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My grandfather recently passed away and left, to my father, an antique safe that has been handed down through the generations.  I know the safe dates back at least to the late 1800s.  It is all black and measures approximately 17"x17"x27".  Do you have any estimate on what a safe like this would weigh?  There is a set of stairs that the safe needs to go down and I'm trying to figure out just what needs to be done...Can I go with a piano mover, a regular mover, or does this require someone more specialized?  Thanks for any help you can provide.

Hi Josh,

Sorry but weight is not based on size, but on type, materials, construction methods, etc.    Two safes of identical size can weight thousands of pounds difference because they are made of different materials.

As you haven't actually provided me with any useable information about the safe I won't even hazard a guess.

While steel weighs about 42 lbs per square foot 1" thick, concrete weighs around 150 lbs per cubic foot, or about 12.5 lbs for the same size as the steel.

Safes can be of several different types - burglary resistive, fire resistive or composite (both burglary and fire).   Depending on the type of safe and the construction materials used, will determine the overall weight of the safe.

As far as the type of "mover" to use, movers are not much different from doctors.   While EVERY doctor understands how your heart functions and where it is located - ONLY a specialist would EVER attempt open heart surgery.    Similarly people who move pianos have specialized equipment for moving pianos NOT safes.

I've seen more than my share of ruined safes, that were moved by the wrong type of, or inexperienced movers, and dropped over onto its face.    Even professional safe movers can get in trouble with very heavy safes if they don't take necessary precautions.    Over the past couple of years I know of several people that have been killed or severely injured trying to move safes.    Bottom line don't take them for granted.

Chances are your safe is going to be between 300-500 lbs, though if it is a small jewelers chest, it could easily be double that weight!

Hope this helps,    If you still need a better estimate, I'll need to see photos of your safe - inside and out, as well as inside and out measurements.

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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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