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Vaultek MX Handgun Safe – Great Capacity, Sturdy Construction, And Easy Access
Need to expand your keep? Or simply need to house all your pistols in one place for better safekeeping and easy access at the same time? Well, look no further. If you have 4 or more handguns to manage, the Vaultek MX series gun safe is all you need.
Whether you are a tech geek or simply contented with only the essentials, the Vaultek MX gun safes will have you covered.
You can choose from a combined total of 5 models from the MX Wi-Fi Series, the MX Series, and the MXE of the Essential series. Whichever model you are interested in, you will find the similarities in the core operating features. The difference is in the complexity of features and how much control you desire.
All five models bear the same storage capacity, body dimensions, and core safety features. So that makes it pretty easy to choose based on your preferences.
So let’s get you the details you need before hitting the buy button.
Construction And Build Quality
The first contact will have you feel the heft and that everything-is-in-place satisfaction. That’s 5 seconds of preliminary sizing up of this Vaultek MX safe. Well-built and rock-solid is your most likely suspicion before you probe further into the features and other design specifics.
Sturdily Built Body
The 32 lbs weight gives away the material grade that is used to construct the body and the door. Using a combination of 12- and 14-gauge steel, it can’t be any sturdier for its size of 15″ X 11.5″ X 11.6″.
The 14-gauge bodywork is powder-coated for durability and protection against the elements. It’s the same type of paint coat that is used in industrial machinery and outdoor equipment.
Unless it is a deliberate attempt with force and a sharp metal object, the coated surface is not easily scratched. So minor bump, accidental knocks, or brushes is unlikely to leave any abrasion marks. Back to ToC
Rigid Pry-Proof Door
The rigid 12-gauge door has 2 anti-impact latches that hold it firmly when dropped or pound-on. And the pry-proof internal hinges provide an extra level of security. A screwdriver would be as useless as a straw in an attempt to pry open the safe.
The door springs open top-down once it is unlocked. But don’t worry, though it is heavy, it won’t slam onto the surface it sits on. The heavy-duty hinges restrain the swing at the end and cause it to bounce back about 30 degrees and then down again smoothly to its final position.
The fully opened door is about 20 degrees up away from the floor. So there’s no way it can touch the surface of your antique nightstand or whatever, let alone scratch it.
You will love the one-hand operation and quick access to your firearms in an emergency. Within a few seconds, you will be pointing your gun at the intruder.
Generous Storage Capacity
Measuring 13″ X 11″ X 8.6″, the spacious interior can be organized according to your preference with a pull-out shelf. There are three levels you can position the shelf, and it can easily support the weight of two handguns.
How many guns can be stored?
If you position the shelf to the top, the bottom will have space for three pistol rack with each holding two guns. Another two pistols can be place flat on the shelf. So a maximum of eight pistols can be stored in this Vaultek MX gun safe. Back to ToC
Uniform Operating Features
While the rigidity of the construction ensures a high level of protection against accidental impact or intentional attack, the soft side defense is just as important. You will love some of these features, which makes life a lot easier when total security is paramount.
It’s the peace of mind you are buying into.
And regardless of which model you choose, these are the standard security features.
Tamper Detection & Alert
The last thing you want happening to your gun safe is for somebody to tamper with it without your knowledge. It could be your kids (usually), and it may be a matter of time before the safe is compromised.
The Vaultek MX safe has a built-in accelerometer that will detect vibration or movement and alert you. And it even lets you choose the sensitivity level of Low, Medium, and High (DMT Impact Detection). Or you can disable the detection when transporting the safe.
A light tap or even placing a bunch of keys next to the safe can trigger an alarm when it is set to High. So how sensitive you want it to be, you can choose from the 3 impact detection sensitivity settings. And when someone tries to lift it, the alarm will go off regardless of the impact detection level.
This feature is useful when you do not intend to have the safe bolted on a permanent place, like on a nightstand. Otherwise, you can bolt down the MX safe using the pre-drilled holes either on the base or the back of the safe with the provided mounting screws.
Note: The impact detection feature is not available on the MXE model.
What if you were not home when the safe was being tampered with, or the alarm was switched off?
You can still check for tampering by pressing two keys on the 8-digit keypad, and the LCD screen will show you the status.
