Gate Hardware Buying Guide

Here’s how to fix a sagging gate with the right gate hardware

Gate Hardware Buying Guide

Having a gate that never stays shut, slips out of alignment or sags down and drags along the ground can be frustrating. Good gate hardware prevents these problems, and can increase your curb appeal.

This guide will teach you about all the essential parts of gate hardware so you can ensure your gate stays strong and beautiful.

Safety: If you’re working on a gate that leads to a pool, make sure to install hardware that increases safety, such as an automatic spring or latch that accepts a padlock.

Latches, Hinges, Handles and More

The primary types of hardware you’ll need for your gate are latches, hinges, handles, bolts, rods and strikes. These pieces are made from a range of materials, including stainless steel, wrought iron, aluminum, bronze, black iron, copper, brass and more.

Hardware Types Characteristics

Bolts & rods

  • Cane bolts
  • Slide bolts
  • Dead bolts
  • Anchor rods
  • Secure gates when closed to prevent from opening
  • May be used with doors that swing both inward and outward


  • Pull
  • Doorknob
  • Used to pull gates open


  • T-hinge
  • Band hinge
  • Strap hinge
  • Butterfly hinge
  • Connect to posts to allow doors to swing
  • Can be installed on either side and may include a spring that automatically closes the gate


  • Cott latch
  • Door latch
  • Thumb latch
  • Bolt latch
  • Keep gate closed when not in use
  • May be self-closing and can be installed on either the left or right side of a gate
  • Some allow you to insert a padlock for added security


  • Offset latch with box
  • Rim and mortise box
  • Straight latch with flat strike
  • The point where the latch strikes the gate post
  • Available in a varieties of styles


You may not notice it initially, but many gates start to sag over time. While it’s best to prevent sagging before it starts, you don’t necessarily have to install a new gate.

An anti-sag kit is a preventative measure and cure rolled into one. Anti-sag devices consist of two brackets mounted at diagonal points across a gate, connected by a cable. Look for a kit that contains zinc-plated parts to prevent rust.

  • Kits include cable, mounting brackets, turnbuckle and screws
  • Place blocks underneath the gate to prop it up while you install your anti-sag unit.
  • Open and close the gate a few times immediately after installation to make sure it’s working smoothly.
  • Toe blocks are small pieces of wood that are secured to the ground beneath the unhinged end of the gate to prevent the gate from sagging.


Personalize your gate to meet your family’s needs and style by choosing a rust-resistant finish or child-resistant latch.

  • Choose gate hardware with a rust-resistant finish to protect it from the elements. Fade-resistant finishes are available as well and are particularly desirable on ornamental pieces.
  • If you have small children, look for a latch that’s child-resistant. This is especially important if the gate opens into a pool area. Another option is to add a second latch high up on the gate out of the reach of young children. Even if they manage to get the lower latch open, they won’t be able to reach the higher one.
  • Return springs close doors automatically, saving you from having to remember to do it every time. Many of them feature adjustable torque.