When is it best to use a Cam action closer?

When is it best to use a Cam action door closer?

Earlier this month, we explored rack and pinion door closers in greater detail. In this blog we’re going to look at Cam action door closers, otherwise known as slide arm/guide rail closers.

Cam action door closers use a ‘cam and follower’ mechanism to reduce the resistance when opening a door. The cam mechanism enables a door to be opened using a low amount of force which makes it a great choice for meeting the requirements of Approved Document M + BS 8300. 

Aesthetically pleasing

Cam action closers work with a slide arm – this can be surface mounted on the door or concealed within the mortice. They have a much slimmer, sleeker profile than rack and pinion closers and are considered to be more aesthetically pleasing and architectural. They have become more popular with designers and architects in recent years – they tend to harmonise with the door’s appearance and detract less from the intended aesthetic. 

Less prone to mis-use

The Cam action door closer is less prone to mis-use or damage because it does not have an arm jutting out. We have visited sites where the arms of rack and pinion door closers were used to hang coats and bags!  This obviously affects the overall lifespan of the door closer. 

Things to bear in mind 

Opening angle

Cam action door closers have an opening angle of 110-120 degrees, which means that if the door opens out into the corridor, it will stick out rather than sit flush against the wall. In high traffic areas this obstruction may be a nuisance – a rack and pinion closer which allows the door to open to 180 degrees may be a better option. 

Backcheck and delayed closing

Another thing to bear in mind is there is less adjustability in the position of functions like backcheck and delayed closing in a Cam action door closer. This means there is a smaller angle where these actions take place when the door closes. [I don’t know if this is true and it requires further clarification – Rutland please confirm]

In short, the Cam action door closer combines ease of use with fire safety in an aesthetically pleasing slimline package. It is generally preferable in any environment requiring a premium finish, but has slightly reduced functional flexibility than the conventional rack and pinion closer, so it’s always important to check that it will perform as required in any given application. We stock a range of Cam action door closers and would be happy to provide further advice.

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