You are here:

Locksmithing/Old Mosler safe with no combination


Mosler Safe
Mosler Safe  

Mosler safe
Mosler safe  
We recently came upon an old safe in one of the back rooms of our church. I remember it as a young person when my Dad was on the finance committee in about 1975. We have no combination. We have thought of putting it on E-Bay or similar, but with no combination, we're just not sure. Can we get a combination? It also mentions a key on the door tag. Is there value to this safe?

Hi Lela,

These Mosler round, lug door money chests were very popular during the 1950's through the 1970's but pretty much became obsolete around the early 1980's.    Consumers wanted full access to the interior which the round doors didn't offer.    Manufacturers quit making these safes in favor of square door safes.

Question:   Do the newer style safes offer better protection than these older safes.   In my, and many other safe techs opinions the answer is no.   Rather than coming up with a BETTER design, manufacturers responded to customers that were more interested in the COST of something rather than the actual protections that it offered.    While newer composite safes DO meet the UL requirements for burglary protection, they simply don't incorporate the thick tool resistant steels that was part of these safes.

That being said you have several problems with your safe which effect any value.

#1 - The safe is obsolete and parts no longer exist for repairs.
#2 - Weight - heavy safes are not easy to move, meaning $$$'s in moving costs.
#3 - Maintenance - combination recovery and service to ensure they are operational

Assuming that both doors are open but don't have combinations - cost to recover them and service the doors could be around $200-$300.     If the lower door is locked up and needs to be opened (can't tell from your photos), this could cost an additional $500 to $1000.

Selling the safe in "as is" condition, potential buyers also have to take in to consideration the above costs.

With both combinations and doors in proper working condition, value of this safe is probably around $500.    Problem is finding a buyer willing to spend this much, knowing that it will cost them $$$'s to move the safe and get it in proper operation.    These are all negative values.

Most safe companies would probably charge you $400-$600 to haul it away for disposal.

Sorry the news isn't better.   While everything has value, somethings simply have negative values.

"IF" you elected to keep the safe and have it serviced and operational, if everything is working and you have a use for it, I think this would be a really good safe, which will provide good security for your valuables.   Selling it though is definitely a horse of a different color, and may not work out as well.

Good luck with it.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 42 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. 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 Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

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 Expert 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 and Western Nevada)

©2017 All rights reserved.