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Metal Gates Direct - Choosing Between A Swinging And Sliding Gate

Choosing Between a Swinging and Sliding Gate

When it comes time to purchase a new gate for your property you will need to consider several factors that will help you decide whether a swing gates or a sliding gate will be the best option. In this guide, we will look at the functionality, security and space requirements of each type as well as giving you a better understanding of the way both gate styles operate.

Understanding Swinging and Sliding Gates

Swing Gates

This style of gate functions using hinges to allow the panel to “swing” open and closed. They can be opened either inwards or outwards as they essentially pivot around a supporting hinge. The 3 most common style of swing gate are single, double, and bi fold.

  • Single Gate: This is made up of one panel. The hinges are mounted on one side and the latch is fitted to the opposite side. They are generally used to secure small pedestrian entrances.
  • Double Gates: Typically made up of two equal size panels, both gates have hinges mounted to them and when they are closed, are held in place with a latch. They are perfect for wider application such as driveway entrances or where the swinging radius of a wide single gate would hinder its functionality.
  • Bi Fold Gates: Consisting of 4 panels, these gates fold back onto one another and are a great space saving solution for short driveways.

Double and single swing gate

bi folding gates

Sliding Gates

A sliding gate make efficient use of space on your property as it opens sideways and does not require any space for its swinging radius. They typically run along a track in the ground to ensure smooth operation.

sliding gate example designs

Comparing Styles


Swinging Gate

  • Easy to install and very affordable.
  • The single hinge systems of durable, robust and allow for ease of opening and closing.
  • Generally unsuitable for sloping ground or where an obstruction will block the path of its operation.

Sliding Gate

  • Ideal for use in entrances where space on either side is at a premium (due to no swinging radius been required).
  • To function correctly, they will need the ground to be level along the entire length of the entrance and its tracks at the side.
  • Installation is more complicated and time consuming and not suitable for DIY fitment.

Double metal swing gates


Swinging Gate

  • Provides a secure and affordable physical security barrier however they can be susceptible to high winds.
  • They deliver less resistance to forced entry.

Sliding Gate

  • Due to the sideways action, they can provide a high level of security and are difficult to force open.

Space Requirements

Swinging Gate

  • The gate needs space to swing open and closed. Whilst this is not an issue of 99% of installations, there are few locations where they may not be the best solution.

Sliding Gate

  • They are a great option for short or steep driveways or location where a swinging gate could not operate correctly.
  • They save space on the driveway as there is no inward and outward movement of the panel.

Choosing the Right Gate

Deciding on which gate type will best suit your individual requirements will depend upon the following:

  • Type of Property: Swinging gates are by far the most versatile design and will provide a timeless appearance at an affordable price. They are available in design to suit any property style and come in a wide range of common sizes. In comparison, a sliding gate is typically available in a lesser range of designs and unless you have sufficient space at the side of the opening, they are not able to function.
  • Space: If space is restricted or the driveway is steep, a sliding or bi fold swing gate is a good option. When spaces is unrestricted, either option will be equally as suitable and is then about personal choice.
  • Budget: Swing gates are very affordable and can be installed on a DIY. Comparatively, sliding gates will cost more (based on an opening of the same size) and need a professional to install them to ensure safe and proper functionality.


In conclusion, a swing gate is easier to install and less complex (meaning little can go wrong with it). In contrast, a sliding gate will deliver an efficient use of space but is more costly. So whether you are looking to enhance aesthetic appeal, increase security, or are looking for convenience of operation, either of these gate types would be a great investment. Ultimately though, your decision will be dictated by your specific needs, space constraints, personal preference and available budget.

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