And when you need to go on a stealth mode, simply disable all the alert and key sound. The safe comes with the keypad sound activated by default. You can disable the key sound via the keypad easily.
But what happened when the safe is being unlocked manually with the backup key or picked? How would you know?
When that happens, the keypad will start flashing until the master code is entered. This feature is called ‘Alert of Manual Unlock’. By default, this feature is not activated. So if you think you will need to turn on the alert, it can be done so on the keypad quickly.
The best thing to do to prevent this from happening is to keep the backup keys in a place where only you have access. Wherever that is, go figure. But DO NOT keep it in the same safe as your guns.
To access the keyhole, flip open the emblem located just above the LCD screen. You will need some force to pry open the emblem cover with your thumb or finger. So ladies, be careful with your nails. Young kids may not be able to flip it as it is pretty rigid, which is good. Back to ToC
Please note that some of the security features discussed here are not available on the Vaultek MXE model (More about it later).
Open Door Alarm
One more security feature is the ‘Open Door Alarm’. This feature is great as all too often we tend to forget the simplest thing in our daily routine. However, closing and locking the gun safe door is not something you can afford to overlook. But it does happen at times.
The safe comes with this feature activated. It will sound when the door is left open for more than 8 minutes. Again, you can deactivate the alarm via the keypad and the ‘Program’ button.
Unless it is absolutely necessary, like you are on high alert and would want the safe to stay open, it is NOT recommended to turn off this feature. Back to ToC
19,000,000 Security Code Combinations
Code entry is as fail-safe as the backup key. And especially with a Vaultek safe, you can’t go wrong (unless you forgot the code combination). More so when the 8-digit keypad of this Vaultek MX safe is designed to eliminate entry error.
The keys are well space out and big enough to accommodate even your thumb comfortably. And each key is partitioned, so there is no way you can press two keys at the same time with one finger. You can surely appreciate such a layout under a dire situation when an entry mistake can be a matter of life and death.
You can program your master code in a string of minimum 4 and up to 8 digits. But for better security, start with a 6-digit code. And it is good practice to change your master code periodically. With over 19 million combinations, you can never run out of unique code combinations.
And yes, the key input is responsive. So there is no need to hit a key twice or hard press to get a register. Once you are acclimatized to code entry, you too can have quick access without the biometric or smart key.
Here’s a video showing how to program or re-program the master code. Back to ToC
Lighting & Illumination
With a well thought out keypad design, the possibility of entry errors is eliminated. However, operating the safe under poor light condition can still pose some opportunities for error. It therefore makes sense to incorporate illumination to the keypad.
The Vaultek MX safe has a built-in proximity sensor that will auto illuminate the keypad when it detected your hand anywhere near. And only the number on the keys are lighted up, so you won’t get the glare that will attract any unwanted attention.
The other illumination is the LCD screen. The brightness can be adjusted via the keypad in steps of 25%. So you will have four brightness levels from 25% up to 100%.
And like most modern safes, there is interior lighting to provide visibility when you access the safe under low light condition. There are four interior LED lights with two on each side of the wall. Unless the room is pitch dark, the illumination is just right for quick access.
And of course, you can enable or disable the lighting as you wish. Or when it is enabled, you can still turn off the lights using the ‘Light’ button located at the top front of the safe. You can only access the light switch when the door is opened. Back to ToC
Large LCD Screen
At 50mm by 25mm (2″ x 1″), the LCD can display all the vital information at a good reading distance. So instead of having to push a button each time to access different information, the LCD screen is large enough to provide all the vital information you need.
Information like the status of the battery, alarm, wifi signal strength, lighting, and sound will be displayed together on the LCD. Different models will have a slightly different set of information shown. For example, you won’t see the Wifi or Bluetooth status on the MXE because it doesn’t have these features.
And the large screen offers the ease of interaction when you are setting or checking the various functions. Back to ToC
The Vaultek MX safe uses one rechargeable, 3.7V 2200mAh lithium-ion battery. It can last up to 2-months on a single charge under normal use. And the cool thing is, you don’t have to take out the battery to recharge or have a second one ready to replace.
