Well, you've probably got here for one simple reason, you need to check a few things to be sure you know how to replace the UPVC window handles in your home. It's easy to impulse buy particularly when your upvc window handle breaks so take a few measurements and keep this page well and truly in your favourites section of your web browser and we will show you how to measure and replace them. Want to come back later and just look at the range of upvc window handles first then use these links: espag handles, cockspur handles, tilt and turn handles.

How To Measure UPVC window handles - Checklist!

The table below shows the most likely types of UPVC window handles you will find and in descending order (Espag window handles are the most popular and most recent). This table is your checklist with appropriate links to guide you around the various areas of the HandleStore website where UPVC window handles are concerned. The table then highlights the important things you need to check and measure where appropriate. Clicking the links in the table will take you to the appropriate section of this page or to another page where you can find the handles for upvc windows.

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Even though we use the term upvc window handles here in this guide you will also find that these types of double glazing window handles can be found on a number of other windows made from aluminium and timber. Please note that if you are conducting a search for timber window handles it may be better to look for window latches or wooden window latches.


espag handle with a spindleSpindle length can be expressed in several different ways with the same meaning:

  • The amount of spindle that protrudes from the back of the handle base.
  • The amount of spindle that goes into the window frame.

Tip: If your handle breaks from its base then measure a different handle on the same window as these should be the same spindle length.

If you are unsure drop something into the middle hole on the window to see how deep it goes before meeting an obstruction. That is the maximum amount of spindle that will fit your window.

Note: Timber windows may have an 8mm cross-section instead of the 7mm found on UPVC window handles. You can use spindle sleeves to help this problem.


cranked espag handles left and rightSome UPVC window handles are handed by virtue of their cranked design. This means they can only go onto the window one way whether mounted vertically or horizontally on the window.

Basic rules that apply throughout the website where cranked handles are concerned:

  • Handles that open anti-clockwise are Right Handed.
  • Handles that open clockwise are Left Handed.

Where handing applies you will be asked to select either option.

Where handing doesn't apply the handles can be used on the window to operate in either direction. In the case of UPVC espag locks these inline handles must point the same way when replaced.


step heights for cockspur window handlesOlder UPVC window handles are known as Cockspur handles and in order to replace them you will need to measure the Step Height of the handle needed.

Various step heights have been used over the years although some are more common than others i.e. 21mm is typical for uPVC windows and 9mm is typical for aluminium windows.

What is Step Height? This is the gap beneath the nose of the handle to the base or frame where the handle is seated.

Why is it Important? It will determine how tight or loose the window is once the handle is closed.

If you can't find the same size replacement upvc window handle then you can compensate any difference by changing the cockspur wedge block (striker block) that is adjacent to the handle. These are generally standard size with 31mm lug centres.


fixing centres for cockspur handlesWhen dealing with upvc windows you will always need to consider the screw fixing hole positions otherwise the replacement handle will be difficult if not impossible to fit. Looking at the various types:

  • Cockspur handles on a upvc window may differ very slightly on the outer size from 58 to 62mm but luckily there are replacements in both sizes.
  • Espag window handles are always the same at 43mm centres (2 fixings).
  • Tilt and turn window  handles (on upvc) are always the same at 43mm centres (2 fixings).
  • Cadenza window handles are generally (not always) - 4 fixings at 64/84mm centres.
  • Cockspag window handles are generally (not always) - 2 fixings at 43mm centres.


How to measure the blade length on Cadenza window handlesBlades are found on some of the older upvc windows and the blade length is the size from the underside of the handle to the tip of the blade (the amount going into the window).

Cadenza blades are the same width (15mm) and thickness (3mm) but their length varies. The length available can be selected when ordering from 18mm, 30, 35, 48mm sizes (sizes depend on the model).

Some bespoke designs of handles with blades may exist but Cadenza window handles are blades without cut-outs and slot into the lock mechanism. Some old Everest window handles have a unique design that cannot be replaced.


Blade angles on Cadenza upvc window handlesThis question only applies to Cadenza window handles that have a protruding blade that operates a multi-point locking mechanism inside a upvc window.

There are two common types of Cadenza window handles, both with the same fixing centres but they differ by the blade design - angled or flat (perpendicular). It is imperative you get the right one to replace your upvc window handle. If a flat blade is used where an angled blade handle should be used the blade will fracture and vice versa.


UPVC Window Handles Troubleshooting Guide

Things are not always straightforward when it comes to replacing upvc window handles but there is no reason why most of us can't undertake this task. Most of the work goes into assessing the types of handles and the measurements needed and that is what this guide is all about.

So you have bought your handles and have encountered a problem. Let's look at the typical questions our Technical Support desk are asked to advise on.

Espag window handles

Question: I have put the new handle on the window but the lock mechanism around my window and the handle itself does not turn.

Answer 1: Retrace your steps when you uninstalled the upvc window handle. When you took the handle off the window the handle would be open 90 degrees to get at both espag handle screws. When you have put the new handle on the window you may have done so by fixing with the one screw when the handle was in its closed position. The lock is now 90 degrees out of position. Open the window handle 90 degrees and then fix it to the window.

Answer 2: It is also possible that you have ordered the incorrect spindle length. If the spindle length is too short it cannot reach the gearbox inside the window.