Latches range in complexity from flexible one-piece flat springs of metal or plastic, such as are used to keep blow molded plastic power tool cases closed, to multi-point cammed latches used to keep large doors closed.
A single-throw bolt. The bolt can be engaged in its strike plate only after the door is closed. The locking mechanism typically prevents the bolt from being retracted by force.
A slam latch uses a spring and is activated by the shutting or slamming of a door. Like all latches, a slam latch is a mechanism to hold a door closed. The slam latch derives its name from its ability to slam doors and drawers shut without damaging the latch. A slam latch is rugged and ideal for industrial, agricultural and construction applications.
A cam lock is a type of latch consisting of a base and a cam. The base is where the key or tool is used to rotate the cam, which is what does the latching. Cams can be straight or offset; offset cams are reversible. Commonly found on garage cabinets, file cabinets, tool chests, and other locations where privacy and security is needed.
A Norfolk latch is a type of latch incorporating a simple thumb-actuated lever and commonly used to hold wooden gates and doors closed. In a Norfolk latch, the handle is fitted to a backplate independently of the thumb piece. Introduced around 1800–1820, Norfolk latches, originating in the English county of the same name, differ from the older Suffolk latch, which lacked a back plate to which the thumbpiece is attached.