Types of Sliding Bolts Explained

Sliding bolts is a broad term used to describe bolts that are used to lock doors and gates. The bracket housing the sliding bolt itself is secured to the gate or door in question and a staple that receives the bolt when it slides across is secured next to the entryway or on an adjoining door at the same level horizontally.

This definition can be applied to all of the different types of sliding bolts that we stock at Bolts.co.uk and many others, however there are specific features of each type that make them better suited to different applications.


Tower bolts are the most popular type of sliding bolt, especially when it comes to outdoor applications. Their medium-duty nature makes them perfect for use on garden gates, shed doors, outdoor storage boxes and more. All of our tower bolts are manufactured from high quality steel, making them resistant to natural weathering, rust and corrosion. We supply tower bolts in a range of finishes including galvanised, black and bright zinc plated, as well as a necked option.


Barrel bolts are essentially a light-duty alternative to tower bolts that are more often used on indoor applications such as bathroom or toilet doors due to their more sleek and compact design. Other places that barrel bolts are commonly used include on doors for bedrooms, home offices as well as indoor gates for keeping young children or pets out of certain areas of the house. All of our barrel bolts are made from brass, with a chrome plated option available as well as a necked version.


Pad bolts are amongst the highest security options when it comes to sliding bolts. These bolts are similar to tower bolts; however, they feature a U-shaped bar on the sliding portion of the bolt where a padlock can be attached. They are often used to secure gates and sheds containing expensive equipment, protecting them from potential thieves. We stock steel pad bolts in black and BZP finishes as well as an oval pad bolt.


Necked bolts are an option in both our tower and barrel bolt ranges and are specifically designed to be used on doors and gates where the door or gate is not flush with the frame surrounding it. This is made possible by the fact that the sliding portion of the bolt curves outwards at the end, allowing the fitter to twist the sliding bolt by the handle in order to find the perfect position to fit the staple into the frame.

If you require any assistance or have any unanswered questions about sliding bolts, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our friendly team!