Find the right latch for doors and furniture


 They ensure security and help protect your own belongings - we're talking about latches for doors and furniture. And there are lots of them. We took a look at all the doors and furniture latches on the market and would like to briefly introduce them to you here.


That’s where it all began – the first castles

Since ancient times, people have wanted to protect their belongings from unauthorized access. Constructions were devised that made it possible to put a stop to theft.

The first recorded castles were made of wood and were developed by the Egyptians about 5,000 years before the birth of Christ. The Romans made the first pure metal latch. At this point, Jesus had already been dead for 100 years.
It took another 1,500 years until the first door latches were built. During the Thirty Years' War, two locksmiths developed latches at about the same time, the basic principle of which can still be found on room doors today. The bolt was moved with a handy key with a bearded profile.
In 1844, the American Linus Yale Senior developed the first cylinder latch. Cylinder latches with a similar structure can be found on most of today's common exterior doors.

Different requirements for latches

When it comes to an external door, the most important thing is that the latch or locking system is as difficult as possible for burglars to crack.

With room doors, it is sufficient to keep the curious little brother from snooping around in his sister's room. The brother won't come with heavy burglary tools straight away.

Even when it comes to locks on furniture doors, furniture flaps or drawers, burglary protection is not the main focus. The latch on your boss's desk certainly has to be more resilient than the wardrobe in the bedroom.
While locks and latches are intended to prevent unauthorized opening, catches and magnetic locks primarily have the task of preventing doors and flaps from opening automatically.

Part 1: Door Latches

When it comes to door locks, a distinction is made between latches for interior and exterior doors. Both types of doors generally have mortise latches. However, the type of security differs.

Different types of backup:

  • Bunted locks
  • Tumbler locks
  • Occupation locks
  • Locks for lock cylinders
  • Electronic locks
Front door latches are usually more difficult than room door latches. Doors to the bathroom or toilet can have a toggle on the inside to latch them instead of a key. There are also special latches for hotel and hospital doors as well as soundproof doors.

Mortise latch

The mortise latch is mainly used on house and room doors. It is also rarely used in furniture. Mortise locks are embedded in the back of the door (by prying or milling a pocket) so that only the latch faceplate with the bolt is visible.

The type of security ranges from the beard latch and the crew latch to the tumbler latch and cylinder latch. A distinction is made between mortise locks for rebated and butted doors.
If the door slams in bluntly, the faceplate lies in the middle of the latch case. On a rebated door, the faceplate is flush with the latch case on one side.

An important concept when ordering and installing locks is the backset. It indicates the distance from the centre of the door handle or keyhole to the outer edge (forend). Door locks are available with a backset of 25 mm to 100 mm. Room doors usually have a backset of 55 mm.

Buntbeard Castle

Beard locks are mainly used for room door locks. They have the least security. The doors can be opened with a simple locking hook or a bent wire.

If you don't want every young burglar to rummage through your things, you should opt for another type of security, such as a tumbler lock, crew lock or lock cylinder.

A deadbolt latch may not be used on the front door. The beard latch gets its name from the different, most colourful key shapes.

Occupation castle

The crew latch is more secure than the cuntbar latch. However, the door can also be opened with a cut key. The castle is a further development of the Buntbart Castle.

You could still come across such as lock-in barracks, older classrooms or youth hostels. However, it may not be used for front doors either. Crew locks have mounted tyres on the interior surfaces of the latch case to which the keys are matched.

Tumbler latch

Compared to the crew latch or the guard latch, the tumbler latch has a higher level of burglary resistance. The interior consists of sheet metal discs that have recesses in various places.

The key is used to raise the individual panes so that the recesses are all at the same height. Now a bolt attached to the latch can be inserted there and the door can be opened.

Safety depends primarily on the number of panes. Cheap latches with few panes can be opened relatively quickly. Tumbler locks are used, for example, for safes.

House entrance doors may also be equipped with a tumbler latch, provided they are equipped with a change latch.

Cylinder latch

The cylinder latch is a mortise lock that is equipped with a latch cylinder. Locking cylinders are manufactured in a wide variety of shapes, materials and dimensions.
Common forms include:
  • Oval cylinder
  • Round cylinder
  • Profile cylinder
A latch cylinder consists of a housing and a rotating cylinder core. With good locks, at least five pairs of pins in a row lock the cylinder core against the housing.

By inserting the key, the differently designed pins are pressed into one plane and reveal a dividing line. This allows the cylinder core to be rotated relative to the housing.

