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Product Overview: Rotary Draw Latch

Heavy-duty rotary draw latches are common in many industries, and they serve more purposes than you might think. If you’ve added a rotary draw latch from a supplier or manufacturers to your wish list, you can find more information below. Before long, you can have the confidence you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

In this article we will take a closer look at:

1. What is a Rotary Draw Latch?
2. How Does a Rotary Draw Latch Work?
3. Rotary Draw Latch Parts
     > The Latch
     > The Actuator
     > The Cable

4. Choosing The Right Rotary Draw Latch
5. Summary

What Is a Rotary Draw Latch?

A rotary draw latch is a mechanism that works for many applications with a catch and keeper on the same plane.

Rotary draw latches of various brands have rotating wings that operate mechanically to engage the latching point. Thanks to the addition of a cable, you can remotely open and close something without using physical force.

There are many different rotary action draw latches for sale, such as Southco rotary draw latches, the ever-popular K3 draw latch, or even K2, K4, and K5. They are also available as small or large latches, with different materials like steel and stainless steel that can be zinc-plated, powder-coated, or manufactured with a bright chromate finish.

If security is important to you, such as if your large rotary draw latch is on an interior or exterior door, you can purchase a rotary turn latch with access restrictions. These include key lockable latches and some with padlocks.

If you already have a latch and just need to buy a new rotary draw latch spring, you have ample options in this regard, too. There are at least three different spring options from which to choose, such as the kick-out spring, spring-loaded and riveted.

How Does a Rotary Draw Latch Work?

There are many different latch products and industrial hardware on the market, such as toggle latches, cam latches, t-handle latches, and even mini rotary draw latches, and you may not remember how each one functions.

Each rotary latching system has three parts: a rotary latch, an actuator, and the cable.

The rotary latch itself can be small, medium, large, or low profile with an exposed keeper, and it’s connected to the actuator by the cable. The actuator is what the operator would use to make the rotary draw latch catcher function.

If you’re struggling to envision how these three parts works, we’ll offer an easy example involving something you use in everyday life: the hood of your car. 

From the driver’s seat or a nearby area, you generally pull a lever to make the bonnet open. Helping it to open is the rotary draw latch that connects to your car’s hood by the hidden cable. When you pull the lever, you’re triggering the rotary latch, causing it to open.

You don’t need to rely on the lever to close your hood. You can push it down yourself, and some vehicles have magnet catch latches to do this as effectively as possible.

Rotary Draw Latch Parts

There are three primary rotary draw latch parts, which you will see for sale in any fasteners catalog, alongside hoses and toggle clamps.

The Latch

The latch component of rotary draw latches is essentially ‘the heart’ of rotary draw latches. They come in many sizes and strengths to suit various applications, and you can also choose single-stage or two-stage latches, depending on what you’re trying to open and how much security and peace of mind you prefer.

You might buy a single-stage rotary latch to close a door securely. However, if you need to prevent false-latching, you might purchase rotary draw latches with two-stage latches.

The Actuator

The actuator is the part of rotary draw latches that you will generally have the most contact with. This is what you will pull on or touch to cause a door or panel to open, so it needs to be made to suit the weight and strength of whatever needs to open.

Actuators being installed inside a car commonly have paddles, finger pulls, and push buttons. T-handles are also growing in popularity due to their ergonomic design for easy triggering of the latch.

The Cable

The cable links the actuator to the latch component, with the right-angle turn of a T-handle, the push of a button, or the pull of a lever allowing the rotary latch to open quickly.

These cables are protected with vinyl and are often manufactured with stainless steel for strength. The stainless steel also ensures that the cable is corrosion-resistant and doesn’t stretch, even after several thousand uses.   

Choosing the Right Rotary Draw Latch

Choosing the right rotary draw latch can be confusing, particularly when you see how many style and part options there are. However, you can consider a few options to ensure the checkout process goes a little smoother.

Firstly, decide if you require a single or two-stage latch. A two-stage latch can prevent false latching while also improving security and safety. For both interior and exterior applications, corrosion resistance is also a crucial consideration. Stainless steel is strong, stretch-resistant, and corrosion-resistant.

Even a rotary draw latch’s fitting can factor into the equation, including barrel fittings and eyelet fittings. Barrel fittings consist of L fittings and Z fittings. L fittings are used with a retaining clip and stop metal on metal contact, whereas Z fittings aren’t used with a retaining clip and tend to have less resistance.

If your rotary draw latch has a cable threaded through a hole, you may need eyelet fittings. These work with cylindrical mounting pins and other round hardware.


As useful as rotary draw latches can be for a number of applications, it’s not always easy finding one that suits your needs the best. If you need a helping hand choosing one for interior or exterior use, contact our friendly team. They will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.