I remember when my child was small. I had cabinet locks on the cabinets that contained dangerous items. The problem was, many times I would struggle to unlock them as well.
These days, magnetic locks are very popular. They are uncomplicated, and don’t show on the outside of your cabinet. You can also choose not to lock them, which is perfect when cooking meals.
How do Magnetic Cabinet Locks Work?
A magnetic cabinet lock works using a magnet, as the name suggests. The lock includes a flat plate, which is designed to catch the locking mechanism when its engaged, and the piece that contains the locking mechanism.
The locking mechanism contains a magnet. It has a piece on the top that will go up when the mechanism is engaged. This small piece catches on the flat plate. This allows the cabinet to close, but prevents it from opening.
When the magnetic key is applied to the outside of the cabinet, the magnet triggers the locking mechanism to lower. This allows the cabinet to open. This mechanism can be turned on or off.
Are magnetic locks any good?
Yes, magnetic locks are good. They have several benefits. You won’t ruin the aesthetic of your kitchen with this type, because the lock is hidden. When you need to unlock the cabinet, you’ll simply touch the magnetic key to the cabinet near the lock.
Some are more secure than others. Some are mounted with adhesive tape, while others screw into the cabinet.
The downside of magnetic locks is that they do require a key, which can be lost. The good news is you can purchase extra keys, and most cabinet lock sets have at least two keys.
How do you install magnetic locks on cabinets?
The good news is that installing a magnetic lock on your cabinet isn’t particularly difficult. Years ago, they were only installed by child safety professionals or handymen. Today, anyone can install them. You will simply need to follow the instructions.
Step 1. Gather the Supplies
The lock itself will have two pieces, plus an installation guide piece. The key is also included. Some also have screws.
If you plan to screw the lock into place, you’ll need a screwdriver or drill. Once you have your supplies, you are ready to begin installation.
Step 2. Installing the Guide Piece
When installing the lock, you must line the pieces up correctly. Manufacturers make this easy to accomplish with the guide piece. First, take the smaller flat piece, and attach it to the guide piece. The adhesive on the flat piece should now be facing out.
Remove the adhesive from the flat piece. You’ll also need to remove the adhesive from the top and end of the guide piece. Apply the guide piece to the top of the cabinet frame.
Step 3. Shut the Cabinet Door
Now, you’ll shut the cabinet drawer. This does two things. It installs the flat piece onto the cabinet in the correct position. You’ll also notice that the guide piece is now on the cabinet door.
Step 4. Install the Magnetic Lock
Now you can install the locking mechanism. You’ll remove the adhesive from the magnetic lock. Then, install it using the guide piece. In most designs, the guide piece will be directly above the magnetic lock, pressing the locking mechanism down.
Step 5. Test the Lock
Now you can test the lock. Be sure that the locking mechanism is on, and that the magnetic key is nearby. Shut the cabinet, and see if it is locked. Then, use the magnet to open the cabinet.
Step 6. Screw the Lock
Many magnetic locks include screws. This makes the locking mechanism more secure. If you choose to use screws, locate the screw holes on both portions of the lock.
Drill the included screws into the cabinet. You’ll want to test the lock before this step. It’s simple to remove or adjust the pieces when they are secured with tape. Once you’ve screwed the lock onto the cabinet, adjusting is more difficult, and requires you to drill new holes.
Do magnetic cabinet locks work on drawers?
Yes. Magnetic cabinet locks work well on drawers as well as cabinets. To install it, you’ll follow the same process as you would to install the cabinet lock on the cabinet.
The placement is a bit different, however. When installing on a cabinet, the flat plate is typically installed on top portion of the cabinet. To lock your drawer, it’s better to place this piece on the side of the drawer.
You can use the installation piece that you would use to install it on the cabinet. Simply start by placing the flat piece on the side, rather than the top.
How do you unlock a magnetic cabinet lock?
You can unlock a magnetic cabinet lock with the included magnet. What if you lose the key? Can you open the lock without the key?
Unlocking a Magnetic Lock Without a Key
Some users state that any strong magnet will unlock the cabinet. The key is actually only a magnet, which disengages the lock magnetically.
If the lock is installed using adhesive tape, you may be able to pull the lock free. However, this may ruin your lock. You could also unscrew the cabinet door if you must get into the cabinet quickly.
Setting the Lock to the Unlock Position
One of the benefits of magnetic locks is the option to disengage them. To do this, you’ll simply push the button on the locking mechanism. When the lock is disengaged, the locking piece stays down.
To lock the cabinet, push the button again. The locking mechanism will pop up. It will now lock the cabinet when the door shuts.
Keeping the Key Safe
Magnetic locks work great, as long as you don’t lose the key. Keys typically come with a magnetic key holder piece that has adhesive on one side. This allows you to install the key holder anywhere you like.
You will want to install it within easy reach for you, but out of reach of your child. The easiest way to do this is to select an area that is too tall for them to reach.
