Types of Door Knobs (A Complete Guide For You)

Types of Door Knobs

Are you on the hunt for some durable and stylish door knobs? You’re right on track as we list down some of the most popular types of door knobs at present. From the keyed entrances to dummy knobs, here’s everything you need to learn about this pivotal aspect of your home.

What are door knobs?

Door knobs sometimes referred to as door handles, are an essential part of the door structure. It’s easy to distinguish door knobs because of their circular head, which serves as the opening and closing mechanism of the equipment.

Their functions include providing a comfortable grip on the door as well as adding an extra layer of security to a room. They can be used in both interior and exterior parts of residential structures, office spaces, and commercial buildings. Moreover, there are lots of door handle designs that vary accordingly.

What are the main types of door knobs according to their use?

There are different types of door knobs, and each comes with certain unique features that make it distinct. So, let’s cover them one by one for better understanding.

1. Privacy door knobs

Perhaps one of the most common types is the privacy door knobs. You can find them almost everywhere, including your kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. And from the name itself, this particular door knob comes with locking mechanisms that provide a layer of security and privacy to a room.

Depending on the design, this door knob entails a straightforward operation, like pushing the button in or out. Some also come with a small knob that you can rotate sideways whereas others can be locked or unlocked by turning the knob.

Because of its primary function, privacy door knobs are made from durable materials. The sturdy composition ensures that safety is not compromised. Moreso, this type is further categorized into two:

  • Keyed

Since safety is a main concern for privacy door knobs, there are key options that allow you to open the door using a generic key. You simply put the key inside the knob that is stationed outside to smoothly release the pinhole.

Privacy door knobs
Image Credit: thecraftsmanblog

This is a distinct aspect that makes keyed privacy door knob a top choice in terms of privacy and security. However, you need to be careful not to lose the key! Losing this rather significant piece can be very dangerous, especially if there is a fire or other unfortunate emergencies.

That’s why it’s best that you keep a spare one in case of an emergency. You may tuck it just above the door frame for easy access. If not, you’ll definitely need to call a locksmith for a new replacement.

  • Non-keyed

On the other hand, non-keyed privacy doors simply work the traditional way, with no physical key. It encompasses a push or sometimes a turn button that locks the door from the inside of the room. With this locking mechanism, the turn button is engaged when you turn the knob to the other side.

The push-button lock makes it easier for someone to access the room, hence a popular choice among homeowners. Often than not, these are considered part of the classic door knobs and are cheaper compared to other types.

2. Keyed entry door knobs

Next on the list are keyed door knobs, commonly known as keyed entrances. These are widely used in interior and even exterior doors, including front doors, garage doors, and even patio doors. The main feature of keyed entrance is none other than the lock and key element.

This mechanism entails safety as well as security for both sides. So, you can either lock or unlock on the outside using a key or you may turn the button on the interior knob to lock the door. Furthermore, the button easily unlocks once you turn the interior knob.

Aside from providing security, these remarkable functions are highly beneficial in case there is an emergency inside the room. A person can open the door using a key from the outside. Just like the first type of door knob, the keyed entrance has two primary styles:

  • Single-cylinder

Single-cylinder deadbolts highlight only one locking mechanism, which is keyed on the exterior side of the door. The interior of the room follows the thumb-turn motion to lock and unlock, which means you save time from locking or unlocking the door.

Keyed entry door knobs
Image Credit: tolv_manader_i_piemonte

Because of its simplicity and efficiency, this is ideal for everyday use. More so, single-cylinders are more cost-effective and way cheaper than double-cylinder ones. But in terms of security, this could be a potential drawback. With only one locking feature, it’s much easier for intruders to access your home.

  • Double-cylinder

Meanwhile, double-cylinder deadbolts have two locking mechanisms. Therefore, there are two keyholes so you can lock and unlock them from the outside and from the inside. With these added features, double cylinders are highly recommended for rooms and buildings that need extra security.

The keyed door knobs elevate the safety features of both the interiors and exteriors. This is the main reason why double cylinders are remarkable to keep burglars away. It’s because they need a key to enter the premises.

Furthermore, it ensures that children or pets are kept secure so they can’t get out unsupervised. So, even if it’s less convenient compared to single-cylinder, double-cylinder door knobs are truly impressive in keeping your loved ones and valuables safe.

3. Passage door knobs

Moving forward, we have passage door knobs, sometimes referred to as door handles. These are commonly utilized for interior doors that do not require keys or rooms that are not in need of privacy or security.

These include areas in your home such as laundry rooms, hallways, and pantries. Often than not, they are also used as a handle for closets and wardrobes. Since this type of door knob doesn’t have a lock, this is not suitable for exterior doors, bathroom doors, and the like.

Passage door knobs follow a simple mechanism, and that is a latch that easily opens from the outside with just one twist. Because of this relatively easy function, these door knobs come in different designs. Many opt to choose a style that complements the aesthetics of their home.

Passage door knobs
Image Credit: mikeu9308

4. Dummy door knobs

Unlike the previous two types, the dummy door somehow focuses on style rather than functionality. Thus, these may be likened to passage doors with no locking mechanism. But passage door knobs and dummy door knobs are still different because the latter do not have working parts, hence the name.

They are simply mounted on the door surface using a set screw. With no working and locking features, these knobs go after the push and pull motion. You pull the knob to open the door and push the knob to close it.

As fake knobs, these are only used for areas that do not need any security like a shallow closet or even a small pantry. These are also great options for French doors to add more depth and style to the entire structure.

Because of their main purpose, which is a decorative piece, dummy door knobs come in different styles. You also have the luxury to choose your preferred finish. Some of the most popular designs are antique brass, bright brass, satin chrome, satin nickel, and matte black, among others.

There are some dummy door knobs that encompass a ball latch or a magnetic catch. This additional feature is placed at the top section of the door for minimal security. The customizable designs truly make these knobs a pivotal piece to doll up your home interior.

Interior mortise door knobs
Image Credit: themodernvicsf

5. Interior mortise door knobs

Lastly, we have interior mortise door knobs, which are quite unique in terms of style. Featuring a more traditional design, these door knobs are widely used in older homes. This door knob is characterized by a big rectangular look that is stationed inside the door, making interior mortise different from modern ones.

Generally, these knobs are designed to work together with a mortise lock. There are also times when these are complemented with skeleton keys, which are keys that have serrated edges to open different kinds of locks.

Aside from skeleton keys, interior mortise can be paired with a deadbolt. The reason for this is to add a layer of privacy. Because of these aspects, the interior mortise is considered a very secure piece of residential hardware.

Although interior mortise knobs are fascinating and well-secured, these haven’t been widely utilized at present. It’s because of the complex mechanisms that make it difficult to install. There are even models that come with a threaded spindle, which is then rethreaded for efficient performance.

In a nutshell, interior mortise knobs are rare yet intricate door knob types. More so, there are still a couple of replicas available in the market. Most of these constitute an updated system, which means it may not be too hard to install the piece itself.


With the variety of door knob styles on selection, you need to take your time in choosing the best option. Go over the list above and comprehend the functions of each type for better decision-making. And of course, you should also take into account other factors like price and materials used.

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