Latches are an important part of corral gates and can provide easy access into and out of the area that it encloses. For safety reasons, the latch that you choose for your gate must be right and durable. When you select a suitable latch, there are fewer issues coming in and out of the gate, and you are ensured security as well. There are many different kinds of corral gate latch available on the market that you can choose from and use. Here are a few things you should know before you delve into the world of corral gate latches.
What is a Corral Gate
A corral gate provides easy access into and outside an enclosed area. A corral gate is usually made of corral panels. These panels come in different shapes, such as round, square, oval, and tubular. Additionally, there are several different kinds of corral gates as well that make use of these panels.
Bow gates are one kind of corral gate. These gates are pre-hung, which means they are mounted in an 8-inch high frame. This height allows various livestock, trailers, wagons, and other equipment to pass through easily. These can be easily installed, and when coated with paint or zinc, can last you a long time.
Swing gates are another kind of corral gate. These can be built in any length up to 20 feet and need to be hung from a support post.
Double-drive swing gates are another kind. They also need to be hung from a support post and are excellent in keeping in livestock. Furthermore, it can be secured using a latch.
What should you look for in a corral gate latch?
When purchasing a latch for your corral gate, you may be overwhelmed by the many latches available. However, if you know what you need and which latch fits that need, your search will be quite easy.
First, you should know what category of latch you want. Second, the material that you want your latch to be made of. Third, the security level you want your gate to have. Fourth, match the latch to your gate. Lastly, your budget.
The category of the gate latch
In total, there are three different categories of gate latches, and they are defined by their design. When purchasing a latch, it is important that you choose the correct variety according to your needs and ease of use. The first category of gate latch is the gravity kind. These are self-latching and are therefore incredibly useful. It works based on gravity, as the name suggests, and is therefore simple to use. However, it does not offer much in terms of security, which is a downside.
The second category of gate latch is spring-loaded. This model of latch allows the gate to be opened both ways. Thus, it is perfect for both in-swinging and out-swinging gates.
The third category is the bolt kind. These latches have the traditional deadbolt design. Hence, they are fairly simple to use and are also super easy to install. This kind of latch can be used for both in-swinging and out-swinging gates. It is also more secure as it has an option to be lockable if you add in a padlock. Additionally, it is cost-effective and comes in a variety of different materials and sizes
Material is also something you should greatly consider before purchasing a corral gate latch. The reasoning behind this emphasis is that material affects the durability of these latches, and as they are mostly used outdoors, they should be able to handle external environments.
One of the most widely used materials for latched is iron. Coated in black powder, this metal is usually quite sturdy and can handle external environments quite well. It also does not need regular maintenance and only needs small touch-ups with a protectant spray if rust starts to build.
Aluminum is also a popular latch material owing to its resistance to corrosive elements. This metal is lightweight and can be used in virtually any kind of latch. This feature makes it an attractive option. However, it is more brittle than iron, and overuse of the latch can cause breakage over time.
Bronze is also used to make corral gate latches. However, this is a more pricey option. Bronze metal ages well and naturally darkens over time to give a touch of artistry that latches made with other metals cannot.
The amount of security you want for your gate is another huge deciding factor that may influence your latch choice. Ensure that the latch you pick has the option for a padlock if you require more security than normal.
The kind of gates
The kind of gate you are using also heavily influences the kind of latch it will need. You cannot use any door latch on corral gates. The reasoning behind this is that outdoor gates, like corral gates, are designed to expand and contract throughout the changing seasons. If you do not use the correct kind of latch, there could be issues in installation, and over time, the latch may simply not catch. To prevent such issues from occurring, ensure that the latch you choose can easily be installed on your gate and can make way for all the expanding and contracting the gate will do over the years.
Budget is another major factor when considering the kind of latch you want for your gate. You do not want to put a super expensive latch on a gate that is not as durable or that is super old. On the flip side, if your gate is expensive and heavy-duty, a flimsy cheap latch will not work for it. You also have to factor in how much money you can realistically spend on a latch and choose the best one within that price range.
Types of Corral Gate latch
Knowing the type of gate latch you want is essential. No one gate latch is better than the other. Instead, it depends solely on the kind of gate you have and how it works. Here are the different kinds of corral gate latches and their specifications.
If you have an in-swinging gate, then a thumb latch may be your only option. These latches are installed to be used from both sides and have the option for security as well. There are lockable and no-lockable varieties available on the market. This kind of latch works by pressing down on the thumb depressor, which then lifts the latch arm on the inside and allows you to open the gate. These latches are often mounted on a decorative plate that enhances the look of such latches.
A thumb latch, based on how it works, is considered a gravity latch.
A ring latch is a two-sided design that can be operated from both sides of the gate. On one side, there will be a backplate with a ring on it. The other side will be identical. However, the ring will be attached to a latch arm. Therefore, when you turn the ring on either side, the arm will be lifted out of the catch. This motion allows the door to swing open.
This kind of latch can be considered either spring-loaded or gravity-assisted. Additionally, it can be used on in-swinging and out-swinging gates.
A lever design works similarly to the ring option. However, there are a few key differences. This kind of corral gate latch has a lever instead of a ring on both sides. This kind of latch can be installed on both an in-swinging and out-swinging gate. It can be considered both a gravity-assisted latch or a spring-loaded latch.
Lever latches are found in both lockable and nonlockable varieties. If you want a latch that provides security, then the lockable version is the way to go.
Bolt-type latches are considered both the most classic kind and also old-fashioned. This kind of latch is perfect for one-way gates and is not feasible for gates that open both ways. This latch works by sliding a bolt into a catch that secures the gate. Bolt latches come in a large variety, and some even have the option to secure the gate further by padlocking it.
There are many different kinds of latches available in the market. There are so many choices that you can become confused about what latch will work perfectly for your corral gate. However, if you go in prepared, you will know exactly what you are looking for. You should know the kind of latch you want, the material, the amount of security, and the category of latch before you even think about purchasing a latch. Considering these things beforehand will allow you to make a sound decision. Additionally, if you give it enough consideration then the latch you end up buying will not fail you within a couple of months. Instead, it will expand and contract with your gate and secure your corral gate well. It may also look aesthetically pleasing while doing so if you pick the correct one that matches your aesthetic.