Types of Handlesets

Handlesets or Entry door sets are a great way to dress up your front door. Not only are there many many designs and finishes to choose from, but there are also several types of handlesets that you can have your pick from as well. All can be nicely categorized on our site if you wish to make things a little more smooth going.

There are 3 different designs to choose from such as the two piece (or sectional), the one piece (or Monolithic), or full plate (or full length).

handlesets

But before you choose one of the 3 designs, you get to choose the type!

double_sidedDouble sided handlesets or also known as a grip by grip handleset, as shown in the picture above have, are a handleset that comes with the grip on both the outside and the inside of the door. This style isn’t as common as the rest, but they sure do look nice.

two_pointTwo point locks are great for those of you who want a little more security. They provide two locking points, the deadbolt and the handle each have a lock or keyed cylinder, just for that added or extra security.

emergency_egressEmergency Egress or Interconnect handlesets are super convenient and some places may require these types. It works like this,

InterconnectWhen you press down on the lever from the inside, the deadbolt and lever latch automatically unlock, it opens the door in one single action. This makes an easy exit in case of emergency.

mortise_lockMortise Lock Handlesets are just a little bit different than all your other standard handlesets. If you notice the pictures it looks a little bit different on the side of the door, as it has a big plate, which is a box that slides in the door. These are require special prepping, so make sure your door is prepped correctly.

And finally check out the Keyless Handlesets which provide a super easy way to unlock and lock the door. No keys required!

 

What Door Hardware Do I Need On Interior French Doors?

It can be so confusing to know what to order for a set of french doors. And it’s true, it can be a little tricky if you aren’t familiar with all the different functions and such. French doors on the inside of your house will have a door that’s fixed and the other operable.

The fixed door will need to have a latch, called a flush bolt or a more decorative one called a surface bolt (these bolts come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and finishes to match your existing door hardware), that you can unlock that will be located at the top and/or bottom of the door to keep the door shut in place. And when you unlock it, it will allow you to open the door. Depending on what you want the french doors to look like, you can choose to order a dummy function door knob/lever (these are available with any style of door knob or lever handle you decide on) so it matches the operable door. Some people decide it’s not necessary to order a dummy door knob, as it doesn’t function and is only mounted to the surface of the door, whereas others choose to order the dummy function either because they believe it looks nicer or sometimes people like it because then you do have a handle to pull it open when the flush bolt is unlocked. A good thing to note when ordering the dummy function is that some brands only ship one singe dummy door knob/lever, meaning you will only receive one for one side of the door. Look for double dummy, which will come with two for each side of the door. If you are looking for what kind of hardware to order for double closet doors, read this post.

For the operable door, it’s most likely bored with a hole to fit the door knob or lever. Lots and lots of doors already come this way with standard door prep. For an interior french door you will want to order a passage or privacy function door knob or lever. A passage is a door knob that functions but has no type of lock at all, whereas the privacy will have a privacy push/turn button to lock the door knob in place for privacy. You will find privacy functions on a bathroom or bedroom door. It just depends on what type of room these french doors lead to and your preference.

If you are looking to find what kind of door hardware to order for exterior french doors check out an earlier post all about that here.

Door Hardware Options for an Exterior Door

It’s important to feel safe and secure when it comes to an exterior/entry door. I don’t think anyone would feel comfortable installing a regular door knob with no type of lock on an exterior door, I guess unless you live out in the middle of nowhere and I am guessing that probably means you leave your keys in your car too. Anyway, not everyone lives where there are no neighbors in sight. So it’s important to find a lock(s) that makes you feel comfortable when leaving the house for the day or maybe days.  Believe it or not there are a lot of door lock options for an entry/exterior door, not just your basic door knob that has a key.

 

Picture 21292

The most common combination is probably a basic single cylinder deadbolt with a passage function knob or lever. A passage function means it has not type of lock on the door knob or lever, the deadbolt is how you would keep your door locked. You could choose a double cylinder deadbolt if you wanted, but that mean’s it will be keyed on the outside as well as the inside. It’s not recommended for most doors, as it could be a fire hazard.

