What is a tilt and slide patio door handle?

Patio tilt and slide door handles are found on double glazed type patio doors where the patio door can slide and via the action of the handle the door can also be left in a tilt position for ventilation.

Are these handles handed?

They are fully rotating handles so are capable or working on a left hand or right hand door leaf. The handles only fit on the inside and are key-lockable.

How does the tilt and slide handle operate?

As these sliding doors are very mechanical and heavy the handles need to be quite substantial and consequently are quite expensive. The handles are quite simple though and simply operate via a spindle protruding from the back of the handle. When the handle is turned ninety degrees the door lifts out and can be slid across its track. If the handle is turned a full 180 degrees from its closed position into an upright handle position the door will tilt back slightly from the top. This is the ventilation position.

Can I use or buy a shorter handle?

It wouldn't be advisable to use a shorter handle even though some are available for tilt and turn windows. The handles are designed with a long shank for the reason that there is a reasonable amount of leverage needed to move the lock which in turn will operate all the gearing around the sliding door. It would be very difficult to move the lock using a shorter handle lever.

The handle on my patio has different fixing positions than most replacement handles I have seen?

There are some very old designs of tilt and slide patio doors and some of those companies no longer exist or support the older products they used to sell. The most common type of tilt and slide patio handle has fixing centres of 43mm and is operated by a 7mm spindle usually 32mm long. If it is any different to this then you would be best advised to contact a local double glazing repairs company to see what they can come up with.