5 Main Types of Security Gates: Complete Buying Guide (2024)

When considering the safety of your property, choosing the right types of security gates is crucial. It’s not just about keeping unwelcome guests out; it’s about integrating smart, effective security measures that blend seamlessly with your daily operations.

This guide will dive into the most common security gates, helping you make an informed decision that enhances your property’s safety and functionality.

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Top 5 Common Types of Security Gates

1. Swing Gates

Swing gates are a traditional choice. The gate panel opens inward or outward and is anchored at the gate posts. It resembles the operation of a standard door.

Average Cost: Costs vary widely depending on material and size but typically range from $1,000 to $4,000.


  • Simple and elegant design
  • Relatively easy to install and maintain


  • Requires significant space to operate
  • Can be slower to open and close, affecting traffic flow
Swing Gate

2. Vertical Lift Gates

Vertical lift gates rise straight up, which is ideal for areas with limited space. Such a gate is ideal to be configured as an automatic security gate.

Average Cost: Due to their complex mechanism and construction, these gates are on the higher end, often costing between $20,000 and $30,000.


  • Space-efficient, requiring no side or rear clearance
  • Quick operation enhances traffic flow


  • High initial cost
  • Requires specialized maintenance
Vertical Lifting Double Leaf Gate

3. Slide Gates

A slide gate moves horizontally parallel to the fence or wall, either manually or powered by an automatic gate opener. It is suitable for both residential and commercial properties. Groove rolling slide gates are the most common variant.

Average Cost: The price range for sliding gates is broad, from $2,000 to $7,000, depending on the material and automation features.


  • Efficient use of space, not requiring the clearance that swing gates do
  • Can be more secure due to the way they close and latch


  • Require a clean path to operate smoothly; debris can cause operational issues
  • Installation can be complex, especially for models with an automatic gate system
telescopic slide gate

4. Vertical Pivot Gates

Vertical pivot lift gates utilize a pivot mechanism mounted on the overhead beam. These gates rotate vertically to open, offering a unique solution for spaces where traditional gate swings or slides are not feasible.

Average Cost: Vertical pivot gates can cost from $8,000 to $20,000, depending on their design complexity and automation system.


  • Highly effective in areas with limited horizontal space
  • Quick operation, improving traffic flow


  • More expensive than many other gate types due to specialized hardware
  • Requires regular maintenance for the pivot mechanism and counterbalance system
_Vertical Pivot Gate

5. Bi-folding Gates

A bi-folding gate, consisting of two panels that fold back on themselves, offers swift access and requires less space than traditional swing gates. It can be used as a pedestrian swing gate or for vehicular traffic control.

Average Cost: These gates typically cost between $5,000 and $10,000, varying with design complexity and automation.


  • Fast opening and closing times reduce waiting for vehicular and pedestrian traffic
  • Space-efficient design is perfect for areas with limited clearance


  • More moving parts mean the potential for higher maintenance costs
  • Installation can be more involved, impacting initial setup time and cost
Automated Bi folding Gates

What’s A Security Gate?

A security gate is a critical component of a comprehensive security system, providing physical barriers that control access to residential, commercial, or industrial properties.

Depending on the application, the right security gate can range from simple manual barriers to sophisticated automatic gates integrated with access control systems.

Security gates effectively restrict unauthorized entries and play a vital role in safeguarding people, property, and sensitive areas against potential threats.

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How Much Do Security Gates Cost?

Manual Gate

Manual gates are the simplest security gates, requiring physical effort to open and close. Manual gates range from $500 for basic designs to over $5,000 for more elaborate, custom-fabricated wrought iron gates.

Installation costs for manual gates are typically lower, ranging from $200 to $1,000, depending on the complexity of the installation and the need for additional hardware like posts or supports.

Incidental costs may include enhancements like a pedestrian gate or added security features, which can add a few hundred dollars to the total price.

Electric Gate

Electric gates offer convenience and enhanced security features. They operate automatically with mechanisms like remote controls, keypads, or access control systems.

The cost for electric gates starts at around $2,000 and can go up to $10,000 or more for high-end models with advanced features. Installation costs for electric gates are higher due to the complexity of integrating electrical components and access control systems, typically ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.

Incidental costs for electric gates can include power supply setup, backup power solutions, and regular maintenance to ensure smooth operation, potentially adding thousands to the initial investment, especially for sophisticated access control integrations.

Also read:

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Security Gate

Access Control System

Integrating an access control system [1] is pivotal for enhancing your gate’s functionality and security level. This system can range from simple remote controls and keypads to sophisticated biometric systems and smartphone applications.

Selecting the right access control system depends on the required security level, the number of users, and the ease of management. Systems that offer detailed access logs and customizable user permissions might be necessary for high-security areas like industrial facilities or commercial properties.

In contrast, a simpler system could suffice for residential properties. Compatibility between the gate mechanism (a swing gate, sliding gate, or vertical lift gate) and the access control system is essential for smooth operation.

Traffic & Speed

Consideration of the traffic flow and the speed at which the gate operates are crucial for maintaining efficient access and minimizing bottlenecks.

Unlike slide gates, the bi-folding gate or vertical lift gate are suited for high-traffic areas due to their quick opening and closing times, which help manage vehicular and pedestrian traffic efficiently.

