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Antique Safes/Opinion on safe


Dear Terry,
What is you opinion on a Chatwood Milner 4620 ? It's locking mechanism, key locks & comb. lock ? Itegrity & difficuly to crack
by thieves ?


I would need to see your safe to see what condition it is in to give you an evaluation of it.   I've seen numerous listings of these safes, "listed" as a "TRTL30x6 equivalent".   There is no such thing as a "TRTL30x6 equivalent", it either is a TRTL30x6 or it isn't.

If you are buying it for the insurance rating, the insurance company will require the label, NOT one which is "equivalent".

That being said this doesn't mean that the safe isn't equivalent, it means that it has never been tested to this standard.   It may or may not pass the rigorous testing performed by UL.

Generally most Chatwood Milner safes (especially those with the isolator mechanism) are impressively built, however the more and fancier bolt work also means that there is that much more that can go wrong with the safe - meaning that it also requires more maintenance.   Next problem is that there are very few safe techs available that can work on isolators, some will simply spray the bolt work down and say "ok I've checked it out", without actually servicing it.
So while this safe, locks and bolt work may be more "sophisticated" than other safes, if you don't have anyone that can service it - YOU are putting yourself at risk of having a mechanical problem, which MAY result in an expensive lockout.   If you do have a qualified safe tech in your area that can service the safe, this would eliminate this problem, assuming that you actually have it serviced on a regular basis.

I'm not sure "What" you are referring to when you question "Integrity"?????

As far as "difficulty to crack" - what exactly is your question???   are you asking about a professional safe technician opening your safe, or a burglar?????

A professional safe technician would approach your safe with all of the necessary knowledge to open your safe with the least amount of damage so that it can be repaired without ruining the safe.   If you are asking about "difficulty", if it meets or is equivalent to a TRTL30x6, then that is the difficulty.   Problem:   as parts are NOT readily available for this safe, ANY damage during an opening may render the safe useless or unrepairable, depending on the need for obsolete or parts which are not available!!!!

If you are questioning its ability to resist a burglary - then you have to look at WHO you are protecting it against.   If you are trying to protect against the simply smash and grab, opportunity burglars, who would be the largest group of burglars - then yes this safe will protect you.   If you are looking to protect against people who you know and trust - (including friends, family, employees, etc. etc.), then don't give them the key or combination and the safe will protect you.   Just like a secret is ONLY a secret when only one person knows it - if you want to keep the secret then DON'T tell any one!
If you are trying to protect against a "professional" burglar, this safe will - for a limited amount of time.   Professional burglars just like professional safe technicians, do their homework before attacking a safe or alarm system.   They generally know more about you, your business, your alarm, your safe, etc., than you do.   They come in, prepared to open your safe.   The ONLY thing that the locks on your doors, your alarms and your safes provide is an amount of time.   As time is the burglars worst enemy, the more time it takes them to get through your perimeter security, your alarm and your safe is what protects you.   If the amount of time necessary, is more than they have available, then chances are, they will simply target someone else.

I think I've answered most of your questions - if you have more, be more specific about the question and the item you have the question about, and I'll try to answer them.   I've tried to address several additional problems that you may have with this safe for you to think about.   Many times safes which are simpler, are actually better, however YOU have to address all the facets of your purchase - not only the security that it provides, but future maintenance issues, replacement parts, longevity, etc. etc. etc., especially when you are contemplating buying a "USED" safe.    Just like buying a used car, many "safe salesmen" are full of "BS", and their ultimate goal is NOT to provide you with the best product, but the one that will separate you from the most cash.   They also generally don't care about future maintenance issues that YOU might experience, especially AFTER their warranty period runs out.

Hope this helps,

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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