 

Picture 21292

Another good choice would be to find a deadbolt that you like and pair it with a keyed door knob or keyed lever.

 

sideplate-lockSideplate locks are a little fancier option with so many different plate options and you get to pair it with your choice of door knob or lever and choose whatever of the many finishes. These work basically like the first option (deadbolt and passage function knob or lever) except it has a fancy plate in between. Sideplates are from Emtek. The picture above shoes a sideplate with a CC of 3 5/8″ (which is not standard prep). 5 1/2″ CC sideplates are available on the right hand side of this page.

 

TE_46_Brighton_MB

And last but not least, you can also find many many styles of Handlesets. These are pretty popular as well for a front door, maybe not so much for a back door or side door, but the front door it’ll sure make a statement. Most handlesets will only have the above deadbolt to keep the door locked, but if you are wanting added security and have 2 locks you can check out the two point handleset locks.

Don’t forget to check out the keyless locks, which could take place of several of these options.

 

What Door Hardware Do I Need for Exterior French Doors?

French doors or in other words double doors are commonly seen on many front entry ways of many homes now. We get asked quite a bit what type of hardware do you need to order for a set of double exterior doors? Exterior meaning you will want the door to have a keyed lock for security, but what else? Lets break it down to be little more simple.

French doors will have a fixed door and an operable door. It’s important to know which door is the active door and which door is fixed door, in other words is the active door on the left or on the right? This is important, because some levers and some handlesets require handing of the door. Here is a chart to help you figure out if your door is left hand or right hand.

Simple_handing

If you want both french doors to open you can order either a few flush bolts (which are the most common) or surface bolts (which are more decorative) that are installed at the top and bottom of the fixed door to lock the door in place and then you can simply unlatch it when you want the fixed door to open.

The most obvious piece of door hardware you may think to order is a keyed lock set. That being a keyed door knob, a keyed lever or a keyed handleset. If you decide to go with a keyed door knob or lever, you will also want to purchase a deadbolt to go above the door knob or lever. Any of these you decide to go with will be installed on your active door. Handlesets are nice because the deadbolt is already included and they look super nice on exterior doors, but these are a little more expensive.

For the fixed door, remember your flush bolt or surface bolt liked I mentioned earlier. If you check out your french doors, the operable door should have a hole bored for the keyed lock set you chose to go with and the fixed door may not have a hole at all. You can choose whether you want to order a dummy set – a dummy door knob, dummy door lever handle, or a dummy handleset. Some people don’t order anything for the fixed door and it looks just fine, but then others like both doors to look symmetrical. It’s up to you!

*NOTE: Make sure that if you are ordering a dummy it is a set, because some dummy door knobs or levers are shipped with only one for one side of the door, in this case you will need to order 2 dummies for the fixed door.

Door Lever for Doors Over 3″ Thick

It’s not overly common for a door to be over standard thickness, which is anywhere from 1 3/4″ up to 2″ thick. Most doors are already prepped this standard thickness and most hardware are made to fit standard prepped doors. This can make it hard for those looking for door hardware to fit over this standard door thickness.

 

For doors over 2″ Standard Thickness:

For those of you that have doors that are thicker than the standard 2″ thickness, check out Emtek. They offer door hardware starting from the standard 1 3/4″ all the way up to 3″ thick! All you have to do is find the door hardware you like and you will be able to select the door thickness you have. We found that it’s becoming more and more common for front doors to be a little thicker than standard, because lot’s of people have great big fancy front doors on their homes.

 

For doors over 3″ Thick:

A door over 3″ thick, is pretty uncommon, but hey… I’m sure there is someone out there looking for some kind of hardware to fit on a really thick door that nobody seems to carry. So if you are looking for any kind of door hardware to fit your door that’s over 3″ thick, we have this special mechanical lever on the site from Lockey just for you!

Lockey Style 2835 Passage Lever Handle

2835out

The Lockey Lever is a mechanical lock and is also available in double combination.

