the search for a widget

I am searching for an off the shelf mechanism similar to the way a retractable pen works.

You see the mecahnism on a bunch of stereo equipment etc. where essentially when you press the cover it releases a latch and opens, and when you press the cover is closes and latches. So it has a two stage pin/spring action.

I am sure there will be someone out there that produce this mechanism and was wondering if any design guru has used one in a design and could point me in the direction.

I don’t know what they would be called and have searched my a$$ off.


ok so I know they’re called push-push latches. So the Q is now. Can I source them so they don’t latch. I just want to have a pin that pushes against a cover instead of latching to it.


I used these for many projects mostly cabinetry. They are used in stereo cabinets with glass doors but have many uses. Home depot sells a cheap one for 3 bucks, hardware/ cabinet makers sell nicely crafted ones but the depot one is great for taking apart and understanding them. Email me if you have any questions I can point you to find sources on them.


They make ALL KINDS of cabinet parts. really nice stuff. I can’t figure out how to view their products on-line though. Very high-end products, much like what you are looking for.

their catalog is about 1000 pages, so I’m sure they’ll have what you’re looking for somewhere in there.

no no no…

A treasure-trove.