How to lock a double gate

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double gate in front of white cottage. how to lock a double gate

How to lock a double gate

Double leafed gates are majestic and can create a beautiful entrance to your house or business. But there are a few obstacles when it comes to locking them.

In this article we will answer the question ‘how to lock a double gate’ and go through a few of the challenges you might face with this style of gate.

The challenges when locking a double gate

When finding a suitable way to lock a double gate, you have the same considerations as when you buy any other gate lock. You have to consider a few other factors before committing to a new gate lock.

But once you have cleared up on the material, size, and thickness, you also have to consider that double gates are prone to being sprung open.

Why you can’t use a normal gate lock on a double gate

Single gates consist of a gate leaf and a solid, static gate post. The lock will latch into the gate post and thus the gate is secured.

With a double gate, the lock would be latching into another moving part i.e., the other gate leaf. Outsiders can spring the gate open by applying pressure to the centre of where the two gate leaves meet. This will push the gates apart unless they are stopped another way.

We therefore do not recommend using only a standard gate lock for your double gate without an additional mechanism that prevents the gates from being sprung apart.

How can I lock my double gate?

Luckily there are a few solutions to the above challenge, and they can be easy enough to fit.

The chain and padlock solution

double ornate gate with a chain and padlock on metal gate at sailing club

The most common (and arguably the easiest) way to lock a double gate is to use a chain and padlock. Simply wrap the chain around both gate frames of the double gate and secure them with the padlock as seen in the below picture.

Now, this is a cost-effective way to secure a double gate. However, it’s not a great sight to be greeted with when customers arrive at your business. First impressions matter for gates too!

There is also the question of how secure it really is. A chain and padlock won’t offer a lot of security and it is easy to spot this weak point from far away. You also need to make sure the chain is short enough, making it impossible to push the gate leaves and gain access through the gap created.

But as mentioned, it is a simple and cost-effective way to secure a double leafed gate.

The interlocked solution

Surface fixed metal gate lock on a gate with scrolls

A step up from the chain and lock solution is combining an interlocking keep or strike plate with your lock. A good example is the GLB with its slotted keep plate as pictured.

Once the gate is closed and locked, the locking bolt will go through the keep plate, but the slotted lock plate will sit over the keep plate as well. Should someone try and gain access by pushing the gates open, the bolt and slotted lock plate with interlock, preventing the gates from opening.


The drop bolt and gate lock solution

Sometimes the best way to secure a double gate isn’t only down to the lock itself, but what you pair it with. As mentioned, you can easily push open a double gate if you don’t use the right hardware.

One clever way to secure the gate is therefore to combine the lock with a drop bolt. The drop bolt is fitted to one or both of the gates and drops into a hole in the ground as an extra security measure.

drop bolt fixed to wooden double gate

You will actually find drop bolts on most double gates, as they are great ways to keep the gate secure. The drop bolt will also help prevent your double gates being sprung open.

But not all drop bolts are created equal.

Locking drop bolts are especially designed for double gates as their lifting plate sits between the two gate leaves when the gate is closed. When you close the first gate leaf, simply lower the drop bolt, and rotate the lifting plate into position. When the second gate leaf is closed, the gate will be fully secured.


The beauty of a drop bolt is that they are usually inconspicuous and are mostly hidden behind the gate frames. So, no gate hardware blemishes on your gate!

Find the perfect drop bolt for your gate here.
White wooden timber gate with screw fixed drop bolt designed for double gates
ADB: Auto-locking drop bolt
Concealed drop bolt installed in grey metal gate frame
CDD: Concealed drop bolt
Drop bolt for double gates which locks when gates are closed on green gate.
LDB: Locking drop bolt

2 thoughts on “How to lock a double gate

  1. Hi There,

    I am making a wooden front gate. I would like to route out part of the secondary gate so that when the gate is closed it will fit into the routed part of the gate before the gate is closed in order to make it impossible to jump over the gate and lift up the drop bolt and push the two gates open. I also intend to use a slotted keep plate lock for the primary gate. Would the ADB: Auto-locking drop bolt be the type needed?

    1. Hello there, Thank you for your enquiry! From your message, I understand you wish to use a drop bolt to prevent people from jumping over and opening your gate. Both our ADB & our Locking Drop Bolt (LDB) were designed to prevent this situation. The drop bolts have a handle at the top which sits in between the two gates and can only be lifted when the first gate has been unlocked and opened. This means if someone does jump over they cannot access your drop bolt without first opening the gate. If you need anymore help please get in touch with our customer service team, or see the product page for installation and spec sheets. Link to Drop Bolts

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