The movement of the pawl of a latch into the latched/unlatched position.

Generally the handle or the part of a latch that rotates or slides the pawl (retainer) into its locked/unlocked position.

Actuator - Hex Socket
One of a type of actuator that requires a hex shaped tool to rotate the latch pawl into locked/unlocked position.

For latches or door handles: having the ability to adapt to varying panel thicknesses. For Hinges: having multi-positional capability, having the ability to regulate/dampen the opening/closing speed, and/or having the ability to regulate the amount of gasket compression around the door or frame.

Adjustable Compression Hinge
A hinge that has the ability to regulate amount of gasket compression around a door frame.

Adjustable Draw Latch
A latch and/or door handle having: a) the ability to adapt to varying panel thicknesses (usually by changing the latch pawl position), or b) the ability to regulate the amount of gasket compression around a door frame.

Adjustable Grip Latches
A latch having: a) the ability to adapt to varying panel thicknesses, b) ability to regulate amount of gasket compression around a door frame.

Adjustable Hinges
A hinge that has ability to regulate (dampen) opening/closing speed and/or has multi-positional capability.

Average Ultimate Load
The load that causes failure or excessive deformation which renders the product inoperable.

Bail Head (Stud)
Type of stud (1/4 turn) in which the head has a supplemental ring (bail) attached. The bail ring is used for ease of manipulating the stud. The bail can pivot into a flat, out-of-way position.

Base Plate
Generally referred to as the latch mounting plate. It can be riveted or screw mounted to the panel. May also refer to the portion of a latch assembly that houses or holds the latch body.

A reciprocating plate on rotary type, tension, or over-center draw latches that, when combined with a stationary catch plate (keeper), provides tensional clamping forces to draw and hold panels or objects securely, while offering vibration resistance.

Typically refers to a type of installation in which the fastener is not viewable from the far side of the mounting panel after it has been installed. May also apply in situations where a fastener is installed without access to the back side of panel. This is considered a "blind hole" installation.

Blind Hole
A type of panel preparation in which the mounting hole does not extend through the mounting panel. Used for "blind" fastener application.

Blind Riveting
An application in which a DRIVE RIVET is used to retain a thin panel to a thick panel by means of installing into a BLIND HOLE in the thick panel.

Break-away Load
The minimum load required to break the latching force between door and its door frame.

Built-in Drag Feature
An integral mechanism that creates frictional retention without having to apply supplementary external forces. It prevents "backlashing" "sudden unexpected release" or "flopping" of latch and/or door.

Used in "Swell Latches". The rubber gasket that expands radially to close off the inner panel hole, while drawing inner and outer panels together.

Being retained in the panel after installation, and during and after use.

Captive Screw Fastener
A type of fastener whose components are retained in the outer panel when the threaded portion is unfastened from mating component.

A component of the latch arrangement that provides for latch pawl retention.

Catch, Magnetic
A type of flat latch plate that provides a means of magnetic attraction, allowing a magnetic-type latch to retain a door or panel in the closed position.

The center of a fastener, the center of a rotating locking mechanism, or center location of mounting hole(s) in installation panel.

Clamping Force
The force exerted by a latch to draw two panels together. Also called PULL-UP FORCE.

Pre-set positioning feature that allows a fastener or hinge to rotate into fractional positions and is able to hold a panel or door in the full/partial opened position. Also called DETENT.

A term used to describe a rivet's ability to grasp joined mating panels as it is installed, providing a solid joint.

Compression Latch
A latch that performs two sequential functions: a) the pawl first swings into the latching position behind the door frame by turning the latch handle, knob or head, and b) then draws the pawl towards the frame, compressing the door frame gasket and/or door panel against door frame with additional turn(s) of the latch head. The amount of compression applied an be fixed or adjustable.

Concealed Keeper
A type of keeper, offered on a variety of draw-latches that remains concealed behind latch handle when latch is fully engaged.

Cup/Cup Latch
An adjustable or compression latch with a cupped face plate that allows the actuation handle to lie in the recessed area. It provides a flush appearance without any protruding parts.

