All about doorknobs

There are things in our everyday life without which people once existed easily and painlessly for their own convenience. For example, our parents lived for many years without personal baths and telephones, and nothing. Inconvenient, of course, but somehow they got out. What a telephone, I have friends who manage to do without interior doors. They say, they say, this way there is more light and more spaciousness. I don’t think that the lack of a door to the kitchen adds space to their one-room apartment – but the owners know better.

And what can we really not do without in our everyday life? The answer is – this useful little thing is called a doorknob. And if without a door you can somehow still adapt, then without a handle it is unlikely.

The first time I saw doorknobs was on the distant Mediterranean island of Malta. This is not an exaggeration, honestly, before I just did not notice them. In Malta, not only mansions, but also ordinary municipal houses amazed me precisely with the magnificence of the handles on the front doors. These descendants of the knights-order-bearers have doorknobs – just a cult of some kind. What kind of pens they didn’t come up with! Moreover, the most inconceivable sizes and shapes: there are all kinds of dolphins, seahorses, fish, tridents, mermaids, anchors, boats and, of course, Maltese crosses. Heavy, massive, solid – the real masterpieces of brass. And although today we are talking about handles, I cannot resist and say that there I still looked at door knockers in the shape of a lion’s head or antique goddesses, polished to a shine or covered with a noble patina – antique.
By the way, as a rule, foreign tourists usually buy here doorknobs for home and family. For some reason, our compatriots bypassed the “pen” shops. It seemed strange to me then: it is beautiful and useful thing in the household. True, then, at the dawn of perestroika, mansions and renovations, we had a little more.

…Time has passed. We are with leaps and bounds, panting and puffing, in a hurry to keep up with Western fashion. The turn came to the door handles. Now we also want a beautiful wooden (plastic, combined) door to have not just a handle, but a beautiful handle. And it is right. But you also need it to be reliable, comfortable and preferably durable. But these details already need to be dealt with in more detail..

So, door handles belong to door hardware. Door fittings include door hinges, locks, locks, stops and other accessories, without which the door cannot fulfill its purpose. The main suppliers of door handles to the Russian market are Italy and Finland. For example, the Finnish firm Abloy is part of the Assa Abloy Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of door hardware. Its factories are located in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the USA. The products of this company are solid and reliable, although they do not amaze the imagination with their unthinkable design. Reasonable blond guys are firmly convinced of the superiority of their own products over everything else, and we will not argue. Perhaps they are right. The handle really needs to be secure.

Traditionally, door handles are made from brass, aluminum, silumin (zinc-aluminum alloy), steel and stainless steel. The most comfortable material for the hand (not cold to the touch) is brass. It is this property plus high plasticity that made brass the most popular material for door handles. This is followed by aluminum, its alloys and stainless steel.

It is interesting that the Italians make door handles almost exclusively from brass. Finns also use other traditional materials..

Who is in that much?

Now I’ll tell you about the coating. The most expensive and fashionable are matte chrome and matt nickel. In addition, valuable wood is used. Or multi-colored Murano, or Bohemian glass, which has undergone a satin-finishing operation (a variant of chemical etching). This pleasure, of course, is not cheap. The best models of door handles, if they do not pull the high title of a work of art, then they will certainly decorate an apartment or house.

Each company uses its own technology for surface treatment of handles. For example, the craftsmen of the Colombo company apply two layers of copper to a product made of brass (or an alloy of aluminum with chromium), then a layer of nickel. The main coating is gold (24 or 18 carats), black nickel, matt nickel, polished or matt chrome. The Italian company “Mandelli” has been dealing with door handles for half a century. New products and technologies are developed by our own engineering department. They turned out to be the first company to use a plug-in reciprocating spring arm system in their products. That is, I pressed the handle – the lock tongue was hidden, released the handle – it returned to its original position, and the tongue protruded. And only then this technology was adopted by all other manufacturers. The company manufactures its products from impurity-free brass with an exclusive protective layer. This layer adorns the surface of the brass, but is primarily intended to protect the product from the “environment”.

