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A Guide to Choosing Door Handles and Knobs

If you’re planning to install a new door or replace an existing one, you will need to choose the right knob or handle for it. Door knobs and handles are often overlooked; however, they play a vital role in your door’s functionality, security, and appearance. This guide will discuss various door handles and knobs so that you can make the right choice for your new door.

Door Handle/Knob Materials

Door handles/knobs come in various materials. However the vast majority of the ones used today are made from metal. Each of these materials offers different advantages and drawbacks. Let’s examine various door knob materials and how to choose between them.



Door knobs made from nickel tend to be popular because they last a long time. Nickel does not oxidize easily or rust. In addition to this, nickel masks the appearance of scratches well. It also retains its metal appearance with little maintenance ever required.


Chrome also enjoys many of the advantages of nickel. It does not oxidize because any air that comes into contact with its surface forms a solid barrier that prevents further oxidation. Chrome has been growing more popular over the years for its brilliant finish, which works well with modern decor.


Brass is a classic door knob material. It offers a unique and elegant appearance that is considered timeless. This makes them popular in hotels and older residences.


Bronze is another common door knob material. It is a combination of copper and tin. This material offers a great finish that will last for many years. Bronze is therefore a great choice for external door handles and knobs.

Knob Types

Door knobs come in many different forms. Some of the most popular ones are discussed below.

Keyed Entry Door Knobs

If you want to restrict access through your door, it may be wise to get a keyed entry door knob. Such knobs feature a keyway that can be accessed only using the right key. Such knobs tend to have flat faces, which gives them a sleek and compact appearance. Keyed entry door knobs are great for external doors in offices or residences.

Non-Locking Knobs

If you intend to install a door with open access, you should consider non-locking knob types. Such knobs feature rounder knobs that offer a smoother, and more comfortable grip. Non-locking knobs are an especially popular choice for closets and wardrobes.

Specialty Knobs

Specialty knobs are available in a wide variety of shapes and materials. They can be locking or non-locking. For example, the Schlage Custom Residential Door Knob features a satin nickel finish, and a handle made from glass. Such specialty knobs spruce up any living space by drawing attention to their unique appearance.

Handle Types

Door handles or “levers” also come in many different forms. Let’s look at some common types below.

Keyed Entry Door Levers

Keyed entry door levers are great for external doors in residences. They feature solid levers that allow you to open the door with relative ease. If your residence houses individuals that have difficulty gripping door knobs, a keyed entry door lever would be a great choice.

Non-Locking Door Levers

Non-locking door levers are a fantastic choice in internal doors or closet doors that do not require locks. These levers come in many different shapes such as square Halifax style, curved Seville style, or Elan style.

Knobs or Levers: Which Do I Need?

We may not think much about the difference between knobs and levers when choosing one for your new door. However, there are many things to consider when making your choice.

Access for the Disabled/Elderly

One of the main reasons to choose levers over knobs is the grip strength. You may already be aware that it takes some degree of effort to open a door knob. You must first grip the knob firmly with your fingers and then twist it enough to open the mechanism.

Opening knobs may be easy for most people to do. However, elderly individuals and those with disabilities may struggle with this task due to grip strength and coordination problems. This is less of an issue with levers, as they can be opened by simply pushing down on the handle.


Size is also an important factor when deciding between door knobs and levers. Door knobs tend to be smaller and more compact than levers. This minimalist appearance can help enhance the look of your door.

While levers can be larger than knobs, their size does not necessarily make them undesirable. There are plenty of great looking levers that add a special touch to the door they are installed onto.

Space Considerations

Door knobs can also prove a challenge to open on doors with limited space. If your knob is tucked close to your door frame, your fingers or knuckles may get caught in the space between the knob and the frame. This isn’t an issue with levers as they are opened from near the center of your door.

Where to Purchase High Quality Door Knobs and Levers?

As you can see, choosing the right door knob or lever for your door does require a bit of research. The good news is that there is a wide variety of door knobs and levers available at The Hinge Outlet.

We offer both locking and non-locking door knobs and levers in different materials. All our hardware is high quality and is built to last for many years. Check out our wide selection of products before installing your new door. You can also speak with one of our specialists to learn more about our products and ensure you are making the right choice.