Dampened Door Swing
The closing rate of a door/panel is controlled, such that door will close gradually versus slamming shut. An adjustable hinge with frictional or BUILT-IN DRAG feature can provide this.

A pre-set internal positioning feature that allows a fastener or hinge to rotate into fractional positions and/or to hold panel(s) or door(s) in full/partial opened position. Also used to indicate full open/closed position of some latching mechanisms. In hinges, also called HOLD OPEN FEATURE.

Door Thickness Range
The minimum/maximum door thickness required between the latching mechanism and retaining pawl that will allow for effective latching and retention.

Door-retaining Spring
A Southco latch that consists of a rotating, heavy gauged, helical spring that forms a mechanical means of retaining and/or locking a panel or door in the opened or closed position.

Drive Recess
A recessed configuration (Hex, Slotted, Phillips, Lobed, TORX®, Toolhead® etc.) in the head of a latch and/or fastener that requires a specially designed tool to install, remove or operate the product.

Dust and Moisture Seal
A cap or gasket that is used to prevent dust and moisture from entering into latch components.

Effective Rod Length
For 2- and 3-point latching: the predetermined length of actuation rod(s) that will provide for equally applied latching forces at all points of a 2 point, 3 point, rod and roller, or remote compression latching system.

Ejector Spring
Spring used in Retractable or SPRING EJECTED type fasteners. It enables the screw thread to fully retract from the mating panel.

EMI/RFI Shielding
The capability to reduce the transmission of electromagnetic or radio energy into or out of an enclosure.

The portion of a cabinet that provides storage area. Also refers to the portion of a cabinet surrounding the door frame.

The state where the pawl or retaining mechanism of a latch is rotated into position such that full retention of door or panel is achieved.

Environmental Gasketing
Gasketing designed to prevent leakage of environmental elements (i.e. dust, moisture, etc).

Generally a protective plate (metal or plastic) that surrounds the key-lock portion of a latch. Sometimes used for decorative purposes to cover mounting screws on the face of a door/panel. Also called Escutcheon Plate.

On Captive or retractable screws, the part that houses the screw body, and is captivated to the panel during installation. Also called "Stand off".

Fixed Keeper
Available with the Hidden Panel Latching System. The keeper has a fixed keeper stud mounted on it. It allows for only minimal panel/door misalignment. This style of keeper is intended for lift-off panel application.

Fixed Knuckle
The knuckle that is mounted in the stationary position (on the door frame) is referred to as the "fixed knuckle" and is generally the half having the pin on which the mating knuckle pivots. The location where the "fixed knuckle" is mounted is referred to as the "fixed position".

The raised edge surrounding the latch cup (that houses the latch body) that forms a collar for retaining the latch against the door/panel when latch is installed in its mounting hole.

Flare-in Installation (Generally for Captive Screw Fasteners):
The procedure for installing fastener into a hole having a radially flared (countersink) edge. A special back-up tool must be used to secure the fastener in the hole by flaring the ferrule (stand-off) behind the panel.

Flat Pawl
The pawl has a flat (no curvature) on the working end.

The term used to define the ability to move freely within a constrained area or feature (i.e. hole) and is used to allow for panel misalignment.

Floating Installation (Generally for Captive Screw Fasteners):
The procedure for installing fastener into a hole with a special back-up tool. Fastener ferrule (stand-off) is secured in the panel while the threaded stud is able to float radially. This allows for misalignment of inner and outer panel holes.

Floating Keeper
Available with the Hidden Panel Latching System. This keeper has an oversized keeper stud mounting hole and special "u-bent" washer designed to assist panel/door misalignment. This style of keeper is intended for hinge-type panel application.

Not extending beyond the surface of panel or door enclosure.

Fractional Turn Fasteners
A fastener similar to 1/4 turn fasteners, except that it uses a two-part cam (stationary and moving) and a rubber sleeve (bushing). When the moving cam is rotated along the stationary cam by turning the stud, it compresses and radially expands the rubber sleeve thereby closing off the inner panel hole and drawing the inner and outer panels together. The rate of "fractional turn" is determined by panel thicknesses, in a through-hole application, and, by the diameter of the hole in the inner panel of a blind hole application.

