Gate Latch Categories

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Categories of Gate Latches Securing Your GateGate Latch Material |
Types of Gate LatchesChart of Gate Latch OptionsThe Do’s and Don’ts of Gate Latches

Learn about gate latch categories…

  • Gravity Gate Latches
  • Spring Loaded Gate Latches
  • Bolt Latches

Special Circumstances…

  • Driveway Gate Latches
  • Double Gate Latches
  • Sliding Gate or Rolling Gate Latches
  • Gate Latches for Metal Gates

Gravity Gate Latches

This type of latch operates by gravity. When the gate closes, the force lifts and pushes the latch-arm past the strike plate and the arm falls into the catch. The latch should be self-latching, meaning that if wind blows the gate closed, the latch-arm should fall into place on its own, rather than needing to be put into place by hand.

Gravity gate latches are always two-sided gate latches because they need to have a latch-arm to fall into a strike. A two-way gate latch allows the wooden gate to be opened from either side of the gate. If security is a concern, you’ll want to look into a lockable gate latch or add a deadbolt or slidebolt to secure the gate. Double sided gate latches are usually used with an in-swinging gate. However, if you reverse the installation and place the latch-arm on the street-side of the gate, you can use a double-sided gate latch for an out-swinging gate.

Gravity gate latches can be either lockable gate latches or not, depending on the design by the gate latch manufacturer. Often, the option of locking is provided by a hole to insert a padlock.

Installation can range from straightforward to complex, depending on the style of latch.

See 360 Yardware’s collection of Gravity Gate Latches.

Spring Loaded Gate Latches

Spring gate latches differ from gravity gate latches because they rely on a spring to facilitate the closing of the latch. Spring-loaded gate latches for a wooden gate can cost more than your typical gravity latch because of the extra engineering required to produce them. However, many find the extra expense worthwhile because of the smooth action in the gate latch handle when you open and close the gate.

When a gate with a spring loaded gate latch closes, the latch-arm snaps right into place, forced by the pressure of the spring to latch securely.

Spring gate latches are always two-sided gate latches. Two-way gate latches allow the wooden gate to be opened from either side of the gate (the yard-side and the street-side). If security is a concern, you’ll want to look into a lockable gate latch.

Double-sided gate latches are usually used with an in-swinging gate. However, if you reverse the installation and place the latch-arm on the street-side of the gate, you can use a double-sided gate latch for an out-swinging gate.

Spring loaded gate latches can be either lockable gate latches or not, depending on the design by the gate latch manufacturer.

Installation can range from straightforward to complex, depending on the style of latch.

See 360 Yardware’s collection of Spring Gate Latches.

Bolt Latches

A bolt latch is a sliding bolt that secures a wooden gate closed. It is the least involved in terms of installation because there is only one side to install..

Bolt gate latches are exclusively one-way gate latches. A one-way gate latch means it is operable only on one side of the gate. The one way gate latch allows you to secure the gate from the inside, so there is no handle on the outside. However, if you are outside of the yard and need to get in, you’re out of luck.

Bolt gate latches can be used on either an out-swinging or in-swinging gate. On an out-swinging gate, the bolt latch would be installed on the street-side of the gate. On an in-swinging gate, the latch would be installed on the yard-side of the gate.

Bolt gate latches can be either lockable gate latches or not, depending on the design by the gate latch manufacturer. When they are lockable, it’s usually not with a built-in lock; rather, it’s the addition of a padlock that makes a bolt latch lockable.

Installation is generally straightforward.

See 360 Yardware’s collection of Bolt Style Gate Latches.

Driveway Gate Latches

For customers with a wooden driveway gate, there are special considerations to your gate latch installation.

Gate Latch Scale: Additional considerations with gate latches for non-automated driveway gates is the scale of the latch. Driveway gates spanning an opening of 10′ or more look best with a gate latch of a grander scale. If the driveway gate is installed with more than an inch of space between the two gates, you’ll need to confirm that the latch-arm on your choice of latch will span the gap.

Protecting the Latch-Arm: Heavy driveway gates can pose a threat to a standard gate latch. When one gate closes against the other, the latch-arm takes the force of the closing. Over time, the arm can bend or break.

