If you’re anything like us, you probably treat your firearms as lovingly as if they were family. You keep them well-oiled, and clean them after every trip to the range. You’d certainly never let them rust.
But what if we told you they could be getting rusty right this second?
Like all containers, gun safes can collect condensation, particularly during temperature changes, which can cause moisture to collect on your guns. A small dehumidifier, made specifically for small spaces, can prevent this. That’s why we’ve looked for the best gun safe dehumidifier on the market.
We’ve looked at the performance of the twelve most popular models online, to see how they perform. We’ll go over what we liked, and what we didn’t.
These aren’t one-size-fits-all products. A dehumidifier that works great for a small pistol safe, for example, will probably be too small for a larger gun safe. So we’ll also talk about why each of these devices might work for you.
12 Best Gun Safe Dehumidifiers of 2020
- SAFE AND DRY: The PEET SafeKeeping Dryer circulates warm air and removes humidity from gun safes and cabinets.
- SAVE YOUR GUNS: Eliminates moisture, prevents rust, and preserves the life of your guns.
- EASY TO USE: Simply install, plug it in, and forget about it. Easy installation instructions are included.
- SUBTLE YET EFFECTIVE: Quietly removes humidity from safes and cabinets up to 300 cubic feet, all while using less electricity than a standard light bulb.
- 5-YEAR WARRANTY: Our products are designed to last and we’re confident that your PEET Dryer will exceed expectations for years to come. Register your PEET product within 10 days of purchase to take advantage of our warranty.
The Peet Dryer SafeKeeping Dryer is a beast of a dehumidifier that can handle up to 8 cubic feet of space.
This machine is different from the others on our list. It’s not silica-based, instead of relying on electricity to keep your safe dry. The advantage of this is that the SafeKeeping Dryer requires zero maintenance once it’s set up.
The downside is that you need to plug it in. If your safe doesn’t have a hole in the back for a power cord, you’ll need to drill one. Make sure you drill a few inches higher than your baseboard. If you do this, you’ll be able to route the wire in the space behind your safe, instead of having to pull it further away from the wall so your cord can clear the baseboard.
The cord comes unassembled so you can feed it through a small hole, but this means you’ll have to wire the head of the cord yourself.
- Never needs recharging – set it and forget it
- Powerful enough for up to 80 cubic feet
- Circulates air as it dries
- 5-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Requires some assembly
- Requires a power outlet
- Too large for pistol safes
This dehumidifier might require some installation, but it’s a great choice for anyone who wants a zero-maintenance device.
|EAN List||EAN List Element: 0714119141812|
|Package Dimensions||Height: 180; Length: 720; Weight: 105; Width: 420|
|Product Type Name||HOME|
|Title||HOMY Cordless Renewable and Rechargeable Mini Dehumidifier for Absorbing Moisture in Small Spaces Closet, Bookcase, Shoebox, Drawer, Jewelry box, Lockers and Gun Safes Wireless with NO BATTERIES|
|UPC List||UPC List Element: 714119141812|
The HOMY mini dehumidifier is an easy-to-use dehumidifier with an easy-to-read color indicator.
It’s small enough to fit in a pistol safe, at only 6.5″ x 1.8″ x 3.2″. Make sure the vents aren’t blocked, and you can set it anywhere in your safe. The display window is large and prominent, right on top of the device.
The crystals turn from orange to green when they’re wet, so you’ll know when it’s time to recharge. Since these colors are easy to tell apart, you won’t have any trouble telling them when it’s time to recharge your dehumidifier.
The HOMY requires recharging once a month in most climates, though people in drier areas may be able to get away with charging it every two months. That’s still not as long as the standard 90 days you’d expect from most silica dehumidifiers. It also gets fairly hot when recharging, so make sure to keep it away from children’s animals when you plug it in overnight.
- Small enough for a pistol safe
- Recharges overnight
- Easy-to-read color indicator
- Gets hot when recharging
- Needs frequent recharging
If you’re looking for simplicity and aren’t concerned about recharging monthly, the HOMY a good choice for you.
$27.99 in stock
- Ultra high capacity desiccant/dehumidifier/dryer for gun safes.
- Enough drying capacity for even the largest gun safes.
- Easily rechargeable in a home convection oven.
- Can absorb almost one full pound of water vapor.
- Includes a 6-spot humidity indicator card to let you know when it is time to recharge.
The Big Betty is an absolute beast, at 12” x 4” x 8.5”, and weighs almost six pounds dry.
