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How to Fix a Loose Door Knob? – A Step-by-step Guide

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to fix a loose door knob

It is important to keep an eye out for irregularities in our home security, such as the integrity of our doors or their locks. Some people with wicked intentions might take advantage of malfunctioning locks, putting you, your family, and your business at harm.

One irregularity that you have to look out for is a loose or a wiggly door knob. A loose door knob can be easily removed to disable your locking mechanism and gain access to your home or business.

To help you with this problem, I will show you how to fix a loose door knob in simple and easy steps.

Ways to Fix a Loose Door Knob

Before diving into the actual process of fixing a loose front door handle, you have to determine first whether you have a door handle with screws that are exposed or not exposed.

Door handles with exposed screws have fasteners on the side of the door knob, while handles with no visible screws have fittings under the faceplate.

Additionally, prepare these materials that will help you tighten a loose door knob:

  1. Number 2 Philipps-tip screwdriver
  2. Extra screws

Then follow these steps to tighten that knob or handle.

Fix Loose Knobs With Exposed Screws

Step 1: Slightly open your door


This will give you more space to work with. It will also let you reach the other side of the door.

Step 2: Hold the back side of the door knob


To stabilize the door knob while you tighten it, it’s important to hold the back side of the knob. This will also ensure that the screws would go into the proper holes.

Step 3: Tighten the handle screws


With your screwdriver, tighten the fittings on the loose lever door handle. Usually there are two screws, one on each side of the handle.

Step 4: Test your door knob


Try to rotate your door knob clockwise and counterclockwise. Make sure there are no bindings that will hinder the rotation of the lock.

Fix Loose Knobs With Hidden Screws

For door knobs with hidden screws, here is how you tighten those knobs that won’t turn:

Step 1: Loosen the faceplate


Since the screws are inside the rose or the face plate, you have to remove it first. Make the faceplate loose by prying it and expose the opening mechanism.

Step 2: Raise the metal arrow



If you have a Kwikset door handle loose, locate the arrow on the side of the door knob and move it upwards to release the faceplate or the rose. For other setups, there may be a hole or a button that you have to press with a screwdriver or an awl.

Step 3: Remove the door knob and the rose



Pull and remove the rose and the knob from the door. Make sure to stash those parts as you will be reinstalling them after you tighten the screws.

Step 4: Tighten the screws


With your screwdriver, evenly tighten the screws on both sides. Make sure to hold the knob on the other side so that it won’t wiggle while you tighten the screws.

Step 5: Try out the knob


Turn the other side of the door knob to make sure the handle works well.

Step 6: Reinstall the knob and plate


Make sure the knob and the plate are flushed onto the door in order to avoid the lock mechanism being loose on one side again. Move the metal arrow down to secure the plate.

Signs of a Loose Door Knob

Door knobs are supposed to be tight and should turn without a hitch. Here are the signs that indicate you have a loose door handle front door:

  • The knob feels wobbly


Over time, the screws that fasten the door knob can become loose, making the knob wobbly when you touch it. This is normal, especially if the door knobs are already very old.

To prevent this, do maintenance and tighten old door knobs once in a while and do not wait for it to become loose.

  • There is a buildup of dust and dirt


Due to the space that is created because of a loose door knob, dust and dirt can accumulate inside these crevices. The door knob can also get stuck when it is turned due to the accumulated dirt and dust. You can find the easiest ways to fix a stuck door knob here!

To prevent this buildup, make sure to clean the surface of your door knob with a cloth or a brush.

  • There is a missing screw

Door handle comes off or becomes loose when there is a missing screw. Missing screws can sometimes happen in attempted break-ins or left uninstalled after maintenance.

To avoid having missing screws, always keep them in a container after removal. Brands like Schlage also offer hardware for their products that you can buy.

  • The locking mechanism is malfunctioning


A door knob loose spindle will cause the locking mechanism to malfunction. If your locking mechanism won’t lock or unlock, you might have a loose door knob problem.

To prevent having this problem, do routine maintenance on all of your doors and knobs, such as applying silicone lubrication to prevent rust.

Replacing a Loose Door Knob

If you’re wondering when to replace a door knob, it might be time when your door knob keeps falling off even though you have tightened the screws. Breakage might also occur due to a broken spring, which causes the latch to no longer engage.

If you planning to replace a loose door knob, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the old door knob from the door with a screwdriver, then do the same to the latch plate.
  2. Ensure that your new door knob has the correct backset to match your door latch.
  3. Install the first or inner door knob.
  4. Tighten the latches with a screwdriver.
  5. Install the second or outer door knob.
  6. Install the strike plate on the door frame.
  7. Test out your new door knob.


It is important to learn basic handiness skills in order to do things by yourself. Not only will it save you money from hiring a locksmith, but it will also help you in times when you encounter problems with your door security.

Knowing how to fix a loose door knob is a good starting point in learning to maintain your home or business. A safe and secure home is a worry-free home.

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