How to Choose the Right Toggle Latch
Toggle latches, which are also called over-centre latches or over-centre fasteners, are mechanical devices designed to secure panels or objects together. Toggle latches do this using the latch’s loop, which can be attached to a catch plate. After that, you can use the handle to clamp it down past the over-centre position to secure the two objects.
They are very user-friendly and can be secured and released quickly, which is why they are pretty popular. If you’re looking to buy toggle latches but don’t know which one to get, you need to consider the different styles and types of toggle latches.
In this article, the type of toggle latch we’ll be explaining the most popular toggle latch type: the adjustable toggle latch or adjustable over-centre latch.
Parts of an Adjustable Toggle Latch
Handle – The handle is used to clamp the latch down past the over-centre position. Try to look for a long handle, as it can allow you to secure the latch into place more easily.
Screw arm and loop – You can adjust the screw arm’s length to change the force needed to use the latch. On the other hand, a loop is used to engage the hook.
Friction ring – The friction ring prevents the screw arm from accidentally rotating and departing from its original position.
Catch plate – Generally, a catch plate doesn’t come with the toggle latch but rather as a separate accessory attached to the toggle latch’s 2nd panel. The catch plate is where the loop is hooked.
Safety catch – A safety catch is another optional accessory that can be engaged when you have secured the toggle latch in the over-centre position. It prevents accidental decoupling and latch failure.
Padlock hole – If you need additional security and protection from decoupling and latch failure, you can use the padlock hole to install a padlock.
How to choose the right toggle latch
The first factor you need to consider when choosing a toggle latch is its capacity because you need to know if it can support the loads your application requires. You can check this on the maximum load rating or ultimate tensile strength (UTS) that the toggle latch comes with.
Toggle latches have four categories in terms of their strength rating:
- Light-duty – If you’re securing light-duty items like cabinets, which aren’t that fragile or heavy, you can use smaller light-duty toggle latches that are cheaper and easier to use.
- Medium-duty – For medium-duty items, which range from 125-750kg in weight and aren’t that likely to accidentally open during transport, you need a medium-duty toggle latch. Some examples of medium-duty items are tool cases and industrial cabinets.
- Heavy-duty – Heavy-duty toggle latches can support a maximum load of around 1,000-2,000kg, depending on the model. You can find most heavy-duty toggle latches on vehicles, such as on the vehicle’s body and engine. They are also present in industrial machinery and large transport containers.
- Super heavy-duty – Super heavy-duty latches can handle loads of up to 7,000kg. Usually, they are used for industrial applications where safety should be a top concern, such as supporting ute trailers and motor bodies.
After you’ve assessed the kind of toggle latch you need based on the load requirements, these are some of the other considerations that you need to think about:
- The space available for the latch and catch plate installation.
- The toggle latch can cause various types of damage to your items when it’s not engaged. It can even lead to injuries when people get hit by protruding latch.
- You need to know, if you need the toggle latch to be locked. If you want to make sure that it won’t accidentally open because of vibration or force during transport, or you want to avoid unauthorized access, you need a lock.
If you don’t want a lock, you can use a toggle latch that comes with top-mounted or side action safety catches which can prevent the latch from opening accidentally.
- Take time to check the manufacturing quality and the material used. It depends on the application. If you’re looking to secure light items, toggle latches with cheap material. However, you’re better off buying toggle latches made of high-quality material and with a good build quality for improved safety. If you’re looking for high-quality material, look for toggle latches using stainless steel. Also, don’t forget to check the maximum load against the item you plan to support.
Toggle latch maintenance guide
No matter the material your toggle latch is made of, it can’t perform its purpose if you wouldn’t maintain it. Remember, even stainless steel can be damaged and rusted in some circumstances. To make sure that your toggle latch will last long, here’s how to maintain them:
- Make sure the toggle latch is installed correctly. Also, it needs strength fittings to help secure the latch.
- Always conduct an initial inspection of the toggle latch before using it so you can prevent accidents during use.
- Don’t use a toggle latch that doesn’t fit and is too weak for the application.
- To minimize corrosion, make sure to keep your toggle latches clean and lubricated, especially when your toggle latch doesn’t use stainless steel. Remember, it’s hard to control rust when it occurs and makes your toggle latch structurally weaker.
Choosing the right toggle latch depending on your application and budget is tricky. But, it’s easier when you have experts from a toggle latches supplier in Australia helping you choose the appropriate toggle latch for your application.