What are turnstiles & Types of turnstiles

types of turnstiles

Last updated on: February 5th, 2024 11:50 am

What are Turnstiles?

Turnstiles are a kind of pedestrian access blocking device (access control management equipment), which is mainly used to control and manage the pedestrian flow and regulate pedestrian access in various scenes in real life. The most basic and core function of a turnstile gate is to pass only one person at a time, which can be used at the entrance passage of various charging and access control occasions.

After I communicated with some new customers, I found that many new customers do not know the types of turnstiles, advantages, and disadvantages. so it is difficult to choose which types of turnstiles and how many types of turnstiles they need. This will affect and increase the completion time of their security project.

Types of Turnstiles:

Types of turnstiles include 1. Tripod turnstile 2. Swing turnstile 3. Flap barrier turnstile 4. Full height turnstile 5. Sliding turnstile 6. Speed gate turnstile 7. Half height turnstile 8. Drom arm turnstile

tripod turnstile

Tripod turnstile

Tripod turnstile is the most basic type of pedestrian turnstile gate, which is composed of the chassis, mechanism, and three blocking rods that stop or release by rotating 120° each time. Its components include a chassis, mechanism, drive control board, motor, limit, direction indicator board, access control part, optional counter, etc. It is made of 304 or 316 stainless steel, which is durable and not easy to deform. The blocking and releasing are achieved by rotation.

Tripod turnstile is the earliest type of pedestrian turnstile gate and it’s the most mature and perfect pedestrian turnstile so far, but it has the trend of being replaced by a swing turnstile gate and a flap barrier gate.

The tripod turnstile is divided into mechanical, semi-automatic, and automatic. It is separately listed as vertical and bridge type in the form, the vertical tripod turnstile is smaller in volume and easy to install, and the bridge tripod pedestrian turnstile has a longer passage and higher security.

Advantages of tripod turnstile:

1. It can be very effective to achieve a single-person pass, only one person can pass at a time, and security and reliability are relatively high.

2. The cost is relatively low.

3. Very good waterproof and dustproof ability, adaptability to all kinds of environment is very strong, suitable for both indoor and outdoor.

Disadvantages of tripod turnstile:

1. Passage width (refers to the width of pedestrian passage) is relatively small, generally around 500 mm.

2. Pass speed is relatively slow.

3. Restricted by blocking the body, it is not suitable for carrying luggage.

4. Appearance plasticity is not perfect, most styles are not good appearance enough.

5. Mechanical and semi-automatic tripod turnstile operation processes will have mechanical collision, and noise, automatic tripod security turnstile does not have this problem.

Applications of tripod turnstile:

Suitable for ordinary pedestrians and people flow is not very large or pedestrian use is not very good, as well as some of the worse outdoor occasions.

The tripod pedestrian turnstile gate is modern control equipment for the smooth flow of people. It is used where the entry and exit of personnel need to be controlled, provides an orderly and civilized way of passage for the person entering and leaving, and eliminates illegal entry and exit. Such as intelligent community, convention and exhibition, meeting hall, canteen, hotel, museum, gymnasium, club, subway, station, wharf, tourist attractions, convention and Exhibition Center, swimming pool, and other places.

Of course, we just made a brief description here. If you want to know more about tripod turnstile, please check out another article: What is tripod turnstile?

Swing Turnstile

swing turnstile

Swing turnstile is one of the most widely used pedestrian access control turnstile gates, which is an upgraded product of an intelligent tripod turnstile gate. It is a high-tech product mainly for intelligent management of personnel access control.

The swing turnstile gate is a very common type of turnstile gate, its blocking body (brake pendulum) shape is a certain area of the plane, perpendicular to the ground, through a rotating swing to achieve blocking and release. 304 Stainless steel, plexiglass, and tempered glass are commonly used in blocking the body, and some metal plates are used to wrap special flexible materials (reduce the damage of hitting pedestrians).