The lever can fit doors from standard thickness all the way up to 5″ thick! I’m thinking not many people (if any) will need a lever to fit a door that is over 5″ thick. I guess you never know.

You can choose from many finishes, such as antique brass, bright brass, satin chrome, satin nickel, jet black, white, bright chrome, oil rubbed bronze and a ‘special finish’ called marine grade.

Easy In and Out Keyless Locks

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel it’s a huge hassle to get in and out of the house – with all the keys that I have to keep track of, my hands are usually full of something or other, and I can seriously tell you that it’s probably the worst part of leaving. It stresses me out! One time I had my hands full of groceries and the key wouldn’t turn in the deadbolt lock and so I had to set everything I had down on my step and I probably worked on trying to open my lock for about 5 minutes straight, and I may or may not have ended up crying about it. The story ends happy though, I got inside. Believe it or not, this post is not about me and my sad story, I have a point to all this. There is a solution to all this if you have ever felt similar to what I feel and felt on that sad day. We don’t have to feel like this when we are trying to open our locks and in a hurry anymore…

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I am talking about Keyless Locks! These have always been awesome in my eyes. Keyless deadbolts, keyless levers and knobs, and keyless handlesets! This is what, in my opinion, everyone needs. They are easy to use, easy to install and seriously so handy to have. You don’t have to worry about keys any longer! And maybe if your like me it would be even better if  you didn’t have to remember to lock the door, from the inside or outside. Well guess what?… There are keyless locks with this option, and automatic locking option. Which means that after you have entered your keypad code, the deadbolt will lock after so many seconds for you! You don’t have to remember to lock the door after you shut it. Let me give you a list of which ones have this automatic locking action.

LS_dbs_s

This last one is a little bit different than the rest because it has a remote. Yeah, I’m not kidding. This deadbolt looks exactly like the LS-DB500, but it includes a hand held remote that looks like the remotes with the little buttons that go to your car to unlock and lock the doors or pop the trunk or whatever other buttons they have now. This remote wont have a trunk popping option, but it does have lock and unlock buttons that can open your lock from up to 30 feet away. Sweet right?

Keyless locks really do make life so much more simple.

 

 

What Type of Hardware You Have So You Can Replace It

Back when a door knob was just a door knob to me and that’s as deep as it got, I never imagined how different each door knob could be. I’m not talking about the obvious design difference, of course there are many varieties there, but what about the measurements, the latches, the round or square, handleset, lever mortise, multi point, yadda yadda… And honestly you wont need to know all this stuff, unless you are trying to replace your hardware. I know that might sound super overwhelming, but don’t give up yet! It’s actually not all that bad. You just need to find out what type of hardware you have and then you can start crossing off most of that list.

First, you need to determine if you have an actual standard door knob/lever. This is what most people have today. And how you determine this is by the door prep, or measurements of the holes in the door. Standard doors have a 2 1/8″ bore hole and 1″ cross bore, and backset measurements of either 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″ (for more info on standard door prep check here, or check here for more info on backsets). And by looking at the edge of the door where the bolt (or latch) comes in and out of the door when the knob is turned (the latch is what holds the door in place when shut), will help you find out what style of latch you need for your standard door. There are 3 different styles of latches for standard doors, rounded corner, square corner, or drive-in.

latchtypes

Most of the hardware you order come standard with either the square or rounded corner faceplates. Generally you will need to request a drive-in latch. Make sure and read in the description of what style will ship with the hardware, and if it’s not what you need you can request for it at no extra charge.

You may run into what looks similar to the door levers above, but the backset measurement is not anywhere close to 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″, it’s more like 5″.

5-backset

Brands like Schlage and Kwikset offer 5″ backsets for almost all of their hardware. You will just need to specify that you need a 5″ backset rather than the standard 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″.

Exterior doors, you can find several options such as a deadbolt and knob/lever combo, entrance handleset or mortise handleset, sideplate lock, ore multi-point patio lock.

 

exterior_deadbolt

If you have a separate deadbolt and knob/lever you can use a deadbolt with either a passage function knob/lever or keyed entrance if you want the added security. And this also falls under the standard prepped door measurements.

