Spare key storage lock box on a front door.


Key takeaways

  • Key lock boxes are vulnerable to tampering or break-ins, meaning they aren’t great spare key storage solutions for property managers.
  • The most common types of lock boxes for spare key storage use combination locks, push buttons, keypads, or smart keys.
  • The best spare key storage solution is the ButterflyMX key locker.


Hiding spare keys in obvious locations isn’t secure, leading to a risk of property security and safety. So, a key lock box provides safer spare key storage for your building. With the right solution at your fingertips, you can bid farewell to the anxiety of misplacing lost or stolen keys and embrace a new level of convenience in managing keys.

Read on to learn how safe key lock boxes are and their disadvantages. Then, explore the best spare key storage systems. Finally, discover the most secure key management system on the market.

In this post, we cover:


How safe are key lock boxes?

Key lock boxes are not the safest solution because they’re vulnerable to tampering or break-ins.

Key lock boxes are usually portable with a combination lock that secures the compartment. However, they can be easily smashed or broken with brunt force. As a result, they’re not the most secure spare key storage solution for commercial or residential buildings.

The most common types of spare key storage lock boxes are:

  • Combination key lock boxes. Combination lock boxes require a four-digit numerical PIN code. Users input the code on a spinning dial or wheel to open.
  • Push button key lock boxes. These lock boxes feature a series of buttons that users push to enter their combination code.
  • Smart key lock boxes. Smart key lock boxes use a mobile app or keypad to unlock so that users can retrieve keys.


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Where is the best place to put a lock box?

The best place to put a lock box is in a secure area that’s not easily accessible. Avoid placing spare key lock boxes outdoors or in high-traffic areas to prevent them from being tampered with.

Most key lock boxes are either:

  • Mounted. A wall-mount key lock box is the safer spare key storage solution because they are affixed to your property.
  • Shackled. These key lock boxes are shackled to a doorknob or gate. Unfortunately, they can be easily removed with bolt cutters.


Additionally, lock boxes are either:

  • Mechanical. Mechanical lock boxes rely on a manual keypad or padlock to open. So, they’re affordable, durable, and easy to use.
  • Electronic. Electronic key boxes are advanced, multi-functional, and open with an electronic keypad, Bluetooth, or via a mobile app.


Mounted spare key storage lock box.


What’s the difference between a lock box and a safe?

While lock boxes and key safes are similar, the main difference between the two is that a key lock box is usually mounted or adhered to a doorknob or gate, while a key safe is a stand-alone storage compartment.

Additionally, key safes tend to be larger than key lock boxes and store multiple keys, while a key lock box stores just one key at a time. Nonetheless, they both usually have combination locks that require a numerical PIN code to open.


What are the disadvantages of key safes and lockboxes?

Key safes and lock boxes are a simple solution for spare key storage. So, they’re typically inexpensive and easy to use. However, this simplicity lends to their many disadvantages, such as:

  • Can’t track who uses it. Because most key safes lack robust access control measures, you can’t track who uses it if multiple individuals have the PIN code. As a result, it’s extremely difficult to keep track of who’s accessing keys and when.
  • Easy to tamper with. Although key lock boxes are often made of durable materials, most are susceptible to burglars who use brunt force.
  • Not efficient for multiple properties. If you own or manage multiple properties, there’s no unified way to track who’s using the key lock box and accessing keys at each property.
  • Small compartment. Most key lock boxes have a limited storage capacity, so they’re not the most efficient spare key storage system for large properties.


Discover how to enable self-guided tours with ButterflyMX:


5 most secure spare key storage systems

There are a variety of spare key storage lock boxes with unique security features for storing keys.

But which spare key storage system is the best and most secure?

Here are our picks for the best key lock boxes on the market:

  1. Igloohome Smart Keybox 3
  2. BARSKA Key Cabinet CB12484
  3. Master Lock Bluetooth Portable Lock Box
  4. Kidde AccessPoint KeySafe
  5. Master Lock Push Button Lock Box


1. Igloohome Smart Keybox 3

Google rating: 4.4/5

This weatherproof key box offers smart technology that allows you to send PIN codes to guests via WhatsApp, SMS, or Facebook Messenger.

Features include:

  • Two shackle sizes that can be affixed to doorknobs, gates, or fences.
  • Slim profile with a roomy storage capacity.
  • IP66 certified for durable exterior use.
  • Can be opened with Bluetooth using a mobile app.

Prices start at: $179


Man using a smart spare key storage lock box.


2. BARSKA Key Cabinet CB12484

Google rating: 4.6/5

This key safe lock box comes in a variety of sizes that can store up to 1,170 spare keys — making it a versatile option for property managers with multiple properties.

The BARSKA key cabinet includes:

  • Durable, pick-proof steel construction.
  • Color-coded organized key holders and labeled key shelves.
  • Four pre-drilled mounting holes and included hardware.

Prices start at: $64.98


Spare key storage lock box shackled to a door.


3. Master Lock Bluetooth Portable Lock Box

Google rating: 3.7/5

Master Lock’s smart keypad lock box allows you to open and manage the lock with your smartphone.

This smart keypad lock box offers the following:

  • Supports up to 10 locks that allow you to monitor access activity.
  • Low-battery notifications.
  • Portable and easy to install with a removable shackle.
  • Backup access with a numerical keypad.

Prices start at: $290.76


Woman using a lock box for spare key storage.


4. Kidde AccessPoint KeySafe

Google rating: 3.7/5

The Kidde AccessPoint KeySafe is a key lock box for outside, meaning it’s rust-resistant and easy to shackle to doorknobs, fences, railings, or pipes.

Features of Kidde’s outdoor lock box include:

  • Unlimited combination changes.
  • Easy installation.
  • Durable construction.
  • Affordable compared to comparable products.

Prices start at: $35.99


An open spare key storage lock box with a key inside.


5. Master Lock Push Button Lock Box

Google rating: 3.7/5

Master Lock’s Push Button Lock Box is essentially a keypad lockbox. It’s great for storing extra keys securely.

The push button lock box includes features, such as:

  • A design for permanent wall-mounted installation.
  • Convenient push-locking mechanism.
  • Easy to use in low-light conditions.
  • Protective weather cover prevents jamming.

Prices start at: $60.52


What is a better and more secure alternative to key lock boxes?

The ButterflyMX key locker is a better and more secure spare key management solution. Combining innovative technology with convenience and security, the ButterflyMX key locker simplifies key management for apartments and businesses.

The ButterflyMX key locker enables:

  • Self-guided tours. The ButterflyMX key locker empowers safe and secure self-guided tours. Simply send a temporary access code to a prospect so they can easily unlock the key locker compartment and retrieve the key.
  • Takes time- and date-stamped photos. The key locker takes time- and date-stamped photos once accessed and keeps an audit log of all access events.
  • Notifies you when a key is retrieved and replaced. The key locker sends real-time notifications once a key has been taken and replaced. As a result, the key locker is great for providing temporary access to visitors, service providers, and technicians.
  • Mobile access. Manage the key locker and self-guiding prospects using the ButterflyMX mobile app. Not only can you send information to prospects with the app, but prospective residents can also retrieve keys with their phones. In addition, a PIN code is provided as an alternate form of entry.


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Tiara Sutton

I’m an Atlanta-based writer who enjoys exploring the ways that tech benefits residents & tenants of multifamily & commercial properties.

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