Locksmith On Wheels

How to Fix a Loose Doorknob or Loose Door Handle


A loose doorknob or handle means that your door is not secure, and so neither is your safety. They can also be a hassle when it comes to getting locked in or out of a room or house as loose doorknobs and door handles are essentially being on their way to being broken. So, the best thing to do is to fix this problem before it becomes a hazard. Here is how to fix a loose doorknob or door handle so you can avoid calling a local locksmith or a lock repairing service.


What Causes a Loose Door Knob or Handle?

Before we get into fixing a broken doorknob or handle, it is important to know what could possibly cause a knob or handle to break in order to prevent it from happening in the future. Here are the possible causes for a doorknob or handle to break:

  • The screws have become stripped over time. Stripped screws are not able to hold a knob or handle in place as stripped screws cause the loosening of the handle.
  • The parts of the knob or handle are old or have not been maintained properly. Old knobs and handles loosen as a result of built-up dirt and grime within the locking mechanism.
  • Missing screws is one of the main reasons that knobs and handles become loose. Knobs and handles require that all screws are present and working in order to stay secure and tight. Missing screws can occur just from simply being old.

DIY vs Hiring a Local Locksmith

Tackling a loose doorknob on your own can be either a frustrating challenge or a fun weekend project depending on your ability, level of patience and other factors. Let’s look at a few pros and cons of each.


Hiring a Local Locksmith

  • Work is guaranteed to perform
  • Saves you time, energy and frustration
  • Can work around your schedule 
  • Is capable of working on any make or model of locking mechanism or doorknob
  • Can provide advice on maintenance and upkeep
  • Will be able to inspect and asses the health of your door and locking mechanisms for wear and damage
  • And more…

DIY Solution

  • Requires time
  • Risk not being able to get the door handle repaired or back on correctly 
  • Requires a number of tools
  • May require instructional videos and manuals to figure out what to do
  • Inexperience may result in poor results 

In the end, the choice is yours. However, there are many benefits to searching for the best lock repairing services in your area in order to repair a loose doorknob or handle, especially if you don’t have the tools or experience to get the job done right. After all, we’re talking about something that you use daily and which can have a real impact on the security of your home.

Steps: Fixing a Loose Doorknob or Door Handle 

1. Remove The Knob or Handle

The first thing you want to do when attempting to fix a loose doorknob or handle is to remove it completely. Your approach will depend on whether the screws are exposed or hidden. Each requires a differing process outlined below.


For screws that are exposed, locate the set screw which is found on the inside of your door. Using an Allen Key or a screwdriver, loosen the set screw, and then remove the knob or handle.


For screws that are hidden, you must first locate the detent access hole. The detent is a spring-activated pin that sticks out of the knob to prevent it from twisting around on the door. Using a flathead screwdriver, press down on the pin. This will allow you to spin the shaft and remove the knob or handle. 

2. Remove The Base

After you remove the knob or handle, the next thing you need to do is remove the base. To do this, simply take a flathead screwdriver and slowly pry the ring loose. Be sure to avoid damaging the backing plate as that could destroy the entire lock, leaving you with no choice but to call a local locksmith for backup.

3. Find And Tighten The Screws

After the base is removed, you should see a set of screws that need to be tightened. These are the screws that run through the door and into the backing plate which holds the entire knob or handle together. While holding the backing plate, carefully tighten each individual screw. 

4. Restore The Base And Put The Handle Back On

After the screws have been successfully tightened, put the ring back on the backing plate by snapping it in place. After the ring is snapped back on, but the handle it knobs back onto the spindle shaft. Next, turn the handle and line up the holes with the detent, and then click that back into place.

And that’s it. Those are the basic steps you can take to remedy a loose door handle or knob. The exact process and how complicated it is will vary depending on your particular setup and mechanism. If you run into issues always reach out to a professional locksmith for assistance.

Final Thoughts

Loose doorknobs and door handles are a fairly common occurrence, caused by wear and tear, weather damage or improper installation. If you are a homeowner you’ll likely have to contend with this issue at some point. The good news is that it is a problem that isn’t usually too difficult to fix as long as you tend to it early enough that the handle or locking mechanism doesn’t completely break. 

If you are new or inexperienced at fixing doorknobs and handles and do not think that you can properly tighten the screws without damaging the entire product, it is most likely in your best interest to call your local locksmith or lock repair service to do the job for you. 

Otherwise, with a bit of confidence, a simple screwdriver and some patience are all you need to repair a loose knob or handle!