The cylinder lock is used wherever greater security is required. This can be with room doors or furniture, but especially front doors are equipped with a cylinder lock. However, front doors require a change, which means they must be equipped with a change lock.

Magnetic latch

Magnetic locks are classified as security locks. They have several tumblers, which then have to be unlocked individually according to the locking code so that the bolt can be activated.

Like the lock cylinder, the magnetic latch also works with pins. But as the name suggests, magnets also play a role. There are three different modes of operation: sliding magnets, rotating magnets and tumbling pins.

The first magnetic locks worked with sliding magnets and the principle of attraction and repulsion. The magnetic pins only unlock if there is a suitable opposite pole on the key.

With the rotating magnet principle, the pins are rotated by the key and release a mechanism when they are in the correct position. The wobble pin principle involves moving six pins into the correct position using a magnetic key so that they fit into a template.

The magnet on the key can have 6 or 8 different positions, allowing a variety of combinations. The latch is therefore extremely burglar-proof.

Interchangeable latch

Front doors must be equipped with a changeable latch or an electronic or magnetic latch. The type of security for a removable latch can be a tumbler lock or a cylinder latch.

The term “change” means that the lock latch can be operated with the key. So you don't have to press a door handle to unlock the door. Doors with such locks are usually combined with a button or handle on the outside.

Electronic locking systems

Electronic locks are an alternative to the mechanical systems presented. Such an electronic locking system initially consists of electronic door components, such as the electronic door lock or a wall reader.

This requires locking media to identify access authorization - this can be a transponder, a key card or even a fingerprint. Finally, an administration tool is also necessary, such as software or an online portal for central key management.

Part 2: Furniture locks

As already mentioned, the design of a furniture lock depends on whether it is in office furniture or private furniture. Locking cylinders or even entire locking systems are preferred in office furniture construction.
A locking system is a combination of locking cylinders and different keys. Numerous different locks are also available for the living area:
  • Screw-on locks
  • Entry locks
  • Mortise locks
  • Push rod locks
  • Espagnolette locks
  • Flap locks for drawers
  • Casket locks for small jewellery boxes

Screw-on lock

This furniture lock is screwed onto the back of the door. The bolt engages in a striking plate that is embedded in the side of the furniture or the door frame. On double doors, the bolt goes behind the second door. This is usually reinforced at this point.

The type of closure of the screw-on latch can be different. Depending on how much emphasis is placed on security, there are grooved, tumbler or cylinder locks.

Drill lock

The drill lock is also attached from the back like the screw-on lock. However, a suitable drill hole must first be drilled into the furniture door. The bolt in turn engages a striking plate.

Entry lock

Inlet locks are recessed into the back of the door so that the lock plate is flush with the back of the door. The bolt of the latch fits into a striking plate, which is embedded in the side of the body for doors with one leaf and in the edge of the other door for double doors.

Espagnolette lock

This furniture lock locks the furniture door at at least two points. Espagnolette locks consist of the latch case, the espagnolette and the locking hooks.

The locking or gripping hooks are attached to the upper and lower ends of the rotating rod. You reach behind the locking bolts that are screwed into the top and bottom of the piece of furniture.

On cupboard walls, for example, espagnolette locks can also be equipped with a rotary handle. A key is then not available.

Push rod lock

The push rod lock has a similar structure to the espagnolette lock. It is used, for example, for cabinets.

As the name suggests, the bars do not rotate, but rather slide into locking sockets in the top and bottom floors. In the middle is the lock case, which can be screwed on or flush.

Some push rod locks also have a latch on the lock case so that the door is locked in three places. A triple lock is particularly suitable for high doors.

Push bolt

Garden gates, stable doors, caskets or boxes can be locked using the sliding bolt. Tight closure is less of a priority.

However, this is also possible with a padlock for many push bolts. A distinction is made between cranked and straight bars. Offset deadbolts are used for butt-opening doors.


Padlocks come in many sizes and different locking methods. Padlocks with a locking cylinder are less easy to crack.

However, it must always be taken into account that on a cheap padlock the shackle can be cut with bolt cutters. Many a bicycle has already changed hands in this way.

Hook latch lock

Like the mortise lock, the hook latch lock is inserted into a pocket by prying or milling. Instead of a bolt and latch, however, the lock has a hook bolt that can be moved up and down.

The hook latch lock is suitable for effectively locking sliding gates and sliding doors. When the door is closed, the lock engages. To open the gate, the hook must then be lifted.

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