Weighing the Pros and Cons of Three Security Turnstile Installations

high security turnstile installations

One of three security turnstile installations are optical turnstiles, which rely on sensors instead of mechanical barriers.

Security turnstiles are excellent access control tools for a variety of facilities that require secure entrances and exits. There are generally three kinds of security turnstile installations, with features that vary depending on the facility’s needs. Selecting the right turnstile for your property requires considering the placement of the entrance, the desired level of security, the budget, and aesthetic preferences. The pros and cons of each of the three security turnstile installations are outlined below to help make your decision easier. 

Optical Security Turnstiles

Optical turnstiles include two cabinets set apart to create a passage lane and use sensors to detect a person passing through the turnstile. Optical turnstiles can work with or without barriers, although when they are used for high-security purposes, they often come with a motorized barrier. Barrier-free turnstiles are generally utilized for passive security, or in the presence of an attendant. Optical turnstiles are ideal for situations where aesthetics and speed of entry are the most critical factors. 


  • Aesthetically pleasing appearance, suitable for upscale or corporate settings
  • Provides bi-directional access control
  • Available with various types of barriers
  • Tailgating, loitering, and anti-passback detection
  • Accommodates disabled users


  • Indoor use only
  • Higher cost than more traditional alternatives
  • Barrier-free options provide lower-level security

Full Height Security Turnstiles

Full height security turnstile installations consist of rotating barriers that extend from the floor to the top of the turnstile, similar to a revolving door. These turnstiles can come as a single unit or as a tandem unit. Full height turnstiles are best for situations that require higher levels of security, particularly in unmanned locations. 


  • Sturdy build for maximum security
  • Provides bi-directional access control
  • Suitable for outdoor use
  • Mid-range cost


  • Very large
  • Obstructive appearance
  • Requires a door or gate installed for disabled users

Waist-High Security Turnstiles

Waist-high security turnstile installations include a tripod barrier arm installed at waist height that rotates to allow entry. The sturdy construction and mechanics of these turnstiles enable them to last for decades, even with frequent use. These turnstiles are often used for areas that need to control large crowds, such as theme parks and stadiums. They are also useful for employee access control and visitor management. 


  • Highly durable
  • Provides bi-directional access control
  • Generally suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • More economical


  • Intruders could climb over or under the barrier arm
  • Requires a gate or door for disabled users

Choose Hercules High Security to Protect Your Property

Whether you need White House-level security fencing, or you need the perfect version of a white picket fence to guard your business or residential property, trust the experts at Hercules High Security. For more information and to learn how we can meet your custom fencing needs, contact Hercules High Security online or give us a call at 1-800-395-9597. Our professionals are ready to serve you from Maryland and the Washington Metropolitan area to Richmond, Virginia. We have branch offices in Manassas, Richmond, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia, and Maryland. We will ensure your investment serves your family and your business for years to come! For updates and to see projects we’re working on, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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