The safe comes with a USB port, located by the side of the safe, and charging kit. To recharge the battery, simply plug into the micro USB receiving jack from the nearest wall outlet using the accompanied AC power adapter.
Or you can purchase an external Powerpack to backup, so you don’t have to place the safe near a power outlet. The Powerpack is designed like a fridge magnet that will attach to the steel body securely. Operation time will be extended up to 4 to 6 months using the rechargeable Powerpack.
Entry Flexibility – Is it Necessarily an Advantage?
There are up to 5 different ways you can gain access to the safe. But that will depend on the model you choose. The most basic one is, of course, the MXE of the Essential Series, which only allows code entry, or with the backup key.
Then you have the MX Wi-Fi and MX Series, which lets you gain entry via Biometric, Smartphone app, and Smart Key beside the code and backup key. So how much flexibility you need will determine your choice of the MX safe.
Biometric Scanner & Smart Key
If code entry is not your idea for quick access, you may want to consider the NMXi or MXi model. It comes with a biometric scanner and a smart key.
But before you decide on these two entry modes, you will have to consider the flip side and how they are more useful than the smart app and code entry. Especially the smart key, when it gets stolen or falls into the wrong hands, the consequences can be dire.
The smartphone app is another feature found on both the MX Wi-Fi and MX series models. Available for both Android and iOS phones, it is an excellent tool to manage all your Vaultek safes. And it sure comes on handy when you need to open the safe at a distance.
Whether you are configuring the settings, changing the master code, or checking the security log, the app offers the convenience and ease of operation.
So again, please evaluate your needs carefully to determine if you need this feature or not. Too many entry features on a gun safe is not necessarily a good thing. It can lead to more security issues. You will have more weak links to manage, and it is not an easy task to stay on top of everything when safety and security are concerned.
But you may see it differently when you have better control and access to the status of your safe. So which is the right model for you? Let’s begin to explore the individual model for more clarity on the features. Back to ToC
What is The Difference Between the MX Wi-Fi Series & the MX Series?
On Vaultek’s official site, you can see the difference between the two series. The Wi-Fi Series models will have the prefix ‘N’ to the models, such as NMXi and NMX.
Whereas the MX Series models, which are not wifi enabled (Bluetooth), do not carry any designation, so they are just MXi and MX.
The ones with the ‘i’ are the biometric safes.
Previously there isn’t a clear differentiation between the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth version of the safes. They are all lumped into the Wi-Fi Series, which causes some confusion among buyers.
So, if you come across the model MXi or MX on Amazon or elsewhere on the internet, look out for the ‘WiFi Enabled’ sticker. They should be the NMXi or NMX models. Otherwise, they are the Bluetooth safes of the MX Series.
Vaultek MX Wi-Fi SERIES High Capacity Gun Safes
In this series of Vaultek gun safes, you are looking at two models, the NMXi and the NMX. The difference is, the model without the ‘i’ is without the biometric scanner. The rest of the features are identical between the models.
And as the series name suggests, both models are wi-fi enabled, which means you can (only) install the wi-fi version of the smartphone app to use with these models. Back to ToC
Vaultek NMXi Biometric Gun Safe
**You can skip to the next model if you are not into biometric entry.**
Obviously, this NMXi model is the most expensive in the Vaultek MX Series gun safe with the Biometric Scanner. The ultimate model if you will when all modes of entry are in one safe.
Modes of Entry – Vaultek NMXi
- Biometric Scanner
- Smart Key NANO (Dual Press Smart Key option)
- Smartphone Wi-Fi App (Android & iOS)
- Keypad Entry (Code Combination)
- Backup Key
But how reliable is the fingerprint scanner? Does it open every time, or it depends on its ‘mood’?
Yes, it does open every time (almost). But if your life depends on it in a critical moment, a little prayer might help to calm your nerves in remembering the master code, just in case.
Though there are some complaints about the scanner, the majority of users are happy with it. But it is always difficult to verify the authenticity of these charges. So your due diligence into its suitability is very much needed before you decide on this NMXi biometric safe.
In short, it is reasonably good but not the best. If you are ultra particular about biometric scanner performance and reliability, you might want to consider this Verifi safe instead.
How Many Fingers Can Be Enrolled?
