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Are electric strikes now seen as a better option than traditional mag lock systems?

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Are electric strikes now seen as a better option than traditional mag lock systems?


The launch of TFS Direct Kits has ignited a number of conversations with our team about different access control systems, but there’s one subject that seems to have come up more frequently than most, mag locks.

Mag locks have always been popular, almost to the point that it’s a default choice when it comes to access control systems, but with a wider range of components available, is the mag lock still the best option, or is there a challenger to the throne?

We look at the emergence of the electric strike, and how it offers an alternative solution to magnet locks.

Being on front line sales you can build up a picture of buying habits, understand trends, and if you ask the right questions understand the reasoning behind why people make a certain choice. So we wanted to know why do people lean towards mag locks. What better way to find out the reasoning than to just ask. Here are some of the reasons we were given when we asked the question..

Why do you use mag locks?

  • We’ve always used them
  • We’ve never had a problem with them
  • They are strong
  • You can fit them at different heights to prevent tampering
  • It’s what the customer wanted
  • they are a cheap option


The first thing we noticed was that a lot of the answers relate to how things have always been done, suggesting that time has never been taken to introduce them or educate clients to new products on the market. Yes, mag locks are strong, those in our range have a holding force of up to 500kg. If they have always been used it does make it easier in terms of installers being able to fit quickly and efficiently, and yes they can be purchased at a cheap buying price, but as with a lot of things, you buy cheap you don’t get quality. Integrating them with existing systems has become second nature to many installers and for industrial applications it’s a great option for high traffic gates.

Some new mag locks offer a more aesthetically pleasing finish, the Locinox mag lock range being a great example, but unless you are going for one of the more slim line mag locks, or one that’s inserted into the box section of the gate, you can be left with a system that isn’t the easiest on the eye and can sometimes leave a slight safety issue depending on the height installed at.

Now we aren’t against mag locks, a component or system is selected for a given situation, and a lot of the time the mag lock is the perfect option, but we wanted to look at a product that has become a real option when it comes to a mag lock alternative, the electric strike.

Electric strikes aren’t new, they have been around for a while, but like many traditional mag locks the design wasn’t always inspiring, and the strength of them would often be questioned, but new designs have made the electric strike a great option for gates.

Our range come with a 300kg latch holding force, in line with the strength of many mag locks on the market, are available as fail open or fail close, and work together with a range of hardware components and existing systems to provide a fantastic way to restrict and control access.


The above picture shows the Locinox Modulec, which combined with the Locinox LAKQ lock and blocking handle set provided one of our clients with a system that was initially specified as a mag lock system.

Why did they change their mind? They just didn’t know what was available.

Our client was looking for a system that could offer free exit, the ability to deadlock overnight, and a solution that would work with a fob system for staff entry.

The Modulec kit was perfect for the job. The blocking handle set allows you to block one or both sides of the handle, meaning that it couldn’t override the electric strike, but when the lock is deadbolted at night, even the power being cut wouldn’t release the lock. This was made even more important with the client needing the strike to open during business hours in the event of a power cut for fire safety reasons, allowing emergency services ease of access.

This example shows how versatile an electric strike option can be. Could a similar system be put together using a mag lock system, yes, but is a mag lock as flexible in it’s function, maybe not.

So when it comes to answering the question of which is better, a mag lock or an electric strike, the answer is that both are as good as each other, the real question should always be…

What is the best solution for each specific job?