What Are Cam Latches and How Do They Work?

cam latches by Monroe

You don’t have to use a traditional lock to keep a door or cabinet closed. There are other latching mechanisms available, such as cam latches. While cam latches feature a simple design, however, they offer a reliable and long-lasting latching mechanism. What are cam latches exactly, and how do they work?

What Are Cam Latches?

Cam latches are lever-like fasteners. There are typically two parts to a cam latch: the cam and the body. The cam is the cylindrical part, whereas the body is the assembly that temporarily holds the cam in place. These two parts work in conjunction to provide a reliable and long-lasting latching mechanism.

Common applications for cam latches include the following:

  • Cabinets
  • Toolboxes
  • Garage doors
  • Mailboxes
  • Access and control panels
  • Drawers
  • Lockers
  • Other enclosures

How Cam Latches Work

Even if you’ve used a cam latch before, you might not know how they work. While there are different types of cam latches, most of them use a similar method of operation to temporarily close a door or object.

You can open a door or object by turning the cam latch to the open position. Rotating to the cam will disengage the locking mechanism from the body. With the cam and body now separated, you can then open the door or object. You can lock the door or object, conversely, by rotating the cam in the opposite direction. th

Keyed vs Non-Keyed Cam Latches

Cam latches are available in keyed and non-keyed styles. Keyed cam latches are typically used in applications where enhanced security is required, such as lockers. They still consist of a cam and body, but keyed cam latches require the use of a key to open and close. Non-keyed cam latches feature a simpler design that doesn’t require the use of a key.

Benefits of Cam Latches

Cam latches offer several benefits. First and foremost, they are easy to use. Whether it’s a keyed or non-keyed cam latch, you can open and close it simply by rotating the cam; keyed cam latches simply require a key to turn, which enhances their overall security.

Not only are they easy to use, but cam latches are also easy to install. They consist of two parts: the cam and body. Once installed, these parts will allow you to open and close a door or similar object.

There are many different types of cam latches available. You can find them in different materials, such as stainless steel, carbon steel and aluminum. The size and design of a cam latch may vary as well. Regardless of how you intend to use it, there’s probably a cam latch out there to meet your needs.

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