Cockspur Window Handles

We have a superb range of UK quality cockspur window handles with key locking that meets home insurance standards. cockspur window handles are found on the older generation of uPVC and aluminium double glazed windows and have for some time now been the simplest and most popular form of handles for new and old windows. When operated they close onto a small 'ramp' shaped cockspur wedge that is fitted opposite the handle on aluminium and uPVC windows. The handles we show on this page are for use on upvc or aluminium windows but if you need locking double glazing window handles or handles for timber windows then see our casement window latches section or alternatively go to our window handles section where we show all of our handles.

What is a cockspur window handle?

A cockspur window handle is a handle that relies on a spur to provide suitable retention between the opening frame and the outer frame on a window and has been used since the very first window was installed with glass! When aluminium windows first came onto the scene in the form of double glazing it also followed suit by using the same design of handle and uPVC then adopted the same as well. Of course it wouldn't be long before more complicated locks were needed on upvc windows and hence the different handle types that evolved to the more standard espag window handles we now see for multipoint locks. Needless to say it can be a confusing term to use as the evolution of cockspur window handles has led to differences between timber cockspur handles and upvc cockspur handles and many customers will get this confused. Read more about which type of cockspur handle to use? If you are thinking you may have come to the wrong page then take a quick look at our full range of upvc window handles which will help you identify alternative window handle types.

Handles for Aluminium Windows

The original cockspur handles for aluminium windows were very basic but were a standard size and thankfully that has remained the case. Needless to say very few of the original cockspur handle manufacturers still exist but you may see markings on Cotswold Window Handles or WMS Reg De Handles which is a good starting point. If you have an old aluminium window then undoubtedly you will need to conduct a search for replacement handles and will invariable find you need 9mm cockspur handles. The step size is the gap under the nose of the handle or the gap including the wedge between the two surfaces of the window. It is important to get this right as it ensures the window closes with just enough tightness to ensure there are no draughts. As the wedge blocks are generally interchangeable you can also adjust the closure of the window for different reasons if needed. You will also find that the fixing centres are standard too or at least one of two different size sets. These are 58mm between the outer fixing hole centres and 38mm between the inner two fixing hole centres. The whole process of how to replace cockspur window handles on aluminium windows is relatively straightforward when it comes to identifying and purchasing the correct handle but for one thing - fixing! In the vast majority of cases all cockspur window handles fitted to aluminium windows will be fixed using rivets and if you are not familiar with riveting this will cause consternation and a possible re-think. Rivets are used for good reason as the walls of the aluminium frame are no more than 2mm thick which will not allow enough thread for a screw to be used. If you want longevity when it comes to your cockspur handles remaining on the window then ensure the same fixing method is re-deployed. Some aluminium windows with cockspur handles have used special screws though and if this is the case then you could consider yourself lucky as the replacement cockspur handles for your aluminium windows can be re-fitted very easily. Take care with those screws though as you are unlikely to find replacements with the same thread.

uPVC Cockspur Window Handles

When upvc windows came onto the scene the cockspur window handle was maintained as the predominant window fitting but was altered slightly for the bulkier frames that upvc needed. This meant that the step height of 9mm used for aluminium windows had to be increased to sizes right up to 21mm. As upvc windows developed the step height reduced on some upvc windows so there is an assortment of sizes needed for replacement handles ranging from 13mm upto 21mm cockspur window handles. In later years it has become more of a challenge to find the correct size of cockspur handle for a straight replacement but with a small amount of adjustment using a different size wedge you can easily change your cockspur window handles for a perfect fit.


Quick Tips & Links

Cockspur window handles are found on older upvc and aluminium windows. Just measure the step height.

What is a cockspur handle? 

A cockspur handle can be found on the older uPVC or aluminium double glazed windows where the handle turns onto a wedge shaped block to close the window (not to be confused with timber window handles where the nose of the handle closes into a block - see the window latches section in that case). Other types of window handles are also available.

How do I get the handle off the window?

It is very simple. There are 4 screws (sometimes 3) and these are usually hidden under some cover caps which can be prised off the handle. They are usually quite discrete so you may have to use a sharp implement to prise the covers off to reveal the screw or rivet heads. Keep the screws as they will be the correct length and type for your replacement handles (new repair ones can be ordered for a small charge).

If you have rivets instead of screws (heads with a round hole in the middle) then you will need a little DIY skill to remove and replace the handle. Removing the handle with rivets can be done by drilling the heads off the rivet (about the size of the head for the drill bit and the rivet will fall away) and replacement will require you to re-rivet the handle. You can get a small hand gun and a bunch of rivets from a major DIY store for approx £10-£15. Rivets are found on aluminium frames mostly and you will not be able to replace with screws because the frames are too thin to hold a thread.

What do I need to know to order a cockspur window handle? (see our Guide to cockspur handles)

The main thing to consider with cockspur window handles is the step height. This is the gap beneath the nose of the handle and is important to ensure that the handle pulls the window just tight enough to close and stop draughts. There is probably half a dozen different sizes of step heights available for these handles (some more popular than others). If you find the exact same size then replacement is easy. If you can't find the correct step height then you can adjust the handle by using a thicker or thinner wedge block to compensate for this.  The picture should explain it:

Cockspur Window Handle FAQ DiagramIt is also worth making some other quick checks as older windows can throw up some unusual variations.  The 4 fixings are generally pitched on 38mm and 58mm centres (from centre to centre) although some are 38/62mm. Also, check the handing of the handle i.e. handles that open clockwise are left handed and anti-clockwise opening is right handed. Typical 4 fixing positions are shown in this picture:

Cockspur Window Handle FAQ I still don't understand step heights and the handle I ordered doesn't fit!

Here are a few examples;

If your handle step height measures 15mm and there isn't a handle with this size then measure the wedge at its thickest point (you can prise the wedge from the window with a sharp implement) - see the picture here:

Cockspur Wedge FAQIf the wedge is 5mm thick then you could use a 12mm handle with a 2mm wedge (the step size of the handle has reduced by 3mm from 15mm so the wedge must reduce too by 3mm).

In a separate example, if you want to use the W10 handle (available in 9mm and 21mm step heights) and your current handle is 17mm step height with a 4mm wedge then you could use the 21mm handle and increase your current wedge by 4mm to 8mm.

What size wedges are available and how do I order them?

The following sizes are available; 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 8, 10, 12mm. You can order them at a special rate of £0.12 each + VAT for each handle you buy. These will be on the same page as the handle you are buying.

Wedges are fairly standard in design and have two lugs (pips) that are spaced 31mm apart (centre to centre). The new wegdes can be pushed straight onto the window in the same way the other ones come off.

How do I know if my handle is right-handed or left-handed?

Right handed - the handles open anti-clockwise and left handed open clockwise. All the pictures of cranked handles shown on the website are shown as right handed but you can order either option when purchasing.

My cockspur handle also has a spindle attached to it, what now?

Well there are some cockspur handles like this and you need to visit the Cockspag handles here: Cockspag window handles

What can I use to clean the handles?

Care should be applied when cleaning handles.
Window handles can often be cleaned with a soft dry cloth. If further cleaning is needed use a mild solution of warm, soapy water on a soft cloth and dry thoroughly afterwards.
To prolong the serviceable life of the handle, care must be taken not to scratch or damage the surfaces of the handle. Do not use wire wool or scouring agents.

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