More Handles Glossary - A to Z Guide To Door Handles & Knobs

Glossary

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BACKPLATE
A stamped or forged plate onto which levers and knobs are attached to create the door handle.

BACKSET
A lock or latch measurement which determines the distance of the centre of the Follower (Spindle Hole), and therefore of your handle / knob, from the edge of the door.  The measurement is taken from the edge of the faceplate to the centre point of the spindle hole.

BATHROOM LOCK

A complete lockcase which is designed to be morticed into the door.  The top 8mm Follower (spindle hole) allows a handle to operate the latch and a separate 5mm Follower allows a Thumb turn to operate the bolt.

BEESWAX FINISH
A special wax finish that imparts a subtle matt richness to the metal.  This gives excellent protection where products are fitted internally and well maintained.  Sometimes because of temperature changes the product might have a slight white bloom. We recommend you polish it with a soft cloth to restore the finish. Mild steel and malleable iron when fitted in damp bathrooms or wet properties can exhibit surface rust. In these situations we recommend an application of maintenance wax. Please ensure plaster is dry before fitting ironmongery

BATHROOM VARIATION
Door Handle On Backplate variation.  Supplied complete with a small Thumb turn and Emergency Release.  The Thumb-turn and Release can be fitted to either side of the handle allowing for left or right hand fitting.  Best fitted with a Bathroom Lock

BOLT M4 / M5 / M6
The nominal diameter of the thread used on Bolts used for various fixings.  An M4 Bolt has a nominal diameter of 4mm, M5 = 5mm, M6 = 6mm etc.  All cupboard furniture is supplied with an M4 Bolt with pre-tapped holes to suit.

BOLT-THROUGH FIXINGS
A Bolt and Sleeve fixing used to secure one Handle / Knob through the door and onto the matching Handle/ Knob on the other side of the door.  Often supplied instead of woodscrews, they provide an excellent fix as when the handle is pulled the force is against the handle on the other side rather than against the screws in the door.

BOLT-THROUGH HOLES
Small holes in a lock or latch case to either side of the Follower (Spindle Hole) which allow fixing bolts to be passed through the case for securing handles / knobs.

BRITISH STANDARD
The UK’s National Kitemark Scheme providing reassurance that rigorous quality standards have been applied to a product.  Particularly relevant to external locks as British Standard BS3621 Locks are often specified by House Insurance providers.

C

CASEMENT FASTENER
A handle used to secure casement style (side hinged) window.

CASEMENT STAY
A simple lever or bar used with fixed pins to position open a casement style (side hinged) window.

CENTRES
The measurement between the centres of two points.  EG. between the fixing points for a cupboard handle / letterplate, or between a Follower (Spindle Hole) and Key Hole on a lock, etc.

D

DEADBOLT
A lock which is designed to be morticed into the door worked by a Spindle and Thumb Turn instead of a key.

DEADLOCK
A lock which is designed to be morticed into the door worked by a key from either side.

DOUBLE SPRUNG (HEAVY SPRUNG)
Refers to the quality of the spring used in a Latch or Lock mechanism indicating a superior quality.  These are particularly required when using Unsprung furniture.

E

EURO PROFILE
A term referring to cylinder lock shape which is widely used throughout the UK.  The Euro profile is an over sized large key hole shape of cylinder.

ESCUTCHEON
A key hole cover. Many different designs available and often in different profiles - Standard, Euro and Oval.  Note; These are supplied in singles.

F

FACEPLATE (FOREND
The visible part of a latch or lock mechanism once it has been morticed into the door, through which the latch or bolt protrudes.  These are often an integral part of the latch or lock.

FOLLOWER
The hole(s) in a latch or lock mechanism which the spindle fits through to operate the latch or lock.  Latch Follower is 8mm and a Lock Follower is usually 5mm.

FOREND (FACEPLATE)
The visible part of a latch or lock mechanism once it has been morticed into the door, through which the latch or bolt protrudes.  These are usually an integral part of the latch or lock.

G

GRUB SCREW (BLIND SCREW)
A small threaded screw with no external head.  It is inserted into location by means of an integral Hexagon / Allen socket for driving with a key.  These are commonly used to help provide a secure fit for various Handles and Knobs. EG. On the underside of a handle to help it fix onto a Spindle.

H

HANDED - RIGHT / LEFT
Defines whether a handle is right or left handed. EG. Right Handed means you would use your right hand to operate the handle.

HEAVY SPRUNG (DOUBLE SPRUNG)
Refers to the quality of the spring used in a Latch or Lock mechanism to return the lever or knob, indicating a superior quality.  This is particularly required when using Unsprung furniture.

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K

KEEP
A metal cover to suit a Rim Latch / Lock designed to hold the latch in place and thus secure the door.

L

LATCH
A mechanism that holds a door closed using a sprung bevelled metal tongue.  It is operated by a door handle or knob.  These can be Tubular or Flat, referring to the shape of the case.  Tubular is most popular being the easiest to fit.

2 LEVER / 3 LEVER / 5 LEVER
Referring to the number of levers used in a lock mechanism.  The more levers used the more secure the lock is.

LEVER LATCH
Door Handle On Backplate variation which defines a plain Backplate with no key hole.

