How Do I Choose the Best Locking File Cabinet?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2019
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A locking file cabinet may be available in several sizes, and in a multi or single drawer unit. If don't have the space to store a large and bulky file cabinet, choose one with greater height and less width. For best protection, choose a locking file cabinet that is made with durable construction. If you require mobility, choose a portable locking file cabinet on wheels.

Your new locking file cabinet will come with a key, and some models also offer a lock bar. Some people prefer a multi-lock security bar, as it offers extra protection for important work sheets and documents. It's also a good idea to secure an extra key for safekeeping, should you misplace the original.

A lockable file cabinet generally comes with one lock. This lock is typically installed on a top file drawer. It is possible, however, to purchase a locking file cabinet that comes complete with locks for every drawer. The decision of whether to purchase a locking file cabinet with a multi- or single-lock feature is a personal choice. Some people believe it is a bother to unlock several drawers for access, while others prefer the extra security.

Depending upon your office or home decor, you might want to choose a metal file cabinet or a wood file cabinet. Some file cabinets are also available in a simulated wood grain finish. These options allow you to coordinate your office decor accordingly.


Assembly may be a consideration when buying a lockable file cabinet. File cabinets that are very large or have deep drawers may require a fair amount of assembly. Other locking file cabinets may come pre-assembled or require minimal assembly. Assembly requirements should be listed on the box.

For minimal storage requirements or for space-saving features, consider a single-drawer file cabinet with a lock. This type of locking file cabinet is small enough to place on a utility table or large desk. When choosing a single-drawer file cabinet, look for a unit with dividers or compartments. This will make it easy to organize files. Color coded tabs work best with this type of file drawer.

If you have a large room, you can choose a file cabinet that also functions as a hutch. This combination can be a functional piece of home office decor. Look for a lockable file cabinet with a few drawers, as well as storage compartments or shelves.


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