In case you haven’t noticed, not all property gates, barn doors, and other common hinged barriers come with a lock and key. Sometimes, your best and most affordable course of action is to install a quality latch, like some of the best gate latches I’m about to review in this article.
Even if your gate did come with a latch, you might want to consider an aftermarket replacement either way. Whether your gate wasn’t a perfect match for the opening or the material is not durable enough, there are plenty of reasons to look into high-end latches.
Best Gate Latches You Can Install Yourself
- Best Gate Latches You Can Install Yourself
- Why You Might Need a Latch to Go with Your Gate and Doors
- Features to Look for
- Materials to Look for and Materials to Avoid
- Different Designs
- Be Mindful of Dimensions
This self-locking gate latch is all about convenience as it features a gravity lever. It also has a smooth black finish, a simple installation process, and a versatile design. These allow for both left and right-sided installations.
The design will also allow you to put a padlock on. While one doesn’t come included, any standard, not too thick model, should do the trick.
The latch itself is robust and also resistant to rust. I like the single fingertip release mechanism as it comes in handy when you’re in a hurry. Furthermore, you can use it on both outward and inward swinging gates.
It’s also pretty inexpensive, especially when you consider the build quality and the versatile design.
The Alise MS9001 Flip Latch features a straightforward design and a low price tag. You can use it indoors and outdoors due to its excellent weather resistance. Also, it can serve as a convenient way to secure gates and doors without locking them.
Because it’s a stainless steel model, the MS9001 can handle heavy usage and all sorts of weather conditions. You may also appreciate the low-profile design as it won’t take away from the aesthetics of your door.
That’s is a good thing, especially considering that the latch doesn’t have the smoothest polished finish. Raising it is very easy, and it doesn’t make any noise either. And, thanks to the rigidity and build quality, it also does an excellent job of keeping your door secure.
A chain door guard is one of the most useful accessories for any homeowner. The Alise FD900-LS is a heavy-duty chain door guard, made of stainless steel and with a pleasing brushed finish.
This model also features a spring press lock as an additional safety measure. The 6.7” chain length offers enough of an opening to talk to someone, yet not too much to make it easy to break through force.
The thickness of the material improves the load resistance and makes the chain latch reliable in the long run. I also like the simple unlocking mechanism. One push to release the spring is all you need.
The latch also comes in four different colors, which makes it easier to accessorize. And, it’s also among the more affordable models on the market. You may also appreciate the simple installation process as it uses fewer screws than most other latches out there.
If you’re in the market for a 90-degrees flip-door latch, the JQK DL149-BN might be the one for you. It rocks solid stainless steel construction, which means that it has superior resistance to rust and that it’s usable both indoors and outdoors.
You can mount the latch in either direction, and it has a nice low-profile. The 2mm thickness makes it rigid enough and also easy to install. All you need to do is screw four screws, and that’s it.
The DL149-BN is also quite cheap for the reliability it offers. Although it can provide some extra convenience, I would also like to point out its usefulness in security applications.
If you install it properly, flipping the lock shouldn’t make any noise. Although, you may have to adjust the main screw after a while.
A lockable latch provides extra security for your home. However, it’s not as convenient to use since you have one more thing to do before leaving your house.
That said, the KLADV-M2 is ideal if security is the only thing on your mind. Slightly more expensive, this zinc diecast metal model is double-sided. It also features a gravity-type latch and has been designed for gate frames up to 5”.
When you install it, you can allow a maximum 1.75” gap, although I recommend 1” for optimal operation.
This model also comes with four keys. However, it can also be modified to accommodate most five-pin models too. But, you will have to use a professional one for this.
Although the installation is slightly more complicated than that of traditional latches, the KLADV-M2 comes with pretty self-explanatory instructions on how to install it for doors and door frames of different dimensions.
This one is a sliding bolt door latch. The design is easy to install and also very easy to use. It also provides excellent resistance against aggressive pushing, which is always great for improving your home security.
Because it features stainless steel, the N342-659 can also be useful on gates. It has pretty good weather resistance, and you can also install it with the bolt pointed upwards.
The smooth operation makes it a quiet latch, which is always a nice perk to have. Installing it isn’t hard, although you may need some additional screws. It has five anchor points.