 

Standard entrance handlesets (also standard prepped) you can find under any brand. Entrance handlesets are most popular for any front door.

entrance-handleset

 

Sideplates are similar to handlesets without the big long grip at the bottom. Some are made to fit standard prep of 5 1/2″ cc, but there are many that have a 3 5/8″ cc (which is not standard).

sideplate-lock

 

Multi Point Patio Lock trims are high end patio doors that have their very own internal mechanism and locks with 3 or more points around the top, side and bottom of the door. On the edge of the door it will look like the latch extends for several feet or maybe even the entire edge of the door. We have many trim sets (the mechanism is not included) to choose from.

multi-point-locks

 

Skeleton Key Locks fit older style doors prepped for a mortise box that slides into the edge of the door. The skeleton key lock boxes measure about 3″ deep and 4″ tall and 1/2″ thick. Nostalgic Warehouse is where you will find your replacements for this style.

skeleton-key-lock

 

Mortise Handlesets and Locks are high quality and are generally add more security than a regular handleset or door lock. Mortise locks use a mortise lock box (similar to the sekeleton key lock box) that slides into the edge of the door. It measures at around 3-4″ deep and about 8″ high (you can see how high the mortise box is if you look at the edge of the door). It’s more modern than the skeleton key locks. You can find these modern mortise handlesets and locks from Emtek.

mortise-lock

Replacing Your Existing Handleset

Shopping for a new handleset for your front door can be fun! All the different designs and finishes out now are sure to add to that fresh coat of paint you just added to your front door, or maybe you just need to replace that old beaten down handleset you have had for years. There are a few things to keep in mind if you are replacing your handleset for your existing door preparation. The biggest problem is when ordering your new handleset, you want to make sure it will fit all of the existing holes that your previous handleset required, otherwise you will have big and ugly holes exposed in your door! So, we have come up with a great handy chart to help direct you to where you need to go and what you need to look for when you are ready to replace your old handleset. Please click here and scroll down to see the chart.

handle

 

Here we have a picture of a handleset and all of the letters (A-E) represent all of the important measurements you will need from your old handleset before ordering your new handleset. One of the more important measurements is the “C” measurement. Each handleset will have a through bolt that holds the exterior grip in place. It’s important to match this to your new handleset, or your will have to drill a new hole in the door and patch up the old one. That may not look very good if the new handleset you choose has a shorter grip. *NOTE: Schlage handlesets have adjustable through bolts so they will fit a range of door preparations. There is about 1-1/2″ of adjustment on the “C” measurement for these handlesets; 3/4″ shorter or longer than the length shown on the chart.

The standard residential door prep for entry doors is two 2-1/8″ bore holes 5-1/2″ center to center (which is measurement “B” in the picture shown). If you have more than 5 1/2″ CC, you can still use a sectional handleset. Sectional handlesets have a separate deadbolt (not connected to the rest of the handleset). This style can also work on some door preps that are a little smaller than 5 1/2″ CC.

An interconnect device can be added some of the handlesets as an option.

For more information on how to find an entry handleset to fit your existing door preparation go here.

Or, if you need help determining which handleset will fit your existing door conditions please call us at 877-852-9449.  Or click here to ask a question.

 

Keyless Locks – Electronic vs. Mechanical

Keyless locks are great and are actually getting to be more common on residential places. It’s probably because they are so handy and you don’t have to worry about keys! Going keyless can make it really easy for your kids to get into the house when they come home from school or other activities. You don’t have to worry about them being responsible for a key. These are also handy tools for if you are known to lock yourself out of your own house (we’ve all been there, don’t worry) and forgot to hide a spare key somewhere outside. You’ll just have to remember a simple code and your in!

 

What’s the Difference Between Electronic and Mechanical?

 

The easiest explanation of each type is that Electronic locks are battery operated and often have a light up keypad, where as Mechanical locks do not require batteries or power of any kind.

 

What are the Pros and Cons?