The fingerprint scanner is fairly large at 11mm x 11mm. For most people, the thumb should be able to fit snugly onto the sensor. And registering your fingerprint is easy with the instructions in the user manual.
But the storage capacity for fingerprint data is a bit confusing here. According to the user manual, you can store up to 20 users. But the specification on Vaultek’s website says ’20 UNIQUE FINGERPRINTS’. Is there a mistake here? Shouldn’t twenty users will have 200 fingerprints. No?
Here’s how they define ‘a user’ in the user manual. [Download User Manual]
The safe is capable of storing fingerprint data for up to 20 unique authorized users. A user consists of 5 scans of the same finger during registration.
What it means is, you need 5 scans of the same finger for the biometric scanner to register a finger accurately. But it didn’t state how many fingers can each user register. It should have been more concise to indicate the maximum number of fingers can be registered.
But let’s not thread too deep into the storage capacity. You can register all ten fingers without any problem that’s for sure. So for 20 unique users, that’s one finger each or twenty fingerprints. Period.
Who needs to register 20 users anyway. That will be a huge security breach.
To increase the success rate with the biometric scanner, it is recommended to register at least one finger from each hand of each individual.
**More feature description in the next NMX model.** Back to ToC
Vaultek NMX Pistol Safe
Not a fan of biometric entry? No problem. This Vaultek NMX gun safe will have every feature of the NMXi, except without the biometric scanner. So that’s a total of 4 entry mode.
Modes of Entry – Vaultek NMX
- Smart Key NANO (Dual Press Smart Key option)
- Smartphone Wi-Fi App (Android & iOS)
- Keypad Entry (Code Combination)
- Backup Key
Extra Security Needed For the Smart Key
The smart key may not be a good idea when security is concerned. No doubt, it offers the convenience of entry, it also poses another layer of security risk. The fact that it is a separate device makes it vulnerable to misplacement and theft, just like the backup key.
Only when it is absolutely necessary, please consider this option carefully. You would have to raise your level of consciousness once you have activated the smart key function. And prepare to take full responsibility for the safety of everyone in the family.
Fastest Mode of Access to Your Firearms
This Smart Key NANO feature is the quickest access you can have for both the Vaultek NMX and NMXi safe. Come as a standard accessory with these Wi-Fi Series safes; it is definitely faster than using the fingerprint scanner.
Once the button is pressed, the door swings open instantly. Whereas the biometric will have a bit of delay as it needs to read and identify your fingerprint before granting access. And with the smart key, you can open the safe from a distance.
The Smart Key NANO is a wireless push-button switch, or panic button if you like. It is round and slightly bigger than a quarter (35mm in diameter and 13mm thick to be precise). It comes with a holder that is easy to attach to a flat surface and hidden away with double-sided tape.
Smartphone App Management
If you decided to go for the NMXi or NMX model, you would find managing, setting, or configuring the safe features a breeze with the Vaultek Wi-Fi app. It’s intuitive to use, and you have absolute control over the safe functions and access to updated status on the go.
A little setting up is required in the beginning. Nothing complicated, it’s the usual process you would go through with any security apps. You will need an email address and a password when registering your safe with the app.
You can check the battery status, tampering events, adjust the interior lighting, toggle sound On or Off, and more using the app. Also, push notifications to receive alerts to all or only critical changes to the safe can be configured easily.
With the app, managing the safe couldn’t be any easier. It’s like you are always at your safe to know everything that’s happening with it. Even temperature and humidity inside the safe can be monitored. And if you are using the Smart Key NANO, you can render it useless with a push of the button even when you are away from home.
Of course, you can also open the safe with the app, but not recommended to activate this unlock feature unless you know what you are doing. You can’t close the safe door with the app. By default, the unlock feature on the smartphone app is disabled.
Check out the video below to get a feel of how easy it is to manage your Vaultek safe.
The Smartphone App can be used for all Vaultek Wi-Fi enabled safes. You can download the app on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Back to ToC
Vaultek MX Series Handgun Safe
Similar to the Wi-Fi Series, you will have a biometric and non-biometric version of the safe. The biometric version will have the suffix ‘i’, that is the MXi model.
Other than it’s a Bluetooth (not wi-fi enabled) safe, everything else is similar to the Wi-Fi models. This means you can’t connect to the safe via your phone when you are too far away from it (roughly more than 10m or 33ft).