It’s too big to fit in a pistol safe, but that’s not what you buy a six-pound dehumidifier for. It will absorb up to two pounds of water, or one pint. That’s more capacity than you’ll find on any dehumidifier without a wire.
The desiccant (drying agent) is bentonite clay instead of silica, which is a good choice for people who have sensitive lungs. Because it’s so large, you won’t need to recharge it very often – about once every three months even in the most humid of climates.
Recharging doesn’t require a power outlet. Instead, you’ll need to use your oven. Set it at 245 degrees Fahrenheit, and leave it in for twelve hours. This is a big bag, so leaving it in the oven for eight hours won’t give you the best results.
Finally, it comes with a humidity indicator card. Not only will you know when it’s time to recharge, you’ll also know just how well it’s working.
- Recharges overnight
- All-natural bentonite clay desiccant
- Includes humidity indicator card
- Great for large safes
- Too large for a pistol safe
- Weighs more than 5 pounds dry
The Big Betty is the best safe dehumidifier for someone who has a largely safe and doesn’t want to drill a hole for a wire.
Liberty Safe Dehumidifier
$26.99 in stock
- DEHUMIDIFY: Heat to a surface temperature of around 100-120 degrees F. The heat creates a natural convection that slowly circulates warm, dry air throughout an enclosure on a 24 hour basis.
- PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES: Protects from humidity, rust and mildew
- MULTIPLE SIZES: Comes in 12″ or 18″ for all size safes.
The Liberty Safe Dehumidifier is a gun safe dehumidifier rod that mounts to the inside of your safe.
It’s easy to install, provided your safe already has a hole for running a plug through. If not, you’ll need to drill a hole in the back, cut the head of the cord off and splice a new head on after you’ve run the wire. This isn’t incredibly complicated, but it’s a lot of work.
Because it’s a rod-style dehumidifier, the Liberty Safe Dehumidifier doesn’t take up as much space on your shelf or safe floor as a silica dehumidifier. It comes in two lengths: 12” and 18”, so it’s useful for most sizes of safe, with the exception of some small pistol safes.
Because it’s plugged in and always on, this unit never needs to be recharged. That said, you’ll have to position your safe close enough to an outlet to make it work.
- Available in 12” and 18” sizes
- Does not require recharging
- Easy to install on safes with a plughole
- Less obtrusive than other styles of a dehumidifier
- May require some installation
- Requires power
If your safe has a large enough hole for the plug, this is a low-effort install that never needs recharging.
1 used from $14.39
- Effective: Removes moisture in areas up to 333 cubic feet for 20-30 days before recharging.
- 100% Cordless: No tangles or mess, this dehumidifier is 100% cordless: no cables or wires needed.
- Safe: Non-toxic, no spill, no mess, safe around children and pets.
- Space-Saving, Portable Design: Simple design suited to any setting and lightweight enough to take anywhere, whether it be in the car, in a tent or in a gym bag.
- Simple: Easy to use, just position, turn on and check the colour indicator to monitor the moisture capacity of the dehumidifier.
The Pro Breeze is a silica-based dehumidifier that will fit in almost any gun safe.
Like the other rechargeable silica dehumidifiers we’ve reviewed, this one is relatively small, measuring only 7.3” x 6” x 2”. That’s small enough to fit in almost any safe. The silica changes from orange (dry) to green (wet), which you can see through a large indicator window. This makes it easy to know when you need to recharge the unit.
Sadly, this dehumidifier needs recharging at most every 60 days. In very wet climates, that can be as little as every 20 days. That’s not very long, even for a small unit like this. That said, it recharges overnight, and doesn’t get too warm when it’s plugged in.
The Pro Breeze will treat up to 333 cubic feet of air, but keep in mind that the more air you’re treating, the more often you’ll need to recharge. The electronics in this device aren’t as well-designed as most others, but the price is very reasonable.
- Small enough for pistol safes
- Easy-to-read color indicator
- Recharges overnight
- Treats up to 333 cubic feet of air
- Requires frequent recharging
- Relatively short life
This is a budget dehumidifier that does just enough to be worth buying – just make sure to check it monthly.
- Safeguards firearms and other valuables from mold and mildew.
- Eliminates humidity in enclosed spaces up to 333 cubic feet.
- Quick-connect bracket makes mounting unit easy in gun safes, closets or pantries.
- Removes humidity without electricity or batteries
- Color-shifting moisture-control crystals signal when recharging is necessary.
Renowned ammo and accessory manufacturer Hornady has stepped into the ring with this rechargeable unit.
