Repairing a Loose Door Handle

Tighten that loose door handle in minutes.

Tighten a loose doorknob that has hidden chassis screws. It only takes a minute to pop off the cover plate.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Tighten a loose door handle

Over time, door handles loosen and become difficult to turn and unlatch. Most door hardware made today uses exposed screws, accessible from the “room side” of the door, to connect the two halves of the handle to each side of the door. But some current brands (and most older door hardware) use hidden chassis screws (Photo 2), a setup that requires you to take the doorknob and rose (cover plate) apart to tighten the screws. Photos 1 and 2 show you how.

Our door hardware is fairly typical, but you may have something other than a button to release the knob. Also, some door roses unscrew from the chassis by hand (turn them counterclockwise) rather than snap onto it.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver

You might also need an awl or other pointed tool.