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Door Handles vs Knobs: Which is Right for You?

Door Handles vs Knobs: Which is Right for You?

Nov 30, 2022

close up photography of gray stainless steel door lever and lock

When it comes to choosing door hardware for your home or office, there are a lot of factors to consider. Do you want something that is easy to use? Something sturdy, secure, and stylish? Something that's budget-friendly?

In this blog post, we'll compare the differences between two of the market's most popular options: door handles vs knobs. By the end, you should have a better idea of which option is right for you.

1. Functionality

The vast majority of knobs and handles on the market have the same basic functionality: twisting a handle or knob turns a spindle, which rotates two cam drive units in the interior of the door latch assembly. These cam drive units push a transmission plate that pulls back a spring-loaded latch, allowing you to open the door. The only difference between lever door handles vs knobs in functionality is the method of turning the spindle.

Door handles are designed to be easy to use. You don’t need to grip a handle to turn it. Ever had your hands full when you need to open a door? That’s where handles shine — you can just push it open with your hip, elbow, knee, or whatever body part you have that’s still free.

Door knobs, on the other hand, require you to grip and twist the door knob. It takes a bit more effort.

2. Aesthetics

The second key difference between door levers vs knobs is aesthetics. Door knobs were the norm long before handles were designed, so you’ll find knobs in most older homes. Because of their historical usage, they’re associated with vintage and traditional decor styles.

Door handles, on the other hand, are a relatively modern design. As we mentioned earlier, they’re easier to turn, so they’re much more common in new homes. They fit in perfectly with contemporary home decor.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t modern door knobs or traditional-looking door levers. Both exist and can absolutely work with your decor. However, these traditional and modern design associations should still be considered when deciding between door handles vs knobs for your home.

3. Security

While door knobs can be made keyed, virtually none are made with BS3621 rating, a lock standard that some insurance companies look for. A separate deadbolt almost always has to accompany a door knob to conform to this standard. A door handle, however, can be manufactured with a BS3621-rated lock. So when comparing door handles vs knobs, handles are better for exterior doors.

But that’s not the full story. Handles were intentionally designed to be easy to use, which means that young children and clever pets can, with practice, easily open them if they aren’t keyed. That means they can get into plenty of places you don’t want them to go, such as the utility closet or your bedroom in the middle of the night. Replacing those handles with knobs is an easy fix.

In this case, there isn’t a clear-cut winner between door handles vs knobs. To get the best of both worlds, you can have handles for exterior doors and knobs for interior doors you only want grown-ups going into.

4. ADA Compliance

This is a big one. It’s the reason you see handles in businesses and public buildings far more often than knobs: almost all door levers are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), while no door knobs are.

When comparing the ease of use of door handles vs knobs, it's easy to see why door handles are a better choice for disabled people. For anyone with mobility or dexterity issues, door handles don’t require nearly as much effort to turn. No grip is required — you just have to push the handle either up or down to open a door. This is a huge factor to consider if you’re shopping for your business or if someone in your home would struggle to use door knobs.

Learn More at Door Locks Direct

door knob on a wooden door

 So, which is right for you when comparing door handles vs knobs? The answer depends on your needs and preferences. If you're looking for something that’s more modern and easier to use, then door handles are a good option for you. If you want to stick to a more traditional look, then door knobs may be a better option.

At Door Locks Direct, we carry a wide variety of door handles and knobs to suit your needs. Shop our selection today and find the perfect option for your home. Want to learn more about the differences between door levers vs knobs?Call us today — we’ll get you the help you need.