This unit is small enough for a pistol safe, but is still rated to treat up to 333 cubic feet of space. This makes it powerful enough for even the largest gun safes. You can simply set it down anywhere there’s clearance, or use the included bracket to mount it on the wall of your safe.
The silica changes color to let you know when it needs recharging. It’s good for 6 to 12 weeks depending on your local humidity and recharges overnight. The only complaint we have is that the plastic is relatively hard, much less durable than we’d expect from a manufacturer like Hornady. Of course, this isn’t a problem unless you drop your gun on it.
- Can be bracket mounted or set on a shelf
- Lasts up to 90 days between recharges
- Small enough for a pistol safe
- Easy-to-read color-changing humidity indicator
- Handles up to 333 cubic feet of air
- Not as durable as what we’d expect from Hornady
If you want a rechargeable dehumidifier, this is one of the best on the market.
$20.81 in stock
- SPECS: 18” L, 110-120 volt AC plug, 6 foot cord and protects up to 200 cubic feet
- EASE OF USE: Rod features attachable legs for placement and a cord with a quick plug attachment to allow for the cord to be ran through the back of the safe and then plugged in
- NON-DESTRUCTIVE: Removes moisture from the air in the gun safe to prevent rust build up
- RELIABLE: Protects your firearms all while fitting in the smaller, less usable areas of the safe
- VERSATILITY: Comes in 18” and 12” versions
The GoldenRod GunSaver is a wired, rod-style dehumidifier that comes in two sizes: 12” and 18”.
Much like the other wired dehumidifiers we’ve looked at, this one is a mixed blessing. You’ll never need to recharge it. It’s also easy to install if you have a compatible safe.
If your safe doesn’t have a hole or the hole isn’t large enough for the plug, you may end up needing to do some extra work – either drilling a hole, re-splicing the plug head, or both.
This unit is on the inexpensive side, which is great if you’re trying to protect your guns on a budget. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a thermostat.
Rather than just keeping your safe warmer than the surrounding air, it will keep it warm. It won’t be hot enough to be a fire hazard, but it can continually draw power even when it’s not needed, costing you money in the long run.
- Available in 12” or 18” lengths
- Never needs recharging
- Easy to install incompatible safes
- May not be powerful enough for the largest safes
- May require some effort to install
- No thermostat
This is the most inexpensive choice for people who don’t want to worry about their dehumidifier once it’s installed.
- DIMENSIONS: 4.5″ L x 6″ W x 2.5″ D and weighs 1.4 lbs
- EASE OF USE: An indicator window shows when the unit needs to be recharged and the device recharges in around 12 hours
- RELIABLE: Moisture absorbing Water Glass Crystals are odorless, non-toxic, will not release moisture back into the air and protects up to 333 cubic feet of space
- CONVENIENT: The compact design allows the device to fit nearly anywhere and provides a simple, easy way to remove humidity from your gun safe
- INCLUDES: Dehumidifier and a charging cord
The Rechargeable/Renewable was designed specifically for gun safes.
As such, it has an optional bracket mount that you can screw into the side of your safe. If you’d rather lay it down, it will work that way as well. The dimensions are small, 4.5″ x 6″ x 2.5″, so it will fit in almost any pistol safe. The 2.5” thickness is twice as much as some dehumidifiers, though, so you’ll get more useful space with a thinner device if you have a very small safe.
This dehumidifier is good for up to 90 days between recharges and has an easy-to-read indicator window. It recharges overnight, although the separate power cord is less convenient than an integrated plug.
- Small enough for pistol safes
- Recharges overnight
- Can be laid down or mounted to the side of your safe
- Easy-to-read humidity indicator
- Enough capacity for even the largest safes
- Has a separate power cord
- Twice as thick as most rechargeable chargers
This is a top-notch rechargeable humidifier, though pistol owners may want to buy a slimmer unit.
1 used from $18.00
- Imagine you just finished putting all your valuables into your safe.
- You finally feel secure knowing your most precious assets are protected from theft.
- You let your safe sit for a couple months and finally have a need to open it.
- When you open it you are surprised to find mold and mildew eating away at your guns and other precious valuables.
- You’ve just become a victim of the damaging effects of humidity.
The Eva-Dry E-333 Dehumidifier is one of the last rechargeable dehumidifiers on our list.
This device measures 5” x 6” x 1.5”, which makes it small enough for pistol safes. It has an indicator window, like most rechargeable units, and the crystals change from orange to green as they become saturated.
