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How to Tighten Kwikset Door Handle? – Step-by-Step Guide

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

How to Tighten Kwikset Door Handle

A loose door handle is not only annoying but also a potential risk to the security and functionality of your entrance. Whether you’re using a traditional Kwikset door lock or a Kwikset smart lock, the handle may become wobbly over time.

Fortunately, tightening a Kwikset door handle is a straightforward process. In this article, we will show you how to fix a loose Kwikset handle with a few simple steps and basic tools.

Without further ado, here are quick solutions on how to tighten Kwikset door handle.

Step-by-step to Tighten Kwikset Door Handle


There are different types of Kwikset door handles. Depending on the type, there are different ways to access the screws that hold the handle together. Some lever handles have screws that are exposed, while others hide them on the plate of the door handle.

Let’s explore the solutions for each scenario.

1. Exposed Screws

Here’s a step-by-step process of securing loose door handles with exposed screws:

1. Open the door which the door handle is attached to


Make sure there is enough space for your other hand to reach the other side of the door knob or handle.

2. Hold the back side of the doorknob


With one hand, hold the backside of the doorknob. This will secure the knob in place while you are tightening it. Remember to position the cover of the door knob so that it will not show any wear rings.

3. Tighten the door knob’s screws


With your Philips screwdriver, tighten the screws on the doorknob. Again, hold the knob during this process so that it won’t get out of position.

Don’t overtighten the screws so it won’t be difficult to adjust the next time.

4. Test out your doorknob


Before you close your doorknob, try rotating it clockwise and counterclockwise to see if there are irregularities with the rotation. If there are no more bindings, you can go ahead and close the door to test the door knob to see if it closes and opens freely.

You now have fixed loose door handle screws that are exposed.

2. Hidden Screws

To tighten a lever door handle by Kwikset with no screws visible, you can follow these steps:

1. Prepare your materials


  • Allen key
  • Flathead screwdriver

2. Loosen the set screw on the door handle


The set screw can be found on the side of the door handle. Insert your thin Allen key onto the set screw and turn it counterclockwise to loosen the door handle.

3. Remove the Kwikset door handle


Pull the handle out of the cylinder to expose the inner parts of the door handle. Keep the handle, as you will be reinstalling it later.

4. Remove the plate from the door handle


Get your 3/64 flathead screwdriver and slide it underneath the plate. Carefully pry the plate to expose the door handle with hidden screws so that you won’t damage the plate and the door in the process.

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5. Tighten the screws


After you have removed the plate, you can see two screws on both sides of the cylinder. Tighten the front door handle’s screws until the door handle stays in position and is no longer wobbly.

6. Reinstall the faceplate and the handle


Insert the faceplate first and make sure it covers the wear ring of the door handle. Reinstall the handle and make sure the handle faces the left-hand side relative to the door.`

7. Tighten the set screw


To prevent the handle from falling off, tighten the set screw with your Allen key. Remember to keep everything nice and aligned when you’re doing this.

8. Test your door handle


Rotate your door handle clockwise and counter-clockwise a few times and observe if there are irregularities. You now have fixed a loose door handle with concealed screws.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do door handles become loose over time?

Due to everyday use, the screws can move out of place, loosening the door handle. Also, built-up dirt and dust can obstruct the components inside, making the handle feel wobbly.

Loosen Kwikset door handle maintenance and prevention

In order to extend the lifespan of your door handle and prevent loosening, here are some tips that you can follow:

  • Keep your door handle clean. Just get a dry cloth and wipe the dirt and dust off the door handle, and add a mixture of soap and water for hard-to-remove stains.
  • Lubricate your door handle. Spray WD-40 onto the narrow parts of your door handle where there are moving parts so that you can lessen the friction between these parts.
  • Dismantle your door handle. If your door handle is already old, you can dismantle your door handle and clean the inner parts, especially if it’s an exterior door handle.

Other door handle problems can face and troubleshoot

A loose door knob or handle isn’t the only thing you should worry about. Here are some common door handle problems that you can encounter and how to do troubleshooting them:

  • The door lock isn’t latching

This can happen if your strike plate on the door jamb and the door latch are misaligned. Fix it by tightening the screws of the door latch and strike plate and adjusting them accordingly.

  • The door handle is frozen

In the winter, your door handle may not take the freezing temperature very well and may malfunction. To fix a frozen door handle, apply a de-icer on your door handle to lower the temperature.

  • The door knob has a loose spindle

A loose spindle can be attributed to wear-and-tear or attempted break-in. In order to fix a loose spindle, tighten the screws around the door knob so the spindle can reach and fit both door knobs.


Door handles, like other parts of the door, can easily malfunction or loosen over time if not taken care of properly. Even top brands, such as Kwikset, cannot guarantee that their products will last forever.

Knowing how to tighten Kwikset door handle is something that you should learn to make your home and business more secure. If you can’t do it yourself, you can always ask for professional help for a price.

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