Advantages of swing turnstile:

1. The wide range is the largest among all pedestrian turnstile gates, generally between 550 mm-1000mm, some high-end products can be 1500 mm, more suitable for carrying luggage-wrapped pedestrians or bicycles, and can also be used as special access for people with mobility disabilities.

2. Compared with the tripod turnstile gate, the swing turnstile gate increases the pedestrian traffic detection module, which can effectively detect the traffic target and has a strong tail-proof ability.

3. The plasticity of appearance is the strongest among all security turnstiles, the material of the blocking body has rich variety, and the shape of the box body is also diversified, it is easy to design very beautiful shapes, so it is often used in high-end occasions such as office building, smart business building, high-end club and so on.

4. Swing turnstile operation process with no mechanical collision, the noise is relatively small.

Disadvantages of swing turnstile:

1. The cost is high, especially for some special customized models, such as increasing passage width and using special materials, the technical difficulty will increase a lot correspondingly.

2. Some models’ waterproof and dustproof ability is insufficient, only suitable for indoor, and environmental adaptability is not strong than the tripod security turnstile.

3. Limited by the shape of the blocking body, the impact resistance of the brake is lower than the tripod pedestrian turnstile gate, and the illegal and rapid passage of pedestrians is easy to damage the brake pendulum and movement.

4. If the manufacturer’s design is not good, it will greatly reduce the reliability of the product and reduce the ability to avoid personal injury.

Applications of swing turnstile:

As one of the most widely used security turnstiles, it is mainly used in communities, schools, and factories. It is used for employees to ride bicycles or electric vehicles, motorcycles, and other places that need to be controlled.

It is suitable for occasions where the width of the passage is wide, including occasions where pedestrians or bicycles with luggage parcels are more, and the special passage for the disabled. It is also suitable for occasions with high aesthetic requirements.

Here is just a brief description of the swing pedestrian turnstile gate. If you want to know more details, please check our other article: What is swing turnstile gate?

Flap Barrier Turnstile

The flap barrier is also called a blocking gate, flap barrier gate, or flap barrier turnstile, which is one of the access control management turnstile equipment and is mainly used for pedestrian access control management; It is a kind of access control turnstile device for pedestrians management. It is generally used in combination with biometric device access control. including swipe card access control, fingerprint access control, face recognition access control, etc., which is convenient and fast.

The blocking body of the flap barrier is generally a fan-shaped plane, which is perpendicular to the ground and can be blocked and released by expansion. Plexiglass and tempered glass are often used to block body materials, and some metal plates are also used to wrap special flexible materials (to reduce pedestrian injury).

flap barrier

Advantages of flap barrier:

1. Pass speed is the fastest among all security turnstiles.

2. Passage width is between the tripod turnstile gate and the swing turnstile gate, generally between 550 mm-990mm.

3. appearance is more beautiful, the gate wing material is a relatively rich variety.

 4. In case of emergency, the gate wing will be quickly retracted into the box, which can easily be a barrier-free passage, improve the speed of passage, and facilitate pedestrian evacuation.

Disadvantages of flap barrier:

1. Control mode is more complex, at a high cost.

2. Waterproof and dustproof ability is insufficient.

3. Appearance is relatively single, and plasticity is not strong.

4. The chassis of the flap barrier turnstile occupies the space of the passage; There is a certain width requirement for the width of the channel and the opening and closing of the door body.

5. Limited by the shape of the blocking body, the impact resistance of the wing gate is lower than that of the three-roll gate, and the illegal punching of pedestrians makes it easy to damage the blocking rod and turnstile mechanism.

6. The technical requirements for the turnstile manufacturers are relatively high, if the design is not good, it will greatly reduce the reliability of the product, as well as the ability to avoid personal injury.

Applications of flap barrier:

The flap barrier really is suitable for one-way or two-way control over a large flow, such as subway, railway stations, docks, tourist attractions import and export channels; Exhibition, swimming pools, etc, Import and export attendance, access control, and consumption management of residential areas, factories, enterprises, and institutions; It is also suitable for occasions with high aesthetic requirements.