The Eva-Dry has a relatively low capacity, so expect to recharge it often. The manufacturer advertises every 6-8 weeks, but this can be shorter if you’re in a very humid climate. It takes 12-14 hours to recharge, so a simple overnight charge won’t do. That said, this is a durable and long-lasting machine. If you don’t mind the recharging issues, you’ll have a dehumidifier that lasts for years.
- Small enough for pistol safes
- Easy-to-read indicator window
- Relatively long recharge time
- Needs to recharge every 6-8 weeks
This unit will get the job done, but there are other units we’ve reviewed that recharge faster and less often.
Hornady 12″ Electronic
- Helps prevent rust and corrosion
- Easy to use, just plug it in
- 7 watts coverage is approximately 100 cubic feet
The final rod-style dehumidifier on our list is another Hornady entry, and boy is this a great device.
To begin with, it’s only 12” long. We’re not saying it will fit in every pistol safe, but it will fit in the larger ones. It’s also beefy enough to handle 100 cubic feet of air, although this may not be enough for very large safes.
The plug on this unit is easy to remove. If you need to drill a hole in your safe to wire it up, you won’t have to splice any wires to complete the installation. It comes with two bracket mounts that can be used to mount it either horizontally or vertically, and it’s manufactured from steel and tough rubber.
Like all wired dehumidifiers, it never needs to be recharged. Just plug it in, forget about it, and it will keep your guns dry for years.
- Short enough for even some pistol safes
- Doesn’t require recharging
- Removable plug for easy installation
- As tough as you’d expect from a Hornady product
- Too small for very large safes
- May require some work to install
This is an absolute beast of a dehumidifier, perfect for anyone with a safe smaller than 100 cubic feet.
If you’re buying a dehumidifier for gun safe use, why not buy from a manufacturer who knows guns?
Remington’s Model 365 is a compact dehumidifier that measures only 6” x 4 ¾” x 1 ½”. It’s small enough to fit in almost any pistol safe but has enough absorbency to use in any safe. Just set it in your safe with the ventilated side facing up, and set a reminder to check on it in a month.
The silica gel inside changes color from blue (dry) to purple to pink (needs to recharge). This makes it easy to know when it’s time to plug it in, but it’s hard to tell whether the silica is purple or pink. The silica produces a lot of powder but seems to settle after a few months.
Recharging takes just 8-12 hours. Take it out of your safe, plug it in overnight, and replace it in the morning.
- Small enough for pistol safes
- Recharge every 30-90 days
- Color changing silica lets you know when it’s time to recharge
- Purple and pink color indicators are hard to tell apart
- Silica has a lot of powder in it
This is a reliable dehumidifier that gets the job done.
Sinclair Silica Gel Paks are as old school as they come.
The smaller sizes are compact enough to fit in even the smallest pistol safes, and their aluminum cases look really sharp. The larger sizes have a less elegant cardboard housing, but will handle safes up to 66 cubic feet.
All sizes have an indicator window, where the silica will change from blue to pink when it needs to be recharged. Recharging them is easy. Just put them in your oven for three hours at 250 degrees, and you’ll be all set.
- Comes in four sizes
- Low-tech and easy-to-use
- Color-changing recharge indicator
- Recharges in three hours in your oven
- Not large enough for the biggest safes
If you’re looking for a simple, old-school option, these gel paks are a good way to go.
Types of Dehumidifiers
There are two main types of gun safe dehumidifier: wired and rechargeable. Here’s how they both work:
Wired dehumidifiers work by warming up the air in the safe, rather than by extracting water from the air. This works because relative humidity changes based on temperature. Think about how much dew there is on the grass the morning after a hot, humid day. This happens because the temperature drops overnight. As the air cools, it’s no longer able to hold as much water, and excess moisture collects on the grass.
While natural dewfall is a beautiful thing, it’s bad when the “dew” is condensation and the “grass” is your favorite hunting rifle. By keeping the air in the safe warmer than the air in the room outside, a wired dehumidifier prevents condensation from forming.
Rechargeable dehumidifiers work by actively absorbing moisture from the air. These devices contain a dry, absorbent substance like silica or clay that continually soaks up humidity. Unlike wired dehumidifiers, you don’t need to worry about plugging them in.
On the other hand, rechargeable dehumidifiers require more maintenance than a wired unit. When the silica or clay is saturated, they need to be plugged in overnight to dry out.
Do Gun Safes Need Dehumidifiers?
Remember what we just said about condensation? It’s bad. It’s very bad. If you’ve owned firearms for a few years, you know the effect even a small amount of palm sweat can have on your baby if it sits in the safe for a few months.
