The home is meant to be a refuge from the outside world. Just as each member of a family adds its own unique value to your dwelling, so do the many safety features designed to keep those family members protected while enjoying the sanctuary of your humble abode. Here we look at a key element among such security features: gate latches and their significance in upholding the welfare of your loved ones.
Imagine this: You are toting in a trunk full of groceries to your back door and a funny-looking frog catches the eye of your three-year-old. Your curious little tyke just cannot help but hop along behind the intriguing creature all the way to the gate that separates your backyard and fenced-in pool. The frog makes its way under the gate and your little one can’t fight the urge to continue the pursuit. With your arms full of grocery bags and your attention on not having to make another trip to the car, you never notice your child wandering so close to danger. Would your toddler’s playful wandering toward that gate, and what’s behind it, be of no real consequence? Or, would it lead to a potentially devastating turn of events?
Gate latches, while offering curb appeal and character to a property, hold a much deeper significance in the structure of a home and the safety of its occupants. They are made to keep the bad things out and the good things in. In general, they are a recipe for positive living. For unbiased, informative details on just which gate latches are best suited for your home, read on. Follow along, and in just a few moments you will have what you need to keep your family and yourself safe.
Whether it is to add beauty to your tea garden, security for your pool area, to keep your furry family members on safe ground, or to provide your entire home a guarded barrier, the use of fences and gates is a practice as old as time. Though many of a fence's features are important to its ability to uphold its intended purpose, its gate is what makes or breaks its viability. A good gate is only as good as its latch. Below we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about gate latches.
1. What Is A Gate Latch?
Ranging in complexity, these mechanical fasteners join two or more surfaces together while still granting them the ability to be regularly separated. Coming in a variety of styles and shapes, each type of latch is intended for securing a gate in its closed position. From the timeless ring latch to the newer thumb latches, these small, yet strong devices aim to add aesthetic appeal to your gate while providing a most valuable safety measure in holding the gate snugly in place.
2. What Does A Gate Latch Do?
A gate latch allows for secure fastening of a gate to its counterpart, the fence. With one part fastened to the gate and another piece of hardware attached to the opposite surface, a strike falls or is slid into place, creating a bonding or locking. Thus, your gate can be locked or unlocked in a quick, convenient manner. Gate latches add a high degree of security to your home without creating any inconveniences for you, the renter or homeowner.
3. How Does The Gate Latch Work?
A mere metal bar and lever mechanism function as the latch in its most basic form. The lever raises to allow the gate to open and lowers to lock it in place. For more sophisticated models, we look at bar and lever, thumb, ring and lever, and bolt latches. Each specifically designed for the sole purpose of acting as a ligature between the fence and the gate, these latches are unique in fashion with distinct features producing the ability to open the gate with ease and close it with peace of mind.
4. Where Can I Purchase A Gate Latch?
Available in many sizes and finishes, we recommend these retailers for the purchase of your next latch
5. How Do You Install A Gate Latch?
Hiring an experienced contractor or professional handyman is ideal when it comes to the installation of your new latch. However, if you are a savvy do-it-yourself type, here are a few tips for you to consider:
How We Reviewed
The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, and Where to Buy.
Selecting the perfect latch for your gate is important. It can also be time-consuming and nerve-wracking. You want a sturdy, reliable product that won’t break the bank. You want to know your home and family will be protected. Also, you want to be sure you’re getting a device that is both functional and visually pleasing. Just the same, you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on these features. That’s where we come in.
With five reasons gate latches can keep you safe in mind, we looked for products that meet these basic needs. Your family's privacy, the ability to keep the uninvited out, safeguarding your pets, providing a barrier between small children and the pool area, and setting clear boundaries for would-be predators are all benefits that the right gate latch can provide your home.
For your convenience, we have searched near and far to find the best latches with the most reasonable price tags. We understand that when it comes to the safety and viability of your home's accents, quality is key. Through careful consideration, we’ve invested the time and resources to find top-notch, affordable latches. Keep reading for our “Best Of” list.
Overall Price Range Of Gate Latches
Ranging in price from a humble $7.00 for a fingertip release latch from Home Depot, to a bolder $900 keyed lever latch set from Rocky Mountain Hardware, these latches are priced according to the material base, design, mechanism, durability, craftsmanship and finish.
Though it would be fairly simple to choose a model on the lower end of the price chart, we find that there are a few things the more expensive latches have to offer that the lower end ones don’t. For instance, higher priced latches tend to fit thicker gates. They’re usually operable from both sides of the gate as well. Lastly, with the option of custom designs, they can be easily matched to the style of your homes already existing character.
What We Reviewed
The grandfather of gate latches, the fingertip release option has been around for ages. Its simple design provides quality functionality at a reasonable price. It’s straightforward mechanics and clean appearance provide the security you want at a price you can appreciate. This uncomplicated system is widely used and comes in standard finishes.
Your lever latch typically has two handles. One handle for each side of the gate door. This popular model comes in a variety of finishes and allows for easy operation. Its sleek design houses a bar that moves up or down in coordination with the lever to provide a locked or unlocked position. The receiver, strike, and spindle complete its mechanics. Hardware material options are plenty and this style also comes in a variety of styles and finishes.
These classic latches come as pairs and are designed to be placed on both sides of the gate. They are most often used on in-swinging gates and usually consist of two plates, one being decorative. A thumb piece is used to activate the latch arm which rises and allows the gate to open. These latches tend to be bulkier and can run at a higher price. From bronze to steel and more, these latches are made from many metals and come in several finishes.
Similar to the lever latch, this latch is also two-sided. Featuring backplates, a lever and catch, it works much the same as the standard lever latch as well. The only notable differences are the ring handle and its ability to be used on both in-swinging and out-swinging gates. This timeless style of latch has been around since the beginning of Europe’s iconic tea times and have been used on garden gates all over the world.
Perhaps the simplest item on this list, this latch works on the meek concept of sliding the bolt straight across into its counterpart. This one way latch system is timed-tested and commonly used. It’s straightforward installation and use has made it popular. It comes in a number of finishes, but tends to be more lightweight than its competitors
The polls are in and it goes without saying that when it comes to the safety of your home and family, quality trumps price every time. The good news is, we’ve located some high-quality gate latches that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
For privacy, keeping the uninvited out and your pets inside your yard, maintaining a barrier between your young children and the pool, and establishing a clear boundary for would-be predators, your fenced in area provides more than just curb appeal. It provides sanctuary for you and your loved ones. As such, it is necessary to note that a task of such vital importance is only attainable through the efficiency and functionality of a small, yet mighty device: the gate latch.
Without one, the gate would be insignificant and useless. With the right one, however, you can reach a new level of comfort and safety while simultaneously raising the appearance and value of your home and property. For these reasons, we find the Lever Latch the best match for keeping you and your family safe. Easy to install, easy to operate, and easy on your pocketbook, this design is both visually appealing and mechanically efficient. Made by a variety of metals, you can choose the finish. You also have the choice of your standard latch or a custom designed one. For reliability, price, easy installation, ease of use and added character for your gate, we recommend the lever latch for your gate and peace of mind. It will get the job done.