If you are using the locks in your kitchen, the top portion of your refrigerator is a perfect location. Since the key is magnetic, it will stick to the metal surface of your fridge without the key holder.
If you choose to place it in an area without metal, simply install the key holder to hold the key.
Most sets come with two or more keys. It’s a great idea to put one key nearby, and another in a different location. If you lose one key, you’ll still be able to open your cabinet.
Do You Really Need Cabinet Locks?
You may be wondering if its really necessary to install locks on your cabinets, and if so, which ones? The decision is ultimately yours, but there are some things you should think about when deciding to use cabinet locks.
Harmful Items Inside Cabinets
This is probably why you are considering child locks on your cabinets in the first place. Each year, there are 800,000 emergency room visits because children 1 to 2 years old accidentally ingest harmful substances.
If you keep your cleaning supplies under the sink. you’ll need to lock the cabinet. Young children are curious about their world, and they don’t know what is dangerous and what isn’t.
Sharp objects like knives or scissors are another concern. If your little one can reach your knife drawer, it’s crucial to have a lock on it.
Cabinet and Drawer Injuries
It’s tempting to lock the cabinets and drawers with items that can be hazardous to your child, and call it a day. You don’t have to worry about them getting into the cabinet with your pots and pans, or your snack stash, right?
Actually, it’s a good idea to lock all drawers and cabinets within your childs reach. It’s not just the items in your cabinets that can be harmful, but the cabinets themselves.
If you’ve ever mashed your finger in a cabinet door, you know what I’m talking about. It’s painful for an adult, but it can do damage to little fingers.
Your child could easily shut a cabinet door or drawer on their fingers, or their toes. Another concern is the items in the cabinet. Your pots, pans, and extra bowls don’t seem dangerous at first glance. However, if your child pulls them out, they could drop these heavy objects on their toes.
If you have glass plates or bowls within reach, your child could be cut if they accidentally break one.
You’ve locked all your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Your work is done, isn’t it? Not quite. Dresser drawers also pose a hidden danger. Children love to climb.
If they are able to pull a dresser drawer out, it gives them something to climb on. However, the dresser can easily tip over. In fact, simply opening several of the drawers can cause it to be front heavy, which means it can easily tip over.
I’ve lived through this one myself. Seeing an entire dresser fall on your child is absolutely terrifying. It’s also easily avoided. My child was fine after the incident, but I was traumatized.
One option is to install magnetic cabinet locks on these drawers. The other option is to install an anchor to the dresser. This attaches to the wall, and the dresser. This prevents it from tipping over.
Choosing Magnetic Cabinet Locks
There are a few things to consider when choosing magnetic cabinet locks. These include ease of installation, power, and how secure they are.
Vmaisi Adhesive Magnetic Cabinet Locks: Easy to Install
The Vmaisi Magnetic Cabinet Locks are installed with adhesive. They come in a pack of 12 locks and 2 keys.
Skyla Homes Safety Latches: Strong Magnets
Skyla Homes Safety Latches are excellent if you want a powerful hold. They can withstand up to 65 pounds of force, so you won’t have to worry about older kids pulling the cabinet open.
Magnetic Cabinet Locks vs. Other Types
Magnetic cabinet locks are becoming very popular, but they aren’t the only option.
Adhesive Strap Locks
Adhesive strap locks work for many situations, including cabinets, drawers, and even toilet seats. They are installed with adhesive. They have adhesive on each side, connected by a strap. To open them, push down on both sides to release one end of the strap.
The best thing about these is that they can be used on any cabinet or drawer. Other uses include locking your microwave or refrigerator.
Slide locks are used to secure cabinets with handles or knobs. They work on any double cabinet. The strap will go around both cabinet knobs, which prevents them from opening. Some models also include a decoy button, which can distract ingenuitive toddlers from the real unlocking mechanism. Push both sides of the lock to open.
U Shaped Lock
The U shaped lock works similar to the slide lock. It locks any double cabinet with handles or knobs less than 5 inches apart. It’s very secure. To open, push the two inner buttons in.
Magnetic Cabinet Lock FAQs
How many locks are included?
Most packages include 8 to 12 locks, but they range from 2 locks to 16. Generally, the more locks included, the more keys are included as well. Most packages include two keys, but some include 3 or more.
Where can I buy magnetic cabinet locks?
You can buy magnetic cabinet locks at retail stores like Walmart, Home improvement stores like Home Depot, and online retailers, including Amazon.
When should I babyproof my home?
It’s best to start as soon as possible. You’ll need to babyproof before your baby becomes mobile, so you should get started no later than when they are 6 months old.
Babyproofing should be maintained until they are at least 2 years old. Many parents choose to keep cabinet locks for much longer. Basically, you’ll need to keep them until you trust your child to not get into your cabinets unsupervised.
You can also read:
- How To Get a Stuck Key out of the Lock
- How to Fix a Deadbolt that Won’t Unlock
- A Complete Guide on How to Open a Master Combination Lock
- How to Open a Locked Door without a Keyhole