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Which Camlock is Right for Your Furniture?

Which Camlock is Right for Your Furniture?

16 Oct 2019

Retro or modernist, shabby-chic or designer luxe, whatever your taste if you have a piece of furniture that requires securing for privacy or to avoid theft, the best choice has to be a furniture camlock.

What are furniture camlocks?

Invented in 1985 by Volker Guelck from Ontario, Canada, the camlock is one of the simplest and now most common locks used in the construction of cabinets and other pieces of furniture. It is simply a cylindrical fastener which consists of a metal plate (the cam), that is attached to a locking device core. The cam, which does the latching, is operated directly by inserting and turning a key. The cam will then rotate between 90 to 180 degrees, locking and unlocking.

Why are camlocks used on furniture?

Furniture camlocks can be used to secure items such as doors, cabinets, lockers, safety boxes, drawers, file cabinets and many others. They are particularly popular with furniture manufacturers as they allow a piece of furniture to be secured without affecting the outward appearance. Plus being a basic type of lock, furniture camlocks are extremely simple to use yet provide extra added security for valuable items and personal information.

What types of furniture camlocks are most commonly used?

Three basic types of furniture camlocks are available:

  1. A flat key camlock that is opened with a regular key in the style of a house key that lines up the discs to allow rotation. This is basically the least expensive of the furniture camlocks offering medium security.
  2. A disc tubular camlock. As opposed to having a flat opening, this lock is opened with a key that is a tubular-round shape that pushes into the camlock. This furniture camlock affords better security than the flat key camlock, but still at an affordable cost.
  3. A slam lock which is a furniture camlock that locks automatically when closed or, as its name suggests, is ‘slammed’ shut. This type of camlock is ideal for use on furniture where higher than average security is required such as cabinets containing medical documents, office furniture housing confidential papers, secure enclosures etc.

What do I need to consider when choosing the right furniture camlock?

There are many different variations of furniture camlocks with different styles, thickness, size etc to choose from. For example, there are mini furniture camlocks that are ideal for use in furniture that has a limited surface area where space for a normal size furniture camlock may not be available i.e. personal storage lockers. So to ensure that you select the right camlock for your item of furniture, here are our tips to help guide you in your choice:

  • Consider the level of security that you require the furniture camlock to provide.
  • The application e.g. what type of material is the lock going to be installed into? 
  • The handling and style of the furniture camlock that you require and the importance of style vs functionality.
  • The environment in which the furniture will be located i.e. is there any material nearby that could affect the functionality of the camlock, are you constrained by space when operating the furniture camlock etc.
  • Is the furniture camlock to be operated by more than one person? If so, there may be an issue with secure key storage to consider and you may wish to look at a combination or electronic lock.


Lowe & Fletcher offer a wide selection of camlocks suitable for furniture and we are happy to offer our expert advice as to which type of lock would be most suited to your requirements. For more information get in touch with us today.



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