We have heard many variations on this question, so thought we would break it down and it goes a little something like this…
- Self-closing – this term applies to hinges. Self-closing (sometimes called spring) hinges will close the gate on its own once you let go of it. Most self-closing hinges have adjustable tension so you can make it not slam.
- Self-latching – this term applies, appropriately so, to latches. When a gate closes (either via self-closing hinges or via someone pushing the gate closed), a self-latching latch will fall into place without someone manually needing to touch the handle and put the latch-arm into place. Gate latches that have a spring built into them will work most reliably in self-latching, but gravity latches can also be just fine (with a tweak or adjustment every now and then).
- Self-locking – this also refers to a gate latch. When a gate closes, a self-locking gate latch will lock itself without anyone needing to touch it. Most latches on the market that are self-locking are the magnetic type (MagnaLatch etc), widely available in hardware stores and online.
360 Yardware carries self-closing hinges, and nearly all of our two-sided latches are self-latching. We do not carry any self-locking latches.