Condensation is just as bad as sweat for the metal parts of your gun, but it’s even worse for wooden parts. A little bit of rust can be polished off – unless it’s rusted badly enough to start pitting – but mildewed wood can quickly become unusable. This can be a disaster if you have antique firearms or a gorgeous, wood-stocked 12-gauge.
What is Ideal Humidity For a Gun Safe
Any humidity level under 80 percent is safe for steel parts. If you have an antique gun with an iron barrel, you’ll need to keep the humidity below 50 percent to prevent rust. Either way, ferrous metal will rust when the nights are colder than the days, because of the condensation effect we’ve already talked about. A dehumidifier can give you the gun safe humidity control you need.
What Can You Put in a Gun Safe to Keep Moisture Out?
Unless you intend to seal your safe with caulk or something drastic like that, there’s no way to keep all moisture out of your safe. The best thing to do is simply to use a dehumidifier.
If you’re looking for a stopgap measure while you make a decision or wait for shipping, you can buy simple drying packs like Damp Rid at your local hardware store. They’ll only be good for a few weeks, but they’re cheap and easily available.
Another important thing to do is to put your safe somewhere that’s not prone to flooding. This isn’t a concern for most people, but if you live in a flood zone it’s something you’ll need to think about. Keeping your safe on an upper floor, or on a raised platform, can reduce the risk of water getting into your safe and ruining your collection.
Is it OK to Put a Gun Safe in the Garage?
Depending on where you live, it might be. Consider the temperature change between day and night, and from season to season. If you live somewhere like Southern California, this might be workable, provided you have some kind of dehumidifier to prevent the inevitable small levels of condensation you’re going to get.
If you live somewhere with extreme seasonal temperature changes, it’s really not a good idea to keep your gun safe in the garage. Even the best dehumidifier will be overwhelmed if it’s 80 degrees one day and 50 degrees the next.
When you’re looking for a gun safe dehumidifier, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider. Here are the most important ones.
Absorption capacity is best measured by the time between recharges. A good dehumidifier should be able to go at least 60 days between charges, with some wiggle room for extremely humid climates like the Gulf coast.
For larger safes, you’ll also want to look at the dehumidifier’s cubic foot rating. Even the largest safes are small enough for most dehumidifiers, but it’s an easy number to check and it can save you a lot of headache versus buying too small of a device.
For wired dehumidifiers, the cubic foot rating will be sufficient. Since there’s no recharging required, as long as they’re large enough for your safe they’ll keep your guns protected.
Every safe is different, so it’s impossible to make an across-the-board recommendation for size. That said, there are a few rules of thumb that are usually true.
To begin with, most rechargeable dehumidifiers will fit in a pistol safe, while most wired dehumidifiers won’t. Some of the smallest safes may require you to get creative by purchasing small silica packs that will fit inside, but almost all pistol safes are large enough for some kind of rechargeable unit.
Long gun safes will fit any kind of dehumidifier but look at your storage needs. If your safe has a bunch of shelves for ammunition, a rechargeable unit may be easier to use, while a wired unit may not have enough clearance. On the other hand, a wired unit is easier to use if you have the room for it.
The installation will depend on what type of dehumidifier you’re choosing, and how your safe is designed.
The easiest dehumidifiers to install are rechargeable units. Usually, you just set them inside the safe wherever there’s enough room to leave the vents unobstructed.
Wired dehumidifiers can require extensive installation work. You may need to drill a hole in your safe, and even rewire the plug head if it’s too large to fit through the hole. That said, many newer safes come with a pre-drilled hole specifically for running wires. In that case, you’re in luck! Just plug it in and you’re ready to go.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is generally the opposite of installation difficulty. Small, lightweight rechargeable units can require frequent recharging, while you can forget about wired units once you’ve plugged them in. At the end of the day, this is a matter of preference, but you’ll want to think about it.
Mold, mildew and rust are no joke. They can take a toll on your firearms, and turn your grandfather’s treasured shotgun into an expensive repair job. If you live in an area with significant humidity, or if your guns are stored where they’re vulnerable to temperature changes, a dehumidifier can be an inexpensive way to protect your investment.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into choosing one. Whether or not it needs a cord, how large it is, and how often it needs to be recharged are just a few of the things you’ll need to look at in order to make an informed decision.
Best Gun Safe Dehumidifier
Choosing the best gun safe dehumidifier is easy with our detailed reviews!
Liberty Safe Dehumidifier
Hornady, 12" Rod
Sinclair Silica Gel Paks