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Handles For Front Doors Explained
Your guide to choosing the best front door handle for your property
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Your front door and its handle are an inextricable part of the first impression your home makes. So, whilst considering handles for front doors, it is important to look at the security, usability and style of your handle to ensure it is in keeping with your home.
Our guide to choosing the best front door handle will help you make a decision as to the most appropriate type of door hardware for your property.
Security Locking Mechanisms & Front Door Hardware
he most important element of an outside door handle is the security it offers your home, and for this, you need to consider the handle’s locking mechanism. There are several locking mechanisms for different types of door handles.
A deadlock is operated by a key which mobilises a bolt to secure the door. This type of lock is also known as a mortice lock, and cannot be operated by a handle.
Deadlocks are commonly seen on wooden front doors as a more traditional method of security.
The euro cylinder is another common type of locking system for front doors. The euro cylinder lock works by a key which aligns the pins and a tumbler inside the lock to release the lock.
Euro cylinder locks are usually found on a range of doors, however more commonly with uPVC and composite doors.
The night latch is a secondary lock which sits on the inside face of a door. The night latch secures a latch when the door is closed for additional security. Night latches can be found on many door types and is a simple yet effective way to add some additional security to a front door.
Night Latches include cylinders which are low security.
Choose Your Locking Mechanism Wisely
When reviewing the security of your locking mechanism, enquire about the TS 007 rating of the lock. The TS 007 rating is the updated BSI Kitemark and indicates the lock’s endurance level against attack, such as snapping, picking, and bumping.
The highest rating that can be achieved is a 3-star rating which means the lock can endure all 5 methods of attack, including snapping, drilling, picking, bumping and plug extraction.
Importance of Door Hinge Types
Your door hinges also play a great role in the security of your front door; hinges are the mechanisms which attach your door to the wall, allowing it to swing open and closed. However, they can also be a weakness in security if they are attacked.
Door hinges can be fitted with a fixed pin or bolt which can prevent the door from being forced open. Choosing this type of hinge will add further peace of mind when it comes to security.
MKS recommend class 9 hinges for the front door of your property.
Types of Door Handles
You should also consider the usability and practicality of your door handle. There are many different door handles types for front doors, including levers, knobs, push and pull handles, and escutcheon pull handles.
A lever handle is formed of a long handle, on either side of the door, which you can push down or raise up to open and close the door. These handles are often found on uPVC doors, however, are found on other doors too.
A door knob is spherical in design and offers a more traditional look for your front door. To operate a door knob, you rotate the knob to open and close the latch.
Push Pull Handles
A push/ pull handle is not connected to any locking mechanism but features a handle which you can grip to push and pull the door closed. This handle is suitable for commercial environments, such as schools, where people are using the door with open access all day long.
Escutcheon pull handle
An escutcheon pull handle is a small protruding latch which is attached to the keyhole. This handle is designed to pull the door closed with your fingers.
The handle type you choose should be suitable for the type of door and locking mechanism you require for your application.
Durability Of Door Handles
Another key factor to consider is the durability of the handle. Outside door handles, such as the front door handle, must be able to withstand the wear and tear associated with regular use and all types of weather conditions faced by the exterior of the home.
Durability is essential to your door handle's function, comfort and usability over time.
Front Door Handle Materials
There are several popular materials which make suitable handles for front doors. Some of the most common include:
Brass. Brass is a hard-wearing metal with a timeless golden appearance, perfect for a touch of colour when making a great first impression on your home. The self-sanitising properties of the brass can also help reduce the number of bacteria building up on your handle.
Stainless steel. Stainless steel has a silver appearance which complements contemporary designs. Stainless steel is known for its resistance to corrosion, meaning it can handle outdoor environments well. However, stainless steel can be susceptible to rust.
Aluminium. Aluminium has a slightly darker appearance than stainless steel, although it is corrosion-resistant, like the metal. Aluminium is often chosen for its lightweight and durable properties tool.
Front Door Handle Finishes
The metallic material you select for a handle is often manufactured with a finishing option that is compatible. A finish is a process during the fabrication of the material which can enhance its properties and increase durability, such as corrosion resistance.
This ensures you can achieve the look you want, without compromising on the durability of your handle. You can find a range of door handle finishes available from which you can choose from:
Chrome. Chrome is achieved by plating chromium over a metal. A chrome finish enhances the corrosion resistance and durability of the metal and can take on several appearances including matte, brushed and polished.
Matte. The matte finish offers no gloss at all, meaning it is easy to keep clean without fingerprints marking the surface. A matte finish looks great with all colours, but particularly black handles.
Polished. Polishing produces a high gloss, bright and reflective appearance on a metal; this is suitable for stainless steel and brass. A polished look provides a contemporary touch to the handle and lockset
Satin. For a subtler look and low maintenance handle, a satin finish achieves a muted glossy look. A satin finish works well with all metallic materials.
Warranties and Guarantees
Your door handle and locking mechanism may come with a warranty or guarantee ensuring its durability. Depending on the warranty or guarantee, this usually alludes to the locking system having been tested to a quality standard. This means it offers a certain level of protection for your home or property and is designed to provide peace of mind.
Discuss the possibility of warranties with your locksmith, or check for a BSI Kitemark, as mentioned above, as a sign of the lock’s durability and security.
Style Of Door Handle
The style of your front door handle will also come into play when deciding the best front door handle for your home or property. The style of your handle not only encompasses the material, finish, and locking mechanism of your handle but should be thought of alongside the overall style of your home or property, too.
The best front door handles will complement the additional features on your front door, such as the letterbox, knocker, and glazing. This ensures the entryway to your property is coordinated and well thought out.
Consider The Handle Size
The size of your door handle should be practical and functional to access your property, especially if the building is accessed by multiple occupants who may have different accessibility needs. However, the size of the handle can also be a style choice and can help make your entryway stand out.
The lockset should match your door handle so that it appears as a uniform and complete set. This decision may affect the material and finishing option you decide, since you need to ensure the availability of the lockset in the selected material.
Impact of Handle Shapes
As previously discussed, there are many types of door handles for front doors, meaning you can choose the handle shape to fit your application. If this is a commercial or a multi-occupancy property, the handle shape needs to be suitable for all users. Whether looking for a door handle lever, or oval, round, angular, or classic shape, choose the shape of the handle based on style and functionality.
Alternative Handle Styles
A nice touch is to choose the style of your front door handle in conjunction with the other handles in and around your property. This additional step shows unity around your home or property and can offer inspiration when choosing the right handle.
How Can Your Budget Impact The Final Decision?
Of course, all these considerations are determined by the budget you have to work with. Luckily, many of the design and security choices discussed here are available at budget, midrange, and premium price tags.
Budget handles offer a lower price tag, however with this often comes lower quality and durability, or a poorer fit for your door, which can lead to security weaknesses.
Midrange handles typically provide a good balance of quality, durability and affordability. Midrange handles and locksets can be Kitemarked for security purposes and peace of mind.
Premium door handles are high-end, pricey handles which offer elegant looks and high security, including the locksets. They are often tested and rated, however, kitemarked systems and similar features can be found on midrange handles and locksets.
Still Stuck On The Best Handle For Your Front Door?
Choosing the best exterior door handle doesn’t have to be a complex or lengthy process – but it should be a process which prioritises the security of your property. Taking into account the considerations listed here will help you strike this balance.
Our team at master key systems have extensive knowledge within the industry to advise the most suitable for your property in line with your needs and budget.