How to Adjust a Loose Doorknob or Handle

18 Sep

How to Adjust a Loose Doorknob or Handle

Dealing with loose door handles and loose door knobs may be an annoyance, but it's one of the many obligations home, and business owners must do. Over time, doorknobs may become loose and unsteady, needing adjustment to make them secure again. The accumulation of dust and other pollutants on aging doorknobs may make them difficult to operate or lock.

For regularly used interior doors, loose doorknobs are a prevalent concern. Occasionally, the doorknob may become loose, causing it to rotate on its spindle. At other times, the mounting ring and faceplate of the lockset become loose and slide away from the door's surface. Adjusting a loose doorknob is important to keep your home, business, and property safe. This article shows you how to adjust a loose doorknob.

Causes of a Loose Door Knob or Handle

Door knobs and handles that are older may suffer from damage due to age and lack of maintenance. Over time, certain components may need to be replaced or properly maintained. This issue is usually caused by dirt and filth accumulating inside the lock mechanism. Similarly, loose door knobs and locks can be traced by a broken or missing screw within the door mechanism, making the lock to malfunction.

How to Fix a Loose Doorknob or Loose Door Handle

Detach the Loose Door Knob

A loose door knob or handle must be removed from the door it is currently attached to for the screws to be tightened. However, there are two types of door handles based on their screw type:

  • Exposed Screws

If exposed screws are used, locate the set screw within the door. Loosen the screw and remove the handle to expose the shaft. If the shaft is threaded, turn its handle to bring it to level with the door. Back up the knob so it may spin freely, then tighten the screw. For an unthreaded shaft, position the knob or handle up to the door face before tightening the set screw.

  • Hidden Screws

For loose door knobs, check the knob's detent access hole to find the concealed screws. The detent is a spring-activated pin that prevents the knob from turning. Press the pin with a flathead screwdriver and remove the handle from the spindle shaft.

Remove the Base

Once the doorknob is detached from the spindle shaft, you must remove the base. Using a flathead screwdriver, slowly pry the ring loose and avoid damaging the backing plate since this could ruin the entire lockset.

Tighten the Screws

The screws should be visible after you successfully remove the ring. They run between the inside and outside backing plates, which hold the whole assembly together. Tighten each screw individually while holding the outside backing plate.

Put the Handle Back-On and Restore the Base

Reattach the ring to the backing plate by snapping it back in place. Now you can reposition the handle over the spindle shaft. Turn the handle to align the holes with the detent and click into place once the handle is completely on the spindle shaft.


It is common to have loose door handles and knobs, but they are relatively easy to fix. You must address the issue early on to prevent it from escalating into something more serious. By following these steps, you can solve your problem effortlessly.

Nevertheless, you might consider calling a friendly locksmith if you continue to have this problem even after fixing it. A&A Aventura Pro Locksmith provides door lock repair, maintenance, and installation to ensure that your loose doorknob does not become a security concern.

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