closeup of a professional locksmith installing a new lock on a house exterior door with the inside

How to Fix a Loose Doorknob or Handle: A Guide

All homeowners and business owners will have to deal at some point with loose doorknobs and handles. It doesn’t matter if the handle jiggles or pulls away when you try to open the door.

It isn’t difficult to fix a doorknob that is loose or has fallen completely off.

Key Takeaways

  1. Use a screwdriver to tighten a loose knob. Twist the screws on the base of the knob clockwise.
  2. A loose door handle can lower your security and make you more vulnerable to break-ins.
  3. Upgrade your door knobs and security system by Keypad Locksmith.

How To Tighten Doorknobs and Handles?

Usually, loose screws are the reason for tightening door handles and knobs. Fixing a loose knob or handle is easy if you follow the four steps once the type of knob or handle that you have been identified.

The security of your home can be compromised by loose doorknobs and handles. Be sure to tighten the door handles and knobs as soon as you can.

Here are simple steps to tightening a loose doorknob.

1. Remove the Knob and Handle

Exposed screws
You will need to locate the set screw on the inside door if exposed screws are used. Remove the handle using an Allen key or screwdriver. This will reveal the shaft. You will need to turn the handle of the shaft if it’s a threaded one to get it flush against the door. Allow the knob to rotate correctly by moving it backward a bit. Set screw tightening is next. You can set the knob back up on the shaft or the handle to the face of the door before tightening the set screw.

Hidden Screws
You will need to find the access hole for the detent when you look at the knob. The detent pin is spring-activated, and it sticks out from the hole on the knob to prevent the knob from rotating. Once you have located the pin, using a flathead, press the pin down and then remove the handle from the spindle.

2. Remove the Base

Remove the base after you have removed the spindle. Use a flathead to pry out the ring slowly. Avoid damaging the backing plate as it can be detrimental to the entire lockset.

3. Find the screws and tighten them

You should be able to see the screws after you’ve removed the ring. The screws run from the inside back plate to the outside back plate which hold the entire assembly together. Tighten each screw while holding the outside backing plate to prevent it from moving.

4. Reinstall the base and the handle

Snap the ring on the backing plate. Now you can put the handle over the spindle. Turn the handle until the holes line up with the detent, then click it into place.

Cost to Change a Commercial Lock

Doorknob keeps falling off. The Signs You Need a Doorknob Replacement

If you need to replace or repair your broken or fallen doorknob, you will need. Some other signs could indicate a broken doorknob. This is an issue that you should be aware of.

A faulty door handle or knob can compromise your safety. These signs will help you identify a broken door handle and have it repaired.

  1. The knob is loose or wobbly.
  2. The knob is hard to turn.
  3. Grinding noises could be a sign of wear.
  4. Visible damage, such as dent marks or signs of tampering.
  5. If the knobs are having difficulty latching onto the door.
  6. The knob is difficult to lock and unlock.
  7. It is hard to insert and turn the key.
  8. You will notice that a screw is missing.
  9. The door jams frequently.
  10. The age of the doorknob

It is important to replace your door hardware if you see any of these signs. Your property is protected by a well-functioning knob.

Contact Keypad Locksmith to fix your Security System right away.

Why is my door knob loose?

Many reasons can cause a doorknob to become loose. Constant use can wear out your doorknob and cause screws or other hardware to loosen.

There are several reasons why doorknobs and door handles may become loose.

  • The installation may not have been done correctly.
  • Over time, it becomes loose or wobbly and must be tightened again.
  • The handle or lock is not working properly because it has become old and dirty.
  • There is a missing or loose screw in the doorplate.
  • It is possible that the door handle locking mechanism has failed.
  • The door handle was subjected to excessive force.

These issues are usually addressed by tightening or changing screws, realigning parts, lubricating the moving parts, or replacing worn-out or damaged internal components. Doorknobs can be kept in good condition by performing regular maintenance and inspections.

hand of a guy opening the door using a key

Popular Doorknobs

The design of the handle or doorknob will determine how to fix it.

Exposed Set Screw Doorknob

The most common and oldest method of attaching a door knob is to use exposed set screws. This type of doorknob is often found in older buildings, as well as on newer door hardware. You can tighten a doorknob with exposed set screws. It is possible to see the way the knob is attached to the spindle and the whole assembly that secures the door.

Hidden Screw Doorknob

Hidden screw doorknobs are a more recent method of fastening. The hidden screw doorknob involves attaching the assembly to the door with hidden screws after securing it to the spindle. In screwless doorknobs, a device called a detent attaches the doorknob to a nonthreaded spindle. The screws are located under a cosmetic faceplate.

How to Tighten A Doorknob Without Visible Screws

You must first locate the set screw to tighten a door handle that is loose and has no visible screws. These screws are usually hidden in the base or handle post.

Follow these steps for more detailed instructions:

  1. You can find a small slot or hole on the shank, which is usually near the base of the knob or beneath.
  2. Insert the appropriate screwdriver in the slot. This will expose the screws.
  3. As soon as you have located the screws, tighten them by rotating them clockwise.
  4. Reassemble the knob base and test the tightness of your doorknob. Consider lubricating your knob.
  5. Then, place the base or plate of the doorknob back. Make sure it fits or clicks snugly.

How to fix a privacy door knob that won’t lock?

A doorknob that will not lock is usually a sign that you need to replace the door knob. You can examine the knob before deciding if it needs to be replaced.

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Alignment. Adjust the strike plate if necessary to align the latch bolt with the strike plate.
  2. Check the latch mechanism. Remove doorknob covers and inspect the latch for obstructions or debris. If necessary, clean and lubricate the latch mechanism.
  3. Check the components of your doorknob. Search for worn or damaged components. Replace any faulty parts.
  4. Adjust the privacy lock. If you can, adjust the tension by using screws or buttons.

If nothing else works, you can replace the privacy door handle with a brand-new one. Install the privacy doorknob according to the instructions provided by your manufacturer.

It’s not difficult to fix a loose doorknob! Keypad Locksmith can help you to ensure your security.

Never ignore a loose handle or knob on a door. This lowers your level of security and makes you vulnerable to burglars. A wobbly knob can be a real nuisance.

It may be time to contact us at Keypad Locksmith if you still find that the doorknob or handle is loose after following our guide. Our expert locksmiths can fix your lock in no time.

Contact us by calling (240) 205 9039, sending an email to, or using our contact page.

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