Securing a Shutter: Magnets and Ball Catches

A common question from a shutter customer is “How are these shutters secured?”   In the early days of shutters, (especially small, cafe style shutters) it was common to see a small latch on the front of the shutter panels where they join together.  Although popular, it was a poor method of securing the shutters.  A breeze from the window could easily strain the latch.

Today, plantation shutters typically fill up an entire window opening, not just half, and are often the size of the window itself.  This makes for a substantial shutter panel and a different method of securing it is necessary.


The Kirtz Shutter standard is to use magnets.  These are not your ordinary magnets.  Each magnet holds up to 25 lbs of weight and each shutter panel is held in place with at least two magnets.  These magnets are placed opposite the hinge side of the shutter either on the framework that comes with the shutter, or the customers existing window jamb.  They are located near the top, bottom and sometimes center of the unit.    A catch plate is then attached in the same location on the back of the shutter panel itself.  The result is that when the panel is closed shut, the magnets hold it in place tightly.  So tightly that you need to give the shutter panel a substantial tug to get it open.

Magnet used to hold plantation shutters shut

catch plate installed on the back of the panel that connects to the magnet

Ball Catches

At times, do to special applications,  unusually large shutter panels, or consumer preference,  a ball catch will be used instead of magnets.  A cylindrical hole is drilled into the stile (vertical part) of the shutter at the bottom and/or top of the panel.  The ball catch is then inserted into the hole and secured in place with screws.  A catch plate is secured onto the header and sill of the frame or the customers jamb.  The amount of force needed to open and close the shutter can be changed by adjusting the ball to sit either deeper in the panel for an easier open, or further proud of the panel for more resistance.

ball catch located in the bottom of the shutter panel

ball catch located in the bottom of the shutter panel