LEVER LOCK

Door Handle On Backplate variation which defines a Backplate with a key hole cut into the plate.  To be used with a Sashlock.  Available in different key hole Profiles and at different Centres.

LEVER BATHROOM
A Handle On Backplate variation which defines a Backplate incorporating a Thumb-turn and Emergency Release.  To be used with a Bathroom Lock.

LEVER PRIVACY
A Handle On Backplate variation very similar to the Lever Bathroom variation complete with Thumb-turn and Emergency Release.  However the Thumb-turn does not operate a lock mechanism, but operates a small disc in the handle backplate which prevents the handle lever from moving.  This does not require a separate Bathroom Lock.

M

MORTICE
A hole or slot cut (morticed) into a door or window to accommodate a lock or latch mechanism.

MORTICE LOCK (SASHLOCK)

A complete latch and lock case which is designed to be morticed into the door frame.  The 8mm Follower (spindle hole) allows a handle to operate the latch and a key is used to operate the lock.  Available in different key hole Profiles and at different Centres.

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O

OVAL PROFILE 
A term referring to cylinder lock shape which is widely used throughout the UK.  The Oval profile is a large oval hole shape.

P

5 PIN / 6 PIN / 10PIN etc
Referring to the number of pins used in a Cylinder Lock Mechanism.  The more Pins used the more secure the lock is.

POWDER COAT FINISH
Powder Coating provides an attractive and durable corrosion resistant finish.  There are many general advantages to using the powder coating process over conventional paints.  For instance it contains no solvents so is kinder to the environment, it doesn't run and it provides a tougher coating. It is an excellent low maintenance finish for interior and exterior ironmongery applications.

PRIVACY VARIATION
A Handle On Backplate variation very similar to the Lever Bathroom variation complete with Thumb-turn and Emergency Release.  However the Thumb-turn does not operate a lock mechanism, but operates a small disc in the handle backplate which prevents the handle lever from moving.  This does not require a separate Bathroom Lock.

PROFILE
A term usually applied to define the shape of a key hole - either Standard, Euro or Oval.

PROJECTION
The projection on cupboard handles is usually measured to the UNDERSIDE of the handle, whereas on door handles it is usually to the front of the handle.

PILOT HOLES
Please be aware that an adequate size pilot hole MUST be drilled to accommodate the screws supplied. Many of the screws supplied are made from solid brass ( a soft metal ) and therefore must NOT be put under undue pressure whilst screwing them into timber. Drilling an appropriate sized hole will ensure that the screws will not snap off in the timber. ( We cannot stress this enough)

 

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R

REBATE SET
An additional bracket to allow a Latch or Lock to be fitted onto a rebated door.  Most common in double opening doors where the lead door has a rebated edge instead of a flat edge.

RIM LATCH / LOCK
A traditional latch or lock mechanism which is concealed in it’s own case and is fixed onto the inside face of a door rather than morticed into the frame. They are operated by a Rim Door Knob and are available with or without a lock mechanism.

RIM KNOB
A pair of door knobs designed specifically to fit onto a Rim Latch.  The main difference is that only one of the knobs will have a Rose Plate, the other fits directly onto the Rim Latch.

ROLLER LATCH
A sprung roller bolt system used to hold a door shut.  The spring is usually adjustable to allow a variation in the tension holding the door and therefore the level of force required to open it. Designed to be operated with a simple push-pull handle.

ROSE
The circular (usually) plate to which lever handles and knobs are attached.  Some will be face fixed, others have concealed fixings under a separate rose cover.

S

SASHLOCK (MORTICE LOCK)
A complete lock case which is designed to be morticed into the door frame.  The 8mm Follower (spindle hole) allows a handle to operate the latch and a key is used to operate the lock.  Available in different key hole Profiles and at different Centres.

SASH WINDOW
Traditional vertical operating windows.

SPINDLE
A square metal bar that passes through the door connecting the handles or knobs together and operates the latch or lock mechanism.  Supplied with all door handles and door knobs as required.  The modern industry standard size for a spindle is 8mm.  This is slightly larger than the old fashioned imperial size and very occasionally may cause you a problem if you are trying to fit new handles to very old latches.

SPRUNG
A term used to indicate that a door handle or knob is fitted with a spring in the backplate or rose to return the lever / knob once released.

STANDARD PROFILE
A term referring to a key hole shape which is most commonly used throughout the UK.  The Standard profile is a small sized hole for a standard UK stem key to be inserted.

STRIKE PLATE
A shaped plate that is fitted to the door frame to accept and hold a latch or lock bolt as the door closes.  These are supplied with the relevant lock or latch but are often also available as a spare part.

T

THUMB-TURN
A small knob either incorporated into a backplate or separately on a rose which operates a Deadbolt or Bathroom Lock.  Usually supplied with a 5mm Spindle and a matching Emergency Coin Release for the external side of the door.

U

UNSPRUNG
A term used to indicate that a door handle or knob is NOT fitted with a spring in the backplate or rose.  Therefore the handle or knob will be loose and spin freely.  An Unsprung handle / knob will require a Heavy Sprung Latch or Lock.

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We hope we’ve covered a few of the industry’s jargon terms for you, but if you have any questions please call one of our friendly Door Handle Geeks on  01228 516516 and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.