A door handle is the mechanism used to open or close a door, and it serves as the access point for every door. Whether it's a traditional doorknob, a lever handle, a push bar, or any other type of door handle, it provides a way for people to enter or exit a room or building. Door handles are found in various shapes, sizes, and materials, and they are an essential component of any door for both functional and security purposes.
The door handle is indeed just one component of a door's operation, and there are other crucial elements that work together to enable its proper functionality and security. Some of these components include:
Latch: The latch is the mechanism that keeps the door closed when it is in the locked position. It engages with the door frame's strike plate to hold the door shut. When you turn the door handle or knob, the latch retracts, allowing you to open the door.
Lock: The lock is an additional security feature that prevents unauthorized access to a room or building. It is typically operated by a key, a thumbturn, or an electronic keypad. When the lock is engaged, it secures the latch in place, making it more difficult for the door to be opened without the proper authorization.
Privacy mechanism: In the case of interior doors, such as bathroom or bedroom doors, privacy mechanisms are often added to allow for privacy when occupied. These mechanisms can be a simple thumbturn or a push-button on the inside of the door handle that activates a lock to prevent outside entry.
Hinges: Hinges are the mechanisms that allow the door to swing open and closed. They are attached to the door frame and the door itself, enabling the door to pivot.
Strike plate: The strike plate is a metal plate affixed to the door frame. When the door is closed, the latch engages with the strike plate, holding the door in place.
All these components work together to create a functional and secure door system. The door handle is indeed a vital access point, but it requires the collaboration of the latch, lock, hinges, and strike plate for the door to operate correctly and serve its intended purpose.
Lets take a look at the primary door handle functions...
Passage Door Function
A passage door handle requires both a lever set and a latch to function properly. The lever set is the handle itself, which is designed for easy operation to open and close the door. It is typically a lever-shaped handle, and it can be turned or pressed down to retract the latch.
The latch, as mentioned earlier, is the mechanism that keeps the door closed when it is in the locked position. It engages with the door frame's strike plate to hold the door shut. When you turn the lever handle, the latch retracts, allowing you to open the door.
In a passage door handle, there is no lock or key mechanism. It is commonly used on interior doors where privacy or security is not a concern, such as hallway doors or closet doors. The passage door handle provides a straightforward way to open and close the door without the need for any additional locking features.
To summarize, for a passage door handle to function, it requires both a lever set for easy operation and a latch to keep the door closed and secured when needed.
Dummy Door Function
Dummy door handles do require a lever set or a handle, but they do not have the traditional functionality of a regular passage or entry door handle. Instead, they are used for decorative purposes or as a pull handle for doors that do not require latching or locking mechanisms. Here are some key points about dummy door handles:
Lever Set/Handle: A dummy door handle typically consists of a lever set or handle that is fixed to the door. It does not have any mechanical components like a latch or lock.
Catch or Magnetic Holder: To keep the door closed or in position when shut, a catch or a magnetic holder may be used. This allows the door to stay securely shut when not in use.
Decorative Use: Dummy door handles are often used on closet doors, pantry doors, or other doors where no latching or locking is necessary, but a handle is desired for aesthetic or practical reasons.
Slide Bolts: On entry doors, dummy handles might be paired with slide bolts to provide a way to keep the door locked or secured from the inside. The slide bolts are separate components and are not part of the dummy handle itself.
Non-Operational: It is essential to note that dummy door handles are non-operational, meaning they do not turn or have any internal mechanisms to latch or lock the door. They are fixed in place and do not move.
In summary, dummy door handles serve a decorative or practical purpose of providing a handle for doors that do not require the functionality of a regular passage or entry door. They may require additional components like catches, magnetic holders, or slide bolts to hold the door in position or provide a locking function.
Privacy Door Function
The privacy door handle is designed for interior doors where privacy is desired, such as bathrooms or bedrooms. It incorporates a simple locking mechanism to allow the occupant to lock the door from the inside. There are two common types of privacy door handle locking mechanisms:
Integrated Locking Mechanism: In this design, the locking mechanism is built directly into the lever or knob of the door handle itself. It typically consists of a push-button or a thumbturn on the interior side of the door handle. When the button or thumbturn is engaged, it activates the lock, preventing the latch from retracting and securing the door.
