Locking DropBox Buyer's Guide
Locking Drop Boxes may be divided into four categories: 1) Wall Mounted Locking Drop Boxes, 2) Post Mounted Locking Drop Boxes, 3) Through the Wall Locking Drop Boxes, and 4) Through the Door Locking Drop Boxes. Below you will find simple explanations of each kind of drop box, as well as links to each of the drop boxes discussed.
Use this guide to help buy a locking drop box. Please feel free to call or email if you have any questions. I will personally take your call, and please leave a message if I do not answer. I will return your call ASAP.
Wall Mounted Drop Boxes
1) Wall Mounted Drop Boxes typically have either a simple slot opening (to accept the incoming envelopes, cash, checks, etc.) or a hopper style door.
If the drop box has a simple slot (simple meaning a slender mail slot opening), you will want to make sure the opening is no larger than necessary. If too large, envelopes may be able to be fished out. You will also want to be sure the drop box has a baffle. A baffle is a downward angled piece of metal, usually with a saw tooth edge that deflects the envelopes when someone attempts to fish the envelopes out. Fishing out mail is commonly done using a thin wire with a sticky substance on the end. When the wire is pulled upward, the envelopes hit the baffle and are knocked back down.
The other opening option is a hopper door. This is much like the USPS opening when taking mail to the post office. When the drop door is opened the back of the door closes off the drop area keeping someone from reaching in and taking items out. When the door is closed the mail drops down into the secure receptacle. The receptacle is locked and you simple use your key to retrieve the items out.
Wall mounted drop boxes typically have holes pre-drilled in the back allowing you to secure the drop box to a wall. We strongly suggest you attach the drop box using the proper screws when screwing them into a solid foundation, such as a wall stud, brick, etc. If the drop box is going to be a fairly permanent feature, a few dabs of liquid nail will make it very difficult to remove. Keep in mind, when you attempt to remove the drop box, it will potentially be very difficult and could damage the wall or drop box itself.
Something to keep in mind when purchasing a wall mounted locking drop box, or any other drop box, is the size of the item, envelope, etc that you are dropping into the drop box. Not all drop boxes will accept a full sized envelope or manila envelope. When looking at a drop box be sure to double check the drop slot opening, it may be smaller than what it appears in the photo. The overall size of the drop box can equally be deceptive in the photo, so be sure to confirm those dimensions as well.
Post Mounted Drop Boxes
2) Post Mounted Locking Drop Boxes can often times look similar to locking mailboxes, with the exception of free standing drop boxes which do not require a post. A free standing mailbox looks similar to a USPS mail drop box. Normally, a post mounted locking drop box does not include the post but can be purchased alongside the drop box. There is usually a drop down option below the price if one is offered or shown toward the bottom of the description. If the post is included with the drop box it is usually mentioned in the description as post included.
Much like wall mounted locking drop boxes, a post mounted drop box accepts envelopes or payments via a simple mail slot or a hopper style door. One of the greatest advantage to a post mounted locking drop box is the size. They are usually much larger than a wall mounted drop box and, therefore, can hold a greater quantity of envelopes before needing to be checked and emptied. A freestanding drop box is often larger than a post mounted drop box and look similar to the USPS drop box at your local post office.
Another advantage to a post mounted locking drop box is their ability to accept larger sized items. Some include options to pick the size of the drop opening. The range of opening sizes may be small enough to only accept a standard envelope or large enough to accept a parcel the size of a shoe box or even a boot box. Keep in mind, you will want to make sure the larger opening units have a baffle or anti-fishing device to keep someone from either reaching in and pulling items back out or using a wire and fishing envelopes or packages out. Typically, free standing drop boxes are the units that are large enough to accept parcels as large as a shoe box. Most post mounted locking drop boxes will only accept small parcels, roughly the size of a box of checks.
Keep in mind another advantage is location. A post mounted drop box can be located in the greatest variety of locations. While a wall mounted, through the wall, or through the door drop box must go where you have a wall or door, a post mount can go any where you can put a post. A in ground post requires you do dig a hole and secure it with concrete, while a surface mounted post has a flat plate on the bottom which allows you to secure it to any flat hard surface with bolts.