 

Now, I don’t have either of these fine gadgets on my own home, but I was able to stay in a few condos over the summer (my husband travels a lot for work, and I get to go with him sometimes) and I was able to try out both the electronic deadbolt and mechanical deadbolt depending on the condo we stayed in. So I can tell you what I liked and disliked about each. I found them both way way a million times better than using a plain old school key and that’s the biggest pro of all. But digging a bit deeper…

Our first experience was that of the the Electronic style. It was a dream. So easy to use. We got there really late at night, so it was dark and the keypad lit right up so we could easily punch in the code and entered the lovely condo. It also had a way nice lock button, so when you shut your door to leave, all you had to do was simply push the button and it locked like magic. Again, no silly key! I know that some electronic locks can lock automatically after you shut the door, but this one you had to hit the button to lock, or it stayed unlocked. Now I can’t remember for sure, but it looked an awful lot like this Kwikset electronic deadbolt. The only con I can come up with for this one was that by the end of our one of many trips to this place, the lock was starting to sound really funny. Kinda like it was dying. When we came back on our next visit I got to chatting with the owner of that particular condo and she told me that a guest was locked out because the batteries had died. I don’t know about you, but that’s sorta a scary nightmare! I guess it would be a good idea to hide a spare key (because the keyless deadbolts still have an option for key access) outside in case this happens.

On another one of our visits we were able to use the mechanical style lock similar to this style from Lockey. Again we got there really late at night and it was dark dark dark. Mechanical locks don’t use any kind of power or battery remember? So there was no light up keypad to easily enter the code. We had to use our phones as a flashlight to enter in the dark. No big deal, but the light up keypad is a really nice feature to have. This lock worked really smooth. And how cool is it that it doesn’t use any batteries or power? You will never have to worry about the battery dying on you, which is a huge pro! One thing we really disliked when entering the condo was after you enter the code you have to twist the knob on the deadbolt and hold it and use your other hand to turn your handle (or in this case it was a thumb lever like you would see on a handleset) to get inside. If you don’t hold the knob on the deadbolt before you let go and try to turn your handle it will automatically lock again, then you will have to re-enter the code and try again. A little frustrating. I’m not sure if all the mechanical locks are this way or not, so keep that in mind.

 

Electronic Pros:

  • Easy to use and easily installed.
  • Provide multiple codes of your choice and can be added or deleted whenever you wish.
  • Keypad lights up by touch to make it easy to enter your codes in the dark
  • Come in many many finishes and designs

Electronic Cons:

  • Batteries may die on you

 

Mechanical Pros:

  • Smooth working
  • Easy to use and easy to install
  • Easy to change codes and change as often as needed
  • No batteries
  • Mechanical Reliability
  • Heavy duty

Mechanical Cons:

  • No light up keypad

 

I Need Help Finding a Handleset That Will Fit My Door…

Is there a way to search for a new handleset with my measurements?

YOU BET!

We have this handy new page added to our site to do just that!

Make sure and make your measurements before and read through the important paragraphs to better help you.

All of the Handlesets are grouped by manufacture and listed in order by measurements. Be sure to let us know if you have any questions, we would be glad to take the order over the phone.

 

What if I have existing holes in my door, but want a new handleset?

No problem! That’s what all the measurements were taken for! We made this easy to read grid to help you find exactly what Handlesets will fit your existing holes.

One of the most important measurements, is the “C” measurement shown here.

Your handleset will have a through bolt attaching the bottom of the exterior grip. It’s important to match this length with your new handleset to avoid drilling a new hole in the door and unsightly patching.

There is about 1-1/2″ of adjustment on the “C” measurement for these handlesets; 3/4″ shorter or longer than the length shown.

The standard door prep for an entrance doors is two 2-1/8″ bore holes that are 5-1/2″ center to center (measurement “B” in the image to the right) If you have more or even a little smaller than 5-1/2 inches, you can still use a sectional handleset, which have a seperate deadbolt.

 

This is made to make it an easier search for the perfect hardware for your door.

We are watching out for you.

Give us a call if you need any help!