And In Between Are The Door Knobs

by Max

It’s been a busy month for knobs and locks at The Fixician - I’m on my sixth doorknob replacement, fixed a holey door, and even fitted locks to a wine cabinet to stop flatmates stealing the booze!

When I first started my handyman gig, I didn’t realise just how many locks and doorknobs I’d be replacing; but it makes sense – these babies cop a lot of use.

By some estimates, people walk through 100 doors a day. If there’s a doorknob attached, that’s 200 turns, per day, per person! How sore would your wrist be if you had to shake hands with 100 hundred people every day – twice!

I asked John Paget and David Clohesy, of Lock Supplies Morphett Vale, how door owners can take better care of their hardware.

Here are their top 5 tips:

1. Buy Quality. This is the main reason locks and door latches fail – cheap products used for the wrong application. David says “When people put a $10 lock in a commercial application, that’s not going to last. A $10 lock won’t even last in a domestic application, let alone commercial”. So tip number one - if you’re buying locks and door knobs - do some homework and buy the best you can afford.

2. Avoid Graphite. What? I thought graphite was the good stuff? Uh uh. In the old days, there was space enough in locks for excess graphite to fall to the bottom. Now, with locks and keyways made to exacting tolerances, excess graphite will collect and gum up the works. A better option is to use Aussie product INOX MX3, a non-toxic, non-residual lubricant. I use it on locks, door latches, hinges and aluminium sliding doors and windows. See here for the 1001 uses of INOX. You can buy it from Lock Supplies Morphett Vale.

3. Wipe Down Your Hardware Monthly. Especially if you live near the sea! To reduce corrosion, wipe your door knobs with a damp cloth (no chemicals) every month. This prevents the build-up of oxidizing substances that tarnish the hardware and reduce its life.

4. Get Keys Cut By A Reputable Locksmith. Ever seen inside a lock cylinder? They’re quite a precise assembly of tiny pins, springs and other moving parts. If keys aren’t cut to precision, or out of the right material, they can cause early wear and faulty working. So get your keys cut by a reputable locksmith. See here for an excellent overview of how a pin-tumbler lock works.

5. Tighten If Loose. Many door knobs stick and won’t work if the internal screws are loose. Simply tightening these screws can make it work again. If you have difficult-to-operate door knobs, it may be that the screws that hold it together are loose – tighten these as a first step to fixing. See here for an overview of how a door latch works.

There you have it, 5 tips that may save you time and money. Of course, hardware does wear out, so if you’re struggling with difficult-to-use door knobs and locks, call The Fixician.

Want to try INOX MX3 for free? Email The Fixician and say why you’d like to try. The first three to email who live in my service area will get a can!

The Fixician Handyman Service
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
1300 349 424

Lock Supplies
116 Sherriffs Road, Morphett Vale, 5162
1300 538 634


* (With respect to Jim) the full and correct quote is: “There are things known, and things unknown, and in between are the doors”. Although usually credited to Jim Morrison, it may in fact have been Doors co-founder Ray Manzarek who originally said this. Read this article if you’re interested…