Gate Latch Overview

When choosing gate latches for wooden gates, there are a number of questions to consider. You can save yourself a lot of time and aggravation by determining your plan ahead of time.

This is an exhaustive list of factors and choices regarding gate latches. You might not want to read all of it, so we’ve broken it into small parts. For those interested in the entire discussion, we’ve included everything at the bottom of this page; just scroll down. You can also print all of the information from this page, or by following the links.

Other topics to check out in our Gate Latch Information series….

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

We frequently update this page. If you have a question, please contact us — we’ll happily add more information as needed.


What Do You Need Your Gate Latch To Do?
The most important factors to consider when choosing your wooden gate latch.

  • Swing Direction
  • Material
  • Gate Thickness
  • Style and Type
  • Security
  • Maintenance
  • Miscellaneous Notes--The Do’s and Don’ts of Gate Latches & Gate Installation

Read on….

Swing Direction

The swing direction will determine which type of latch you can use. Out-swinging gates can use certain latches and in-swinging gates can use other latches. A few types of latches will work for both. To understand and determine your gate swing direction, read our Gate Swing Direction information page.



Choose a latch that will work in your geographic area (meaning: don’t pick cast iron if you live on the coast of Florida; or if you do, know that it’ll start rusting within a short time after installation).

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.

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 or color that coordinates with your home and/or other outdoor hardware.

For more extensive information about gate latch material, please see our Gate Latch Material information page.

Gate Thickness

Wooden gates come in all shapes and thicknesses. You’ll need a gate latch that will “fit” your gate’s thickness. If you’re having a new gate built, be sure you know what the finished thickness is before you order your gate latch.

Style and Type

The style of a gate latch sometimes corresponds to the material it’s made from. Some materials are usually found in contemporary gate latches, while others are almost seen in antique gate latches. To understand more about Gate Latch Categories and how gate latches work, please see our Gate Latch Category information page.

Depending on the style of your home and/or garden, you might want to coordinate your gate hardware. Examples of available gate latch aesthetics include: modern, contemporary, rustic, antique, old world, colonial, Asian, and traditional. Across the styles there are types of latches like ring latches, thumb latches, and lever latches. To learn more about the types of gate latches out there, please see our Gate Latch Types information page.

If possible, choose a gate hardware set where the provider has put together collections of gate latches and hinges, or gate latches and coordinating hinge fronts. This will save you from picking several different things and risking that the finish doesn’t match.

If you have a double gate or a swimming pool gate you’ll have additional needs (including security).


What level of security do you want your gate to have?

Do you need (or want) a lockable gate latch?

Do you need a gate latch for a double gate?

Do you have a swimming pool that you need to secure? If so, there are very specific requirements for a pool gate (usually self-latching, lockable, and placed at a certain height).

A way to keep all gate latch choices open to you is to opt for other security options like adding a deadbolt to your wooden gate, adding a slide bolt to the inside of your gate, etc.

For the complete list of gate security options, please see our Gate Latch Security information page.


Yes, you’re going to have to do at least a small amount of maintenance on your gate latch if you want it to last. Just as you have to maintain your gate periodically, your latch needs you!

If you opt not to maintain the latch, the likely outcome is some rust spots or patches. If this doesn’t bother you, great! Most of the time, rust is an aesthetic issue; it won’t compromise the function of the latch.

We’ve discussed maintenance a little more in detail on the Gate Latch Material information page.

Miscellaneous Notes

Do’s and Don’t of Gate Latches….We have several recommendations about gate latches, including a discussion of door hardware versus gate hardware, gate latch installation, gate stops, etc. Please read on

Gate Hardware

We have everything you need to replace your old Fence and Gate Hardware. If you have a Wooden Gate or need a Replacement Latch, we offer Gate Latches, Deadbolt Latches, Gate Hinges, Hinge Fronts, and other Decorative Gate Hardware. We’ve also combined many of our products into gate hardware sets and value packages.

We’ve created a section of information about Double Gate Hardware and Gate Latches for Double Gates with everything you’ll need to understand the factors that go into a quality double gate installation.

Gate Latches
Our Wooden Gate Latches selection offers something for everyone. If Antique Gate Closures are your style, we carry Cast Iron Hardware that look like more traditional gate latches. Even better, there are now Aluminum Gate Latches–in the same styles as the antique gate latches–which are rust-resistant and perfect for coastal areas. We also offer a line of cast Bronze Gate Latches: durable, substantial, and that will age gracefully with no rusting over time. A few of the latches we offer are versatile in their styling, so they can be used at homes with traditional, antique, contemporary, or Spanish aesthetics.

Our goal is to help you fill your decorative gate hardware needs. To this end, we’ve put together gate latch sets for double wooden gates, plus single gate hardware sets including hinges, latches, and optional accessories.

We have created a Gate Latch Information Series to help you understand all there is to know about wooden gate latches and to help you choose the right product for your situation. Topics include:

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