Guide to Fixing a Loose Door Knob or Loose Door Handle

Fatima Buzdar

November 14, 2022

A locksmith is installing a brass door knob onto a wooden door using a red-handled screwdriver. One hand holds the knob's base plate while the other hand tightens the screws. The door is partially open.

Have you been noticing that your door handle has been particularly wobbly or keeps spinning? It might seem that it is not firmly fixed into the door anymore and even that it might be nearing the fate of falling down. This is certainly something you need to look into promptly and fix the loose door handle, preferably before the handle unexpectedly comes right out into your hand!

Your door bears constant usage every day, some of it even being rough. Over time, the condition of their components naturally degrades, and they require having some maintenance work done to be brought back to a reliable and steady condition. The issues can range from rubbing doors to loose door handles or knobs, which should be resolved promptly.

Because while the loose doorknob or handle issue may start off as a minor nuisance, neglecting this issue can eventually turn on you as a big hassle if it locks you in or out of your room or even your house. A loose handle can also pose a concerning security breach if you can not close your front door due to the issue worsening.

Fortunately, sorting this issue out certainly is easy! A locksmith can sort it out for you in no time. Should your skills allow it, even you can handle it on your own (pun intended!) and tighten the loose door handle. Read on to find out.

DIY Solution for Tightening the Screws to Fix a Loose Door Handle or Doorknob

Thinking of resolving your wobbly handle with a DIY solution? It is certainly possible to repair a loose handle on your own! However, it might not be as easy as you hope since the door handles and knobs have various intricate parts. In order to find the set screw and tighten the screws, you will need to disassemble the handle and any parts below to gain access to all the screws to look into.

This procedure to tighten the loose door handle can be a bit complicated, and you can risk causing further hurdles in operation of the handle damaging the components and or incorrectly reassembling if you are not careful and mindful. Keep reading to find out the procedure and make sure to keep it gentle and pay attention to how the components are fixed while you take them off.

A door with its knob taken off

Step 1: Unscrew the Handle or Knob

First off, you need to unscrew and remove the knob or handle in order to inspect the interior screws. Some door handles have their screws visible right on the faceplate, making it easy for you to find them and unscrew them. However, the placement of the screws may differ depending on your type of door handle and may not be easily visible.

While some handles come with exposed screws, some handles have hidden screws which are not easily visible. They are covered by a faceplate, concealing them from the view. This nature of placement is for aesthetic purposes. If your screws are hidden, then the process is a bit more complicated than it would be for visible screws. Even this hidden set screw structure may vary.

  • Hidden Screws With A Detent Access Hole: In this common type of structure, you need to locate the detent access hole. The detent is a metallic spring-loaded pin which holds the handle to the spindle. You can use a small flathead screwdriver or Allen key to press down on the pin. While the pin is pressed, you can take out the handle from the spindle shaft.

    The issue of the loose door handle may very well lie here as well, since a loose detent causes a loose door knob. So make sure to tighten it back properly once you are done with the whole process.
  • Hidden Screws With A Hexagonal Screw: Alternatively, some hidden screw sets may require you to insert a flathead screwdriver or Allen key into a tiny hole found on the side of interior knob shaft. You will spot a screw with a hexagonal shape within the hole if you look into it with a flashlight. You will have to remove it in order to access the hidden screws.

    Once removed, you should be able to take off the faceplate hiding the screws. You can then unscrew these and successfully take off the handle. Bear in mind that here as well, that this screw could have caused the handle to become loose due to its own looseness, so tighten it up and check if it resolves the looseness before you take it out.
  • Exposed Screws: However, if the screws are visible on the faceplate, then the process is very simple. You just have to loosen them up with an Allen key or a flathead screwdriver. Take off each screw one by one, and then pull out the handle off the base.

Trying either method depending on the structure should be able to help you remove the handle and proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Remove the Base

With the handle removed, you now have access to the base. You need to detach it as well in order to gain access to more screws that you can inspect and potentially fix. Then you will come across a ring here, which you will need to remove the base. Use a flathead screwdriver in order to slowly pry the ring loose. And then you should be able to pull out the base and move forward to inspecting the screws that are now exposed.

Step 3: Inspect the Screws and Tighten or Replace Any as Needed

Now that the base is removed, you can take your time to inspect the set of screws holding the handle that run through the door. You should make sure to not leave any out and tighten each one properly to fix the loose door handle. Be on lookout for any screws that are showing the signs of being worn down as well. If you find any, then take them out and replace them with new screws.

Ensure to hold the backing plate and keep the door handle aligned while you work on the screws. Once you are done, it is time to reassemble your handle and check if it works!

Step 4: Carefully Install the Base, Detent or Hexagonal Screw, Handle, Etc. Back

Now that you are all done with what you have disassembled the handle for, it is the time to install everything back and secure the handle into its place. Make sure to be meticulous when installing everything back, because you do not want to cause yourself further headaches by leaving something loose or incorrectly installed! Make sure to align the handle properly, because it can be a culprit behind its looseness too.

Ideally, your door handle should be firmly fixed in its place now and your DIY efforts to tighten the loose door handle should have succeeded. However, if it is still wobbly, then it can be an indicator of a deeper problem or at least too difficult to fix on your own. This is when you should consider giving a call to a locksmith.

Tightening handle screws with an electric screwdriver

Call A Locksmith to Fix a Loose Door Knob or Handle

In order to ensure that all the handle screws are tightened and working in a good condition, you will need to disassemble the handle to gain access to them and replace or tighten any as needed. This will certainly require your time and attention to details. You will have to dismount the handle, and then any components to dismount the base, and structures for each step may vary. While you disassemble and reassemble the handle, you need to be careful not to damage any component nor incorrectly assemble a part.

Additionally, even after your DIY fix attempt, you may find that the issue is still persisting. It is possible that the work was actually not done correctly, or even that there is a deeper problem like a damaged part that requires replacement or the door handle degrading to the point that the entirety of it needs a replacement. It certainly can be easy for the DIY venture for fixing a loose door handle go futile and awry due to inexperience. When in doubt, seek the services of a locksmith.

So save yourself the time and hassle and give a call to an experienced locksmith! Our locksmiths in Whitby are ready to assist you and get rid of your wobbly door handle. We can repair or replace any malfunctioning components and get your door handle back to its reliable condition in no time.

Safeguard your property with our expert locksmith solutions. Get in touch with our approachable, knowledgeable team.