All I want to do is figure out which door handle to buy, and I have a bewildering choice of Standard Key Profile, Euro Key Profile, Oval Key profile and Lock Centre measurements - What are you talking about?!


It's true, there is nothing worse than industry jargon that means nothing to you as the customer. So here we have a quick and easy guide to de-bunk the jargon in the world of Key Profiles...

The term Key Profile refers to the shape of the keyhole cut into the backplate of a door handle, or key hole cover plateEscutcheon to use the correct jargon! (Pronounced es.cut.chun by the way). This is vitally important because depending on what type of locks you have fitted in your doors you will need to choose the correct profile to match.

Standard Key Profile - This is still the most common type of keyhole shape used in the UK. This is often described as a 'Chubb Key' and refers to the type of key with a long stem which is inserted through the door handle plate and into the lock case inside the door frame. When the key is turned it operates a number of levers inside the lock case and turns the bolt. The key hole shape or profile is much smaller than the other two variations as it only needs to accommodate the stem key.

Euro Key Profile - This is an over sized key hole shape that is designed to accommodate a Cylinder Lock rather than the key itself. The Cylinder passes through the door handle, or escutcheon, into the lock case inside the door and back out through the door handle on the other side of the door. These use a different style of Cylinder Key often described as a 'Yale Key'.

These are very common on commercial developments because of their flexibility in providing, suited locks, master-key, and emergency release capabilities. They are also now used more and more often in residential projects as customers become more aware of their benefits.

Oval Key Profile - Essentially doing the same job as the Euro Profile, this is (fairly obviously) a Cylinder with an Oval shape. This was the UK standard but has now been overtaken by the Euro Profile shape.


A word or two on Lock Centres;

The term Lock Centres applies to an all in one mortice latch and lock case, and relates to the distance between the centre of the hole for the Lever Spindle (the bar going through the door latch mechanism that joins the 2 handles together), and the centre of the round hole for the key stem.

Standard Profile Lock Centres - The UK standard for this measurement is always Lock Centres of 57.5mm.Standard Profile Sash Locks

Euro Profile Lock Centres  - can vary as a few different standards apply, however the most common ones in use in the UK are Lock Centres at either 92mm, 70mm or 47.5mm.  Some attention is required here when choosing your handles because buying a Euro Profile Handle won't necessarily mean you have chosen the right Lock Centres for your door. 

Euro Profile Sash Locks
Oval Profile Lock Centres - again variations do occur but the industry standard is 48.5mm.

Oval Profile Sash Locks
A good retailer or Architectural Ironmonger should also be able to cut the correct centres into your chosen handle if it is not available off the shelf - so ask them if you can't see exactly what you need.
Hope that clears up some of the jargon for you.  If you have any further questions feel free to contact the friendly "Door Handle Geeks" at or visit the very useful Glossary on their website.