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Gate Locks For Wooden Gates : A guide

When you're in the market for gate locks for wooden gates, there's quite a selection of options available. In fact, the sheer amount of products can be quite confusing. However, at Hiatt Hardware, we've been supplying the very best in garden gate locks since 1982, so we know a thing or two about the subject.

It's easy with just a little knowledge

By reading this post, you'll learn about the many different designs available, as well as the pros and cons of having them installed. So, come with us now as we see what's on offer.

Auto Gate Catches

auto gate latch

Our first option is the auto gate catch, which should be very familiar, as it's an extremely popular choice for wooden gates. When you have short, wooden pedestrian gates, they're ideal as a way to keep them closed, although you will need to use a padlock to properly 'lock' the gate.

Not all gate latches, however, are heavy-duty enough to accept a padlock, so you need to be sure to purchase the latter if you'd like the extra security it provides.

Pros of Auto Gate Latches for wooden gates:

  • Extremely cost-effective (just a couple of pounds from our shop)

  • Installation is super-easy, as you'll need to fit 6 screws at most

  • A simple, yet effective way to secure your wooden gate

Cons of Auto Gate Latches

  • Not hugely secure, but will keep your wood gates closed

  • Requires a padlock to lock

  • Can only be locked from the inside

Padbolt Gate Locks

Hiatt Hardware Gate Pad

Another popular option for wooden gates is the padbolt, which is as easy to fit as it is to use. As with auto-gate catches, there's very little involved in the installation. Again, it's a wooden gate lock that everyone should recognise due to how widely used they are. Often used in conjunction with gate spring closers, pad bolts represent another good option that gets the job done without too much fuss.

Operation is as simple as it gets, with the bolt simply needing to be slid across to secure your wooden gates (they're also found on metal gates and garage doors).

Pros of padbolt gate locks for wooden gates

  • Very cost-effective (no more than around £7)

  • Takes minutes to fit - even for novices

  • More security is offered than with an auto gate latch

Cons of padbolt gate locks

  • Can only be locked from the inside (on higher gates)

  • Padlock must be bought separately

  • Still not massively robust in terms of security

Rim Locks

rim lock on a wooden door

Getting its name from the fact it sits on the rim of your wooden gates, rather than being installed inside, rim locks represent our best choice so far. Typically found on ledged and braced gates and shed doors, this key operated lock is widely used for security in British gardens.

After unlocking a rim lock with a key, you then must turn the handle in order to open the - representing, making it harder to get inside.

Pros of rim locks for wooden gates

  • Inexpensive in comparison to other gate locks

  • Easy to fit - again, even for those without much experience

  • More secure than latches & padbolts

Cons of a rim lock for wooden gates

  • Not the most secure wooden gate locks

  • Can be used for gates, but not ideal

  • Some products can be a bit too easy to get past

Mortice Deadbolt Rim Lock - Hiatt Hardware Gate Locks

The Long Throw Gate Lock

Able also to be fitted to garage doors and metal gates, long throw gate locks are another well-used choice for UK customers. The best way to describe how a long throw gate lock works is to compare it to a standard front door lock in that it has a keyhole. However, in this case, there's no gate latch or lever handle required to operate it.

It is something you'll need a bit of experience to install, however, and while relatively secure, it still doesn't come close to the mortice lock that we look at next.

Pros of long the long throw gate lock

  • Less expensive than a mortice gate lock

  • Versatile enough to be used on metal gates & garage doors

  • Doesn't require a padlock to be bought separately

Cons of long throw gate locks

  • Not that much more secure than padbolts

  • Not nearly as secure as a mortice lock

  • More expensive than padbolts

Mortice Deadlocks

mortice lock

Now, if you like your gate locks to offer real security, then a mortice deadlock is your go-to option. Featuring 3 or 5 levers (5 being the most secure), they're much harder for burglars to pick. If you choose to go for these types of gate locks, you will need to have a sturdy gate, due to the fact that the mortice lock fits INSIDE the wooden gate.

Unlike all the options mentioned before, mortice deadlocks can't be circumvented simply by unscrewing and removing them.

Pros of the Mortice Deadlock

  • THE most secure available, offering lots of extra security

  • Key operated from both sides

  • Robust enough to be used on your front door

Cons of the Mortice Deadlock

  • Not suitable for ledged and braced wooden gates

  • It's necessary to cut a hole inside the edge of the gate

  • More expensive than other locks

What Closing Options Are There For Your Wooden Gate?

Ok, so we've examined most of the main available options for gate locks - meaning options that actually provide real security. Now we move on from gate locks to gate latches that simply keep your garden gate closed. There are almost as many latches as there are locks!

Let's see what gate latches are available, shall we?

Spring Loaded Latches

Making it easier to keep the garden gate at your property closed, spring-loaded gate latches offer a smooth action, whether you're closing or opening it. This is a lockable option that when used in conjunction with a gate return spring, helps to ensure your wooden garden gate is never left in an opened position.

Thumb Latches

thumb latch

Next, we have the thumb latch, which is an option that's only really suitable for gates that swing inwards. When using a latch of this kind, you press the thumb depressor, which raises the latch arm on the other side of the door, allowing locking and unlocking from outside.

Ring Latches

ring gate latch

Here we have a two-sided ring latch that provides access and exit from your garden. It typically features a backplate and ring attached to the latch arm. Most often coming with a black or galvanised steel finish, it's not an option that can be easily installed by non-pros, but if you're handy, you should be fine.

Hasp & Padlock


A simple option for your garden gate that shouldn't be forgotten is the simple hasp and padlock setup that's about as robust against thieves as the majority of locks. It's a really cheap option too, however, it's not that great to look at, which is why they're most often used on lockups.

Lever Latches

Lastly, we have lever latches, which are essentially the same as ring latches, just without the rings. Also available in a selection of finishes, it represents another attractive way to keep your garden gate closed and maintain your home's privacy and peace, and quiet.

Here to Meet All of Your Garden Gate Lock Requirements

So, there you have it. Quite a selection of options, we think you'll agree. There's a surprising amount of choice in the area and you can find everything you need by visiting our online store that's simply packed with top-quality hardware for your home and garden.

We hope that you find the information provided useful and that your new-found knowledge guides you to the perfect products to protect your garden while enhancing its look.

Until next time Happy DIY-ing!