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Manual vs Automatic Gates: Which one is Better Suited for your Premises?

12 April 2021Appears in Products
Manual vs Automatic Gates: Which one is Better Suited for your Premises?
At First Fence we have a range of manual and automatic gates of which are renowned highest quality, reliability, performance and security. Both have their own advantages; however which one is best for you?

Manual vs Automatic Gates: Which one is better suited for your premises?

Gates and Barriers are imperative in helping you to secure and protect your private residence or commercial establishment, and giving you added peace of mind. Security gates are a great long-term financial investment. They will help to keep any residential, commercial, or industrial building both monitored and protected.

Purchasing a gate is a wise decision, whether it is for added protection, keeping your property away from the road and intruders, or simply for curb appeal. But, now that you have made the decision to purchase, you must decide which product is best for your needs.

Furthermore, the advantages your property gate can provide are highly dependent on the form you choose. Thanks to the increasing development of technology, we are now capable of choosing between a manual and an automated or electric gate.

There are several things to consider whether you are looking for a gate for commercial or residential use, and one of the most important choices you will have to make is whether you need an automatic or manual gate. Choosing between automatic and manual driveway gates is normally a matter of preference.

To help you weigh the advantages of each, look at the differences below.

Manual Gates

Manual gates have no electronics and are only controlled by hand. They also have locks that must be manually latched and unlatched. Nothing, however, will prevent the gates from opening once the lock has been picked or broken.

While manual gates are traditional in operation, they are available in a variety of styles and can be customised to suit your needs. Sliding gates are ideal if you want a manual gate because the track and rollers provide extra stability. Furthermore, due to design variations, swinging gates are easier to push open than sliding gates.

With the absence of electronic features, a manual gate will be more affordable and easier to maintain than automatic gates.

Automatic Gates

Previously, automatic gates were thought to be appropriate only for mansion-style properties. Automatic gate systems are now being built in homes of all sizes and price levels, offering better protection and improving the aesthetics of the house, as technology and electronics become more integrated into our daily lives.

The convenience of an automatic gate over a manual gate comes from the fact that the former is driven by a motor. Homeowners who use an automatic gate system no longer must get in and out of their car to open the gates any time they leave or return to their home. Automated gates also give you the choice of always staying in your car and not having to expose yourself to the elements. Most importantly, automatic gates minimise the risk of being mugged by robbers who can pick locks.

The most common types of electric gates are:

  • Swing
  • Sliding
  • Bi-Folding

If you opt for automated gates, remember to regularly check the safety of your electric supply since a consistent source of energy is required to keep these gates to perform smoothly.

The cost of automatic gates varies widely depending on material, design, and size. If budget permits, additional security features can also be added such as key-operated switches, sensors to detect cars or digital keypads that require input before opening.

Our Gates and Barriers

At First Fence we stock an extensive range of security gates and barriers which are available in a different variety to suit any application. This includes standard swing gates for our range to suit security fencing, specialist sliding gates, rising barriers and turnstiles.

Fencing gates are ideal for allowing access on and off your site, available in a choice of gate types, including Palisade, Mesh and Railings. Our gates are fully customizable, by height, width, post type and powder coated colour.

Check out the types of Sliding Gates and Barriers as listed below:

Bi- Folding Speed Gate

The Bi-folding Speed Gate is designed to open and close quicker, than traditional Swing Gate which ensures a fast throughput of traffic whilst maintaining security of the site. The quick and smooth operation of Fold Guard bi-folding speed gates reduce the time of which the site is vulnerable to unauthorised entry. Used to provide access to vehicular traffic, the FF9500 Bi-folding Gate allows you to monitor access to your site, as well as keeping your premises secure.

The Bi- Folding Gates utilises a PLC controlled, inverter driven single phase power, supplying a 3-phase motor, worm and wheel gearbox with a direct-drive shaft connected to the gate leaf, which ensures a smooth and positive movement. Each gate is manufactured to your bespoke requirements with infills to match all fencing systems, mesh, palisade, and railings. The design of Fold Guard bi-folding speed gates so that they are high performing, easy to install and minimal maintenance. As standard, all our automatic gates are fully compliant to the latest safety standard BS/EN12453, including safety edges and photocells to retract should the gates detect any entrapments.

