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Door Hardware Basics
Most door hardware will fit the following door preparation. If you have something different, please contact us so we can help you find exactly what you need.
We are proud to offer one of the largest selections of lever handles for your shopping needs. With a selection spanning hundreds of options, you will find many different styles and finishes.
There are a few things to keep in mind before shopping for door handles. For starters, because of varying design styles, levers are often handed, meaning we need to know which way our door swings in order for the lever to curve up or down in the right direction on the door. If you don't determine the door handing you may have some door levers that curve up and some that curve down throughout your home. Many simple, or modern style lever handles are not handed. Schlage and Kwikset levers have reversible handling which makes them easy to order and install.
Adding new handles can give your home a much nicer look and feel. For example, replacing old polished brass builder doorknobs with higher quality levers in popular finishes gives a more modern, custom look to your home. We have great deals on discount door handles that will give your home an inexpensive quick fix to make it easier to sell or just improve the look without going over your price range.
Door hardware is an integral part of our daily life, yet is something most of us think very little about. With our wide selection of affordable choices, you can purchase door levers of just about any configuration. From replacing old vintage locks to the latest keyless versions, we have all the must-have options you need. Let's take a look at the different types we offer in our inventory.
Generally used on exterior doors or really any door that needs the added security of a door lock, these locking levers have a keyed cylinder on the outside and require the user to have a key for entry once locked. Some keyed entry locks will have a panic release feature where from the inside if the lever is turned the lock is deactivated for exit. Weslock models all have this panic release feature on keyed functions. If a lock does not have this panic release feature, you must turn the button to the unlocked position or the lever will not turn to disengage the latch mechanism. If you have several keyed locks in your project, we can key all locks alike if you wish.
Passage locks do not lock. These are generally used on hall doors or closets that do not need to be locked, but still need the functionality of a working door lever on the door. Sometimes passage levers are used on exterior doors where a deadbolt is mounted above.
Privacy levers are generally used on bedrooms and bathrooms for privacy. These types of door levers have a locking mechanism, but don't have a keyed cylinder on the outside like an exterior lock. Privacy locks are not as secure as keyed entry locks because you can easily pick the lock open with a generic tool provided with the lock, a hairpin or paper clip. This capability to unlock is required so that you can gain access to a room should a child lock themselves in or a similar circumstance. Like keyed entry locks, privacy levers have a turn button or push button/pin (depending on the brand) on the inside of the door. You can find this panic release feature on Weslock and Emtek brand door locks.
Dummy door levers are surface mounted and do not entail a latch mechanism. This type of lever is sold individually or in pairs (depending on the brand). When shopping, it will tell you if the item is sold as a single dummy or dummy pair (double dummy) to help you narrow it down and make the right choice.
When ordering a lever for a door, you have to determine handing for most styles of levers. Because of the unique styling of levers, if you install a left handed lever on a right handed door the lever design would be upside down. Determining door handing is easy based on the way the door swings. You can read more on our door handing guide. If you just don't want to mess with it, Schlage and Kwikset models are designed to be reversible and you're only required to specify handing on dummy sets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which way do lever handles go?
Lever handles come in a variety of styles, but those that are curved typically are meant to be installed so that the middle of the curve is up and then down on the end. However, if the incorrect door handing is ordered, the lever would curve down in the middle and up on the end. The lever will still work this way, but is not necessarily designed to be that way. We recommend becoming familiar with how to determine your door handing before ordering so you get it right the first time. Check out our door handing page for more information.
How do you determine the handing of a door lever?
Door handing for lever sets is different than the way it is determined for carpentry. To determine the handing of your door, stand outside the door facing it. If the hinges are on the right it is a right hand. If the hinges are on the left, it is a left hand. For a more detailed explanation of door handing, check out our door handing video
Are Schlage lever handles reversible?
Yes, all Schlage lever handles are reversible except for single dummy levers. You will need to specify handing when ordering dummy levers. If you plan to use dummy levers on both sides of a door, order one right hand and one left hand.
What is a passage lever?
Passage function levers are non-locking. They have a latch that keeps the door closed, but there is no lock mechanism so the door always remains unlocked. Passage levers are typically used on hall or closet doors that have no need for a lock.
What is a privacy lever set?
Privacy levers have a locking mechanism for privacy and are typically used on a bedroom or bathroom door. Privacy locks don't provide the amount of security that an exterior keyed lock would so they are not recommended for exterior doors. Some privacy locks have a turn button lock mechanism in the lever, while others have a push-button or push pin in the rosette. They are also shipped with a generic unlocking tool that can be used to unlock the door in the event of an emergency. There is a pinhole in the lever handle or rosette on the exterior where the generic unlocking tool is inserted to unlock.
What is an entrance function lever set?
Entrance lever sets have a key cylinder on the outside of the door and a push-button lock on the interior. Entrance levers are used on any door that needs the security of a key cylinder which are typically exterior doors. Entrance lever handles are often used in conjunction with a deadbolt for additional security and can be keyed alike other entrance levers and deadbolts of the same brand.
What is a single dummy function?
Single dummy levers are for aesthetics only. They have no latch mechanism and are single-sided and surface mounted to the door. These are typically used on double closet doors that use a ball catch mechanism at the top of the door, or on the inactive side of a double door (french door).
Are all lever handles reversible?
Not all lever handles are reversible. If we ask for door handing on our website when ordering, they are not reversible. If you don't want to have to worry about handing, take a look at Schlage, Kwikset, and Baldwin Prestige. Nearly all of these two brands are reversible (other than dummy function).
This is a subjective question that is more so based upon personal preference and the type of needs you have for your door hardware. While there are certainly more popular brands—Baldwin, Yale, Kwikset, and Schlage to name a few—what you need out of door hardware for will dictate the best brand for you. Some brands are more focused on commercial security instead of aesthetic value. Others believe in the power of keyless entry, while many brands focus on traditional and elegant keyed door locks.
The first step in choosing door hardware is determining your needs. Where will your new door hardware be installed? What level of security do you need? How important is the finish and style to you? Ask these questions to find the perfect door hardware brand.
Door handles have different types of names, some of which people use interchangeably. A door handle refers to a knob or lever. While knobs are round (though they can be square or other shapes too), levers open the door by pushing down.
As with all trends, what's popular one year may not be the next. For 2020, some of the most popular door handle finishes are Brushed Nickel, Graphite Nickel, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Matte Black, Silver, Matte Brass, and Copper. Essentially, homeowners and designers love warm colored metals. Anything matte, brushed, or antiqued is a great choice.
If you're not sure which way your lever handle is supposed to go, take a look at your door from outside the door. Where are the hinges? If they're on the left, it's a left-handed door, meaning you need to install your lever handle with the inside lever point to the right. If your hinges are on the right side of the door, it's a right-handed door. The lever handle will need to be pointed to the left on the inside.