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Which Cam Lock is Right for Your Furniture?

Which Cam Lock 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 cam lock.

What are furniture cam locks?

Invented in 1985 by Volker Guelck from Ontario, Canada, the cam lock 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 cam locks used on furniture?

Furniture cam locks 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 cam locks are extremely simple to use yet provide extra added security for valuable items and personal information.

What types of furniture cam locks are most commonly used?

Three basic types of furniture cam locks are available:

  1. A flat key cam lock 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 cam locks offering medium security.
  2. A disc tubular cam lock. As opposed to having a flat opening, this lock is opened with a key that is a tubular-round shape that pushes into the cam lock. This furniture cam lock affords better security than the flat key cam lock, but still at an affordable cost.
  3. A slam lock which is a furniture cam lock that locks automatically when closed or, as its name suggests, is ‘slammed’ shut. This type of cam lock 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 cam lock?

There are many different variations of furniture cam locks with different styles, thickness, size etc to choose from. For example, there are mini furniture cam locks that are ideal for use in furniture that has a limited surface area where space for a normal size furniture cam lock may not be available i.e. personal storage lockers. So to ensure that you select the right cam lock 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 cam lock 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 cam lock, are you constrained by space when operating the furniture cam lock etc.
  • Is the furniture cam lock 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 cam locks 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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