Mailboxes are federally regulated devices used to secure mail. They must meet certain requirements and come in a specific form. As such, a standard locking mailbox will come in pre-defined dimensions and materials that conform to the United States Postal Office regulations.
A metal mailbox can be made from various materials, including aluminum, steel or copper. A copper mailbox usually comes with specific design features since copper is a more expensive metal to use than steel and aluminum. Some mailboxes are made from thick polymers which are now coming into the market with their all-weather resistant properties combined with strong yet inexpensive deisgns.
There are a number of options to choose from, including a wall mount mailbox, a standard pole hung mailbox and a special USPS mailbox. In this article, I will review 10 secure mailbox options. Before I begin, let’s take a look at a few issues that confront mailbox owners.
How to pick a mailbox lock
Residential mailboxes come with standard locks and keys, so when you misplace your key, there are options to opening the box, and making it easier to replace the mechanism, as well as access your mail at the same time.
To access a metal mailbox, you will first need to prepare a lockpick and lever.
There are professional tools available at your local locksmith, or online, however, if you don’t have the time to buy one, here is a simple way to pick your lock using home and office appliances.
Make Lock Pic
Making a homemade lockpick is easier than you think, what you need 2 hairpins or 2 paper clips.
- Take a hairpin and bend it so that the two halves are at 90 degrees to each other.
- Now take the second hairpin, bend one end of the hairpin, so it is not straight, and taking a pair of pliers, bend the end of the hairpin section so that it is about 1.3cm away from the curved part you bent; this is the lever.
- For paperclips, straighten out one half of the paper clip and bend the straightened half upwards slightly.
- Take the second paper clip and straighten it out all the way, just leave the last turn to act as leverage when holding it, this is the lever.
Pick the Lock
To pick the lock, you insert short side of the lever into the lock. Press the long end of the lever and turn it clockwise (or the direction you use to open the lock) and maintain this pressure to turn the tumbler. While you do this, insert the lockpick component and feel for the spring loaded pins, applying pressure and moving the lever to force the tumbler to open.
Consider that there are 5 pins in a conventional lock, start with the first pin and push it up, the pressure of the lever will force the pin to retain its upright position as the tumbler moves slightly to cover the exit hole. You need to make sure the pin is seized, this is felt as tight push, if the pin moves up smoothly it’s not seized and won’t lock when pushed, once there is some resistance, it means the pin will lock in he up position. Now move onto the next pin. You will hear a faint clicking sound that tells you the pin is locked open.
Remember, turn the clock with the lever so that each pin feels seized, and keep this in mind: “a loose pin is bad, a tight pin is good.”
Using the lever, rotate the barrel once the last pin is unlocked.
How to secure mailbox
There are two kinds of mailboxes, the pole and the wall mounted types. Both mailboxes do sometimes loosen over time, and to secure a mailbox you will need to perform some DIY tasks.
The wall mailbox is easy to secure, you just open it and tighten the screws found on the inside of the body.
For outside post mailboxes, you need to look at the way the mailbox has been loosened and approach each issue individually.
Start by assessing the damage, is the box still fattened to the post, or is it broken off. How bad is the overall damage? Are the door and flag still working properly?
For securing the box to the post when it is only slightly loose, just screw the box back on. However, if the metal bracket or connectors are damaged, you will need to replace them. Also, check the post. If it wobbles, you might need to replace it completely, or in some instances just reinforce it.
- Wooden posts are easier to fix since you can cut and add parts. Metal posts are problematic, and it best to fully replace those.
- Mounting brackets can be bought online as replacements for broken or damaged mounting brackets, just make sure you buy the replacement part from the original maker, if you don’t have such an option, try to buy a universal bracket.
- In the instance of a bad fit, use a board of wood between the mounting bracket and the box, this will solve your situation much faster.
- Most brackets don’t come with screws, so make sure you have galvanized deck screws. You will need 4 x 1.75”, and 4 x 0.75”.
- To aid in securing the plates and brackets, pre-drill holes in a new post, or use the old holes if there are any that are still usable, but check to see if they are good or not.
- Screw the bracket into the post and then secure the mailbox to the bracket.
How to install a mailbox
There are two ways to secure a mailbox post; one is with concrete the other is without. Check to see if your local regulations support concrete supports, if so, continue, if not, secure the mailbox post without concrete.
If you need to replace the post or install a brand new mailbox unit, these are the steps to take.