To remedy this, it’s essential to install a gate stop on your driveway gate. There are two straightforward options. First is to have your gate builder
install an “astragal,” which is a t-shaped length of wood attached to the edge of one of the gates. The astragal stops the gate from “over-closing” and putting undue stress on the arm of the gate latch. A side benefit of an astragal is that it covers the gap between the two gates.

A second option is a standard metal gate stop, also attached to one of your gates. It acts in the same way as an astragal.

Finally, use a cane bolt to secure the fixed gate of your driveway gate. It will help add stability to further protect the latch-arm.

Double Gate Packages: To complete the look of your driveway gate, choose a gate latch that also offers a complementary dummy handle for the fixed gate. We have a collection of double gate packages that can be used on driveway gates. For very large gates that demand a very large latch, please contact us for a quote on custom gate hardware. Read about our Custom Hardware process.

For out-swinging double gates, rather than choosing a double gate package, which will include an item you don’t need, put together your own collection. You’ll need:

  • Gate Latch
  • Six Hinges
  • Gate Stop

Out-swinging gates have the gate latch on the street-side of the gate. An extra dummy handle, which usually completes the approach, isn’t necessary.

See our gate latch chart for a full listing of our lever and thumb latches.

Gate Latches for Double Gates: Choosing a gate latch for a double wooden gate is similar to choosing a gate latch for a driveway gate (see comments above). Double gates require a gate stop of some type to protect the latch-arm.  When one gate closes against the other, the latch-arm takes the force of the closing. Over time, the arm can bend or break. To remedy this, it’s essential to install a gate stop on your double gate. There are two straightforward options. First is to have your gate builder install an “astragal,” which is a t-shaped length of wood attached to the edge of one of the gates. The astragal stops the gate from “over-closing” and putting undue stress on the arm of the gate latch. Another benefit of an astragal is that it covers the gap between the two gates.

A second option is a standard metal gate stop, also attached to one of your gates. It performs in the same way as an astragal.

To complete the look of your double gate, choose a gate latch that also offers a complementary dummy handle for the fixed gate. A cane bolt will be helpful for keeping the fixed gate fixed in place.

Visit our section of Gate Hardware Packages for Double Wooden Gates to find a full set of hardware for your installation.

Double gate hardware packages include:

  • a functional gate latch
  • a dummy handle for the fixed gate
  • a set of six hinges to hang the gates
  • a gate stop

You can also add a cane bolt to your package to fix the stationary gate to the ground.

Gate Latches for Sliding and Rolling Gates

Sliding gates or rolling gates pose an interesting gate latch installation situation. The majority of gate latches are designed for a swinging gate, so how to
latch a gate that slides into place?

We do offer one sliding gate latch that has a 90-degree turn in the latching-arm, so that it can be latched securely in place. It’s operable from both sides, which is terrific!

Sliding Gate Latch Hardware for Sliding Gates

The sliding gate latch shown in the closed/latched position.

Sliding Gate Latch Hardware

Sliding gate latch for rolling and sliding gates, shown in the open (unlatched) position

To lock a sliding door, a horizontally-oriented sliding bolt that is able to be padlocked is probably your best choice. If someone tries to pull the gate open, the padlock will prevent it from moving.

Gate Latches for Metal Gates

If you have a metal gate that needs a gate latch, check to see if your gate has a metal box where the latch would be. If so, you can choose any door
hardware that would normally be installed in a front door or interior door. Bronze or stainless steel would be the best long-lasting finishes to be exposed to the elements outside.

We carry a full selection of beautiful Emtek door hardware that can be installed on standard-thickness metal gates. Many are available as a passage set
(non-locking) or a privacy set (lockable on one side). We also carry a variety of deadbolts for even more security.

To see our full collection of Emtek Door Hardware, please view the Emtek Catalog page.

View our Architectural Gate Hardware catalog, which includes all of our gate latches (modern, contemporary, rustic, traditional and antique) plus outdoor gate hinges, gate stops, cane bolts, and gate locks.

The catalog includes gate latches for double gates and single gate hardware packages where we take the thought out of putting together a hardware ensemble.

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