Loose door knobs or handles are as recurrent a problem as squeaky hinges and at some point in your life, you will have to go through this. Whether the handle comes off the door or jiggles when you try to open it, it is only a matter of time before it becomes a nuisance. Don’t worry we got you covered.

Getting in and out of any room can become a major problem if this issue is not taken care of. When a door bit starts to come loose and wobble it’s time to change it.

Depending on the type of knob, this can be solved with a screwdriver, an Allen wrench, and a little bit of oil to loosen the screws. If it is not possible to remove the screws because they are too worn, stripped, or deformed, you may have to get new ones or replace the knob.

Learn how to tighten a loose doorknob by following the simple steps shown below and regain the comfort and security that a working doorknob provides.

Why is my handle so loose?

There are several reasons why some of them come loose:

  • Time. The passage of time and use causes it to deteriorate, loosen and need to be adjusted, tightened, or replaced.
  • As it ages, it loses its useful life and accumulates dirt, dust, and other contaminants that make it difficult for the lock to function.
  • You may have loose, damaged, rusted screws in both the lock and the door plate.
  • The locking mechanism of the handle, commonly referred to as the cylinder, may be damaged.

How to fix a loose door knob

What you need to fix your door knob, besides a couple of minutes is:


  • Screwdriver
  • Allen wrench


  • Door handle screws
  • Thread locking adhesive


doorknob and key

locate the screws

Depending on the doorknob model, the location of the screws may vary. It can be as easy as looking at the faceplate and finding them. The retaining hole or pin is on the side of the knob while the set screw is on the bottom of the knob. The way to remove the knob is by using a lever on the base. Using an Allen wrench or a slotted screwdriver, insert it into the retaining hole, press down, release the knob and the screws will be exposed.

Inspect the screws

If the screws are visible and can be seen directly through the door faceplate, then there is no problem removing them, they are easy to remove.

Loosen the screws, and pull them out to observe the shank, thread, and tip to locate any defects. Hold the knob with one hand while doing this operation because there is a risk of dropping it, hitting it, and damaging it.

Once off, look for dents, signs of rust, corrosion, deformation, or anything that indicates the screws need to be replaced.

Purchase the screws, taking a sample to your local hardware store to ensure that the new screws are the same length and size to secure the knob to the door.

Realign the doorknob

Once the door knob has been removed from the door, the knob gap should be exposed, this allows you to inspect the door and knob to identify the problem. One thing that often happens with these knobs is that they become misaligned from use and over time, the screws loosen causing movement that eventually causes the knob to become misaligned.

Sometimes it happens that they install the door with the knob at an angle and when reinstalling the knob if you see that you are making a greater effort to make the knob straight, try doing it at the angle of the door and the faceplate and you will see how it fits without much effort.

Tighten and replace the screws

Once you have verified that the screws are in good condition or you have replaced them with new ones, also, that the knob is aligned, you must install the screws and tighten them

If the plate is a front plate, this alignment and tightening procedure must be done together. Tighten the screws while making sure the knob is properly aligned.

Reinstall the door knob

door knob install

With the screws already installed and tightened you can reinstall the door knob base, which covers or protects the screws, apply light but firm pressure or tap gently until it is firmly in place.

After that, to secure the doorknob in place, slip it over the retaining pin and tighten the set screw once more.

To ensure that the door knob cannot freely rotate on the shaft, tighten the set screw using a screwdriver or Allen wrench. Replace the set screw with a new one if it is worn out or damaged.

Check the door knob’s functionality by turning it around. To prevent needless wear on the screws and knob assembly, be sure to adjust any loose screws.

How to fix a loose door knob with hidden screws

If the knob has no visible screws, you have to look for the retaining hole or pin detent, which prevents twisting, which is a spring-loaded pin or plate that is attached to the spindle and extends into a notch in the lever.

For screws that were concealed behind the faceplate, it will take a little extra effort to remove the doorknob and base to access the screws, but once the screws are exposed, the basic steps in the installation process are the same. You only need to identify what type of cover your knob has to access the retainer.

Is the same for windows knobs and screws?

Is not the same, since window knobs and locks are usually simpler and have special mechanisms than doors.

It is not so difficult to repair a door knob, you just need to have a little patience, free time, and the necessary tools to do it. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, an extra hand in this kind of repair always comes in handy, whether it’s to hold, help with leverage, tighten it, or just for encouragement!

Read more: How to fix a hole in a door

Loose door knobs: How to handle them was last modified: May 13th, 2023 by Vanessa Gallanti
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