There are only two brands of fireproof file cabinets in the US: Phoenix and FireKing. Schwab/Sentry went out of business in 2015 (see below). We have been selling both brands of cabinets since 2002 and are therefore deeply familiar with all aspects of the products. Please read on to obtain unbiased information on both brands.
Differences Between Phoenix and FireKing
Phoenix has recessed handles. FireKing handles protrude. You can see this in the images.
All Phoenix models are tested to protect CDs, DVDs, USB drives, and memory sticks/cards. Only FireKing's supreme line is (avoid the "Turtle" and "Patriot" cabinets).
FireKing has 11 standard colors and can also be custom painted. Phoenix only has 3 color options.
Phoenix comes with a key lock on the top drawer which unlocks all drawers at once. FireKing has digital and dial lock options as well as the ability to add locks on each/different drawers.
FireKing Warranty: 2-Year Labor, Lifetime Parts. Phoenix Warranty: 3-Year Labor, 3-Year Parts. The exception is the FireKing Patriot which has a 2-Year Labor, 10-Year Parts warranty.
FireKing 25" legal files do not include a bar for filing letter. It must be purchased separately. Phoenix includes this bar.
FireKing lateral files do not include a bar for filing letter documents from side-to-side. Phoenix includes this bar.
FireKing key lock is Medeco, which is pick-resistant. Phoenix is high security, but not Medeco.
Which Brand Should I Buy?
The quality is outstanding on both FireKing and Phoenix. Complaints do arise when someone orders the low budget FireKing models, so we do not generally recommend those unless you need to save money up front. Any FireKing model that says "Patriot" or "Turtle" on it should be avoided unless necessary. They are inexpensive for a reason.
The main difference between the two cabinets is the ability to customize. Phoenix cannot be customized. They come with a key lock and three colors. If you require a wide variety of color options or a special type of lock (digital or dial), then you need the FireKing models. If you are happy with the three colors offered by Phoenix and you do not need customization, then you should select Phoenix.
Phoenix is based out of Lebanon, Indiana. All of their products are warehoused and ship from Indiana.
Phoenix is unique in that they only make one type of fire file: a full-featured, commercial quality cabinet. They have prided themselves on creating this "ultimate" fireproof file which includes all available ratings and features. Their cabinets carry fire, impact, and explosion labels and include a water seal on each drawer. In addition, they are tested to protect CDs, DVDs, USB drives, and memory sticks/cards.
Phoenix makes only 3 colors and does not allow any customization (changing the lock type, adding wheels, etc).
As noted, quality is the utmost importance with any cabinet we carry. The Phoenix brand is no exception and their quality is second-to-none. They cut no corners in their manufacturing process.
FireKing is based out of New Albany, Indiana. All of their products are warehoused and ship from Indiana as well.
FireKing offers a wide range of cabinets and options. They are more of the "be everything to everyone" company. They have their supreme line of cabinets as well as "low budget" models. The supreme line includes all available quality features: fire, impact, and explosion labels. Their cabinets come in many colors and can even be custom matched to your specifications. In addition, they provide many customization options including digital and dial locks, caster bases, interior dividers, etc.
Again, quality is outstanding on these cabinets.
What Happened to Schwab/Sentry?
Schwab was once a leader in fireproof file cabinet sales. However, due to inefficiency at their factory they had to sell. Sentry is the company that purchased them. Sentry did the best they could to pull the factory back up, but sales were never the same. In 2015 Sentry closed the factory and they are no longer making any of the safes or fireproof file cabinets. They claim that "decreasing demand" closed their doors, but according to our sales demand has never been higher for fireproof file cabinets.
Sentry does still have their factories in New York, China, and Korea. They are still making their residential-grade products.