Both the MXi and MX models work with the Vaultek Bluetooth app only. (IOS and Android)
The Bluetooth version of the smartphone app will require you to be within the signal range to use it. So there is a distance limit on accessibility, unlike the wi-fi version. Function wise, it is similar to the WiFi app.
Modes of Entry – Vaultek MXi versus MX
Dual Press Smart Key
The Smart Key that comes with these MX Series safes is the dual-press type. It is designed to prevent accidental access. Otherwise, when the key is in your pants pocket, any movement such as walking or sitting down anywhere near the safe can trigger the door open. To open the safe, you need to press both sides of the key to unlatch.
Both the Smart Key NANO and the Dual-Press Smart Key can only operate within a distance of no more than 5 feet (approximately).
All Other Features
You may refer to the Wi-Fi Series safes above for the Biometric, Smart Key NANO, and Smartphone App Management.
Vaultek MXE Essential Series Handgun Safe
Finally, if you don’t need any of the high-tech features you saw in the Wi-Fi and MX Series models, then this Vaultek MXE is for you. And it is still not short of awesomeness.
You can still monitor and check through the LCD screen for tampering, battery status, and set the Open Door alarm and Manual Unlock alert. And through the keypad, you can enable and disable lighting and sound for normal or covert operation.
In terms of security, there are only two weak links to manage – Your memory and the backup key. Versus the biometric, smart keys, and phone apps, this is a lot less stressful to cope with, especially for the technophobes.
But whatever model you have chosen, please make sure to keep your code safe and only known to yourself, and periodically change it for increased security. Back to ToC
Disadvantages & Price
If you wanted a total stealth operation, perhaps the only pet peeve you will find is the sound when the door opens. Here’s a sound clip of an actual Vaultek MX safe unlatching.
There is not much you can do to muffle the metal unlatching sound. You may want to hold the door to make it less noticeable. Or you can wound some insulation tape around the latch frame to make the sound less audible. But whatever you do, please make sure the door can open freely every time.
The other imperfection is the interior insulation. The sidewalls and the shelving are not protected. Not a big deal, but it could have been better if they are fully insulated with at least some fabric or velvet material. You can, of course, add some foams or rubber mats on your own.
There are five soft plastic pads provided, though. But they are meant for the shelf and interior base. And still, they don’t cover the entire floor surface. So, add your own if needed.
Other than these two minor snags, there’s nothing much you can find fault with this well put together Vaultek gun safe.
And most of all, they don’t come cheap. The lowest end MXE model will cost about $450, up to $600 for the ultimate MXi model with standard accessories, which include one twin pistol rack. So if you need the additional racks to hold more guns, that’s about $40 each. Back to ToC
Never mind about all the bells and whistles, the MX safe is, without a doubt, a well-designed piece of hardware to secure and protect your firearms.
Vaultek certainly has gotten all the fundamentals right for a pistol safe. A high capacity one in this case, with the right body and door thickness, and an industrial-grade paint coat to protect from rust and corrosion.
Unless it is a deliberate attempt with a crowbar and sledgehammer at breaking the safe, there is no chance of compromise. In which case, no pistol safe can survive the abuse.
On the soft side, the flexibility in entry mode it offers are in line with the times. Whether you are a tech geek or someone of imperturbable nature who loves things simple, there is a model for you.
Or you may have concerns about the potential security issues with all that fancy electronics, but there’s the fear of missing out, go for the ultimate NMXi model. Why?
There is no need to activate all of the entry features. You can pick and choose what to enable according to circumstances. And with the wifi app, enabling and disabling a function is so convenient. Besides, you can monitor the safe status through the history log and keep informed on the go with push notification and alerts.
Having better control and options is never a bad thing. But it certainly goes hand in hand with responsibility, especially when deadly weapons are involved. So, if you are sure you can handle the responsibility part, go for it.
And the high price may be the reason you are holding back for one of these Vaultek MX safes. But remember, security has no price tag, it can mean nothing or priceless. You are certainly not buying just a piece of cold hardware.
You are buying a high build quality Vaultek MX safe that promises the highest level of security and protection for your family.