What is a Magnetic Catch?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 December 2019
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A magnetic catch usually refers to a piece of hardware on a cabinetry door. The piece actually comes in two parts, one fitting on the door, and a second piece inside the door. The pieces are magnetized, so that when they come together, they firmly close the door without very much effort. As soon as the catch pieces get in range of each other, automatic attraction occurs, drawing the door shut.

While the two pieces of the magnetic catch are in contact, they hold the door shut in a manner that requires a little more effort to open. It isn’t impossible to open them by any means, and the recommendation that these are satisfactory for childproofing is very misguided. Except for the smallest child, most doors can be easily pried from the magnet, and a magnetic catch is not an adequate safety device to protect kids from anything they should not have access to, like household chemicals.

Bearing in mind the lack of safety features, many people really enjoy having a magnetic catch on each cabinet. If people presently have other catches installed, it isn’t that hard to change to the magnetic type. Some re-drilling or measuring could be required.


Catches come in different lengths and in different appearances, and they can be adapted to many different types of cabinet doors. There are good places to look for them, including at hardware stores, cabinetry supply stores, home improvement stores, and many online locations. Prices can vary, but the pieces of a magnetic catch can sometimes be less than $5 US Dollars (USD). Fancier ones cost more.

While many people think of using a magnetic catch in kitchens only, they may be useful on other types of cabinetry. Simple ones could be purchased for wooden cabinets in the garage or in workrooms. Some can be installed on the doors of entertainment centers to help keep video games or DVD collections contained. Bathroom cabinets are great places for catches too.

One thought is that the magnetic catch can help with earthquake proofing. This is possibly true, but the average catch doesn’t have significant magnet strength. There are special earthquake magnetic catches and latches that may provide a little more security. With most catches, protection against things like dishes flying out of a cabinet could be pretty minimal, and would only be likely to apply if the strength of an earthquake was fairly low.

Though it is not difficult to replace magnetic catches, it does take time, and some people are not too skilled with home improvement projects. It therefore makes sense for people to think about the types of catches they want to use when they have cabinets refinished or installed. These are good opportunities to get magnetic catches, and those installing them can give advice on the most popular or durable ones.


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