- Dig a 1-foot diameter hole that is 2 feet deep in the ground according to USPS guidelines.
- Add 6 inches of dry gravel after digging it; this acts as a water drain for the concrete. It’s best to use standard gravel stones.
- Mix the concrete and prepare it in a bucket ready for pouring.
- Set the post into the hole and check its height so see it conforms to USPS regulations. Use a level to check for its vertical integrity.
- Pour the concrete into the hole around the post, use a trowel for accuracy, it maintains a cleaner environment and also makes user there are fewer air holes. Level the concrete to within 3 to 4 inches from the surface.
- Allow the concrete to set, and then fill in the remaining gap with gravel or dirt.
- After the concrete is set and the ground I covered, attach the mounting bracket and fasten the mailbox. Check the mailbox for a secure and tight fitment.
The process is similar to that with concrete, however here you will not fill up the area with concrete, instead, you will pack it with dirt. As such, the diameter of the hole will be slightly wider, and you usually pack the dirt harder. Make sure you use fine dirt and not loose stones, loose stones do not bind over time, and will remain loosely fitting. Some people like to secure a wide base at the bottom of the post and place stones on top of the lip, this is also useful but requires a much wider hole which makes work longer and harder.
How to install mailbox lock
On many occasions, locks get damaged or owners loose keys. Changing a lock on a residential mailbox is not a big issue, and all you need is a replacement lock that you can buy from a locksmith or online. There are some basic tools that are required, and these include a drill for damaged locks that don’t open and screwdriver. Before you buy a new lock, its best to remove the old one to check the exact dimensions that will fit into your door.
If the lock doesn’t open, drill through it with the drill bit. If it does open then open the door and unscrew or unclip the lock mechanism from the door.
Once you have the old lock, replace it with a new one, all you need to do is either clip it in place or screw it in place.
How to get mail out of a locked mailbox
Mailbox fishing, yup, this is a criminal profession that can come in useful when a mailbox owner loses a key or has a damaged lock. Essentially, mailbox fishing is the art of fishing mail out of mailboxes and is quite a prolific criminal past time in some cities.
There are two options, the folding hook and hanger version or the sticky bottle version.
Take a wire coat hanger and open it up. Using the hanger hook, fish for the mail by forcing the mail against the hook or scooping it with the hook. Bring the envelope close to the door and then use your fingers to take it out.
The sticky bottle is basically adding a something sticky to the hook, such as s sponge attached with duct tape and having some exposed duct tape on the outside that sticks to the envelopes and brings them up.
These are time proven methods, and if they work for criminals, they will definitely work for honest people too.
What are mailboxes made of?
Post office boxes are controlled by the US Post Office guidelines. This means you can’t make your post office box any way you feel like. There are standards to conform to, so here goes:
US curbside mailboxes are classified as (T) Traditional, (C) Contemporary, or (L) Locking
Traditional or Contemporary non-locking curbside mailboxes are approved in three sizes:
No. 1, No. 2, or No. 3, these are measured by the minimum interior dimensions.
The largest curbside mailbox is the No. 3, and measures 22.81 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 15 inches in height (58 cm x 28 cm x 38 cm) at the peak.
Locking mailbox designs provide security for incoming mail and come with fewer restrictions on shape and size. The standard slot dimensions for incoming mail must be at least 1.75 inches high by 10 inches wide.
Residential locking mailboxes do not require the postal carrier to have a key as such; no USPS approved residential locking mailbox has secure outgoing mail.
The mailbox slot seizes standard basic dimensions, these vary between standard unlocked mailboxes to locking mailboxes. The incoming mail slot must be 41″-45″ above the roadside surface, and the front of the mailbox must be 6″-8″ back from the curb.
As for materials, the materials used must be metal or wood. Mailboxes secured on posts can be secured using concrete or dirt, and each state has its own specific regulations.
The Best Residential locking mailboxes Reviews
This is the Architectural Mailboxes 6200B-10 Oasis Classic
The Architectural Mailboxes 6200B-10 Oasis Classic is the top-rated mailbox of the current season and is extremely popular for many reasons.
The Oasis Classic Locking High-Security Parcel Mailbox comes with an innovative, high-quality locking system with pry-resistant lock bracket that provides exceptional performance that mitigates vandalism, mail, and identity theft.