One of the latest developments of the company is a special coating for street handles. The firm gives a 10-year guarantee for these new products. This is exactly twice the lifespan of traditional finishes..

According to experts, not only external, but also internal handles, that is, those that will stand on interior and “sanitary” doors, need to be protected from corrosion. It is clear that there is enough moisture inside the dwelling, especially in the bathroom. To bring brass handles to mind, the following methods are used today:

  • polishing (the surface gradually acquires a patinated finish);
  • brushing;
  • powder coating (polyester powder paint is applied after polishing or brushing to the surface of the product and heat treated at a temperature of 180-200 ° C, thus forming a hard layer 30-50 microns thick);
  • polished chrome plating (first, the base material is coated with an electrolytic layer of copper and (or) nickel with a thickness of 15 – 30 microns, then a layer of chromium with a thickness of 0.2 – 0.3 microns is applied);
  • matt chrome plating (everything is the same as in the previous method, only the chrome layer is thicker, so the color is matte);
  • oxidation (first, the base material is protected by an electrolytic copper coating with a thickness of 20 microns, then a patinated coating or oxidation is made, then the coating is polished and varnished, a red or bronze color is obtained);
  • gold plating with varnish.
  • Silumin is subjected to the following operations: polishing, powder painting, polished and matt chrome plating, gold plating with varnish.

    Aluminum is protected by polishing, powder painting, anodizing (silver coating).

    Finally, the door handles are made of steel. To make them last longer, they are protected using: polishing, polished and matt chrome plating, zinc plating, powder painting, brass plating, gold plating with varnish. As you know, the most reliable steel option is stainless.

    Two answers to one question

    We have already agreed that we are talking today about handles for entrance and interior doors. Armored entrance doors are not covered in this article. According to knowledgeable people, it is better to buy them immediately complete with handles, locks and hinges. So how to choose the right handle?

    Obviously, handles for entrance doors should be solid, because they can hold a load of up to 80 kg – twice as much as interior doors. For entrance doors, it is better to choose handles with special protective steel strips that prevent breaking out and knocking out the lock cylinder.

    Experts note that brass and stainless steel handles, the surfaces of which are polished or chrome-plated, are best tolerated by adverse weather conditions. Anodized aluminum can also be added here. Therefore, handles made of these materials with this surface treatment are recommended for use on entrance doors. The main thing here is that without varnish or paint, which gradually crack and slip, which means that such a pen is no longer good for anything. If desired, super-reliable entry handles can be used indoors, if funds allow, but only why?

    For interior doors, it is more convenient to use handles with a return spring, which brings the lever to its original state. The rest is a matter of taste.

    Spring return ensures that the door handle always returns to its original position

    And now it’s time to choose. There is one more “but” here – a lock (or latch). There are no door handles without them. Only the locks are also different, depending on which handle and for which door you need it. Let’s start in order. Depending on the type of lock, a lever handle or a stationary handle can be installed on the door. I will make a reservation in advance that there will be a lot of special words and terms in the future, but you can’t do without them. Without them, our conversation will be incomplete and incomplete..

    Lever handles

    The push handle, when pressed, sets in motion the latch (tongue) of the lock and thereby allows you to open or close (fix) the door. Everything is very simple. The handle is pressed – the latch is hidden – the door is open. Handle in initial position – latch bolt extended – door locked.

    Therefore, the lever handle can only be installed if the door is equipped with a latch lock..

    In this case, the old handles are removed and new ones are selected. When choosing handles, it is advisable to take into account the interior of the room and other points, for example, pay attention to the fact that their structural dimensions and the shape of the keyhole keyhole fit the type of lock used in the door.

    There are various locking systems in the world. Each manufacturing country has its own standards, its own characteristics.