Separate Turn and Release Mechanism: In some privacy door handles, the locking mechanism is separate from the handle. This setup involves a separate component called the "turn and release" mechanism. The turn and release is a small knob on one side of the door that is connected to the locking mechanism on the other side. When you turn the knob, it engages the lock, providing privacy and preventing the door from being opened from the outside.
In both cases, the locking mechanism is designed to be easily operable from the inside, allowing the person inside the room to quickly lock the door for privacy. From the outside, these types of doors typically have a small hole or slot where a generic unlocking tool (like a pin or a flat object) can be inserted to unlock the door in case of emergency.
Privacy door handles are an essential feature in homes and commercial settings where privacy is needed, and they provide a simple yet effective way to secure a room without the need for a key.
Lockable Door Functions
Lockable doors can come with different types of locking mechanisms, and advancements in technology have introduced electronic door handles with various locking options. Here are some additional details about the various types of lockable doors and modern electronic door handles:
Mortise Lock: A mortise lock is a type of lock that is embedded within a pocket (mortise) in the door. It often incorporates the lever spindle of the door handle, meaning that the handle itself serves as the means to operate the lock. When you turn the door handle, it engages the internal mechanism of the mortise lock, either securing or releasing the latchbolt to lock or unlock the door.
Deadbolt: A deadbolt is a separate locking mechanism from the door handle. It is a bolt that extends into the door jamb or strike plate to secure the door. Deadbolts are often used in conjunction with passage door handles, lever sets, or knob sets. They provide an additional layer of security and are commonly found on exterior doors.
Electronic Door Handles: As technology has advanced, electronic door handles have become more prevalent. These handles can have various electronic locking options, including:
Pin Codes: Electronic door handles with pin code access allow users to input a specific numerical code to lock or unlock the door. These codes can be changed periodically to enhance security.
Biometric Options: Some electronic door handles offer biometric access control, which can include fingerprint recognition, voice recognition, or even facial recognition. These options provide convenient and secure ways to lock and unlock the door without the need for traditional keys or pin codes.
Keyless Entry: Many modern electronic door handles operate on keyless entry systems, allowing users to use electronic key fobs or smartphone apps to lock and unlock the door wirelessly.
These technological advancements in door handle and lock designs offer increased convenience, security, and customization options for users. From traditional mortise locks and deadbolts to modern electronic door handles, there are various choices available to meet different needs and preferences.
Indeed, the world of door hardware has evolved significantly, offering a wide range of function options to cater to the needs of both commercial and residential properties. Architectural Design Hardware showroom offers a diverse selection of door handles and related hardware that go beyond just basic functionality.
Some of the door handle function options available today include:
Passage Function: These handles are used on interior doors where no locking mechanism is required, providing a simple way to open and close doors.
Privacy Function: Ideal for interior spaces where privacy is needed, these handles come with a locking mechanism that can be engaged from the inside using a thumbturn or push-button.
Entry Function: Door handles designed for exterior doors, often equipped with a keyed lock cylinder for security.
Dummy Function: As mentioned earlier, dummy handles are non-operational and are mainly used for decorative purposes or as a pull handle on one side of a door.
Electronic Function: Modern electronic door handles can incorporate various features, such as pin code access, biometric recognition, keyless entry, and even smartphone app compatibility.
Mortise Lock Function: Mortise locks are often used in commercial applications, and the handles may be integrated with the locking mechanism for a more robust security solution.
Deadbolt Function: Deadbolts provide an additional layer of security and are commonly used in combination with other door handles.
Multi-point Locking Systems: These are advanced locking systems that engage multiple points along the door frame, enhancing security and preventing forced entry.
By visiting the showroom at Architectural Design Hardware, customers can explore the vast array of door handle options, finishes, and materials available to suit their specific needs and preferences. From aesthetics to functionality and security, there is indeed much more to door hardware than meets the eye. Having a wide selection of door hardware can significantly impact the overall design and functionality of any space, making it essential to have access to a diverse range of options.