Awkward to install & use

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Skinner99's review of Baby Dan Stair Gate

★★★☆☆

“Awkward to install and use”

Written on: 07/08/2019 by Skinner99 (1 review written)

I bought and installed four of these stair gates for my grandchild's house, after a top recommendation on a UK consumer website. They arrived well packed, but the only English content of the installation manual was the mandatory safety warning. The rest is just pictures. The first task is to work out which way up the wooden gates go (hint: the safety wording on one half should be the right way up, and there's a small hole, not pictured, on the underside of the horizontal bars). Then you have to arrange and label the weird looking plastic parts so that you don't mix them up when assembling. Work out whether you want the hinge to be on the left or right, and whether the side anchors face inwards, or along the line of the stairs. The templates for mounting the side anchors are helpful. A lot of stairs have a narrow skirting board against the wall - if you use this for a bottom side anchor, the top anchor in the wall will be out of vertical, causing the gate to be tilted. As long as you've read the pictures properly, it proceeds smoothly until you have to choose the width for the gate. No help in the manual! You choose which rung spaces to use to clamp the two halves, then fine tune the width with the sliding fittings on the latch side. Tightening the screws requites holding a screwdriver on either side of the gate, otherwise the bolt on the other side spins freely. Unless you're lucky, you now have to adjust the vertical position of the latch end of the gate, using the sliders on the hinge side. Phew! Well done.
The gate appears to be quite strong and secure, I only hope the cat can manage to jump over safely. Opening and closing is a bit awkward, as it involves pulling a latch back and lifting the gate - on closing, the bottom of the gate doesn't always find the hollow that it should fit into.
By the time I'd installed the fourth gate I was getting fairly slick, but averaging the time out, it took about 2.5 hours per gate. SURELY modern engineers can design a gate that's safe, adaptable and easy to install & use!

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