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The Different Types of Door Knobs — and How They Work

Sep 26, 2022

wooden door near window with keyed entry door knob

You may think that all door knobs are the same. But from the keyed entry knob that is widely used on the front doors of homes to the simple push-button knob that is common on interior doors, there are actually many different types of door knobs to choose from.

We’re going to walk you through all the most common types of door knobs. We’ll also explain how they work. By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge you need to choose the best one for you!

1. Keyed Entry Door Knobs

Keyed entry door knobs are the most common type of door knob. You'll find them on both interior and exterior doors and in various finishes. You can choose from single-cylinder and double-cylinder options. Single cylinder door knobs are keyed on the outside and a thumb turn on the inside. Double cylinder door knobs have a keyed hole on both the inside and outside. If you have old door knobs, consider upgrading to the latest door knobs.

They're also available with SmartKey Security, which comes with a number of security benefits. SmartKey locks are not only pick, drill, and bump resistant, but they’re also easy to re-key.

How does a keyed entry door knob work?

Unlike the other different types of door knobs, most keyed door knobs have a keyhole on the outside and a small turn button on the inside. To lock the door, you insert a key into the keyhole and turn it clockwise. This engages a locking mechanism that prevents the knob from being turned from the outside. To unlock the door, you insert the key and turn it counterclockwise. To unlock the door from the inside, you simply turn the small button or lever.

If you have a double cylinder door knob, there will be a keyhole on both the inside and outside of the door. A key is required to lock the door regardless of which side you are on. If you're inside, you need the key to throw the bolt. If you are outside, you always need to lock the door with a key or a keypad. This is more secure, but it can be inconvenient if you lose your keys. This type of knob can also be a problem in case of an emergency because you can't unlock the door from the inside without a key. However, they offer superior security overall when compared with different types of door knobs with single-cylinder locking mechanisms.

2. Privacy Door Knobs

This type of doorknob is most often used on bedroom and bathroom doors. Most privacy door knobs are also made of sturdy materials and unique finishes that complement the style of the door or indoor decor. There are two different types of privacy door knobs: keyed and non-keyed. Keyed privacy door knobs have a small hole on the inside knob that can be opened with a key from the outside. Non-keyed privacy door knobs have a push button or turn button on the inside knob that locks the door from the inside.

How does a privacy door knob work?

There are different types of privacy door knobs too. Most have a turn-button locking mechanism, but some have a push-button locking mechanism. The turn button is engaged by turning the knob to one side or the other until it locks into place. The push-button is engaged by pushing on the button until it locks into place. There are also some privacy door knobs that can be locked from the outside with a key.

The outside of the knob will have a slot into which a long, thin generic key can be inserted to unlock the door. This safety feature is necessary in case of fire or other emergencies where people might need to exit the building quickly. As a precautionary measure, the key is often tucked just above the door frame ledge just in case it's needed.

3. Passage Door Knobs

white closet door with passage door knob

Passage door knobs are a different type of door knob typically used on interior doors. They are easy to use and don't require a key to operate. They're widely used in areas inside the home that don't need any level of privacy, such as hallways, closets, pantries, and laundry rooms. They're also available in different finishes and designs to match the style of your home.

How does a passage door knob work?

Passage door knobs are designed with a simple latch that turns as you rotate the door knob. Unlike different types of door knobs, passage door knobs don't have a lock, so they can be opened from the outside with a simple twist. These are best for closets, hallways, and other places where you won’t need privacy.

4. Dummy Door Knobs

The dummy door knob is a different type of door knob that is typically used as a decorative piece on a door. They are usually mounted on the surface of the door and don't have any locking mechanism. Dummy door knobs are available in different styles and finishes to match the look of your home. You'll find them on small linen closets or shallow pantry doors, where a person would never enter or lock. Doors with dummy door knobs may have a magnetic catch or ball latch along the top part of the door just for added safety.

How does a dummy door knob work?

Dummy door knobs are usually permanently mounted on the surface of the door and are held in place with a small set screw. They don't have a twist or push-button mechanism like different types of door knobs do. They're often surface-mounted on doors where only a pull is required with no operation. To use a dummy door knob, simply pull the door open.

Learn More About Door Hardware

There are many different types of door knobs available on the market, each with its own set of benefits. When it comes to choosing the right one for your needs, it is important to keep in mind both function and aesthetics. With a little research, you should be able to find the perfect option for your home or office. At Door Locks Direct, we are always here to help if you have any questions about door hardware.

Still wondering how does a door knob work or which one is right for you? Call us at 866.755.5625 or visit our blog to learn more about door hardware.