A Primer on Gate Hardware for Double Gates
What exactly do you need?

With double gates – wood or metal – there are additional considerations to keep in mind with regard to gate hardware. We’ve written a discussion of each part to help you make the right decision for your project. You can read any or all parts of the information, and then click on images and links to see the items in the shop.

All the ins and outs of gate latches for double gates. Click to read this section.

Helping you understand which hinge you need and why. Click to read this section.

The workhorse of any gate installation. Click to read this section.

Essential to any double gate installation, the cane bolt holds one gate panel firmly to the ground. Click to read this section.

Contemporary Ring Gate Latch with Stainless Steel Cane Bolt and Heavy-Duty Cranked Band Strap Hinges 360 Yardware


Double gates have one side that is “fixed” in place (with a cane bolt or other vertical bolt).

The opposite gate is the “active” gate and that’s the gate you’d install the latch on. In this photo you see the left panel has the latch installed to it. The latch extends across to the strike plate on the fixed gate.

The fixed gate has a cane bolt installed, holding the gate into the ground. The way this gate is set up, the left gate pulls toward you.

And if you need to bring something wide through the double gate opening, you can lift the cane bolt on the right panel and pull that toward you for a fully open gate.

Checklist of Items for a Double Gate

  • A gate latch. This is the two-sided latch that will open and close the gate from either side.
  • A gate stop. The gate stop is vital to a long-term gate installation. Read more details below. This will often be included in your gate latch set – be sure to check before ordering.
  • Six hinges (if you're using butt hinges) or 4 hinges (if you're using strap hinges).
  • A cane bolt/drop bolt. The cane bolt is installed on the interior side of the fixed gate. It creates a stable element for the gate latch to latch onto.
  • (Optional) Dummy Handle: The purpose is for aesthetics and pulling the gate closed, if needed. On an in-swinging gate you would see a dummy handle on the outside of the fixed gate. You might also choose to add a dummy to the inside of the fixed gate, especially if that gate gets opened a lot.

Anatomy of a Double Gate

These are the components that you will typically see on a double gate. The image below shows an in-swinging gate and its hardware. First view is from the inside of the yard.

What do you need for a double gate hardware

Gate Latches for Double Gates

Sapele double wooden entry gate with stainless gate latch and deadbolt

Almost any gate latch can work for a double gate. There’s nothing special about a gate latch for a double gate. It just depends on what you want your gate to do.

The latch will be installed on the “active” gate and the strike plate or catch will be installed on the fixed gate.

In-Swinging Double Gates

In-Swinging Double Gates can use most gate latches (lever latch, thumb latch, ring latch, bolt latch). Please read our complete discussion on Gate Latch Types to learn more about lever latches, thumb latches, ring latches, and bolt latches. The photo on the left shows the interior view of an in-swinging double gate. The latch is installed on the interior.

What to Do When You Want a Finished Look?

In-swinging gates have the latching portion of the latch installed on the yard-side of the gates. These double gates can achieve a ‘finished’ look on the street-side of the gates. You need to choose a latch that also offers a “dummy handle” that will be installed on the street-side of the fixed gate.

Outswinging Double Gate viewed from the street

Out-Swinging Double Gates

Out-Swinging Double Gates, those that swing toward the street rather than toward the backyard, can use almost any latch. What you’ll see on the outside (street-side) of the gate is the latching portion of your set. If you use strap hinges, those are visible from the street as well. If you use butt hinges, you will see just the barrel on the outside of the gate.

What to Do When You Want a Finished Look?

What if I want a finished look, but I have an out-swinging gate? If you have a gate that swings out, but want to minimize the appearance of the latch-arm, check out a latch with a minimal footprint like the Nero Latch or the Espresso Modern Lever Latch.