Enclosure surrounding an access panel or door.

Fully-retracting Stud Assembly
Having the capability to retract the threaded portion of a fastener (stud) away from the mating panel by means of an internal spring, while retaining the fastener to the mounted panel. Generally relates to captive type screw or nut. Also called SPRING EJECTED stud.

Spatial distance between two mating components.

A ring, strip, or sheet of rubber, metal, or other material, that when used under applied pressure, will seal off gas, fluid, dust, etc. Also called O-RING.

The nominal total panel thickness for which a fastener is to be used. (This is usually customer defined).

Grip Length
The effective length in terms of screw thread engagement, screw length, stud length, rivet shank length, etc., that will accommodate a defined panel thickness range and provide for effective latching or panel retention.

Grip Range
The minimum/maximum distance between the latching mechanism and retaining panel as defined by amount of pawl travel that will allow for proper latching and retention. May also be called PANEL THICKNESS RANGE.

Guide/Guide Bracket
A component part of a 2-point, 3-point, remote, or rod and roller compression system that guides the actuation rods through a linear motion to provide equal compression at all latching points. Also referred to as Rod Guide.

Hidden Panel-latch System
A slam-action panel latch system. The entire latching mechanism and system components are installed on the inside of a door panel, leaving a clean, unblemished outer surface panel.

Hinge - Door-positioning Hinge
A Hinge that has special DETENT feature which allows it to hold a door open in a variety of preset positions.

Hinge - Lift-off Hinge
Any of a variety of hinges that allows for easy removal of a door from a cabinet, without having to remove the mounted hinge(s). The same hinge components can also be installed in the inverted position so as not to permit "lift-off" feature.

Hinge -Free-swinging Hinge
A hinge that allows door to swing freely with no hindrance.

Hole Plug
A device generally made of plastic or other synthetic material, used for closing or sealing off recessed or through-holes in a panel. (Used extensively in appliance applications)

Generally referring to the "body" portion of a latch assembly that holds the internal actuating components.

In-line Style Hinge Knuckle Mounting
Type of hinge mounting where the door is flush against or in-line with the door frame.

Insertion Force
Also referred to as INSTALLATION FORCE, it is the initial force required to properly install a fastener.

The means by which a fastener, hinge, captive screw, etc. is affixed to the door, frame, or panel.

Jam Nut
For latch applications, it is generally a hex nut threaded onto the actuation shaft and positioned on one or both sides of pawl. It restrains the pawl from linear or axial movement along the shaft, and secures panel retention.

Keeper/Keeper Plate
The mating component in a draw latch arrangement that creates tension against the latching rod, plate, or spring to provide retaining function.

Key-actuated Operated
Any latching arrangement requiring a key (or special tool) to perform latching/unlatching operations and/or retain latch in locked position.

Built-in latch feature that provides for security. A key is required to unlock and rotate latch mechanism.

Each of two mating halves of a "Lift-off" or "Compression" type hinge. Generally referred to as either the "upper" or "lower" knuckle.

An external surface feature consisting of a series of small projections or ridges applied to a screw head or knob to provide a means for gripping or holding the part.

Latches-Draw Latch
Any of a variety of latches that is designed to draw and hold two panels together.

Latches-Flexible Latch
Refers to a draw-type latch in which the main component is manufactured from rubber or elastomer material. Generally designed for use in applications where vibration isolation or panel misalignment is of concern.

Latches-Flush Latch
A latch designed to have minimal or no protrusion from the face of the mounting panel.

Latches-Paddle Latch
A latch having a flat, flip-out handle feature for actuating the latch.

Latches-Remote Latch
A latching system where the latching forces are exerted at some arbitrary distance from the actuator. This applies to single and multi-point latching systems.

Latches-Slam Action Latch
A type of latch that requires handle actuation to open and pushing or slamming of the door to close.

Latching Rod
The adjustable part of an adjustable draw latch that provides the reach in the unlatched position and draw-up tension in latched position.

