A good gate latch is like a good phone contract. It might not seem that exciting but it adds convenience and security, as well as updating the look of your gates and fences, so it’s worth considering more than just the practical side of these simple but functional fittings.
From ornate bolts to practical locks, gate latches come in all shapes and sizes, but they ultimately need to provide one thing above all else; security. So, below, we’ll take a look at some of the simpler types of gate latches, and share our thoughts on their suitability in terms of style, usability, and security.
Gate Latch Types for Your Home & Garden
1. Gravity Gate Latch
Easy-to-install doesn’t always correspond with easy-to-secure, but the basic gravity latches are convenient and good-looking without being too in-your-face. Just six stainless steel screws will firmly secure these latches to any gate, but fixing them on with bolts and adding a padlock adds an extra layer of security.
2. Hook Latch
Hook latches are ideal for keeping animals secure, but difficult to lock, and even harder to open from outside. For simple garden gates, hook latches offer basic security, but are the least secure option.
3. Pool Latch
Pool latches are becoming more common as a standard security measure for kids around water. Any pool installed in an Australian garden requires specified fences and gates, but the type of pool latch you use will make the whole thing feel safer, as well as easier to use – particularly higher-end spring pool latches, with their handles out of reach of children.
4. Ring Latch
Ring latches offer the most varied and ornate choices, and are ideal for adding a touch of class to your gate. They can be sold as basic stainless steel, but they also come with black powder coatings, brass, chrome, and silver paintwork too.
While most ring latches are for simple door locks, and can’t be bolted or padlocked, you can find some really good lockable ring latches out there.
5. Side Pull Latch
Side pull latches are just as convenient as traditional gravity latches, closing automatically, and often with lockable features. Typically though, side pull latches are designed for convenience, either on internal gates or safety doors.
6. Side Bolt Latch
Bolt latches, or side-bolt latches, are perhaps the oldest type of latch there is, with a simple sliding bolt that is secured either into a pre-drilled post, or a loop fitting on the opposing post. Most bolt latches have a loop (either bent into the bolt or welded on, for padlocks to attach to for added security.
7. Spring-Powered Latch
Sprung latches, or spring powdered latches aren’t truly a type of latch in themselves, as they cover gravity latches, pool latches, and even ring latches, to add convenient instant locking. They prevent doors from closing shut accidentally too, which is great for going in and out of the garden without needing to open and close the latch each time.
8. Toggle Latch
Toggle latches are easy to install, and add a layer of security to gates that isn’t typical of most latches due to the tension they add when closed. They can be lockable, but most are fairly simple tension latches.
9. Two-Sided Thumb Latch
Thumb latches, or two-sided thumb latches, install on both sides of a gate, with a mechanism to simply open the latch from the other side (provided you haven’t padlocked the other side. They also come in beautifully ornate designs that are ideal for traditional gardens and higher-end fencing.
10. Two-Way Latch
Two-way latches (including butterfly latches) fix to the edge of a gate, and the post, to allow gates to swing in both directions. I would suggest against these for security, but very much in favour of them for internal gates and fences within a garden where access and convenience are a priority.
Gate Latch Types Frequently Asked Questions
Is a latch a lock?
Latches are not locks, they are a simple fitting that allows gates to remain closed. To add security to your gate, choose a latch that is lockable, with either loops or fittings that allow padlocks to be fitted.
What is the best way to secure a gate?
The best way to secure a gate is by using a lockable bolt latch. They are less convenient but more secure once installed, and easier to use with a padlock (generally offering wide openings for thicker padlocks than other types of latch.
For added security to your garden, check out our guide below:
Get the Best Gate Latches for Your Security
When it comes to securing your home and garden, there’s no point in cutting corners. You, your family, your pets, and your property rely on having simple fixtures and fittings that are both easy for you to use and hard for others to misuse and break through.
Choose a gate latch that is sturdy and stable, but where possible, adds an aesthetic charm, or even modernises the look of your boundary fence.