Let me preface by saying that I'm not really looking for "shopping advice". I just need some direction on how to tackle this issue.

We recently purchased a house and it has a block fence around the back yard, with a side gate. The latch is facing the exterior so, I would like to put a lock on it. The issue is that the latch (located on the right side of the gate) is too close to the block to fit a standard lock through it. I've tried a few different kinds of locks and nothing seems to fit.

Any advice and/or direction would be appreciated.

UPDATE -- Photos added enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • How secure do you need it to be? A small luggage lock can probably fit in that small space. It won't be super secure, but since someone can just hop the fence if they really want in, that's probably not a big problem.
    – Johnny
    Jun 16, 2016 at 3:06
  • What does the other side of the gate look like? I say reverse the gate, and have it open from the other side, if there's more room over there.
    – Jasmine
    Jun 16, 2016 at 16:01

7 Answers 7


One option would be to drill holes through the post to allow you to use the lock that you have (or perhaps a slightly longer lock).

enter image description here

  • 4
    Depending on the size of the gap between the gate and the post, there may be no need to drill a holes at all.
    – Walker
    Jun 16, 2016 at 14:06

It would be fairly easy to retrofit a proper locking latch.

enter image description here

Product link (for reference only)

Here's one that locks from either side. You'd need to grind off the old one, drill for the new one, paint, and mount the new one.


There are cable locks that have a plain end to the cable that might fit through.

cable lock

You might have to file the hole a little bigger in the lock mechanism to allow the end of the cable to angle through.

There are also shorter cable locks, but they tend to have a beefier cable end that is captive within the locking mechanism.

 Images and links are for illustration only, not an endorsement of goods or sources.

if you could get it tight enough, you could attach the lock in other ways to keep the latch from lifting. did you try any of these configurations?

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • The second and third way wouldn't work very well. The 2nd way the lock can "pop off" the latch with a screw driver, the third way the latch can still be lifted enough if your not super careful. The first way though seems really good. The raise in the latch will keep the lock from popping off. At least not without the same amount of work as cutting the lock anyway.
    – coteyr
    Jun 16, 2016 at 15:00
  • i agree these options might or might not work in practice, but i am not confident either way without physically trying them (and trying to defeat them). Jun 16, 2016 at 15:09
  • in picture #2, you could try lifting the latch before attaching the lock, thereby making the lock body itself act as the latch, preventing the real latch from falling into place or the gate bolt from escaping. Jun 16, 2016 at 16:58

Maybe you can find an anvil padlock that would fit?

enter image description here


I would suggest reversing the lock. First the lock "should" be on the inside.

After that the peg part should be on the gate, and the latch part on the post, but because you need more room, put the latch part on the gate, and the peg part on the post.

It's not ideal because you will have a "peg part" sticking out into the walk through area, but it will make locking and useing the gate 100 times easier.

If you want to keep the lock on the outside, that's fine, just reverse the peg part and the latch part.

Currently they appear to be welded on. You will need to break that. A hammer and lever should do just fine. When re attaching just use metal screws. There's no need to weld. If you have a disk grinder then you can smooth out the left over welds after you break off the old latch. Either way, your going to have to buy a new latch.


Just buy a longer one that goes over the top and locks everything. You can get it in Ace Hardware for $7!

  • 5
    Please improve your answer by including a link to the device you're recommending, and describing in detail how it will solve the OP's problem. Thanks and welcome to the site!
    – Niall C.
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:13

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