On the other hand, traditional swing or sliding gates might be more appropriate for areas with lower traffic volumes or where the speed of entry and exit is less critical.

For commercial gates serving busy or industrial facilities, selecting a gate with a faster operational speed can significantly impact daily productivity and traffic flow.

Available Space

The physical space available at the gate installation site determines the type of security gate you can install. Swing gates require a significant amount of clear space to operate effectively, making them less suitable for compact areas.

Sliding or vertical gates, which move horizontally or rotate vertically, are more space-efficient gate designs and can be installed in areas with limited space. For properties with uneven ground or obstructions, cantilever gates offer a solution that requires no ground track, making them versatile for various terrains.

Considering the gate’s footprint and the space required for its mechanism and opening can help ensure that the chosen gate fits well within the property’s layout without hindering functionality or traffic flow.

Best Practices For Using Security Gates

Implementing security gates requires adherence to best practices that ensure optimal functionality, security, and longevity. Here are key considerations:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Conduct routine inspections and maintenance to keep the gate operational. Check for wear and tear, lubricate moving parts, and ensure electronic components function correctly.
  2. Integration with Other Security Measures: Enhance overall security by integrating gates with surveillance cameras, alarm systems, and access control technologies. A cohesive security system is more effective at deterring unauthorized access.
  3. Train Personnel: Ensure that staff are trained on the proper use and emergency procedures related to the security gate. Knowledge of access control systems and troubleshooting minor issues can prevent security lapses.
  4. Secure Entry and Exit Points: In addition to installing the gate, secure all potential entry points to the property, including pedestrian paths and secondary vehicular access points, with appropriate barriers and controls.
  5. Consider Emergency Access: Design gate systems that allow first responders emergency access. It may involve integrating override mechanisms or providing access codes to local emergency services.

Commercial vs. Residential Gates

The choice between commercial and residential security gates hinges on several factors, including traffic volume, security needs, and available space.

Commercial gates often require robust materials and designs, such as overhead slide gates, barrier arms, or cantilever gates, to accommodate heavy vehicular traffic and higher security demands.

Commercial gates will also be integrated with advanced access control systems to manage multiple users and provide detailed access logs.

Residential gates, on the other hand, might prioritize aesthetics alongside security, with options like wrought iron gates or pedestrian swing gates being popular choices.

Residential gates typically cater to lower traffic volumes and focus more on controlling access and enhancing property value. Space-efficient designs and gate automation are common features that add convenience and safety to residential properties.

Who Needs Commercial Security Gates?

Commercial security gates are essential for a variety of entities looking to protect their premises, manage access, and ensure the safety of assets and personnel. It includes industrial security gates for industrial facilities, which benefit from the robustness of vertical pivot gates and the space efficiency of cantilever slide gates.

Educational and healthcare facilities and other public institutions utilize commercial security gates for their robust security features and ability to manage large volumes of pedestrian and vehicular traffic efficiently. These entities prioritize gates that can withstand high usage while offering reliable control over who can enter and exit the premises.

Moreover, commercial properties, including office buildings and warehouses with transportation terminals, require security gates to protect assets, control access, and ensure employee safety.

Commercial security gates for these applications often integrate with comprehensive security systems, including CCTV [2] and alarm systems, to provide a multi-layered security approach.

Lastly, gated communities and high-end residential complexes may also opt for commercial-grade gates to offer residents the highest security level. These gates often feature advanced access control systems, such as keycards or biometric readers, to restrict access to authorized individuals only.

How Much Does It Cost To Install Commercial Gates?

The cost to install commercial security gates can vary widely depending on the type of gate, materials, size, and the complexity of the installation.

On average, businesses spend between $5,000 and over $30,000. This range includes simpler manual gates at the lower end and advanced, custom-designed automatic security gates with integrated access control systems at the higher end.

Additional costs for commercial gate installation may include:

  • Site preparation.
  • Electrical work for automatic gates.
  • Integration with existing security systems.

For precise estimates, consider your property’s specific needs and consult with professionals.


What type of gate is most secure?

Sliding and vertical pivot gates, especially those with integrated access control systems, are considered among the most secure due to their sturdy construction and difficult-to-breach mechanisms.

What are pedestrian security gates?

Pedestrian gates are designed to control foot traffic in a secured area. These gates range from simple swing gates to sophisticated gates integrated with access control technologies.

How wide should a security gate opening be?

The width of a security gate opening should be based on the type of traffic it needs to accommodate. For vehicular access, a minimum width of 12 feet is recommended for single lanes and wider for commercial or emergency access.

What are the best gates for security?

The best gates for security are those that match the specific needs of a property, including vertical pivot gates for quick access, sliding gates for space efficiency, and bi-folding gates for rapid opening in high-traffic areas.

Key Takeaways

Choosing the right commercial security gate involves understanding your property’s specific needs, including traffic flow, space availability, and desired level of security.

Whether you opt for a robust vertical pivot gate, a space-saving sliding gate, or a quick-operating bi-folding gate, integrating your choice with an appropriate access control system enhances security and efficiency. Remember, the effectiveness of a security gate also depends on regular maintenance and proper use.

Ready to enhance your property’s security with the right gate? Contact us today for a free consultation. Our team of experts will help you assess your needs and recommend the best security solutions.

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  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/computer-science/access-control-system
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/social-sciences/closed-circuit-television-camera

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