This model conforms to all USPS regulations, and its box dimensions allow you to receive parcels ranging in size from 9.75 in. x 6.5 in x 2 in. to 9.75 in. x 4 in. x 2.75 in.
The body of this box is made from full powder coated inside and out heavy-duty galvanized steel that is fully corrosion resistant for longevity. The hardware used is all stainless-steel together with Weather-Tite rubber seals that assure a dry interior at all times and keeps the mail and parcels dry.
This model comes with a patented parcel receiving hopper door that is integrated with an internal security baffle which securely deposits your mail and parcels into the extra-large lower storage compartment.
The seamless outer shroud protects your mail and parcels from all adverse weather conditions. Take into consideration that your outdoor mailbox has to withstand the elements 24/7, this includes extreme cold sometimes minus degrees in the winter, to plus forties in the summer with rain and dust. As such, you want your mailbox to be perfect and withstand all the forces of nature. This is what the Oasis class of mailboxes provides you with, and the paint does not fade, crack or peel.
Another great feature of this mailbox is its discrete outgoing mail clip that is carefully located behind the intake door keeping your outgoing mail out of view from passersby.
The flag is made from a brightly painted 17-gauge galvanized steel, and this model comes with a pre-drilled 4-inch x 10-inch mounting hole pattern. The overall dimensions of this model are 18.1-Inch d x 15.1-Inch h x 11.5-Inch w, and it weighs 23-lbs.
This black powder coated steel mailbox, with really simple lines and finish, is a perfect solution for all curbside mailbox requirements and acts as an exemplary all weather condition protector.
- Tamper Resistant with a thick heavy-duty pick resistant stainless steel lock with double cut keys.
- Anti-Pry Latch Reinforcement that prevents prying, forced entry, and fishing from unwanted mail thieves.
- Weather Resistant with Weather-Tite rubber seals, stainless steel hardware and a raised floor.
- Constructed of thick galvanized steel with a complete powder coated inside and out.
- Includes a red galvanized steel flag.
- Anti-Fishing design with a patented hopper door design prevents fishing.
- Large Mailbox Capacity
This is the top of the heap, the cherry on the cream, the best of the best, and all the other wonderful words used to describe a top rated product. It provides you with a full weather resistant, corrosion proof, fishing proof performance and comes at an exceptional price. At the moment, this is the most popular and leading brand on the market and rightly so.
This is the Epoch 7106 MailBoss Curbside Locking Mailbox
The Epoch MailBoss is designed to fight fishing and beat all-weather conditions. This model comes with some exceptional security and structural integrity features that include a 12-gauge steel mounting plate.
This model has a 1.9” high incoming mail door, so you can get large parcels as well as all the standard mail sized envelopes. It also comes with a concealed outgoing mail tray and comes with a patented anti-pry latch locking system that includes a high-security 12-disc wafer lock to prevent leveraged entry.
This Epoch model includes their patented Fast-Trak Mounting Plate and comes with all the hardware for easy installation on wood, metal or in a column.
This is a no-nonsense black powder coated mailbox that sits quietly on the curb and provides a very stable and secure service withstanding the elements all year round.
- Commercial grade high-security 12-wafer disc lock with laser cut key access.
- Patented Fast-Trak Mounting Plate allows for easy installation on any surface.
- 40-pound mailbox with galvanized steel construction deters mailbox baseball & vandalism.
- Patented anti-pry latch locking system stops prying and leveraged entry.
This is an exceptional model and installs in moments. It’s a very solid mailbox with great security features.
This is the Gibraltar Mailboxes MSK00000 Mailsafe Medium Capacity Wall-Mount Mailbox
This is a medium sized mailbox and the name Gibraltar is not by chance, this company is like the Rock of Gibraltar, it produces rock guard performance mailboxes designed to last a lifetime and provide constant security for your mail.
This model is made from reinforced plastic with aluminum and delivers exceptional strength and performance when compared to many other models.
The overall design is amazing, with its die-cast plastic wood-like the frame, and a heavy duty extruded aluminum door combined with the USPS secure cam lock, this model comes with a powder coated finish on all metallic parts to secure them from corrosion and includes an outgoing mail flag.
The delivery slot is 14” wide x 2” high, so you get ample space for most standard envelopes and bundles.
- The Mailsafe Wall Mount Mailbox gives you a sturdy, locking compartment
- Ideal for use at your home or as a secure drop-box.
- Easy Outgoing Deliveries
- Storage Capacity to receive magazines, padded envelopes, and even small prescription deliveries.
