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Are door handles universal?

Introduction: Are door handles truly universal? The short answer is no. The universality of door handles depends on various factors, including regional requirements and installation methods. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the key elements that influence door handle compatibility and help you make informed decisions when choosing or replacing door hardware.
  1. Latch Types and Regional Variations: Issue 1 – Latch or Lock Type:
In Australia, carpenters typically install doors, emphasizing time and simplicity. The primary method used is latch handles, with drive-in latches being popular but often lower in quality. In Europe and most parts of the world, doors come with mortice locks, cut using CNC machines in the factory. These locks vary significantly in shape and size, making them far from universal. In North America, door latches are prevalent, usually cut out by the door manufacturer, with rounded corners preferred to suit router-cut faceplates. The standard backset for their latches is mainly 60mm from the door edge to the spindle center.
  1. Door Thickness Matters: Issue 2 – Door Thickness:
In Australia, internal doors are typically 35mm thick, while external doors are around 40mm thick. Custom-made doors may vary. It’s crucial to choose door hardware that accommodates these thicknesses, as hardware from other regions is often designed for thicker doors. Attempting to install hardware not suited for thin doors may lead to binding and installation challenges, especially with mortice locks on doors less than 38mm thick. Around the world, doors are generally around 44mm thick. Australian door hardware should be compatible with this thickness, requiring longer spindles and fixings to span the distance.
  1. Spindle Size and Compatibility: Issue 3 – Spindle Size:
Australia typically employs 7.6mm square spindles, while the rest of the world uses 8mm square spindles. Our door hardware accommodates both spindle sizes, but it’s crucial to match the spindle size with the latch or lock design.
  1. Fixing Methods and Hole Sizes: Issue 4 – Fixing Methods, Dimensions, and Hole Sizes:
Australia differs from many regions in fixing door handles back to back, similar to clamping them. In Europe, they also use this method but rely more on screwing into the door and fixing the lever onto the spindle with a grub screw. In North America, a large hole (54mm or 2 1/8 inches) is drilled, necessitating a minimum rose diameter of around 62mm. This method can lead to handle loosening over time. Australia has traditionally used a 50mm diameter hole, relying on the clamping method. More recently, a shift towards the European method with smaller spindle holes and tie-bolt holes has occurred. Hole distances differ, with Europe at 38mm center to center and Australia at 41mm center to center. Modern latches often serve as privacy or passage sets, requiring fixings on both sides and top and bottom. This versatility ensures compatibility even with latch types lacking tie-bolt holes. Conclusion: In summary, the universality of door handles is influenced by latch types, door thickness, spindle size, and fixing methods. To replace handles, consider your existing latch or lock, door thickness, and hole configurations. Our My-Handle range offers a flexible system suitable for a wide range of conditions. For new door installations, consult your carpenter and purchase all necessary components as a bundle for a seamless fit. Make informed choices to ensure your door handles meet your specific needs.
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