A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a review about our new transparent stair gate from Fred. At the time, I was a stair gate novice, in the rookie leagues – my logical brain assumed that the screw in stair gate was by far the more superior product…it wasn’t until I was inundated with questions about the difference between the screw fit and the pressure fit that I started to wonder myself if there is much difference. So, instead of saying “I don’t know!” I got my hands on a pressure fit version of my highly acclaimed stair gate from Fred. In the past, I’ve compared cars, I’ve compared houses, I’ve compared insurance, but I’ve never compared two stair gates – I’ve learnt a lot
It would be logical to assume that a pressure fit stair gate is easier to fit than a screw fit one. Having had a crack at both applications, I would say there isn’t loads of difference. Where the Clear-View screw fit requires some drilling and fixing to the wall, the push fit still requires time and calculation meaning the two take a similar time to assemble and fit.
One of the noticeable differences between the two products is that the Clear-View pressure fit requires the frame to be square during fitting. Therefore, if the door has opened while you are fitting it, it’s hard to get the frame sat correctly against the wall.
Fred in their infinite wisdom have anticipated such an event and they not only supply the gate cable tied, they even send you a spare just in case it’s popped off in the post (like mine had). Very kind. In terms of difficulty, I’d say both gates are similar for time-to-fit. Like I mentioned before, it’s a good idea to plan carefully where you are putting the hinged side of the gate. I learnt that lesson the hard way and had to get the filler out! Both gates will require extra parts if you choose to fit it to an un-squared wall or edge.
The pressure fit gate (technically) can be moved so it is usable around the house. The adhesive patches that add the extra security to the fitting with the wall are replaceable and are surprisingly strong. Take care when/if you remove them though as they are coated it strong adhesive, so you may lose a slight layer of paint. In contrast, the screw fit gate leaves a few battle scars when removed. The fitting only requires four screws, but as you can imagine, they aren’t tiny screws, so they leave fair holes. With that said, I can’t envisage needing to move the stair gate for the next few years so it’s not an issue.
One big, big thing that drew me to the screw fit gate originally is that it doesn’t have a bottom lip on the frame. Because it is attached on both sides and can therefore hold its own weight through the supports, it is perfect for the top of the stairs.
In contrast, the pressure fit gate requires the bottom lip to maintain its structural integrity. That means it isn’t recommended for the top of the stairs (for obvious trip related reasons).
We put ours at the bottom and I must admit, the lip was really annoying, mainly due to my clumsiness. With that said, it’s not an issue if the gate is placed in the right place.
In honesty, both gates are phenomenally well made. The clear body means that you can see through them with ease, they are way less hazardous than barred gates and let’s be blunt, they look great. We’ve done loads of bits in the house recently and I’ve painstakingly spent hours getting things looking perfect…the one thing that every person comments on is how great the stair gates look. I mean seriously?! All that effort decorating: unnoticed!
The locking mechanisms on the gates is strong and safe, the fluidity of the lock means you don’t get frustrated with it either. Huge bonus. Both gates are top-notch products and they really are worthy of their reputation as the best on the market.
It’s hard to say which is the better gate. For me, it’s about where you’re using it. If you’re looking for a top of the stairs number, I’d always go for the screw fit. If it’s for a room-to-room gate, or a bottom of the stairs blocker, the pressure fit is equally as impressive as the screw fit. Overall, I can conclude that Fred make mega stair gates. It’s a s simple as that.