Stack-On In-Wall Hidden Storage

   06.18.14

Stack-On In-Wall Hidden Storage

As a father of four, I keep all firearms and ammo locked up 24/7. The only time there’s an exception is when my concealed carry gun is on me or in transit to the range. Often I hear people say that they don’t have a safe because they don’t have the physical space or the cost of a safe is too great. For those people, Stack-On has a solution with its In-Wall Steel Cabinets. These cabinets meet stringent California Department of Justice standards, take up zero space, and are all under $100.

I love my full-sized safe, but convenience dictated a few extra secure storage options around the house, placed where a free-standing safe would not be possible. In my case, I wanted to add a little extra concealed storage in the kitchen area and in a guest bedroom for a few firearms, jewelry, money, and documents. So I picked up both the Full-Length and Mid-Sized In-Wall steel cabinets from Stack-On. All in, the pair of in-Wall Steel safes/cabinets were less than $200 total for both, approximately $89.99 and $99.99 each.

Stack-On was founded in 1972 to deliver storage organization, garage organization, tool storage, and secure storage solutions for home, office, and industrial applications. Today, the company offers a very wide array of products to fit these needs, but in the firearm and sporting industry they are most known for creating affordable steel firearms storage solutions that keep firearms safe from tampering and offer a secure barrier to burglary and theft.

Most people know Stack-On offers lightweight keyed secure cabinets, but I was surprised to see at this years’ SHOT show that they also offer a very expansive line of heavy duty combination lock, fire rated, free-standing safes as well. For my application, I was interested in the in-wall safes/cabinets, which could be mounted in the wall between wall studs and secured in place.

Fit, Feel, Finish, and Features

Stack-On’s In-Wall Steel Full-Length and Mid-Sized Cabinets weigh in at around 16lbs and 34lb respectively, so obviously they do not offer heavyweight security. A 800lb freestanding safe with ¼” steel walls will undoubtedly deliver exponentially more protection than these Steel Security Cabinets, but on the other hand, such a safe is not $100.

With enough time and intent, the Stack-On Steel Security Cabinet’s steel chassis could be defeated, but Stack-On has engineered all these lighter weight steel cabinets to be resistant enough to exceed California’s stringent Department of Justice security standards. Construction is all steel, featuring a welded box and a three point locking mechanism. The general rule with theft if that if you can delay entry of a home or object for over three minutes, the person will usually give up and look for easier targets. I believe they would easily exceed that level of attempted intrusion and absolutely keep nosey kids and home visitors out of important documents, electronics, money, and firearms.

The solid steel welded chassis is painted beige but could be painted any color to match a wall or blend in with the interior. I have seem many people simply disguise these In-Wall safes as electrical boxes in plain sight since they look nearly identical, with the exception that they have a keylock–sneaky, but it works.

Both Stack-On In-wall Cabinets feature removeable/moveable shelves with padding and unique keyed pick-resistant, high quality locks. The Full-Length Cabinet features three shelves and the Mid-Sized includes two. One of the reasons I added the Full-Length In-Wall cabinet was that was long enough to store rifles and shotguns.

The only feature that I would have omitted was the nice looking but rather obvious Stack-On logo, which screamed to me “Hey Look, I am an in-wall safe!” I popped mine off after installation and replaced it with a “danger high voltage” sticker form my local electrical supply store.

Function and Installation

Both of these In-wall safes/cabinets are simple but effective and deliver a level of security I feel comfortable with as a trade for the size and cost. Surprisingly there is an ample amount of storage for it only being 3-⅞” deep. The installation concept is simple: cut a hole in your wall between two wall studs to fit the cabinet with, slip it in, and screw it into the wall studs on each side to secure the cabinet to the wall.

Be sure that you know what is in the wall you intend to cut into, or you might find that the ideal location has pipes or electrical wire in it, which may require positioning adjustment or a move to a different location. Alway create an small observation hole to see what is in the wall before cutting out a giant hole in your wall. Luckily, I already knew where the wires and pipes were located and had holes cut out with the drywall bit on my Dremel Too. I was able to install both In-Wall Safes in under 30 minutes. If you are even a marginally average DIY’er, this is a very simple install. I have been told that due to the price and added value, many landlords will approve the installation of the In-Wall safe as long as it is left with the keys after you terminate your lease.

I opted to cover one of the cabinets with a large wall mirror, and it worked perfectly to totally conceal the safe. These in-wall cabinets allow you to get creative with placement–for example, behind the clothes in your closet, inside a hall closet, in a floor, out in the open labeled with a “Warning High Voltage Electrical” decal, or in my case behind a mirror or painting.

Final Thoughts

Considering the zero footprint, hiding potential, and negligible cost, it’s tough to come up with a reason not to consider an inexpensive Stack-On In-Wall Steel Cabinets. With or without children, your firearms and valuables should be secured, and this is a simple, effective, secure, and inexpensive way to ensure your valuables and firearms do not end up in the wrong hands.

SPECS: Full-Length In-Wall Steel Cabinet

  • Model # IWC-55
  • Exterior Dimensions: 15-3/8″ W (39cm), 3-7/8″ D (10cm), 54-3/4″ H (139cm)
  • Shipping Weight: 33.33 lbs.
  • Interior Capacity: 2 guns / 3 shelves plus 1 removable tray
  • Number of Shelves: 3
  • Locking Points: 3
  • Master Carton Dimensions: 16-1/2″ W, 4-3/4″ D, 55-3/4″ H
  • Color: Beige gloss finish
  • Notes: Not recommended for storing CD’s or other electronic storage devices. Fastening hardware is included with each safe.
  • Approved by the California Department of Justice as meeting their standards for firearm safety.
  • 3-point locking system with double-bitted, key coded lock provides greater security.
  • Adjustable shelves are included.
  • Holds 2 rifles up to 52″ tall. Includes a removable tray that can be used when storing rifles and 3 removable steel shelves for all storage.
  • Foam padded bottom.
  • This cabinet has pre-drilled holes for mounting into the wall between studs-built for standard 16″ on center stud walls. Shelves and bottom are foam padded.
  • Street Price $99.99

SPECS: Mid-Sized In-Wall Steel Cabinet

  • Model # IWC-22
  • Exterior Dimensions: 15-3/8″ W (39cm), 3-7/8″ D (10cm), 20-1/4″ H (51.4cm)
  • Shipping Weight: 15.75 lbs.
  • Interior Capacity: All storage plus 2 removable shelves
  • Number of Shelves: 2
  • Locking Points: 3
  • Master Carton Dimensions: 16-1/2″ W, 5-1/4″ D, 23-1/2″ H
  • Color: Beige gloss finish
  • Notes: Not recommended for storing CD’s or other electronic storage devices.
  • Fastening hardware is included with each safe.
  • Approved by the California Department of Justice as meeting their standards for firearm safety. 3-point locking system with double-bitted, key coded lock provides greater security.
  • Adjustable shelves are included.
  • Includes 2 removable steel shelves.
  • Foam padded bottom.
  • This cabinet has pre-drilled holes for mounting into the wall between studs-built for standard 16”on center stud walls.
  • Street Price $89.99
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