Barska’s AX11620 Compact Biometric Safe is small, versatile model that can be bolted down and hidden. It’s perfect for storing small valuables such as important papers, jewelry and handguns.
The Compact Biometric Safe uses fingerprint-detection technology to control access, so you don’t need to remember combinations or keep track of keys; however, it comes with two backup keys in case the AA battery in the biometric lock dies. The Barska AX11620 can remember up to 30 fingerprints, so other authorized people can access its contents during an emergency. It beeps when it unlocks, but you can disable the sound to open it silently.
The Barska Compact Biometric Safe meets California DOJ standards for storing handguns. However, it isn’t UL-listed for burglary-resistance, so a determined thief may still gain access to your belongings. As such, it’s a good idea to conceal the safe and mount it – the AX11620 has pre-drilled holes in the floor and back and comes with all the mounting hardware you need to secure it in place. It isn’t water-resistant or fire-resistant, so consider a different model if you are most concerned about keeping your valuables safe during a disaster.
This Barska model is made with 1/16-inch, high-integrity steel and uses two solid steel locking bolts with a motorized deadbolt locking system. Even though it’s durable, the safe is reasonably light, weighing just 12 pounds. It has a modest interior capacity of around 0.28 cubic feet, making it the third-smallest safe we looked at. Compared to safes like the Steelwater AMEGS592216, which weighs 330 pounds, the AX11620 is very small and light. Also, its inner floor mat is nonabrasive, so you can store gold jewelry and other items that scratch easily inside.
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Because of the biometric lock, the Barska AX11620 costs a little more than similar-size safes, but the extra money may be worth it if you want to access your valuables quickly. Barska includes a one-year warranty, which is average for a small safe. However, some other brands offer three-, five- and 10-year warranties. In all, this is a fine general-use safe to secure your small valuables.