Factors to consider when choosing a double gate latch

  • Choose a latch that will work in your geographic area (meaning: don’t pick cast iron gate hardware if you live on the coast of Florida; or if you do, know that it’ll start rusting a short time after installation). Coastal areas and oceanfront properties should choose only stainless steel or bronze.
  • Choose a latch made from a material that’ll withstand the type of use you give it. If you’re opening and closing a gate constantly, choose a material that is strong and durable. It also is imperative that you install your gate with a gate stop (gate stops are included with most of our latches).
  • Choose your latch to reflect the amount of maintenance you want to do. While all outdoor gate latches require periodic/annual maintenance, some require more than others.
  • Choose a latch that has a finish and style that complements your home and/or other outdoor hardware.

Most Popular  Gate Latches

Gate Stops

The most important aspect of a double gate installation is that you protect the latch’s arm by installing a gate stop. The gate stop will provide a solid place for the active gate to stop, and it won’t put all the stress of closing (or slamming) onto the latch-arm.

Gate stops can be metal (coordinating with your other gate hardware) or can be built of wood onto the edge of the fixed gate.

NOTE: Most of our latches include a matching gate stop (check details in the product description).

How is a gate stop installed

a properly installed stop

This one is mortised into the left-hand (fixed) gate and will catch the right-hand (active) gate when it closes. Gate stops can be installed above or below the latch and can be mortised or surface-mounted.

metal gates & stops

Metal gates will often have a stop welded into the active gate, so that when the gate closes it catches on the fixed gate.

Hinges for Double Gates

Hinges are a HUGE topic. If you want to read an exhaustive page about Choosing Hinges for Outdoor Gates, check this out.

The most commonly used hinge to hang double gates is a heavy duty ball-bearing butt hinge. Three hinges per gate are enough to hang a mid-sized gate. Some people choose butt hinges because they’re relatively hidden on an installation; all the focus lies on the gate design.

Butt hinges come in many materials: steel, stainless steel, and bronze. Choose a material that works best with your environment. Coastal areas or oceanfront homes require either bronze or stainless steel to avoid rust.

Adjustable spring hinges are often used to automatically close the gate. These self-closing hinges offer a mild closing action.

Most Popular  Butt Hinges

When you’d like to add architectural flair to the gates’ appearance, or you have a wide or heavy gate, consider functional strap hinges. Strap hinges are comprised of a pintle (the male portion) and a hinge (the female portion). Strap hinges offer a way to both hang and adorn the gate. Any gate wider than 48″ should use strap hinges.

Strap hinges are available in stainless steel, steel, and bronze

Does your double gate surround a pool?

Pool gates must conform with municipal codes, which often include: requiring the gate to swing out away from the pool; mandating a certain height to install the latch; requiring the gate(s) to close shut automatically; requiring the gate latch to self-latch. Be sure you comply with your local codes as you’re choosing your hinges.

How to pick which hinge to use on a gate

Not sure which hinge to use? Launch the Hinge Chooser for help!

Cane Bolts for Double Gates

Cane bolts make having a double gate so much easier. They are the mechanism that allows the “fixed” gate to stay “fixed”. The bolt sits either in a keeper/strike for finished/paved installations or directly in the ground for yard/gravel installations. Sinking a piece of PVC pipe or metal pipe into the ground creates a keeper for the cane that doesn’t allow it to slip around.

When you need to open the fixed gate, simply lift the handle of the cane bolt and the gate can be swung open. A second piece of pipe set in the ground where the gate is opened can hold the gate open as well as closed.

We carry cane bolts in stainless steel and bronze to maximize rust resistance.

Security & Locks for Double Gates

The ease of locking a double gate can range from easy to fairly complicated. Simple solutions include single-sided locks like a slide bolt that would slide from one gate to the other. Slide bolts and surface bolts are available in many sizes and materials, so you can find what you like.

Specifically for deadbolts on gates, read this page.

Contemporary Slide Bolt

Slide bolt for gate

Stainless Slide Bolt

Bronze Barrel Bolt


Deadbolts are the more involved choice. Because the deadbolt is installed on the active gate and its bolt throws into the fixed gate, you need to be sure that the fixed gate is constructed in a way to accept a deadbolt. Most deadbolts  won’t fit a gate thicker than 3″. We do have a few options for thicker gates.


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