They give this latch most of its resistance to pressure. The only important thing is to measure the bolt and allow sufficient clearance so that you can easily slide it in and out.
If you want something inconspicuous and something that doesn’t just look like a piece of metal strapped to your door, you may enjoy the Raswik 4” Privacy Hook Latch.
It is one of the smallest hook gate and door latches that can keep your gate closed without having to lock it. It can be a useful barn door latch too if you need one.
The latch has been powder coated twice for extra weather resistance. Because of this, even though it’s made of iron, it won’t rust or deteriorate under extreme weather and temperature conditions. If something does go wrong, the latch comes with a lifetime warranty.
Given the strength of the iron latch and the super simple operation, the Raswik latch can be your go-to choice for all your outdoor gates. And, you can even use it as an extra security feature inside the house.
Just make sure that you account for the 4” clearance the hook needs when you install it. Note that the four screws required to install the latch are also in the package.
Why You Might Need a Latch to Go with Your Gate and Doors
A latch can serve multiple purposes. Chain latches are typically used on doors, on the inside, to allow you to create a small but safe opening. That opening can be enough to have a conversation with someone, receive something without inviting someone in, and so on.
Other latches are there to provide extra security for doors and gates. They provide additional leverage and resistance when a door is getting pushed or hit from the outside.
Of course, when it comes to gate latches, the same things apply. Some use them to improve gate security. In other cases, you may use a latch on any gate that you don’t want to lock with a key.
Features to Look for
One of the best things about gate latches is having the ability to install a padlock. If you have a property gate or a barn gate, it will help you keep it open. However, anyone can flip a standard model from the outside so it won’t do much in terms of security.
But, if the latch allows you to thread through a padlock, then you can also lock your property when you’re away. Note that not all models have this feature, as not all of them serve the same purpose.
That’s why it’s crucial to make up your mind on what type of latch you want. Is it to keep a gate or door from swinging open, or do you want to lock it and protect it from intruders?
One more thing you might want to keep in mind is whether or not you also want a key. If you do, and padlocks don’t inspire confidence in you, there are latch designs which feature keys. Some of them can even be further modified so that you can use your household key on them.
Materials to Look for and Materials to Avoid
Stainless steel is hands-down the best option. It’s also the most common material used to make gate latches these days.
You might want stainless steel because it has superior corrosion resistance and because it can handle all sorts of weather conditions.
That said, iron latches are probably a bit stronger if they’re thick enough. But iron and exposure to rough weather conditions don’t mix well. If you do want an iron latch for some reason, make sure you get a heavily treated model.
Look for at least one layer of powder coating if you live in an area where it rains frequently.
Most latches work off the same principle. The user either has to pull, push, or flip the latch to open it. But, in most cases, you also have to lower the lock or slide the pin back into position to secure the latch and keep your gate or door closed.
There are some latch designs that people refer to as self-closing. These rely on gravity to bring the latch back to its initial position and are more convenient to use.
However, I find that these aren’t always optimal. For example, these latches are not that great for use on barn doors since you could lock yourself inside. But, I do like them for property gates that also feature self-closing hinges.
You can flip the latch, open the gate, leave, and not have to turn around and do anything as both the hinges and the latch will close themselves.
Be Mindful of Dimensions
Latches are not as complicated to install as some hinges. And, most models rely on screws to keep them in place. That way, you won’t have to worry about welding.
That said, some designs are more complex than others. Think of lockable latches that come with keys, multiple anchor points, and more than two parts you do have to worry about.
It’s vital to take gate and post measurements before buying latches. That’s because you can’t always separate the two latch components as far as you want. Some are quite small and require to be close to each other for the latch to provide reliable security.
Are You Ready to Ditch the Keys?
If there’s one reason why I like using latches on gates and outside doors, it is not to have to worry about even more keys. But there are many more benefits than just that.
Latches in this article are varied enough to accommodate almost any property setup. However, you can also use the information in the guide to expand your horizon and explore more affordable or more premium models depending on your budget.
A hardcore woodworking and welding enthusiast, Russ is the editor-in-chief of TAH. In his spare time, Russ loves watching sports, and (binge) watching Netflix.