    In this regard, the lever handles can be divided into two types:

  • push handles with solid cover;
  • lever handles with separate covers.
  • Solid grip levers are used with latch and deadbolt locks (key operated). When choosing such a handle, consider:

  • the center-to-center distance between the handle axis and the keyhole axis;
  • pad width;
  • cross section of the profile pin of the handle;
  • keyhole shape.
  • A solid pad is often referred to as a pallet. It is attached to the door, of course, with screws. To avoid any special problems, the lock and handles should be “native”, ie. on a door with a Spanish lock, it is better to put Spanish handles, with Italian – Italian, with Finnish – Finnish.

    Lever handles with split strips, or rosettes, are used in the same way with latches with a latch and a deadbolt (key operated). When selecting these handles, the center distance is not taken into account. Only the size of the overlays is taken into account. A socket with a keyhole keyhole is often called a keyhole.

    Lever handles with separate strips are attached to the profile pin (square bar) with screws. And the sockets themselves, in one case, are pressed against the door only by the handles fixed on the profile pin, in the other, they are pulled together, in addition, through the lock body with screws. The first option is used by Italians. The second, from my point of view, is more reliable – used by the Finns, Germans and others.

    If the door uses a latch only lock (no deadbolt), a lever handle with one rosette is used. The key is no longer needed in this case..

    Nobs

    A variety of lever handles are nobs (ball handles). They do not have a lever that they press. To act on the latch, the ball must be turned. Therefore, sometimes nobs are called rotary knobs..

    The question is often asked, which is better – lever knobs or nobs? It is difficult to give a definite answer here. Each type has its own pros and cons. For example, if you are an impetuous, hasty person, I advise you to put these same nobs on the door. It is impossible to cling to them with a sleeve in passion and tear a jacket from Gucci.

    But you can press on the lever of the lever handle not only with your palm, but also with your elbow, shoulder, foot, in general, than you can reach. The nob can only be opened by hand, but for this it must be free. And in general it should be. In the sense of the hand. In Finland, in particular, rotary handles are not produced or purchased abroad, because people with disabilities cannot use them..

    As a rule, nobs are usually installed on interior doors and in bathrooms..

    Stationary handles

    The stationary handle, unlike the push handle, is in no way connected with the door lock. It cannot be pressed or turned. You can only pull it towards yourself or push it away from you. The stationary handle is installed simply on the door leaf.

    It is better to fix it on the front doors with tightening screws, on the interior doors it is also possible with screws.

    A latch lock is not suitable here (it requires a lever handle). A stationary and lever handle on one door, you see, is a clear overkill. Therefore, the lock must be with a roller latch and bolt, or simply with a bolt. The roller latch fixes the door and releases it when the door is opened.

    Stationary handles come in a variety of shapes. The most common is U-shaped. Otherwise, it is called a staple. Therefore, stationary handles are also called staples. By the way, the door knocker is also considered a variant of the bracket. The set of the stationary handle may include an overlay for the lock cylinder.

    Depending on the massiveness of the door and the location of the lock, when choosing a bracket, you should pay attention to the length of the handle and its diameter. Doorknob manufacturers, especially in Italy, design their products with special love. Mandelli pens, for example, are developed by well-known Western designers Paolo Nava, Marco Maggioni and Takahide Sano. Abloy products are also always fashionable and elegant: among the authors are popular stylists Alvar Aalto and Timo Sarpaneva. The task of designers is attractiveness and convenience. Their works of authorship are practically piece goods..

    Riddle: both knocks and opens. The answer is a door knocker.
    The pictures show MANDELLI products

    How much is it?

    I was initially struck by the wide range of prices. The price of a simple Finnish kit without any bells and whistles from the company “Abloy” is about twice as high as a similar Italian one, say, from the company “Rossetti”. Italians produce door handles in a huge assortment and for every taste, and not only for the middle class. For example, the companies Colombo, Mandelli, Olivari, Valenti produce luxury products for wealthy clients. The price of a set of door handles from these firms easily reaches $ 130-170.

