What is a tube latch? The name tube latch is associated with door handles and door levers.
The Tubular Latch is a very commonly used item and is a cornerstone of modern ironmongery. Many of your doors will have a tube latch mechanism be it latch or lock. Without a latch you could not keep your door closed. A tube latch is very important in the operations of your door handles.
A tube latch will come in a number of shapes, sizes, and variations.
Typically, the tube latch (view product) it is manufactured with a mild steel latch-body with a short faceplate, a brass or steel tongue, and an 7.6 or 8mm spindle follower. The follower is the square hole where the spindle joining the door handles passes through the latch.
The Tubular Latch is a simple closing device commonly used on internal doors where no lock is needed. In addition the tube latch will come with either a 'D' strike shown above, or a 'T' strike shown below.
The Tubular Mortice Latch is an evolution from a Mortice Lock, downsized so that it can be fitted with much less effort, and with minimal drilling and cutting to the door required.
There are several levels of quality available in a Tubular Latch, ranging from standard to heavy duty architectural quality.
Standard Tube Latch
The standard Tubular Latches are suitable for light use only and are commonly used by house builders and tradesmen. They will work with most standard sprung lever handles. Lesser quality latches however after some amount of use, may begin to squeak and scratch, and may ultimately fail.
A latch has a spring or in some cases two srpings that allow operation. A single spring latch can be heavy or light.
If you press the tounge of the latch in with your thumb, it may be easy or it may be hard. If it is easy then the actual load will be on the spindle follower which may be standard soft sprung or heavy sprung. You will know when you try and turn the spindle follower with a lever.
When the latch tounge is hard to push in, then a heavy spring is in place. This latch may use the one heavy spring or it could use two. One for the latch and one for the spindle follower.
Double Srung Latch
The Double Sprung Latch is built with far superior components to the single spring soft latches. The term 'Double Sprung' means that the latch has a separate soft spring for the tongue action, allowing a gentle closing action to the door. The spindle follower works on a separate spring with a heavy action, to ensure that heavy levers and unsprung door knobs are always returned to the horizontal position. It also has a wide range of sizes which make it the ideal choice for fitting door handles or knobs.
All latches will come with a Strike Plate, but not all come with a black plastic Dust Box to neaten the appearance and conceal unsightly chisel marks into the door frame. The Strike Plate has a small adjustable plate that ensures that the Latch Tongue is held securely. These are only little details, but make all the difference!
Heavy Sprung Latch
The Heavy Sprung Architectural Tubular Latch is the strongest latch in our range. There are several heavy sprung latches that vary from strength to strength.
What you need to know is that the heavier the srpring the more strength it takes to turn the knob or leaver. With a lever you have leaverage to pull down the leaver But with a knob it is much harder as there is no leaverage. Not every handle needs a heavy sprung latch.
The heavy sprung latch closes very softly but has a more powerful spring to return the handle or knob.
This is ideal when fitting handles or knobs that are unsprung, and particularly useful when using exceptionally heavy hardware, such as solid stainless steel levers or solid brass or bronze door knobs.
Some levers and knobs are not self sprung. That is they do not come with a spring mechanism. These type of handles work off the latch or lock. Some unsprung handles are quite heavy and will require heavy duty sprung latches and locks.
Split Cam Tube Latch
Split cam tube latches allow independent operation of each door lever when used in conjunction with a split spindle. They can also be used with regular spindles. In some situations it is necesary to allow a lever to work independantly of the other, i.e. privacy lever on a toilet door.
Tube latch dimensions
Tube Latch Backset
The standard tube latch backset is 60mm (or 57mm depending on the thickness of the face plate). Most standard door handle settings are based on a 60mm back set. The other standard though not so common is the 45mm backset tube latch. You will find these in older houses. Not so common in todays door handle set.
Older homes may have a 127mm backset tube latch. They still exist on older doors. Occasionaly you will come across a 70mm backset tube latch. Not so common today but still in use.
If a mortice latch has been used then the backset can be as little as 25mm with 5mm increments to 70mm backset. Not common but have been used for various situations and doors.
If you need a replacement tube latch or are looking for that something a little different and you need advice on which tube latch is best for your door handles, please ask us. We are here to help.