If you want to know more details about flap barriers, please check another article: What is flap barrier?

Full height turnstile

Full height turnstile is an upgraded product of traditional pedestrian turnstile gates with the best security performance, which are much higher and wider than ordinary turnstiles and have obvious security advantages. Full-height turnstiles can form a closed passage space, personnel pass orderly by swiping cards and other methods. Full-height security turnstiles can be unattended and have high application value in some places with strict security measures.

Advantages of full height security turnstiles:

 1. The security of the full height turnstile gate is the highest among all security turnstiles, it’s the only one that can be unattended in all pedestrian turnstile gates.

2. It can be very effective to achieve a single pass, only one person at a time, security and reliability is relatively high.

3. Very good waterproof and dustproof ability, adaptability to all kinds of environment is very strong, suitable for both indoor and outdoor.

Disadvantages of full height turnstiles:

 1. Passage width is generally about 550 mm.

 2. Pass speed is relatively slow.

3. Restricted by blocking body, it is not suitable for carrying luggage.

4. Appearance from plasticity is not strong, most style appearance is insufficient.

Applications of full height security turnstiles:

All full height turnstile is suitable for unattended and very high-security occasions, as well as some outdoor occasions with a poor environment.

school turnstile

The full height turnstile is suitable for occasions with high demand for traffic orders. Full height security turnstiles are mainly used in factories, gymnasiums, construction sites, prisons, enterprises, institutions, railway stations, bus stations, airports, and other places. Its anti-tailing function is particularly strong. At the same time, it is very high. People can’t cross it. It has great security. The community can also use full-height turnstiles, which are relatively stable.

For more details about full height turnstiles, please check our article: Full height turnstile guide

Speed Gate Turnstile

Speed gate turnstile is an upgraded product of swing turnstile gate, which has a faster traffic speed than swing turnstile gates. It is a highly intelligent pedestrian access control management equipment, that can fully detect the passing of the human body, so it is safe, reliable, fast, and efficient. Similar products have high-cost performance. Widely used in high-end commercial occasions, the lobby of buildings, railway stations, subway stations, scenic spots, etc.

Here we just make a brief introduction. If you want to know more speed gate turnstile information, please check our other article: what is speed gate turnstile

Sliding Turnstile

Sliding turnstile is a kind of pedestrian access control security turnstile based on the parallel linear movement of two baffles in the same or different directions to open and close the door. The sliding turnstile is an electric control automated turnstile, which can be opened and closed manually through buttons, card swiping, and remote control, or fully automatic through face recognition and human body induction.

The sliding turnstile features an elegant design, high speed, high security, small noise operation, smooth running, and a long life span. It’s highly integrated to be compatible with face recognition temperature scanners, fingerprint access control, QR systems, ESD access control, RFID, etc. Being the speed flap barrier, the swing baffle opens automatically when power is off, free for passing for fire/ emergency exit requirements.

Half Height Turnstile

Half height turnstile is a kind of pedestrian turnstile gate with only half the height of the blocking body. The blocking body of the pedestrian turnstile gate is generally composed of 3 or 4 metal rods. According to the height of the brocking rod, the security turnstiles are divided into full-height turnstiles and half-height turnstiles, and the full-height turnstile gate is more widely used. Half-height turnstile adopts a mechanical anti-tailing design, which can effectively realize single-person traffic, which means, only one person can pass at a time. Compared with the tripod turnstile gate, the half-height turnstile has higher safety and reliability.

Structural design of half-height turnstile: the blocking rod above the half-height turnstile adopts a removable structural design, which is easy to install and transport.

Characteristics of half-height turnstile: strong waterproof and dustproof ability and strong environmental adaptability.

Application of half-height turnstile: Half-height turnstile is suitable for occasions requiring high traffic order, such as gymnasium, prison, etc. It is also suitable for residential areas, scenic spots, factories, exhibition halls, and other indoor and outdoor occasions.

