Southco Resource Center

We hope you find something interesting to read, watch and share.

What is a Draw Latch?

What is a Draw Latch?

At its core, a draw latch is a type of latch used to hold two surfaces together securely. It consists of two parts: a hook or clasp, and a keeper or catch. The hook is typically mounted on one surface, while the keeper is mounted on the other.

When the latch is actuated, the hook is inserted into the keeper and then pulled or "drawn" tightly against it. This creates a strong, secure connection between the two surfaces. The latch is then securely in place.

Draw latches are often used in applications where vibration or movement could cause a door, lid, or other panel to pop open. They can also be used to provide a tight seal between two surfaces, such as equipment enclosures or vehicle doors.

Draw latches come in a variety of sizes and styles, including over-center, adjustable, and rotary. Each of these styles can be made from a range of materials, such as steel, stainless steel, zinc alloy, and plastic, to suit all applications and environments.

Why would you select a Draw Latch?

A draw latch can be selected for a variety of reasons, depending on the specific application and requirements. Here are some common reasons why you might choose a draw latch:

High Strength

A draw latch provides a strong, consistent connection between two surfaces, which can be important in applications where panels need to endure vibration, shock, or the elements. To achieve this, Southco draw latches generate the forces necessary to compress gaskets and seal enclosures.

Vibration resistance

A draw latch can prevent doors, lids, or other panels from coming open due to vibration or movement, making it perfect for applications where enclosure contents could be damaged or lost in transit.


A draw latch don’t sacrifice convenience for strength. The latch can beeasily operated with one hand, which can be useful in applications where the other hand may be occupied or where speed is important.


Draw latches come in a variety of sizes and styles, which makes them suitable for a wide range of applications. They are available in several different materials and finishes to suit any environment.


A draw latch can provide a clean, streamlined appearance to the closure, as it does not require additional hardware or support.

Selecting a draw latch can provide a secure, convenient, and versatile solution for connecting two surfaces together, while also enhancing aesthetics and preventing damage or loss due to vibration or movement.

What are the different types of draw latches? 

When selecting a draw latch, there are several factors to consider based on your specific requirements. Southco’s product portfolio encompasses four types of draw latches suitable for a range of applications:

  • Over Center Draw Latches

    Over-Center Draw Latches

    Over-center draw latches  provide a strong, secure closure by using a pivoting lever that latches over a center point. They offer high tensile strength and can withstand vibration and shock, are easy to operate, and provide a tight seal. A variety of aesthetic and functional design options are available, suitable for a diverse range of environments.
  • Concealed Draw Latches

    Concealed Draw Latches

    Concealed Draw Latches can be mounted flush with a surface, and are designed to be hidden when the latch is closed, offering a sleek and streamlined look. They are also often corrosion-resistant and tamper-proof. Additionally, tool-actuated operation provides strong pull-up action to compress gaskets for airtight and watertight seal.

  • Rotary Draw Latches

    Rotary Draw Latches

    Rotary Draw Latches utilize a rotating cam that pulls the latch tight when rotated, creating a secure closure. They offer quick and easy operation, and are available in various materials and sizes. These latches provide high strength in low profile designs for a firm grip and consistent closure that resists accidental opening.

  • Flexible Draw Latches

    Flexible Draw Latches

    Flexible Draw Latches use a flexible material, such as rubber or elastomer, to provide tension and secure the latch. They are highly versatile, allowing for variations in the closure size and panel alignment, and are resistant to vibration, noise, and surface damage. Southco flexible draw latches use thermoplastic elastomer or rubber handles to provide flexibility, pull panels tight, reduce vibration, and maintain tension on the closed latch. Using non-corrosive materials, these latches are suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Concluding thoughts on Draw Latches?

Draw latches can be used in a wide range of applications where both quick and frequent access, and a moderate level of strength and compression are required.  A key advantage of draw latches is their ability to exert a strong and reliable holding force. This makes them suitable for use in applications where vibration or shock resistance is important. They are available in a wide range of sizes, styles, and materials to accommodate different door or panel thicknesses and to match different aesthetic requirements, allowing for greater tolerances between large panels.

When selecting a draw latch, it's important to consider factors such as the size and weight of the door or panel, the materials used in the latch and the operating environment, the level of strength required to hold the panel, and unique ergonomic or accessibility considerations. It's also important to choose a latch that is easy to install and adjust, and that provides reliable and consistent performance over time.

See Related Resources