This is an affordable wall mounted mailbox that can be secured outdoors against the weather.
This is the AdirOffice Locking Drop Box – Wall Mounted Mailbox
The AdirOffice Suggestion & Drop Boxes are indoor mailboxes designed to receive standard mail sized envelopes in dry environments.
These are lightweight, colorful internal mailboxes that can be used by homeowners as well as offices and workplaces.
These boxes are made from heavy duty steel and coated with a corrosion resistant powder paint and integrates durable acrylic, or Camphor wood with a plexiglass window.
These boxes come with a deposit slot or a bin door, as well as a security lock for assuring that the contents cannot be reached or fished with ease.
The steel structure uses a reliable 16-gauge galvanized steel which provides a solid enclosure with the dimensions of the box. The colors are vivid, and you get to choose from black, white, red and blue.
Each mailbox comes with all the hardware including 4 mounting screws, 4 stainless steel washers, a driver bit and a drill bit for quick and easy installation.
There are two sizes to choose from, these are (H) 12″ (W) 10.4″ (D) 4.5″, or the larger (H) 16.2″ (W) 11.2″ (D) 4.7″.
- Indoor mailbox
- Vivid colors
- 16-gauge steel construction
- Powder coated for corrosion and scratch protection
This is a nice variant of an internal mailbox system and can be used in blocks of apartments as well as in office as personal mailboxes or as deposit boxes.
This is the Mail Boss 7164 Metro Locking Wall Mount Mailbox
The Mail Boss 7164 is a slim yet rugged mailbox with a no-nonsense look and feel. This wall mounted mailbox is made from 18 lbs., of 2.0mm and 2.5mm, 12 and 14 Gauge Galvanized Welded Steel. Just for your information, most home wall safes are made using 12 gauge steel, and most gun safes are made from less thick materials.
This model was designed with fishing in mind and comes with a plethora of features, including the Anti-Pry Latch Locking System, a Commercial Grade 12-Disc Wafer Lock with 3 Laser Cut Keys, and has an all Weather Resistant Powder Coating.
As a wall-mounted design, it’s very easy to install using the pre-drilled anchor holes in the back of the box, and due to its sleek lines, sits flush with the wall and provides a very secure and strong performance.
- Anti-Pry Latch Lock
- Laser Cut Brass Keys
- 18 lbs of 2.0mm & 2.5mm 12 & 14 Gauge Galvanized Welded Steel.
- 12-Disc Wafer Lock
- Anti-Pick, Anti-Drill lock with flame hardened tool steel cam.
- Stainless Steel Hinges
- Durable and corrosion resistant
This is an exceptional model, and as a wall-mounted mailbox, sticks out for its security and rugged build. This was the was one of the runner-up models when deciding which one is the top rated for overall performance, and is perhaps the top-rated wall mounted box on the market today.
This is the Mail Boss 7506 Mail Manager Locking Security Mailbox
This is another amazing mailbox from Mail Boss; this model is their larger secure mailbox that comes with their commercial grade 12-disc wafer lock and laser cut keys as well as an exclusive patented locking system to prevent prying and leveraged entry.
The 7506 is constructed using 14- and 16-gauge electro-galvanized welded steel construction together with an innovative baffle door design that is engineered to prevent fishing and accepts small packages up to 3.5″ x 3.5″ x 10″.
The patented anti-pry latch locking system comes with a chrome-alloy tempered stool hook-cam, and a commercial grade 12-disc wafer disc lock with 3 lasers cut keys, includes 4 lag bolts, drill bit, installation template and clear instructions for easy installation.
This is a USPS Approved residential locking mailbox, and the paint coating is 24.7 all-weather resistants, doesn’t peel, flake or fade.
- Protects your identity
- Innovative design accepts small packages but deters fishing theft of mail/ packages.
- Defends against vandalism
- Heavy duty steel construction is durable and protects against mailbox vandalism.
- Patented anti-pry latch locking system prevents prying and leveraged entry.
This is the larger column held Mail Boss mailbox and comes with all the security features you would expect from a safe let a one a mailbox.
This is the Protex WSS-159E II Through the Door DropBox with Electronic Lock
This is an internal security feature, a Through-The-Door DropBox with Programmable Digital Lock. This model is designed for shared housing, where the owner or principal resident does not want the mail being touched by anyone else. It is also used in offices to act as a mail drop to collect all outgoing mails securely in one location.