Through the Wall Locking Drop Boxes
3) Through the Wall Locking Drop Boxes often have an external mail slot with a chute allowing envelopes or mail to pass through a wall (chute) and drop into a locked receptacle. Apartment offices, for example, will use through the wall locking drop boxes to accept rent payments. Drop boxes which accept payments by having them drop through the wall and into a drop box often create a more secure way for receiving envelopes containing cash or check payments. The biggest advantage to having a though the wall locking drop box is the receptacle is not normally accessible to the public. The drop box receptacle is commonly located on the interior side of the building and preferably in a location making it less accessible for someone to try to break in and take the cash or other items being dropped in.
The mail slot on a though the wall drop box is usually small (with exceptions) and easily accepts checks, cash, envelopes, keys, etc. Some drop boxes have a straight chute allowing an envelope to slide down the chute without obstruction.
However, a few have a small hopper style door which closes off the chute when opened and keeping someone from fishing items out. When the door is closed the hopper door rolls back and drops the envelopes, cash, and checks down into the locked receptacle. A hopper door significantly reduces the ability for someone to fish items out and when combined with a baffle, pulling envelopes back out or fishing items out, is extremely difficult, if not impossible.
If the through the wall locking drop box does not have a hopper door, be sure it does have a baffle. A baffle is a piece of metal, usually with a saw tooth edge,located at the end of the chute or drop slot. When someone attempts to fish items out with a wire, as the wire is being pulled out it will hit the baffle and be knocked back down into the receptacle.
It is important when picking out a through the wall locking drop box, you know the thickness of your wall. For instance, you don't want to buy a drop box designed for a 6-inch wall, when your wall is 8-inches thick. Some drop boxes offer a variance, where it will adjust to fit a wall from 6 to 8-inches thick, etc. Again, it is important the drop box you purchase will work with the wall thickness you are attempting to put your drop box through. Equally important, make sure the drop opening will work with the expected items being dropped in. In other words, if you want to drop a manila envelope through the wall, make sure the opening will accept it. Likewise, if it has a hopper door, make sure a hopper will not prohibit the manila envelope from dropping into the receptacle.
Through the Door Locking Drop Boxes
4) Through the Door Locking Drop Boxes are similar to the wall unit with the exception that the chute and receptacle are typically smaller in size. A standard commercial door is typically 1 3/4" thick. This means the typical through the wall locking drop box will not fit on a door. The entire unit is far too large and will not work on a door. It will not allow the door to open correctly and it will not attach to the door correctly. Therefore, be sure the unit is made specifically for a door or the through the wall locking drop box has the ability to work on a door.
Keep in mind, through the door locking drop boxes are unique and different from a door drop slot. A door mail drop slot does not have a receptacle. The locking drop receptacle, which attaches to the door drop slot, is what makes a through the door locking drop box unique and more secure than a standard mail drop slot which does not have a receptacle.
Door drop slots with locking receptacles are rare. There are two specific models. The first model is specifically made for a door and will not work on a wall. The chute is not long enough, unless your wall is only 2 inches thick.
The Through The Door Drop Slot with Receptacle model #PSWSS159 is specifically made for a door. It has a small hopper door and will only accept small envelopes, personal checks, cash or keys. You will never be able to drop a manila envelope or a standard business envelope into this drop box. The locking receptacle is 4.5 inches deep, which allows most doors to open without interfering with the doors normal function. Before purchasing, make sure when the drop box is installed a wall or other obstruction would not interfere with the receptacle being attached to the door or the function of the door opening.
The other drop box model which will work on a door will also work on a wall with the optional chute. The Locking Through The Wall Drop Box, model #PVPRO903M has a short chute fixed to the receptacle. The short chute works on a standard commercial door and allows the drop box to be bolted to the door. The optional cover plate with flap attaches to the door and covers the chute opening. The optional chute attachments lengthens the short chute, also allowing the unit to work as a through the wall locking drop box. There are two length options available for the optional chute attachment.
While this drop box will not allow a standard sheet of paper to be dropped in, unlike model PSWSS159, it will allow a standard business envelope to be dropped into the receptacle. It does not have a hopper door like the PSWSS159, but it does have an anti-fishing baffle. The baffle is an angled piece of metal, typically with a saw tooth edge that deflects the envelopes when someone attempts to fish the envelopes out.
Locking Drop Box Summary:
Locking Drop Boxes are an effective way to receive rent payments, cash, envelopes, keys, id cards, and other important documents. There are a number of options and sizes. If you still have questions regarding a particular drop box or still not sure where to begin do not hesitate to contact locking security mailbox with your questions. We are more than happy to spend the necessary time directing you to the drop box that best fits your needs.
Still have questions? Call or email and we will be happy to direct you to the best locking drop box for your situation.