- 500 DPI Fingerprint Scanner and Keypad
- Motorized deadbolt
- Digital LCD Display
- Sound Programmable
- Integrated LED
SIZE: H 20″ x W 12″ x D 14″ (external)
WEIGHT: 48 lbs.
When you’re looking for a biometric security safe, you’ll want something that can provide security, reliability, and ease of use. Although price shouldn’t be your primary concern, you’ll want to be sure that you’re not wasting your money on a useless safe that any crackhead with a pry-bar can get into with relative ease. Most of us would prefer a high-end gun cabinet that can withstand almost anything, but when you’re a budget, you’ll have to assess what your needs really are, and whether or not you’re getting value for your money. The Viking VS-50BLX isn’t the biggest, baddest kid on the block by any means, but in terms of value, it may be a challenge to find anything better.
What We Liked
- Build Quality
This Viking biometric safe possesses a build quality that is superb. The housing and door are thick enough to withstand even the most persistent prying attempts. Although the safe doesn’t weigh that much and isn’t completely fireproof, there’s virtually gap between the door and housing, and the housing feels like it could withstand anything short of a grenade blast.
- Digital display allows for ease of use
We can’t say enough about the LCD display on the Viking. The digital display is tiny, but it does include all the information you would ever need to see, and allows for even easier programming and fingerprint inputs. If you would prefer an added level of discretion using this safe, the display also includes programmable sound.
- Multiple methods of entry
Along with the biometric fingerprint scanner, the Viking also features a digital keypad for ease of entry. Some gun safe owners may say that including multiple methods of entry is redundant, but as a gun owner yourself, you should already know that you can never be too cautious. Having multiple points of entry gives you a peace of mind that you’ll be able to access the safe no matter what situation you’re in, and with relative ease.
- Shelves offer better utilization of space
A safe of this size should always include shelves, but the fact that you can adjust them to your needs makes the Viking a worthy investment. Being able to organize the contents of the safe to fit your own needs is a great feature, especially if you intend on storing more than handguns.
- Includes anchorThe Viking includes an anchor so that you can bolt the safe down to a hard surface. With safes at this price range, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to sell the anchors separately, so we certainly liked that Viking saved us the hassle of having to find our own anchors. The anchor points are pre-drilled and installation is fairly easy.
What Needs Improvement
- Glitchy fingerprint scanner
Biometric technology isn’t perfect, and misreads are bound to happen when it comes to fingerprint scanners. The biometric scanner on the Viking can be glitchy at times, being unable to read the correct fingerprint without a precise input. We thought it was great that the scanner features a 500 DPI infrared scanner, but this can also present problems if the user needs to access the safe quickly, and potentially under duress, and we were certainly tempted to use the keypad rather than the fingerprint scanner when it came to accessing the safe within a second. However, the precision of the scanner, along with the memory storage, provides the opportunity for owners to get around this by programming fingerprints at different angles. By doing this, the safe can be opened with ease in any situation.
- Size only fits handguns and small items
This almost seems like a silly complaint, but it’s worth mentioning that the safe is relatively small compared to other safes in the same price range. Even with the removable shelves, we were still only able to fit a few small handguns and some personal items. The safe also doesn’t include handgun inserts, which would help owners use the safe more efficiently. For the same price, you may be able to get an entire cabinet rather than a small safe such as the Viking, although you’ll have to consider the trade-off in quality as well.
For an owner of multiple handguns, or even a business owner looking for a place to store money, the Viking VS-50BLX is one of the best gun safes for $250. The build quality and precision of the biometric scanner are already enough to justify its price, but when you consider that the digital keypad includes programmable sound and an LCD display for convenience, it’s hard not to give the Viking a serious thought. The fingerprint scanner may not always work the way you like, but only because the scanner itself is so precise that it needs the exact fingerprint at the exact angle. As long as you program the same fingerprint at multiple angles, you shouldn’t run into any problems. The size may turn away some buyers, but you’ll rarely find another safe with the same quality for the price, especially if you’re looking at gun safe comparisons between Viking vs. Barska safes.
If you’d prefer something a little different for around the same price, check out our reviews of the Homegear Gun Safe, BARSKA Quick Access Rifle Safe, Paragon Lock & Safe, and the Stack-On SS-16-MB-C.