Drop arm turnstile

Drop arm turnstile is one of the early turnstile gate machines. The blocking rod is a metal rod, usually made of hollow and enclosed stainless steel pipes, which are sturdy and not easily deformed. By raising the blocking rod to make it parallel to the horizontal plane and lowering the blocking rod to retract it back into the box, the blocking and release are achieved.

The action of the gate lever of a drop arm turnstile is to rise and fall 90 degrees within the same vertical plane, which is prone to injuring pedestrians. Therefore, it has gradually been phased out and has a small market share. The European and American markets have developed relatively early, and there are still some applications.

The turnstile mechanism control mode is only fully automatic. The form only has a bridge type and requires a strong pedestrian detection function, otherwise it is easy to harm pedestrians.

flap barrier turnstile

Components of Turnstiles:

Turnstiles are generally composed of a turnstile chassis, blocking rod, turnstile controller, turnstile mechanism, control module, and some auxiliary modules such as alarm, counting, traffic detection, and so on. If you want to know about this part, please check: the turnstile components.

The chassis is an important component of the turnstiles, mainly used to protect internal components such as the turnstile mechanism and control module, and play a supporting role.

The turnstile mechanism is the most important part of the turnstiles. The operation principle of turnstiles is to control the opening and closing of the blocking rod by controlling the operation and stop of the turnstile mechanism, so as to realize the access control management function. By controlling the operation and stopping of the mechanism, the opening and closing of the blocking body are further controlled in order to control the flow of people and pass through in an orderly manner.

According to the different number of cores and block bodies contained in the same turnstile gate, the turnstile gate can be divided into a single-core turnstile(including 1 core and 1 block body) and a double-core turnstile (including 2 cores and 2 block bodies, in a left-right symmetrical shape).

Blocking body (the main function of the blocking body is blocking, usually we say different types of turnstiles tripod turnstile gate, swing turnstile gate, flap barrier gate, full height turnstiles, and so on just use the different blocking body and blocking way.)

The Purpose of Turnstiles:

The purpose of turnstiles is to facilitate the passage of only one person at a time, ensuring orderly movement.

Security turnstiles play a crucial role in controlling pedestrian flow and regulating access. In recent years, the evolution of pedestrian turnstiles has led to the introduction of intelligent features, transforming the traditional single-function model. Using the turnstiles can achieve many functions, mainly involving improving safety, management efficiency, and convenience.

Personnel management: precise control and recording of personnel passage can be achieved through turnstiles. Various authentication methods, such as card swiping, fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, etc., can be used to ensure that only authorized personnel can pass and record access data, making it easier for management personnel to track and review.

Security control: The turnstiles can be used to restrict the entry and exit of specific areas, ensuring that only authorized personnel can enter sensitive areas, such as company offices, computer rooms, laboratories, etc. This helps prevent unauthorized personnel from entering and improves security.

Improving convenience: For authorized personnel, the turnstiles provide a convenient way of passage without the need for manual check-in or presenting identification documents and achieve fast passage through identity verification technology.

Preventing deception and illegal entry: The turnstile gate system can effectively prevent deceptive behavior, such as when multiple people pass through a card together. At the same time, for unauthorized personnel, the system will issue an alarm to remind security personnel.

Overall, the use of turnstiles can improve safety, enhance management efficiency, and provide convenient access for authorized personnel, making the management of various places more scientific and convenient.

After we know what are turnstiles used for? we should also pay attention to many matters when selecting the types of turnstiles. You can check our other articles: How to choose a turnstile? How many turnstiles do I need? and How much does a turnstile cost?

Traffic Mode of Turnstiles:

Controlled mode: only when the turnstile controller receives the door opening signal in this direction can the turnstile gate allow personnel to pass normally in this direction.

Free mode: Pedestrians can pass freely. Personnel can pass through infrared sensing from this direction without restriction. After the turnstile gate is automatically opened, it passes normally, and the turnstile gate is closed again.

