Turnstile Selection Guide


One of the best options for improving the physical security of buildings and facilities is the use of turnstiles to control employee and visitor access. Besides improved security, turnstiles offer many benefits over the use of doors, including effective integration with the facility’s access control system and increased operational flexibility. It is our goal to provide the highest quality turnstiles in the industry and to match you with the best products that serve your needs.

If you are not sure which type of turnstile is right for your situation, consider the following questions.

If you have additional questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Choosing A Turnstile

1. What purpose will your turnstile serve?

Considerations may include managing shift changes in a work environment, parking lot entry, etc. It’s important to consider where the unit is installed and how frequently people are using it. Also, is there a need for credentialled access (by ID, barcode, ticket, or coin, for example), or is the turnstile only there to count how many people pass? We can help you figure out the best product for your application.

2. In what environment are you placing the turnstile?

We offer a variety of turnstile models. Some are suitable for interior OR exterior environments, and others are designed with a specific application in mind. Letting us know the environmental conditions of your project will help us match the ideal unit to your needs.

3. Will your turnstile be located in a corrosive environment? (snow, wind, rain, salt, etc.)

If so, then a model made in 316 stainless steel will likely provide the best protection against corrosive surroundings. 

4. Will you need to provide ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Accessibility?

All of our units can either be combined with a full-size ADA passage gate, come in an ADA-compliant model, or can provide flexible-width passage lanes to accommodate this type of traffic. This common compliance solution is an important consideration. We have several units to fit your needs and a tremendous amount of experience in this specific area.

5. How many people need to pass through the entry point in what amount of time?

Picking the right model and the right quantity are important factors to consider when determining what will eventually become a successful crowd management solution. There is misleading information about how many people can really move through a barrier in a given amount of time. Much of it is based on technical data – from the speed of the reader to the database, to the gate. However, practical experience has shown us that the slowest portion of the entry/exit cycle isn’t the technology, but the people moving through it – those searching for credentials in their wallets or purses!

Realistically, five seconds is a fair approximation/average on how long it takes for a person with an ID to go through a turnstile. Of course, better training and the type of ID used (proximity cards are faster than swipe cards) will improve passage times.

Another way to reduce passage time is with the use of tandem turnstiles. These units allow more people to pass from one area to another while taking up less physical space. Two single units are always better if you can space them out appropriately (for the comfort of passage), but tandems will allow that increased traffic flow when space is a concern.

6. Where is your site located?

We export turnstiles and gates worldwide and can help you find the nearest shipping point to your site. You can view turnstiles by the country for the best results.

Types of Turnstiles and Gates

Turnstile and Gate Configuration

  • Manual
  • Electronic

Access Control: Getting the Most Out Of Your Turnstiles

Canopies and Enclosures: Properly Securing an Area

Turnstile FAQ

  • What are some of the benefits of having turnstiles? Every building needs an entrance. To add security and control to a typical door, you may add keys, locks, cards, etc. While readers and locks require a valid credential to gain access, they cannot control how long the door is open or how many people enter through it once it is open. A turnstile only allows one person to pass through an entrance at a time.
  • What are Tailgating and Anti-Tailgating? Unauthorized individuals can follow authorized personnel through an open door, resulting in a common security issue referred to as ‘tailgating.’ Further, a door cannot isolate the direction of authorized passage. For example, if a door is activated for an exit, it will not prevent an unauthorized user from entering through the open door. Anti-Tailgating applies the principle of a turnstile to a door, by sending an alarm if someone comes in through the ‘exit’ door, or otherwise tries to enter unauthorized.
  • How many people can pass through a turnstile per minute? See the answer to question 5 above. The average time it takes a person with an ID to enter a turnstile is five seconds. Throughput of a full height turnstile is about ten people per minute (ppm), Full Height ADA Gate is 12 ppm, a Full Height Man Trap 3 ppm. Motorized waist-high gate about 6 people per minute. Typically, motorized gate timing is programmable – It takes 2 seconds to open and 1 second to close; we recommend ADA gates be set to stay open for 7 seconds. Optical sensors respond immediately and offer faster throughput than motorized automatic gates without optics/photo beams. Optical speed gates can allow 30 people per minute with a walk-through passage.
  • What are the services offered by TURNSTILES.us? We provide turnkey turnstile operations, including concept design, drafting, engineering, compliance, and installing turnstile systems with access control. 
  • What is the average lead time for shipping? Manufacturing, crating, and shipping turnstiles can take 3-6 weeks, depending on the order. Some units are currently in stock and can ship relatively soon. Timelines vary for highly customized items. Contact us to find out the lead time for a particular product.
  • What is the average lead time for installation? We can plan an on-site visit that works with your project schedule, typically as soon as 30-90 days out. We advise that you consult with us first, and depending on the complexity and location of your project, book an installation accordingly.
  • What support does TURNSTILES.us offer after my purchase? We provide telephone and remote desktop support and software updates free for one year after purchase. If you book an installation with us, we train you and your staff on equipment operations.
  • What is the most common shipping method? FedEx Freight and DHL are frequently used within the continental US and internationally. Ground, Sea, Air.
  • What are the available financing options? Financing is available: we refer clients to Vince at Merrimac Capital because they specialize in industrial equipment lending at great rates with personal service.