How a Door Knob Works – Installation and More

Although we use them every day without thinking anything of it, the intricacy of how door knobs work is often overlooked.

Door knobs work by way of a latch that connects the door with a frame, and the latch’s position changes depending on the position of the handle. When the handle is pressed, it turns a cylinder that moves a sliding bolt into the catch of a door frame.

There are a wide range of other questions surrounding how door knobs work and how to install them in a variety of doors.

How to Install a Door Knob in a New Door

Installing a door knob on a new door is slightly more complicated than a replacement. You’ll need to bore a hole for the two sides of the door knob to connect through the latch.

How to Drill a Door Knob Hole

  • Attach a hole saw jig at the right height for your door knob on your door.
  • Use a 2 1/8” hole saw to bore through one side of the door – when you can see the centre bit on the other side, switch and bore through from the other side to make a full hole.
  • Use a 1-inch hole saw on the tall, thin edge of the door to create an indent for the latch.
  • Place the latch plate up against the side edge of the door and mark the outline with a pencil.
  • Chisel away this outline to ensure a flush fit for the latch plate.

How to Install a Door Knob Without a Lock

These are the most common door knobs available. Whether you’re replacing or adding a door knob to a bored door for the first time, installing the hardware is actually very simple.

How to Insert the Door Knob Hardware

  • You can now fix your door hardware into place. Seat the latch plate in the chiselled hole you have just made, and secure with screws.
  • Line up both sides of your door handle THROUGH the latch piece, and screw into the front and back of the door respectively.
  • Attach your strike plate to the surface that the door latch will be connecting with, in order to protect the material.

How to Repair a Door Knob

You’ll probably only ever need to repair a door knob if it’s loose, or has fallen off your door. Any other issues, such as a stuck latch, are probably best suited to a replacement instead. Here’s how to tackle these issues if they do occur:

How to Fix a Door Knob that Fell Off

  • Remove the knob - you should detach the door knob in a specific way depending on how it is fastened. If there is a hole, you can use wire or a paper clip to remove it, or if there is a slot, often a flathead screwdriver will do the trick. An Allen wrench can also be used if the fastener is a hex-head screw.
  • Remove the base, taking care not to damage the backing plate of the door fixing.
  • Tighten the screws - you should do this in order to ensure the door fixing is in the correct place and firmly joined to the door, helping to prevent it falling off in the future
  • Replace the base and door knob - once you replace the components you have removed, your door handle should be working once more. If not, it's probably past the point of fixing, and it's time to get a new door handle!

How to Tighten a Door Knob

Common in older styles of door fixings, a loose, spinning doorknob often means a screw has come loose and lost its grip on the spindle. In order to tighten the mechanism, look around the collar of the door knob and identify the set screw that is threaded into the collar.

Use the correct wrench or screwdriver to tighten the screw, and increase the grip the door knob has on its spindle.

How to Remove a Door Knob

Ordinarily, when it comes to removing a door knob, you should do the reverse of the installation process, i.e. remove your strike plate, unscrew your handles, and remove the latch pieces.

Some door handles may come equipped with a cover plate, which adds an extra step into this process, as these cover any exposed screws. In order to remove the cover plate, you should look for a small cut-out in the covering material. Inserting a small item like a flat-headed screwdriver into this gap should allow you to prise the cover plate off.

For more information on door handles and fixings, get in touch with our expert team, or browse the range here!