A lot more goes into choosing your door hardware than just the looks and finishes. You usually have two main options to choose from—a doorknob and a lever. It can get really hard for you to know the right one to pick if you don’t have much experience with both types of locks.
Luckily for you, we have put together this guide to show you how these two types of door hardware compare and the strengths and weaknesses of each to help you with your decision-making process.
Are door knobs or levers more popular?
Both door knobs and levers enjoy high popularity. Both types of door hardware enjoy wide usage in different homes across the US.
The most important factor fueling homeowners when choosing between lever and knobs is their specific needs and personal preferences.
And as you already know, different people have varying needs and unique tastes. One group of homeowners will side by levers while the other will swear by the locks—giving them an almost even popularity score.
That said, the door levers seem to be more popular for use with doors intended for public use, e.g. schools, hospitals, etc. This is because they’re incredibly easy to use for everyone, whether it’s kids, the elderly, and people with medical conditions that affect the use of their hands.
They’re also the go-to option for modern and contemporary home designs. This is because they come in sleek designs and have more modern looks. They look even better when you match the hinges with the door knobs.
Door knobs, on the other hand, are popular for homeowners with period properties. They have this traditional appeal that easily qualifies them as the best choice for a traditional themed home.
You will rarely find door knobs in public washrooms and institutions since they’re a bit challenging to use, especially for kids, the elderly, and people with medical conditions that make it hard to use the hands. Using this type of lock with wet hands is also going to be a challenge for you.
Are knobs or handles better?
It would be hard to know whether a knob or a handle is better by just looking at them. That’s why in this section we’re going to dissect each of the two models and list their key pros and cons to help you decide which one is a better choice for your needs.
Door knobs pros:
Door knobs cons:
Door levers pros:
Door levers cons:
Security Issue: Door Knob vs Lever
When trying to decide between a door knob and door lever, you’ll also ask yourself which of the two options is better in terms of security.
From our research, the two hardware seem to even out in terms of security. What most people don’t know is that a door knob and a lever are similar in many ways, including the locking mechanism. The only key difference between them is the shape.
While models from different manufacturers can offer varying levels of security depending on quality, you should keep in mind that a door lever or a knob is easily “jimmied” by the intruders.
For instance, the credit card method can be used to open both types of door locks—making it easy for even the inexperienced burglar and intruders to open your door.
Luckily, doors with tightly fitted framing can help prevent this. Also, manufacturers have acted on this weakness and are now equipping their levers and knobs with security knobs to make it harder and even impossible to manipulate.
The reason why the levers and knobs are easy to open is due to their slightly angles latch. This allows intruders to fit something in between them and the door for easy opening.
If security is of the highest concern to you, we suggest going for a deadbolt lock instead of a knob/lever lock. The latch in this type of lock tends to go deeper into your door frame compared to the knobs and latches, enabling it to hold up to kick-in attach or blunt force.
What’s more, the deadbolt latch has a square-ish shape which enables it to secure your door better than the angled latch that comes with a door knob or lever.
Are door knobs or levers more modern?
Knobs are the oldest of the two types of handle. But that doesn’t mean they’re not modern. Manufacturers have produced them with a modern touch to make them at par with levers which were introduced into the market many years after the knobs.
Levers, on the other hand, are the most recent technology in the door hardware world. They have overall modern looks, though manufacturers are now producing door levers with a traditional theme.
Nonetheless, the knobs remain the most authentic type of hardware for old homes. Levers will be the best option for use in modern home settings.
Whether you go with a lever or knob for your old or modern home, you should keep in mind that the finish of the hardware will add to the overall effectiveness in meeting your traditional or contemporary theme needs.
If you’re looking for door hardware for a contemporary, modern house, go for satin nickel, polished nickel, satin chrome, or bright chrome finishes.
For traditional décor, go for hardware with satin brass or bright brass finishes. The antique brass works well for vintage décor.
And if you want to achieve an industrial look, a distressed nickel finish is the way to go.
From our discussion above, it’s clear that there’s no winner between a door knob and a lever. Each hardware has its strengths and weaknesses which makes it more suitable or less suitable for your needs. The lever is easy to use for everybody and has a modern, sleek design. A knob is a bit of a challenge to use and is best suited for a traditional themed home. Overall, deciding between a door lever or a knob will depend on your unique needs and preferences.