Folding Gates: A Primer

Last updated Thursday, October 19th, 2023

Steel folding gates are used at various sites to secure areas such as hallways, doors, or entranceways.  They are sometimes referred to as “scissor gates” or “accordion gates” due to their look and the way they expand and contract.  With folding gates, one has the ability to close or lock off an area, while maintaining visibility into the area, and air circulation throughout that area.

High-quality gates will be manufactured from galvanized steel.  There are six main styles of folding security gates:

Portable Folding Gate

These scissors-style gates rest on three wheels so that the collapsed gate can roll easily to wherever it is to be utilized.  This gate can span openings of up to 12 feet, and locks to the walls with a padlock and hasp arrangement.

Single Fixed Folding Gates

This gate is commonly used for standard openings, such as patio doors, garages, and industrial and commercial sites.  It can cover openings of up to 12 feet. The gate is mounted into the floor.  Vertical gate rails mount and pivot the gate completely out of the opening.

Double Fixed Folding Gates

Double fixed gates generally combine two single gates, with the gates locking in the middle with the use of a standard padlock.  They will cover openings of up to 24 feet.  These gates can pivot 180 degrees.  A top bracket keeps the gate secure at the top while a center drop pin provides maximum protection at the bottom of the gate.

Folding Door Gates

Folding door gates will attaché to any doorway and cover openings up to 4 feet wide. Door gates can be installed on the left or right side of the door, either in the casing of the door or outside the door.

Pressure Lock Folding Gates

These gates are also on wheels and are designed to fit corridors from 3 feet to 18 feet wide.  They roll easily from location to location.  Each carriage of the gate is fitted with ball bearing swivel casters.

Low Portable Folding Gates

Each unit of these short (four-foot-high) gates seals off an area up to 12 feet.  Lightweight and easy to move (via wheels), they are specifically designed to secure areas during maintenance, cleaning or service work.  Low gates can be connected to one another to form lines, perimeters, or corners of any length.  In most cases, low gates are powder coated in yellow and black.

Additional details

Most experienced suppliers of steel folding security gates offer a wide variety of color choices, as gates can be custom painted to match a site’s color scheme.  Hardware, such as locking bars, drop pins, casters, and gate handles should also be available as replacement parts.

Each of the gate styles discussed above is generally easy to install, but the supplier should provide detailed instructions. No special tools are required, but set-up and tear-down instructions will vary somewhat for each style of gate.

Before Buying

Before ordering a folding security gate, carefully measure the area in which your gate will be used, so that you select the proper size (considering both height and width).  Also, determine your need for hardware such as L brackets or floor anchors.


Folding security gates, made of steel, provides an economical way to secure hallways, rooms, doors, or other areas.  In contrast to a closed-door, gates allow visibility into the blocked area, as well as ventilation.  Various styles of gates can cover (either individually or by combining units) openings of nearly any size.

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