A major component that makes up one half of a fixed-hinge arrangement. One hinge generally has two of them.

A single-piece latch handle having an "L" shaped configuration.

Lift-off Panel
Refers to a panel/door set up in a removable configuration.

Material and Finish
The base (primary) material used in the product and any supplementary coating (i.e. zinc chromate, chrome, black oxide, etc.) applied to provide protection from moisture, rust, etc. and to enhance product appearance. The internally or externally threaded hole designed to mate with a threaded stud having the same thread diameter and thread pitch.

Maximum Work Load
The maximum recommended load at which the product continues to function properly.

Having incorrect alignment between mating features.

Mounting Options-Concealed Mounting
Type of mounting where the latching mechanism and mounting hardware are concealed behind the panel. (Example: Hidden-Panel Latch)

Mounting Options-Edge Mounting
Type of mounting associated with installing the latching mechanism on the edge of the mating panels. (Example: Butt-Joint Panel Fastener)

Mounting Options-Face Mounting
Type of mounting associated with mounting latching mechanism on the front or face of the panel. Typical for most latching applications.

Mounting Options-Flush Mounting
Situation in which mounting hardware is affixed where panels are flush or in-line.

Mounting Options-Side Mounting
Type of mounting where the latching mechanism and keeper are mounted on the backside of connecting panels and not are viewable from front of cabinet. (Example: Butt-Joint Panel Fastener)

Mounting Options-Single-Hole Mounting
Type of mount where complete mounting of the latching mechanism or access hardware is performed in a ssingle hole in panel face.

Offset Door
Condition where the door is not positioned flush against, or in-line with, the mating door frame. A hinge arrangement using an "offset style mounting" would be used for this type of application.

Offset Knuckle Style Hinge Mounting
Type of hinge mounting used to accommodate most instances where the door is not positioned flush against or in-line with the door frame.

Operation/Actuation Force
The ergonomically designed force required to effectively operate or actuate a latch or fastener from the"open-to-closed" or "unfastened-to-fastened" position.

A circular gasket generally made of natural or synthetic rubber compound, that is used for sealing applications to prevent entry and/or leaking of fluids, air, moisture, dust, etc.

P.C. Board Installation (Generally for Captive Screw Fasteners):
Applies to installing a fastener into p.c. boards. Generally uses PRESS-IN installation.

Panel Preparation
Suggested layout of mounting holes for proper latch installation into panel, door, enclosure, etc.

Panel Thickness Range
The minimum/maximum distance between the latching mechanism and retaining panel as defined by amount of pawl travel that will allow for proper latching and retention. May also be called GRIP RANGE.

The rotary feature that provides door/panel retention when actuated into position. In some cases, this feature also provides gasket compression. Generally has either straight or offset configuration and has linear adjustability along rotating shaft to accommodate a variety of panel thicknesses.

Pawl Indicator
A marking or other indicator on a latch knob that indicates the position and/or the opened or closed status of the latching mechanism and/or pawl.

Pawl, Curved
The pawl has a concave/convex curvature on the working end.

Relating to a type of fastener capable of being installed in a slightly undersized hole using minimal force.

Press-in Installation (Generally for Captive Screw Fasteners):
The procedure for installing a fastener into a slightly undersized hole in the panel by means of mechanical press.

Product Class
Southco's identification of the family of latch, fastener, or other access hardware. The first two characters of the part number define the "product class".

A kind of access hardware with features such as a handle or finger pull used in opening cabinet doors, drawers, etc. Varieties include one-piece units and latch/pull combinations.

Pull Tab
A supplemental component that integrates the latch mechanism and a pull handle in a latch arrangement.

Pull-up Action
The mechanical advantage provided by a latch in drawing two panels together. The action can be in a linear, co-planer, perpendicular, or axial form.

Pull-up Force
The force exerted by a latch to draw two panels together. Also referred to as CLAMPING FORCE.

Quick-opening Captive Screw
A screw type fastener with a square profile thread that allows the fastener to engage and disengage a panel or receptacle with only a few turns.

