*This post contains links to products that I received at a discount in exchange for my honest review. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information.

Magnetic-cabinet-lockI’m not sure why but putting locks on the kitchen cabinets was something I put off until the very last minute. I think it’s the hassle, and the stress of thinking you’re going to “install” something with nails and screws and then not like it. Or it won’t work. That, plus I’m a total cheapskate when it comes to buying stuff I’m not excited about. But having an 18-mo old busy-body running around the house every day just looking for stuff to get into makes cabinet locks a must-have.

I jumped at the chance to try these Vanguard Magnetic Locks for a discount because A) they stick on with non-permanent adhesive (no nails, screws, or permanent holes required!) and B) they don’t show at all from the outside (yay!).

They work via a latch that gets pulled down via magnet to release. Here’s their professionally shot images showing how it works:

magnetlocksAnd here are my shots showing the same — they do work!

magnetlockAnd here’s the very small and low-profile piece that it latches on to inside the cabinet:

IMG_1970Both parts are installed via peel-and-stick adhesive. I was lucky to get a second chance with mine (see the remnants of my misplacement to the right of the latch above) but they really aren’t meant to pull off once they’ve been stuck. Install carefully!


  • Even after leaving a little bit of adhesive behind in an installation blunder the latch has still been strong enough to withstand the prolonged and energetic tugging (“I know this opened before!”) of my 18 mo old toddler.
  • Releasing the latch is easy and fast
  • The latch secures automatically when you close the cabinet (so no worries about forgetting and leaving it undone)
  • It’s invisible from the outside


  • I have managed it with one hand a few times but it generally takes two hands now to open that cabinet: one to hold the magnet and one to open the door.
  • There is one “key” per package and 4 “locks,” which is about one key short because the key really needs to be within arm’s reach of the cabinet(s) you’re using it on or it becomes a real pain to go running back and forth all the time to grab it/find it. Our refrigerator sits right next to this cabinet so we stick it there, just a few feet above this door. But we haven’t installed on any others yet because they’re all more than a couple steps away. (Possible solution: any magnet should work as a key, maybe you already have some spares lying around/on your fridge?).

Summary: These locks work really well, and are my favorite type so far. That being said they are still an inconvenience with the two hands required and only one lock for 4 doors, but some inconvenience goes with the territory of locking something at all. On the whole I recommend them! Especially if you’re interested in not seeing them from the outside, and not needing to screw or nail anything in place.

Vanguard Magnetic Child Safety Locks, $17.49 w/Free Prime Shipping on Amazon

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