My latch broke and when I brought it in, it couldn’t be replaced. Why not? Shouldn’t latches be universal?

Most hardware brands tend to create propriety latches so that when the latch breaks, you have to buy the replacement from their company, so they can make the money. They don’t want you to be able to replace it with something that is a “universal” fix, as they won’t make the money off of it.

A replacement latch must have all the holes lining up in order to work; this means not just the post holes that go through the latch so they can be secured by screws, but also the middle post that moves the latch.

Schlage latch post holesA lot of latches can vary depending on use and series. In other words, just because it is a Schlage, doesn’t mean its necessarily a “one size fits all.”

Kwikset Latches post hole alignmentHere are two Kwikset latches; you can see the differences in both where the holes are – this is due to both series and function. One is for a knob-set, the other for a deadbolt.

So, a latch is not justĀ  a latch. Though some after-market brands attempt to use the same ‘type’ of latches, based on “borrowing” the manufacturer’s blue-prints, they modify them slightly to prevent full out infringement. This often gives a close ‘look’ to the brand, but doesn’t actually allow for things to line up right.

The best way to get a replacement latch is take your old latch into your local locksmith and have them take a look at it. Some brands don’t even bother to make replacement latches, as it is less expensive to replace the entire hardware than to just purchase a replacement latch.

 

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