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What is a 2×4 bar holder?

closed 2x4 bar holder that is NOT secure

If you want to “bar your door”, or bar the castle gate, you need to have two things:

  • A big bar – I wrote about “what is a bar” earlier
  • Something to hold the bar – which is called (drum roll please) a “2×4 bar holder”.

So a bar holder is just a “thingy” or device made to hold a bar. Many people think of these as a door security bar brackets. Many people want to use a low cost 2×4 with door security bar brackets.

I our modern times, the most popular, in fact the only type of bar holder that I have found any real supply of is a 2×4 bar holder. That is what I have pictured at the top of this article. In fact, the lowest cost solution is to buy your own 2×4 and simply buy the brackets.

There are two main types of 2×4 bar holders.

  • Open 2×4 bar holder
  • Closed 2×4 bar holder

In my house, we used two open 2×4 bar holders across our closet door to create a pretty darned tough safe room. I chose the OPEN 2×4 bar holder because after we close the door I wanted to be able to place the bar across the door VERY rapidly, even when tired. I hope I remembered to bring in the cell phone. Bad guys would find it extremely difficult to break into our closet because of the bar.

There are also CLOSED 2×4 bar holders, which I find MORE often on Amazon and other places than the OPEN 2×4 bar holders. I find this odd as I think for most indoor security applications, the open bar holder is much much faster and easier to deploy and use.

The closed 2×4 bar holders are great when you want the bar to stay in place. For example, I used a closed bar holder on my shed because I just wanted the door bar to be more like a latch rather than something I removed. Or you might be in a situation where you have a really smart horse or cow and they could open the open bar holder.

The bar holders you see in this article are what I first used to solve my problem of latching my 12×8 shed with a bar rather than a bunch of unreliable flimsy locks.

These bar holders have several problems which my secure bar holders solve. Here is how MY bar holders from this site are BETTER. First I just wanted to define what in the world a bar holder is.

If you just want to see what Amazon has available for 2×4 bar holders, I’ve found them for you here:

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What is a door bar anyway?

2x4 bar holder

A “bar” used as a door bar is a very long THING that is placed in front or behind of swinging doors to create a tough security barricade that is very secure, very difficult to kick-in, very difficult to breach method for keeping doors shut and invaders out.

I say “THING” because a bar can be almost anything that is long and strong. Today, in most apartments or houses, I would think that the most common type of security bar would be a 2×4 (pronounced two by four). 2x4s are cheap, easy to cut, lightweight, strong, and readily available just about anywhere in the world.

But a door barricade bar doesn’t have to be a 2×4 and it certainly doesn’t have to be wood either. Bars could be steel, aluminum, cast iron, and while a bit silly – composite materials.

Bars USUALLY go across doors and use the doors own swinging action to prevent the door opening by having the door swing against the barricade bar. The bar then distributes the power or force of the door throughout the bar to all of the touchpoints on the bar. The wider the bar, the more spread-out the force is, the harder an intruder will work to breach the door.

Contrast the highly distributed force of the 2×4 bar versus the highly concentrated “in one spot” breach-able spot of a standard lock. Focus as hard as you can on the point the lock is contacting the door jam and kick very, very hard and you are likely to breach the door, either by destroying the lock mechanism OR by ripping out the door jam.

Does a door bar need to be a 2×4

Bars could be 2×6, 2×8, or 2×12, subject only to the size of the board and the strength of a person putting them in. I imagine that a person could more easily put in TWO 2×4 bar holders at different heights on a door than a single 2×8 or 2×12. My wife would struggle getting that to work because any size bigger than a 2×4 door bar would be heavy and unwieldy to handle.

Some bar holders don’t bar ACROSS doors, but instead go from a door handle or knob to a strong point on the floor or a wall. These, I believe are better than a standard lock. They work well for a single door to give a person much more security than they normally would get with just a door lock.

If you look at the picture in this article, you’ll see what I think of as the most standard type of bar and its standard usage – probably outdoor with a classic shed two door set of swinging door.

Why would you use a bar here?

Because you don’t want a complex latch where you have to fasten one door shut just to make a door latch work. A shed security bar makes it simple. Just put in a bar and you are done. It is simple and very solid.

The downside of most bars (not mine), is that they ASSUME you always have the bar on the inside.

That isn’t a horrible assumption either – honestly, have you ever seen a storming the castle movie where they put the security bar on the outside of the castle gate?

Me neither.

But if you wanted to use the bar on the outside of the door, then there is only one solution.

My 2×4 bar holders with the slimline construction.

But now you know what a “bar” is.