    Valuable wood, Murano and Bohemian glass in the design of expensive door handles (MANDELLI and COLOMBO firms)

    It is clear that the price depends on the material from which the pen was made and the technology of its production. The more expensive the material and the more complex the technology, the higher the price, of course. Brass, aluminum, silumin are plastic metals, products of the desired configuration are made of them by injection molding. Steel, especially stainless steel, is processed only mechanically. Therefore, steel products are about three times more expensive than brass. And aluminum handles are cheaper than brass.

    Inexpensive S60 models from Mandelli cost about $ 22. The Rossetti Adler model will cost the same money: $ 20-24. But the Robot, Heidi, Sirio, Star models from Colombo are two to three times more expensive: from $ 47 to $ 61. Service life – 5 years.

    Next are the middle class pens. Models S20, Kea from Mandelli – $ 47–57. Models Edo, Flessa, Mixa, Madi, Wing from Colombo – $ 61–86.

    And, finally, expensive models Taipan, Egg, Tasta, Aria from Colombo – $ 78-116. Duo model from Mandelli firm – $ 143-155. Surface coating service life – 10 years.

    If you are looking for inexpensive, split-pad lever handles, you can buy from Rossetti: $ 16-21 for an Adler model, depending on surface finish. Unpretentious Mandelli models cost from $ 22 to $ 33. Colombo kits will cost about the same money: from $ 23 to $ 45. The warranty period for the coating of these Italian handles is 5 years. Inexpensive Finnish Presto model from Abloy (anodized aluminum) costs $ 27, the coating will last 10 years.

    Prices for middle-class pens are as follows: from “Mandelli” models CI, FU, KU with a design by Takahide Sano – from 55 to 75 $, from “Colombo” models Edo, Flessa, Mixa, Madi, Wing – from 48 to 81 $, from “Abloy” model Pochyola – $ 50-60. Coating service life – 10 years.

    High-end pens from Mandelli models Alea, Duo, Boemia – $ 120-170, from Colombo models Taipan, Egg, Tasta, Aria – $ 73-128, from Abloy Presto model – $ 100. The service life of the coating of Italian handles – 10 years, Finnish – 20.

    Now about the prices of nobs. They are not very expensive: $ 4 for a Chinese kit from Guli, $ 8-10 for a Spanish company Tesa, $ 20 for an American company, Kwikset. Coating service life: 2 years – “Guli”, 5-10 years – “Tesa”, 5 years – “Quixet”.

    A special feature of the nobs is that they are sold complete with a latch.

    How much can you buy staples from us? The Colombo firm offers staples of the Robot, Estro, Flesso models, starting from 35 to 85 $. Warranty – from 5 to 10 years depending on the quality of the finish. The Rossetti Pine model costs $ 60.

    For the same money, you can buy brackets made of aluminum – the Presto model from Abloy, but the service life of the coating will be 10-15 years.

    The most expensive option is Mandelli staples, $ 134-158. The biggest guarantee, 30–40 years, for a polished stainless steel bracket manufactured by Abloy. It costs $ 120.

    So, we figured out the prices. There are literally a few words left to explain about the door handles. The point is as follows. It happens that some sellers offer to purchase a door with a lock and handles at once. I do not advise. Especially if this door is not “branded”, but made it somewhere in the backyard of a car repair shop or in an empty workshop of a former plant, closed as unnecessary to our national economy. Not the best locks are usually installed on such a miracle door, but I don’t want to talk about the handles.

    Better to take your time. Reserve your choice on price and design. And further. If there is already a door with a handle, pick up a lock. If there is a door with a lock, look for a handle. If there is only a door, they immediately look for a “sweet couple” – a lock and a handle.

    By the way, what if the handle breaks? Do nothing – it needs to be changed entirely (spare parts for them are not sold).

    And the last thing. And what about our manufacturers? How is it with us with Murano glass or, in extreme cases, with handles with fine wood trim? Alas, it is still dull. Unfortunately, we have not shown ourselves in any way in this area of ​​activity. True, on sale there are staples made of silumin and steel produced by Decom. Only $ 1-3, the warranty period of the coating is 3 years. That is, we will pull for them with pleasure for three years, and then – how it goes.

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