The mating part that accepts a 1/4-Turn stud and provides for positive fastening. Note: This is a critical feature when designing in a 1/4-Turn fastener.

Recommended Mounting Direction
The suggested spacing or location of hole(s) to install a latch assembly or latch and keeper arrangement, in order to ensure proper latch operation and performance. (Note: This is suggested information only. Actual mounting hole location may vary depending on customer's specific application, but may affect actual latch performance.)

Reversed Keeper
One of several keeper plate options available on Over-Center draw latches, where the mounting hole position is reversed from traditional keeper styles, so that the mounting hardware is concealed by the latch blade

Right-Angled Keeper
A keeper bracket having an "L" shaped configuration such that the retaining mechanism is positioned 90 degrees to the door panel and frame.

Rivet-Drive Rivet
A type of fastener, generally installed with a hammer or pneumatic tool to drive the pin into the shank of the rivet. Generally used for retaining thin or thick walled panels together.

Secondary Catch
A device on draw-type latches that provides supplementary locking for added security.

Self Adjusting
Able to adjust the latching mechanism and maintain retention capability without mechanical means of adjustment (i.e. wrenching, screwing, etc.). This is usually accomplished by natural decompression of internally compressed spring.

Separation Line
A line of reference for the designer, where mating surfaces (i.e. base/lid, case/lid, cover/base, door/frame) exist. This line correlates the panel separation to the recommended latch mounting location.

The rod-shaped component found in most compression-type and draw-type latches that provides latch actuation. The shaft also provides for linear and axial positioning of the latch pawl.

Snap-in Installation (Generally for Captive Screw Fasteners):
The procedure for installing a fastener into a through-hole in the panel. The fastener is secured in panel by a lip feature on the ferrule that snaps in place when fully installed in panel.

Spring Ejected
Having the capability to retract the threaded portion of a (usually captive screw) fastener away from the mating panel by means of an internal spring.

Spring Loaded
Having a spring installed into the assembled unit where latching force is provided by natural decompression of the compressed spring. Used in spring-loaded plunger, slam latches.

Steady State Clamp Force
A known constant force (tensile or compression) applied to the product over a specified length of time.

Stud Ejector
A spring-action mechanism designed to separate a stud from its receptacle, ferrule, or panel.

Swell Latch
A compression-type latch with a rubber bushing that, when the handle is actuated, expands radially to close off the inner panel hole while drawing the inner and outer panels together. Features include: a) thin, thick and blind wall applications, b) accommodates misalignment between door and frame, and c) has excellent vibration resistance characteristics.

Tab, finger grip
A protruding feature that provides a pull and a gripping surface to ease opening and closing of door/panel.

Tamper Resistant Access
An application in which a specific tool or key is required to actuate a latch. In tamper-resistant rivet applications, it can indicate evidence of tampering.

A type of handle having a "T"-shape configuration that provides a more positive grip for rotary actuation.

A single-piece handle having a "T"-shaped configuration

Thread-in Installation (Generally for Captive Screw Fasteners):
The procedure for installing a threaded fastener into a hole with mating thread.

Tightening Torque
The maximum recommended torque to be applied to the mounting hardware (i.e. nuts, jamnuts, mounting screws, etc.). Tightening torque should not exceed recommended values, or latch damage/failure may occur.

Toggle Action
Feature on Over-center and Under-center draw latches that mechanically identifies full positive latching condition.

Tool Secured
An application where the latch retains the door/panel in a locked state. A specific tool (or key) is required to unlock the latch.

Refers to a fastener/latch that requires a specific tool (or key) to mates with the drive recess in the fastener head or latch handle in order to perform latching and unlatching operations.

Total Material thickness
Combined or total thickness of mating panel(s); panel, frame, gasket, and gap.

Two / three point latching system
A latching arrangement having latching and/or compression capabilities in two or three areas of a door and frame. Assembly generally includes actuator rods and an operating latch.

Type A/Type B
Generally describes right- or left-handed operation and/or installation of latches or hinges.

Ultimate Shear Strength
Forces exerted in opposite directions as in a cutting action, which renders the product inoperable.