It wasn’t up until too long ago that all I used when installing new gates was the traditional gate latches for opening and shutting new garden gates. There’s nothing wrong with these but in most cases you would install a slide bolt to the inside of the gate which is where you’d use your padlock to keep your garden gate locked and your garden secure. So what’s the problem? Well this isn’t always ideal as you would always need to lock your gate from the inside, and therefore never being able to leave your property by way of the garden.
Not only this but as the weather changes with each season, your garden gate will expand and shrink. I have seen many traditional gate latches struggle to operate properly when this happens and I’ve been asked to re-install these gate latches time and time again, although these are gate latches that had been on for some years.
What is the Gatemate long throw gate lock?
The best way to describe a long throw gate lock is that it operates more like a front door lock in a sense that there is a key hole on the outside of the gate with no gate handle or latch needed. This gives the gate a much more modern look. There are actually 2 options available depending on whether or not you would like a key hole on the inside of the gate which are the double locking or single locking options. You can also choose between a 50mm or 70mm option depending on the width of your garden gate.
Not only this but despite the Gatemate long throw gate lock looking complicated, I find it easier to install compared to the more traditional gate latches, although neither is particularly hard with the right tools. Oh and I’ve never had a problem with the operation of the Gatemate long throw gate locks with the expansion or shrinking of gates when the weather changes which is likely due no spindle needed and a large gap between the throw and keep.
Where to purchase the Gatemate long throw gate lock
These gate locks are quickly growing in popularity so it’s no surprise to learn that you can get these from most DIY stores, some of which include Screwfix and Toolstation which is great as there always tends to be one local no matter where you live.
I personally prefer to save time and get my long throw gate locks delivered to me from Amazon. The above image contains a link which if clicked on will take you to the Gatemate long throw gate lock on the Amazon store. As an Amazon affiliate partner we receive a commission for any purchase made when being directed via a link on this website.
What tools do I need to install the Gatemate long throw gate lock?
Before I start giving advice on how to install your new long throw gate lock I’d better let you know which tools you’re going to need to get the job done so that you can order these at the same time as your gate lock. Luckily, there’s not many tools needed and if your a hands on person then there’s a good chance that you’ll have the tools already.
The below images contain a link which if clicked on will take you to the item on the Amazon website. As an Amazon affiliate partner, we receive a commission for any purchase made when being directed by a link on this website.
You will need a drill for drilling pilot holes and tightening screws. The drill above includes screw bits and drill bits incase you don’t have anything available.
If you already have a drill readily available then here are some drill bits for drilling your pilot holes.
You can’t tighten your screws without some screw bits. These should do the job nicely!
My full guide on how to install the Gatemate long throw gate lock
If your installing your new long throw gate lock onto a new garden gate then make sure you have installed your gate first and have made all necessary adjustments. If your installing your new lock onto an existing gate then I would suggest making any necessary repairs before installing your new lock so that no adjustments will be made in the near future once your long throw gate lock has been installed.
Step 1. Stick the fixing template onto the inside of your gate
Inside your Gatemate long throw gate lock box you will see 2 fixing templates that stick onto the inside of your gate. One fixing template will be labelled (for left hand) whilst the other will be labelled (for right hand). This actually threw me off a little! The left and right hand templates refer to the outside of the garden gate and since you will be installing your new long throw lock on the inside, you will need the opposite. Just look at the template used on the inside of the gate above, I am working on the right hand side of the gate but I am using the left hand template, since the garden gate opens from the left side if looking at the gate from the outside.
When sticking your fixing template into position, just make sure that the body of the long throw lock doesn’t sit within 5mm of the edge of the gate and that the throw of the lock reaches the neighbouring post with enough room for the keep to be fixed into place later. Oh and make sure that the key hole will be in a good position from the outside of the gate.
Step 2. Drill a 28mm hole through the gate using the drill bit provided
The gate template shows the cylinder hole position which is where you will need to drill a 28mm hole using the drill bit (spade bit) provided. With the spade bit attached to your drill, mark directly in the centre of the cylinder hole position and start drilling your hole. Keep an eye on the other side of the gate as you will run a high risk of splintering the wood on the outside of the gate if you drill all the way through. Instead, drill your hole slowly and as soon as the tip of your drill bit makes its way through the other side of your gate, remove your drill and finish your hole from the other side. This will give you a clean finish on both sides of the gate.
Step 3. Insert the lock into the hole and screw into place
With your key cylinder hole now drilled, it’s time to simply push your key barrel through the hole, remembering that the body of the lock will be on the inside of the gate. It should be a nice snug fit. Once in place, you just need to hold the body of the lock level and screw it into place. You can either use a small spirit level to make sure that your long throw gate lock is level or just make sure that it is an even gap between the body of the lock and the edge of the gate. I’ve never experienced any splitting of the wood when screwing the screws directly into the gate myself but for good practice, it would be a good idea to drill some small, 3mm pilot holes before inserting and tightening your screws.
Now that your Gatemate long throw gate lock is fixed into place, use 1 of your 5 keys to turn the lock and make sure that it is functioning properly. If happy, turn the key so that the long throw lock is in the lock position, with the throw of the lock running across the neighbouring fence post. With your throw in position, simply hold your keep over the throw making sure that there is an even gap above and below the throw and screw into position.
Step 4. Finish off your new long throw gate lock by fixing the escutcheon into place
All you need to do now to finish off your new Gatemate long throw gate lock is to install your escutcheon, or better known as simply the plate that surrounds your key hole! There are only 3 screws that hold the escutcheon into place which are very small flat head screws so be careful to have the correct sized screw bit to avoid rounding them off. There is no wrong way of doing this, other than holding it into place and using your drill, tighten the screws. Although it’s best practice to drill a small pilot hole first to avoid cracking the wood.
Step 5. Install or adjust your gate stop
A gate stop is a length of timber that runs along the inside of the gate post, giving the gate something to stop against and not swing past the gate post. This gate stop also protects gate latches to some degree and reduces the play in a gate when locked shut.
Now that your new long throw gate lock is installed, simply lock the gate and push gently against the gate from the outside. With some pressure against the gate, screw your gate stop (piece of timber) to the inside of your gate post, touching the outside of the gate. This will give the gate a nice seating position between the gate stop and the lock throw/keep, stopping the gate from moving back and forth. You can read more on my article titled ‘How to install a garden gate‘.
My review of the Gatemate long throw gate lock
I was actually going to write a separate article reviewing the Gatemate long throw gate lock but since I’ve covered pretty much everything in this article, I thought it best to simply add a small couple of paragraphs explaining my thoughts on the product and whether or not I would recommend it.
First of all, compared to installing a traditional gate latch, I find installing the long throw gate lock a breeze! Not that a traditional gate latch is particularly hard to install but in the majority of situations I have to cut down the spindle in order to have the gate latch fit as well a couple of other inconveniences. Not only this but the traditional gate latches undergo a lot more abuse compared to the long throw gate lock since the slamming and shutting of the gate puts constant pressure on the latch hitting against the gate post. Since the long throw lock would be in the open position, the throw will never hit against the gate post. Even in the off chance that someone had opened the garden gate, then turned the long throw lock into the lock position and left it to slam back and forth in the wind, the lock throw is a lot more dense and better built to handle such abuse compared to a traditional gate latch.
Would I recommend the Gatemate long throw gate lock? Absolutely I would! In my opinion it’s everything that a traditional gate latch isn’t! It’s easier to install. It’s better built than most traditional gate latches. It looks modern and it looks smart!