As such, Protex, the safe manufacturers, have created a mailbox security device that fastens to a doors mail opening and receives all the mail passed through the door into a secure box.
This model comes with an electronic lock that is powered by 3 AAA batteries and is opened with a 1 to 9 digit code. The box itself is made from a medium gauge steel powder coated for corrosion and scratch resistance. It comes with a reinforced double steel door with a thickness of 1/8,” and the box dimensions are 7-1/8” (W) x 6-1/4” (H), the slot is 7-3/8” (W) x 1-3/8” (H) with a 7/8″ drop clearance. The overall exterior dimensions are 10” (W) x 15” (H) x 4-1/4” (D) and the capacity is 313 cubic feet with a net weight of 16 lbs.
This unit is designed to mount on a door from the inside with the drop door showing through the outside and uses a piano hinge drop door opening thick enough to drop keys but also includes a metal baffle to protect you from fishing.
This model comes with pre-drilled mounting holes in the back for door mounting and all the mounting hardware for wood doors is included.
- Battery operated electronic lock
- Metal baffle to protect drop opening from fishing
- Pre-drilled mounting holes in the back for door mounting
- Reinforced double steel door to protect against prying
- Includes a removable and adjustable metal frames
- Recommended for door thickness of 2 inches or less.
- The maximum thickness of item to drop is 1-1/8″ thick
- Uses 3 AA batteries
- Automatically locks when the door is shut
- External Battery override contacts let you power the lock from the outside if the batteries die
This is a lovely internal mailbox for use in the home or the office and secures your mail for incoming or outgoing purposes.
This is the Salsbury Industries 4460BGE Victorian Surface Mounted Mailbox
This is a special or novelty item that is designed to withstand all attacks and secure your mail in a tight and secure location. It combines aesthetics with rugged strength, and while it might not seem as much, is one of the thickest and hardest mailboxes to damage.
This mailbox is made from thick die-cast aluminum alloy coated with a thick powder coat paint and designed to look like a Victorian style letter box ornament. The mailbox envelope lid is made from solid brushed brass embossed with the word “Letters” and comes with an adjustable stopping mechanism that can limit the lid opening aperture.
This is a wall mounted letterbox and came in four optional colors, Black, Green, Beige and White and its dimensions are Height 20″ Depth 5-3/4″ Width 15-3/4″ .
The solid brass mail flap lid is 10-3/4″ W x 2-1/4″ H and this model comes with a U.S.P.S. residential door mail delivery standard.
The net weight of this box is 15 Lbs.
- Die Cast Aluminum Body
- Solid Brass Mail Flap Lid
- Wall Mounted
- 2 keys included
If you want a bit of old world style, this is the mailbox of choice. It’s a solid and rugged mailbox that is both classy in looks and efficient in performance.
This is the Special Lite Products SVV-1013-CP Victoria Vertical Mailbox
The Svv-1013-cp Victoria vertical residential wall mount mailbox is decorative residential mailbox used for lightweight mail service. This is a model designed to look like old copper but is made from corrosion resistant gravity cast aluminum alloy.
It also comes with two small hooks that can act as a newspaper rack or hanging hooks. The dimensions of this unique mailbox are 4 x 17.5 x 17.5 inches, and it weighs a light 8 lbs.
- A compact, lightweight residential mailbox for internal service.
This is a good internal mailbox unit for shared accommodation and is not a USPS or fishing proof mode.
This is the Salsbury Industries 3504ASU Surface Mounted Vertical Mailbox with 4 Doors and USPS Access
The Salsbury 3500 Series Vertical Mailboxes is a wall Mounted USPS mail Access system for multiple apartments. This model is made and designed specifically for apartment blocks and provides a USPS secure mailbox system for multiple recipients.
This model comes with four separate mailboxes combined in one structure, each mailbox with its own unique set of keys and security devices.
The structure is made from aluminum and has a powder coated finish or natural metal finish.
Each compartment size is 5-1/2″ W x 16-1/4″ H x 6-3/4″ D and there are three to seven compartment door configurations to choose from.
- Striated scratch resistant doors and trim
- Each unit comes with a 5 pin cylinder cam lock (with 2 keys)
- Mailboxes are available with 3 to 7 compartments
This is a straightforward apartment block mailbox system and will serve anywhere from three to seven apartments in one fitment.