Manual Sliding Gate

The Manual Sliding Gate is extremely easy to use and is extremely reliable. It is an ideal solution for locations which have limited space to open the gate and is a popular choice for securing commercial premises. By installing a Manual Sliding Gate, you will be able to successfully control and monitor access to your private property.

The internal roller mechanism ensures a smooth and consistent ease of operation supplying a durable and efficient service for years to come. Optional spikes line the top of the gate to deter intruder, the 6mm wall thickness, evenly spaces individual aluminium bars fixed as standard, further add to the sturdy appearance. A heavy- duty locking mechanism as standard will give you peace of mind in the knowledge that the lock is as tough and secure as the gate The manual gates share the same flexibility as the automatic range offering a vast choice of infills such as palisade, mesh and custom infills, which can be easily applied to the gate frame if the standard tubular bar is not suitable for the environment. It is a cost effective, minimal maintenance and effective way of manually controlling access to unauthorised areas.

Automatic Sliding Gates

Automatic sliding gates are designed for permanent use, and as such, are ideal for high-security sites and private property that requires a reliable gate system to control and monitor access. This automatic sliding gates are ideal for entrances which have limited space for gate movement (opening and closing) and will allow you to manage your sites security and access. This gate is operated by a purpose made controller and single-phase supply by an integrated frequency converter-controlled output to a 3-phase motor and the gates control panel can accommodate both pedestrian open signals and airlock systems.

Sliding Gate Systems are the most secure automatic gate systems around, as due to their operation and positioning, when closed they are almost impossible to open. They are held in place by the tracking system, drive motor, and other features of the installation, such that they cannot be wedged sideways except by very unusual and extreme force.

Car Park Barriers
Swing car park barriers are an ideal solution for providing security and restricting access in private car parks and unauthorized areas, available as both single and double leaf gates. Simple lockable latch on the posts allows for the gate to be locked in an open or closed position. The swing car park barrier provides an ideal solution to securing the carpark of your office or industrial site when not in use. It can also be used to restrict traffic entering your site for security purposes.

Manual Raise Barriers

Manual Raise arm barriers are commonly used for access points within car parks and are ideal when traffic can flow freely during certain times, for example when a public car park is open throughout the day and closes at night as the barrier is simple to lock in the open or closed position. The Manual Raise Arm Barrier effectively secures your car park or building's access point with its robust design.

The barrier operates smoothly allowing ease of use, is cost effective and requires minimal maintenance. The durable Powder Coated Finish grants protection against rust development and gives the barrier a smooth finish and the Aluminium body ensures rust protection as well as parts being zinc coated, giving further protection against rust development.

Automatic Raise Barrier

Minimal maintenance and easy to install, the Automatic Barrier can be individually programmed to multiple factors to suit your access requirements. This barrier is ideal for a wide range of locations to provide automated and secure access to cars and HVGs entering your site.

Whether you have industrial or commercial premises, our range of Automatic Barriers can offer your site effective security and access control. The versatile design of the Barriers allows them to fit in seamlessly with your existing perimeter system to provide controllable, automated access to both business premises and car parks. They are designed to offer long-term reliability, efficient operation and durability whilst providing a smooth consistent operation (single phase supply).


Our range of turnstiles are built to a high-level specification and can be installed in a wide range of locations, such as: theme parks, public buildings, stadiums, and health clubs. Constructed using mild or stainless steel, these turnstiles are minimal maintenance and are available with a range of customisation options. The Turnstiles are configurable to allow single direction or bi-directional rotation to suit your requirements.

They feature a safety system within its design to ensure the impossibility of getting stuck within the barrier and an anti-pass back design means that it is impossible for two people to pass through the turnstile at the same time.