not a "fire" safe - it is a theft safe. If you're looking for something to protect your possessions in case of fire, look specifically for a fire safe.
This safe comes with keys that will open the safe using a hidden keylock in case the battery dies. Also, an LED will let you know when your battery is getting low.
Of all the safes in this price range, this appears to be the best bang for the buck. Also, at 30# shipping weight - free super saver shipping from Amazon is a plus!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2010
Verified Purchase
I purchased this to store my handgun and some ammunition in - other reviewers had mentioned that they had purchased this safe for the same reason. The safe is great - the build quality is good, it's rather heavy given the size, and the door is pretty flush with the frame, which would make it difficult to pry open with a pry bar. Here are some things I liked and didn't like.

Pros:
- Relatively solid construction (solid heavy metal, and the keypad is good quality)
-Comes with a backup key (in case batteries die)
-Able to be secured via screws to either a shelf, or a wall (or both - screw holes are on bottom and back)
-You can turn the keypad beeping off in case you don't want someone to hear you opening the safe
-It has an internal shelf, which is removable if you didn't want it.
-The inside has a padded surface, so your contents don't get scratched

Cons:
-The unlock handle is made of plastic. If someone is going to break on this safe, the handle will be the first to go. I wish it were made of metal.
-Plastic handle can be a bit difficult to grip because it's slippery.

Capacity is decent - I keep a Springfield Armory XDm 9mm handgun (gun is about 8" long), and roughly 10 boxes of handgun ammunition and two magazines inside the safe. Everything fits fine. Overall, I am happy with the purchase, and if you're looking for a small safe, I recommend this one. If the handle weren't so flimsy, I would've given it five stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2012
Verified Purchase
I bought this safe so i could keep thieving teenage hands off my money my smokes and my guns. it currently houses my wallet, cash stash, my Cohibas and newports, my keys, a Ruger LCR, a Smith & Wesson bodyguard 380 and a XDM 40 Subcompact and it still has room to spare. i live in a house with 3 teenagers a pree teen and an infant, I'm not to worried about the infant yet but as i unboxed the safe the little vultures swarmed in playing 20 questions, "whats that for?", "how does it open?" and so on. well i went to work with my things locked up and when i got home i found it timed out and the front cover off where the key goes. but the safe held up perfectly. i really was pleased with the quality of the mounting screws that came with the box they are very heavy duty, i like the option of turning off the beeping sounds (i keep it on so i can hear someone trying to open it when i sleep) i don't like how the door clangs when closing (easily fixed tho so no negative marks)

PROS:
Time out feature-
Easy to program-
2 keys included-
Padded shelf-
Contemporary styling-

CONS:
a little noisy- (door clangs a bit when opening and closing, i fixed with some drawer bumpers)

all in all a good buy, i would recommend this for anyone who wants a easily accessible safe in case of emergency or an everyday storage safe.
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