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How Do Door Handles Work

  • 3 min read

If you have ever watched someone open a door, you may have wondered how the door handle works. Contrary to popular belief, the doorknob does not actually rotate to open the door. Rather, it is the door handle that moves to release the latch and allow the door to open. Keep reading for a closer look at how this simple mechanism works.

Door Knob History

The door knob as we know it today was invented in the early 19th century. Before that time, most doors were opened with a simple lever or handle. The first door knobs were made of glass or porcelain and were quite ornate. It wasn't until the mid-19th century that door knobs began to be made of metal.

Door Knob Mechanism

Most modern door knobs have a cylindrical shape and are attached to a round plate called a rosette. The rosette is mounted on the door with screws. The door knob itself is connected to the rosette with a set screw.

Let's have a closer look at the components of a door handle.

The door handle consists of a spindle, a knob, and a lever.

  • Spindle

The spindle is the long metal rod that goes through the door handle. It is attached to the knob on one end and the lever on the other.

  • Knob

The knob is the round, decorative piece at the top of the door handle. It is attached to the spindle and rotates around it.

  • Lever

The lever is located below the knob and attaches to the latch. When you rotate the knob, it moves the lever up or down to release or engage the latch.

Now that we know the parts of the door handle, let's see how it works.

When you push down on the knob, it turns the spindle. The spindle then pushes or pulls the lever up or down, depending on which way you turned the knob. This action releases or engages the latch, allowing the door to open or close.

Door handles may seem like a simple mechanism, but they are actually quite complex. Next time you watch someone open a door, take a closer look at how the handle works. You may be surprised by what you see!

How Do Door Handles Work

Doorknobs are not attached to doors they are merely an extension of your hand that allows for greater leverage and easier opening of doors. Door handles are attached to the door and as you rotate the knob it moves a lever that releases or engages the latch on the door. This is why most doors have two knobs, one on either side of the door, so that somebody can use either hand to open it. There are also some doors with a single doorknob in the center because they are usually opened from within, such as a closet. In these cases, there is no need for a lever because pushing down on the knob will release the latch.


Now that you know how door handles work, you can amaze your friends and family with your knowledge the next time you are at a party or social gathering. Be sure to share this article so they can be in on the fun, too! Thanks for reading.

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