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Commercial Levers Knobs

Knobs, Handles and Levers for Commercial Use

Choosing a door for your business is a major task. You want the door to look good and serve its function of protecting the contents of your building. However, there is a lot more to think about than just what type of door to pick.

When you buy a commercial door, it often comes unfinished, that is, without hardware like closers, handles, and knobs. You’ll likely receive a door with a bore hole and a cross bore, leaving you with a decision to make on what hardware to buy.

One of the most important decisions you will make as a business owner is what type of knob or lockset you will use. To help you decide which lockset to install for your commercial property, we wanted to break down some common terms. Read on below to understand common handles, knobs, locks and sets that you may want to use in your commercial setting.

Commercial Lever Handles

Normally used for exterior doors, commercial lever handles look similar to a lever door handle designed for residential use, but they are built to a higher standard for additional strength. These locks are designed with heavy duty cylindrical chassis, or they can be crafted with mortise style locksets. Additionally, they are made in both light duty and heavy duty versions—depending on the need of the business.

Before You Order:

Before you order a lever handle, make sure you make not of which direction your door swings. If you place an incorrect order, your lock could be on the wrong side of the door, the lever could be upside down, or the lever could point in the wrong direction entirely.

Commercial Door Knobs

Like residential knobs, there are both interior knobs and exterior knobs designed for commercial doors. In general, a locking knob will be used on an exterior door, while an interior door may or may not require a lock—or may only need to lock from one direction.

Common Types of Door Knobs

Some of the most common includes keyed entry knob, passage knobs, dummy knobs and hotel knobs. All commercial locks and knobs are graded by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on strength and durability, so you can easily tell how secure the knob will be.


Deadbolts are used to secure the door with a thick bolt inserted into the doorjamb.

Single Cylinder Deadbolts

A single cylinder deadbolt is keyed on the outside, and have a thumb turn that locks and unlocks on the inside. These deadbolts are often used alongside other knobs or locks as an added precaution.

Double Cylinder Deadbolts

A double cylinder deadbolt is keyed on both sides. The benefit to a double cylinder deadbolt is that when using it with a glass door, it cannot be unlocked, even if the glass is broken. However, it is not recommended as a security device for use when people are inside, as it can be hard for occupants to unlock the door in an emergency.

Push and Pull Plates

A push or pull plate is another alternative to a door knob. In most cases, these are used when a door is not locked or is kept unlocked. The door can then be pushed or pulled open using a handle. In many cases, the door will pull from one direction and push the other. These are commonly used in retail establishments where it would be more convenient for a customer to push or pull the door open than use a turning doorknob or handle. A deadbolt can be added to the door if the door needs to be locked during certain hours.

Push Bars or Crash Bars

Another option for when a doorknob will not do is a push bar. A push bar allows for the door to be easily opened during an emergency situation, in fact allowing someone to open a door without using their hands. However, when the door is shut, a bolt holds the door securely closed This style of door closing device are often employed in schools as well as in some factory and retail settings.

Pushbutton Lock

For areas that need additional security, but require access by many individuals, a pushbutton lock may be the ideal solution. This durable lock requires a several digit pin number for access, allowing only authorized personnel to access certain areas. This can be an excellent choice for dividing public spaces from employee only areas of a retail business, for example.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing Your Commercial Door Hardware

Before you place an order for your door hardware, be sure to check:

  • The Backset: the measurement from the bore hold to the edge of the door
  • The Bore hole and cross bore: standard sizes are 2 1/8” for a bore hole with a 1” cross bore
  • Door thickness: standard doors are between 1 3/8″ – 1 3/4″ thick

Purchase Your Door Hardware from a Local Professional

Whether you know the exact type of knob that you want for your new door, or you still have a few questions, the team at Great Valley Lockshop is always glad to assist. We have served Philadelphia and the surrounding communities since 1973. Call at 610-644-5334 or contact us with any questions or concerns—we’ll be happy to help!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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