How to Tighten a Loose Doorknob or Door Handle: DIY Tips

Loose doorknobs and handles are common in every household as they are among high touch surfaces and used frequently. Over time with constant contact and usage, they become wobbly and come off entirely in case they are not tightened in time. A broken doorknob or door handle can be a hassle causing unnecessary inconvenience and hindrance in daily life. Therefore, it is best to pay attention to the knobs or handles as soon as they come loose. Don’t know how to fix them? Here are some DIY tips by experienced locksmiths in Australia on how to tighten loose doorknobs or door handles.

Analyse and Inspect the Doorknob or Handle

Analyse the knob/handle on the door to know whether it is an exposed set-screw or hidden screw accessory. If its screws are visible on the backplate & spindle then it is an exposed set-screw knob/handle, and if not then the screws are behind the face-plate, and there will be a small hole on the shaft to expose them. 

For successfully fixing a loose door handle/knob, the first step would be to remove the top by spinning, and it will come off if there is a threaded spindle. Some heads will come off by removing the screw that secures it from the side, which they are called the side-set screws. Sometimes the knobs/handles become wobbly because the side-set screws are loose or missing. 

For tops with threaded spindles, the top can be unsteady because it was rotated in the wrong direction or it has become free.

Get the Tools

There are some basic tools you will need to rectify a loose knob/handle on the door, and most probably will have in your tool-box at home. The things you will need are mentioned as follows.

  • Screwdrivers with a flathead and crosshead 
  • An awl (a pointed tool used for piercing small holes)
  • A paper clip (in case an awl is unavailable)
  • A hex key if required 
  • Microfiber cloth and small brushes for cleaning dust and debris
  • Spare Screws 

Tighten the Door Handles/Knobs

After you have discerned the placement of the screws and their type, the next step would be to tighten them with the right tool. For hidden screw knobs/handles use an awl or paper clip to pierce the small hole on the shaft to make the face-plate come off. Some accessories may not have the hole, and their face-plates come off with a little nudge with the awl. 

In case, the screws have a flat line use the slotted-head screwdriver, or if it has a cross then use a Phillip-head. For a hexagon shape, use the hex key to unscrew the bolts. Place a new screw if the previous one is missing and causing the knob/handle to wobble.

Taking off the doorknob is necessary for fixing a loose door with a round knob whereas with lever-style handles the screws can be tightened without removing the holder.

Note: Don’t make the mistake of winding the screws too tight because it will make the knob/handle bind. Knowing how to use the right amount of pressure is the key to tighten the accessories like a professional locksmith in Australia.

Seek Assistance

In case you are unable to discern the type of knobs/handles that are on your doors or even after tightening the screws they are wobbling or binding then seek the assistance of a reliable locksmith in Australia. Hiring a professional would be wise because experienced locksmiths have the knowledge and the right tools to fix different types of doorknobs or door handles. They can manage tightening loose knobs/handles, faulty locks, broken accessories, and other problems efficiently and correctly.

Clean & Maintain the Accessories

While fixing the accessories ensure to clean the top, spindle, face-plate, and other parts of the handles/knobs. Besides frequent usage, these accessories become loose due to dust, dirt, moisture, and debris. Therefore, it is essential to clean the parts with a microfiber cloth or a soft-bristled brush to remove any contaminants on the surface before tightening the screws, placing the face-plate, and fixing the top. In addition, ensure to maintain the doorknobs or door handles after they are fixed by dusting them regularly and maintain them by avoiding using excessive force while turning and inspecting them for missing screws or other problems.

Wrapping Up

Having loose doorknobs/handles is a nuisance, and they are common household problems. With these tips, you can fix them without investing too much time and energy. In case, you are unable to fix these door locking accessories or lack the expertise and tools, then calling professional locksmiths in Australia would be practical.