When it comes to picking door furniture, we usually consider the handle to be something of personal taste. We’re so used to seeing door levers, knobs and other fixings that we don’t put much thought into which is more practical. While there is no single reason to pick one over the other, these benefits and drawbacks may be reason enough for you to choose either a door knob or door lever for your home renovation.
Even the most simple design of door knob can be capable of adding a touch of style to your property. With the sheer amount of designs, styles and finishes available it is considerably easy to choose one that fits the style and appearance of your door and surrounding furniture. As well as the more standard designs there are some marvellously decorative options, like cut-glass knobs or reeded designs.
- In terms of practicality, they can, when fitted with appropriate latches operate the latch by turning the knob either way regardless of the configuration of your door. You can even purchase tailors spindles which will fix compatible knobs dead for use on cupboards or any door the knobs are not required to turn on.
- Door knobs are a great option for older period properties as the door knob has been around much longer than lever handles. Many older properties will have doors fitted with surface mounted rim locks. Door knobs designed for use on rim locks will be perfect for these situations.
- If the classic ball or bun shape is too simplistic, you can always opt for an oval or egg-shaped knob, which boasts enhanced grip and leverage. There are many designs to choose from as well as sizes which allows you to find a door knob that compliment your door.
- Door knobs do not naturally give as much grip as lever handles. If doors are to be used by those that do not have much grip such as children and the elderly a door knob may make it difficult to operate that door. This is very relevant in public use buildings where we will always advise lever handles over door knobs.
- Door knobs need to be set back into the door in order to avoid users catching their knuckles on the door frames. There are more doors available nowadays that have full height glass or desings that will not allow the door knob to be set far enough in for knuckles to be safe. You can put door knobs on these doors but concessions will need to be made in how you grip the knobs to avoid catching your knuckles
- Due to the issue about door knobs are not a simple option for external doors with respect to integrating security locks. While security locks for door knobs exist nobody makes an all-in-one lock and latch for door knobs that is BS3621 rated which insurance companies look for. To achieve BS3621 with door knobs a separate latch and BS3621 deadlock will be needed. The trade-off is that the key hole will not line up with the door knob which is an issue for some.
Within the realm of door handles the lever is a more recent technology (event though it has still been around for hundreds of years itself), In more recent years the lever has become more and more integrated with modern interior design. They have also become commonplace on external doors such as patios, and front doors. Door levers are available in a wide variety of designs and finishes.
- Door levers counter the drawback of door knobs when it comes to the strength and dexterity of the user. You can probably recall at least one instance where you successfully used your elbow to open one (most likely holding the shopping), but that in itself is a great demonstration of their convenience.
- Door levers are a great choice for glazed doors and doors that will not allow locks with deep cases. the basic principle of door lever design means that even on the narrowest depth lock cases you will never catch your knuckles on the door frame while using the lever.
- Door levers can offer a wide variety of back plate options from round roses to long backplates that can facilitate a number of potential functions. A door lever on a longer plate can incorporate a keyhole or bathroom turn and release saving the need to purchase these elements separately. Door knobs do exists that are on long plates but they are very few and far between with very limited practical uses.
- Even with the traditional designs available door levers are a more modern product compared to door knobs and so they may not lend themselves to older period properties well. Function is obviously important in any property but aesthetics are also an important factor and fittings that do not suit the period can detract from the whole feel of a room or entire property.
- The basic shape of a door lever means that it can get caught on loose clothing as you go through the door. At worst this could result in a tear. Some door lever designs return the end of the lever towards the door to help with this and also aid those who cannot grip fully as the lever moves downwards. Those designs are better suited to public buildings though on the whole.
- Lever handles will require more maintenance over their lifetime as they contain springs that hold the levers in the horizontal positon. If not maintained springs can fail prematurely and levers will droop which aesthetically does not look good. Some imported door knobs on the market do also contain springs although it has to be noted that this is because they may well get fitted with cheap latches with basic springs. Latches should always be strong enough to return the un-sprung door knob they are fitted to but that is something for another blog post.