Forbidden mode: no personnel is allowed to pass in this direction.

Fire fighting mode: the turnstile gate is always open, and personnel can pass in any direction without restriction without alarm.

Turnstyle or Turnstile?

Turnstyle or turnstile? In fact, “turnstyle” is the writing habit of people in some places, the correct term is “turnstile.” “Turnstyle” is a common misspelling, likely due to regional and cultural variations in spelling. It’s important to note that while “turnstile” is the standard and widely accepted term, variations in spelling can be found in different places and may not necessarily impact understanding.

Although turnstyle is a wrong way of writing about the pedestrian turnstile product, we need not pay too much attention to this situation, because there are many wrong spellings in the world due to various regional and cultural reasons, but people can understand the correct meaning. In addition, most countries in Europe are used to spelling like a turnstyle, while the United States and Canada are used to spelling like a turnstile. These two words can express the same meaning.

In your communication, it’s good to clarify that both “turnstyle” and “turnstile” refer to the same thing – a pedestrian access gate. Acknowledging regional spelling differences and emphasizing that both terms convey the same meaning helps to avoid confusion. Whether someone uses “turnstyle” or “turnstile,” in general, they all express the same meaning, referring to the same security access control product.

flap barrier turnstile

Identification Methods:

Turnstile identification methods include fingerprint, iris recognition, face recognition, QR code, card reader, etc.

Biometric methods such as fingerprint and iris recognition focus on the biological characteristics of individuals, providing a relatively high level of reliability. Face recognition utilizes visible light to capture facial images, allowing for quick identification of access permissions during pedestrian movement. Identification through cards, certificates, and barcode/QR code recognition is limited to recognizing the physical media and does not directly identify individuals.

The identification methods employed by turnstiles play a pivotal role in ensuring secure and efficient access control. Based on integrated identification technologies, turnstiles can be categorized into several types, including turnstile gates with card readers, turnstile gate with face recognition, fingerprint turnstiles, and QR code turnstiles.

The choice of identification methods for turnstiles is contingent upon the specific requirements of diverse locations. Some turnstiles exclusively utilize a single identification method, while others employ combinations to enhance security. For instance, subway turnstile gates predominantly employ card-swiping recognition, whereas customs access control turnstiles integrate facial recognition, identification, and fingerprint recognition.

Applications of Turnstiles:

The turnstiles are widely used in urban rail transit management, for managing pedestrian flow and regulating pedestrian access. It is also widely used in subway turnstile gate systems and ticketing turnstile gate systems, thus forming paid and non-paid areas. It can also be widely used at the entrance passage of various toll and access control occasions. The most basic and core function of turnstiles is to achieve only one person at a time.

The application occasions of types of turnstiles are indoor and outdoor. The indoor and outdoor environment is different, and the applicable turnstile gate is also different. All types of turnstiles are suitable for indoor use. If you want to know more about security turnstiles for the outdoor environment, please check our article: Outdoor Turnstile

Different types of turnstiles are used in different situations. You also can check how Wikipedia defines turnstile.

Integration Systems:

At present, the most common systems supporting the pedestrian turnstile gate are the access control system and the ticketing system. We have a special article to introduce these related contents. Please check: the turnstile ticketing system and How does QR code turnstile work

At the entrance and exit of buildings or closed geographical areas. It is very suitable to use a security turnstile gate machine as the blocking equipment of the access control system. Such as intelligent buildings, government agencies, enterprise parks, communities, factories, prisons, etc.

types of turnstiles

The ticket-checking part of the ticketing system is closely related to the pedestrian turnstile gate. As long as it is non-manual automatic ticket checking, it is inseparable from the pedestrian turnstile gate.

Of course, different types of turnstiles, according to the application site, can also be divided into many different types of turnstiles, such as gym turnstiles, construction turnstiles, subway turnstile, train turnstile, office turnstiles, library turnstiles, supermarket turnstile, etc. we won’t explain it in detail here.

Sharing this: