Half Height Turnstiles vs. Full Height Turnstiles: Choosing the Right Option for Your Facility


When it comes to implementing access control systems, turnstiles are often the go-to choice for managing the flow of individuals in various facilities. Two common options are half height turnstiles and full height turnstiles. While both serve the purpose of controlled access, it’s important to understand their differences and advantages to make an informed decision. In this article, we will compare half height turnstiles and full height turnstiles, outlining their key features and helping you determine the right choice for your facility.

1. Height and Physical Barrier:

One of the primary differences between half height turnstiles and full height turnstiles is the physical barrier they provide. As the name suggests, half height turnstiles have a lower barrier height, typically around waist level. On the other hand, full height turnstiles provide a complete physical barrier, extending from the floor to the ceiling. When considering the level of security and access control required in your facility, this aspect plays a crucial role in the decision-making process.

2. Security and Deterrence:

Full height turnstiles offer a higher degree of security and deterrence compared to half height turnstiles. Their complete physical enclosure prevents any possibility of unauthorized access by scaling or jumping over the turnstile. Full height turnstiles are often preferred in highly secure environments such as correctional facilities, warehouses, or military installations. However, it’s important to note that half height turnstiles still provide a significant level of deterrence and security, making them suitable for a range of facilities where a complete barrier may not be necessary.

3. Throughput Capacity:

Another factor to consider when choosing between half height turnstiles and full height turnstiles is the throughput capacity required for your facility. Full height turnstiles tend to have a lower throughput capacity compared to half height turnstiles. This is because the confined physical space within the turnstile and the need for single-file entry slow down the flow of people. On the other hand, half height turnstiles allow for faster and smoother passage, accommodating a higher volume of individuals.

4. Space and Aesthetics:

The physical size and appearance of turnstiles are important considerations, especially in facilities where space constraints or aesthetics are a priority. Full height turnstiles require a larger footprint due to their taller structure, which may be a limitation in smaller or narrow spaces. Half height turnstiles, on the other hand, are more compact and require less space. Additionally, the lower height of half height turnstiles provides a more open and inviting environment, which can be preferable in facilities where maintaining a welcoming atmosphere is important.

5. Accessibility and Diverse User Needs:

Accessibility is an essential consideration when choosing between half height turnstiles and full height turnstiles. Full height turnstiles may pose challenges for individuals with disabilities or those requiring assistance, as they require stepping over a high barrier. Half height turnstiles, with their lower barrier height, offer easier accessibility for a broader range of users, including those with mobility aids or individuals carrying large bags or equipment. Considering the diverse needs of users in your facility is crucial in ensuring an inclusive and accommodating environment.

6. Cost Considerations:

Last but not least, cost is a significant factor in the decision-making process. Full height turnstiles typically have a higher upfront cost compared to half height turnstile due to their larger size, materials, and construction. The installation process and ongoing maintenance may also differ between the two options, impacting the overall cost. When evaluating the cost, it’s important to consider your specific facility requirements and budget constraints.

Conclusion:Choosing between half height turnstile and full height turnstiles depends on various factors including the level of security required, throughput capacity, space limitations, accessibility needs, and budget considerations. Full height turnstiles provide enhanced security and deterrence but have lower throughput capacity and may not be suitable for all environments. Half height turnstiles offer a balance between security, convenience, and cost-effectiveness, making them suitable for a wide range of facilities. By carefully weighing these factors, you can determine the right option that best meets the unique needs of your facility.