If you want to get straight into choosing front door handles then click one of the three images below. This will then take you to a selection of handles.
There are many types of front door handles and selecting the correct one is very important. The starting point is to look at the type of key you have now. This distinguishes the lock type which in turn guides you to the correct type of handles for doors.
The type of key you have distinguishes the lock type..
Older Types of External Door Handles
Old front door handles are almost always associated with mortise locks and are generally found on timber or wooden doors. These locks have a long stem type key and are easy to identify. You will have heard the term 5 lever mortise locks used by insurance companies, and so these are the type of locks they prefer. They are only really found on older types of wooden doors with mortise locks.
5 lever locks is a term used by insurance companies for wooden doors with mortise locks
Over the years front door handles for wooden doors have tended to keep to a standard lever to lock size. This makes the changing of exterior door handles easy enough for most people to do. In metric terms this size is 57mm. You can check this by measuring from the centre of the spindle to the centre of the key hole. Be careful with the keyhole measurement as you measure to the centre of the key itself not the full key slot. The best way to measure this size is to turn the key 90 degrees and measure to the centre of the key. The difficulty most people have with identifying mortise type front door handles are the slightly different key hole designs. Some are more traditional and follow the key shape while some are more modern and can be an oval shape.
Critical measurement for mortise door handles is 57mm!
Modern Day Handles (uPVC)
We use the term 'modern day' loosely as this covers a good 30 years or so and mostly refers to upvc front door handles. Nevertheless UPVC door handles have one thing in common; they use euro cylinders. The good thing here too is that the cut-out for the euro cylinder shape is the same size for all such handles. That's where the easy bit ends! These handles are not quite as straight forward as the mortise types discussed above. They require more study and careful measuring in order to replace them correctly. If it helps you then you can abort the rest of this piece and head straight to our guide How To Measure uPVC Door Handles.
Not all uPVC door handles were made equal!
UPVC Door Locks
It is important to note that a wooden door with a mortise lock will lock around the handle area of the wooden door. UPVC doors on the other hand use multi-point locks along the side of the door. This means there is greater security against the entry side of the door. These multi-point locks are controlled by a key turning a cylinder barrel. This in turn operates the lockcase inside the door and the lockcase is of course connected to the multi-point locks. They sure are complicated so any issues with the door lock can be very troublesome.
If you haven't headed over to our measuring guide for upvc door handles then let's give you a 'heads up' about what to expect.
It's true to say that not all upvc door handles are made equal. Over time the door lock manufacturers have developed more secure and stronger locks. In so doing each and every lock size has been made differently, that is until more recent times. This impacts the choice of your handles as the handle spindle, keyhole and screw positions must match the lock. It's important to note that as time goes by a lot of these lock and handle sizes have become obsolete. If you find your handles are impossible to find then contact a local double glazing repairs company for advice.
Offset uPVC Door Handles
Most people are familiar with front door handles working off one spindle but with uPVC doors you can expect to find two spindles on some locks. A lot of people like this because the door locks behind them from the outside. Then again some people feel it is too easy to lock yourself out! It does still mean of course that you have to pay further attention to finding the correct handle measurements as described above and with a further size for the second spindle to the lock.
You will probably find that there is more chance of an offset pair of upvc door handles having a lever pad arrangement instead of the typical lever both sides. Some people love them and some don't but if you have you them then searching for replacements may be more difficult. In the first instance try our replacement offset upvc door handles guide to see if it is listed. If you want to see the offset pad handles on video watch this short product demonstration.
Keeping with the theme 'that not all upvc door handles are equal' it's important to mention one other thing. Some lever pad door handles can work off two spindles that are inline with each other. This is just an advancement by the lock manufacturers to build in the functionality as per offset spindles. The door still locks from the outside after entering.
That's us about done as far as front door handles are concerned. If you want to add any comments please login at the foot of the page.