Types of automatic gates – What You Should Know

Automatic gates are a practical and cost-effective way to upgrade the safety and security of your home or commercial building. With a variety of designs and materials to choose from, you can find the perfect automatic gate to match your requirements and style preferences. 

Here at Mackson, we offer two main types of automatic gates: sliding and swing. Depending on the space of installation, the purpose of the gate (commercial or residential) and your personal preferences, will determine whether you should choose a sliding or swing gate. 

In this article, we dive deeper into the pros and cons of sliding and swing gates and provide you with all of  the information you should know before making your decision.

If you’re someone who prefers visuals rather than reading, we encourage you to contact our workshop and come down to our Maddington store to see the gates in-person. We’re always happy to help!

The two types of automatic gates

As mentioned above, there are two main types of automatic gates: sliding automatic gates and swing automatic gates. Choosing between these two types will determine the build and style of your gate so it’s important you take the time to carefully consider which gate will work best for your needs.

Sliding gates

Automatic sliding gates provide a great level of security for both residential and commercial properties. The gates are installed parallel to the fence and open and close by sliding horizontally back and forth on a track. Wheels at the bottom of the gate enable it to slide smoothly along the track. 

Sliding gates require less space to operate than swing gates, making them ideal for driveways and entry points where space is limited. Sliding gates open and close by moving side to side, rather than swinging outwards or inwards, so even a small driveway can accommodate one with ease. You will need to make sure there is enough space on the side of the gate, so that the gate can comfortably slide in and out. 

Automatic sliding gates are easy to operate with a low running cost. In addition, you can upgrade to our solar-power package to keep both your electricity bills and your carbon footprint low. Our motors can support up to 500 individual remotes, making it perfect for commercial or strata properties. You can also program in automatically timed closes, allowing plenty of options for your gate requirements.

Swing gates

Automatic swing gates are a popular choice for homeowners and commercial settings where there is a spacious outdoor area. Due to swing gates swinging the door outwards, the space of the installation needs to be considered. We recommend measuring the area before making your purchase to ensure there’s a radius available that will accommodate the swinging door. If you don’t have enough space, you might need to consider a sliding gate instead.

Although swinging gates require more space, they are generally the most cost effective approach which is a big incentive for buyers. Compared with sliding gates, there’s fewer mechanics involved in swinging gates, allowing us to provide a more affordable price in most scenarios.

Similar to sliding gates, swinging gates a solar power upgrade is also available. Solar power is a renewable and sustainable energy source that can save you money on your electric bill plus, it’s also good for the environment!

Styles of gates

Once you’ve chosen your type of gate – sliding or swing – next on the agenda is choosing the style, materials and aesthetics of your gate. This is definitely the fun part of choosing your gate as you’re able to apply your unique style to your gate.


When choosing your style of automatic gate, you will need to make a decision between a slat gate or a gate with no slats. A slat gate is a gate that uses horizontal boards or planks of aluminium that are usually spaced to provide some visibility through the gate. 

Slat gates are commonly seen in entryways, side gates and to fence off pool areas in residential settings. Gates with no slats are often installed in commercial venues due to needing a higher level of durability and security. However, both styles can be used for either purposes, ultimately it comes down to personal preference.


Regardless of whether you’re choosing a sliding gate, a swinging gate or a slat swinging—every gate kit ordered through Mackson is made with the highest quality materials. We work with Colorbond steel, an Australian-made product that has been built specifically for the Aussie climate. 

There’s many great benefits to Colorbond ranging from easy maintenance, superior finish and sheer strength. It’s simply a no-brainer choosing Colorbond hence why it’s our go-to for all of our gates! If you’re choosing a gate from Mackson, you can rest easy knowing your gate will made with the best Colorbond materials on the market.


We provide customised gate kits that can accommodate any and every preference. From specific measurements, preferred motors and the colour choice of the materials—make your gate your own with customisations. 

Another great benefit of working with Colorbond materials, is the great range of colours available. Keep it classic with a white or black, impress your neighbours with an earthy green or brown or, surprise everyone with a bright blue. The choice is yours when you choose a gate kit from Mackson!

How to choose the best gate

We hope this article has provided you with all the information you need to find the type of automatic gate for your requirement.
For more information on the sizing of the sliding and swing gates, see more information in our blog here. Alternatively, reach out to our team at Mackson, we’re always happy to chat gates and find the best solution for your requirements.

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