How to Fix a Loose Doorknob

Written by emma lee
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How to Fix a Loose Doorknob
Come on in, the door's open. (door knob image by Michael Shake from

Doorknobs are not a complicated mechanism. The knob attaches to a spindle or shaft. The shaft is attached to the mounting plate which is screwed to the door. With so few parts you may wonder what can go wrong. Everyday wear and tear causes screws to become loose and all that is needed is a quick turn of a screwdriver to quiet down that wobbly doorknob. Once this task is complete the doorknob will seem as good as new.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Screwdriver

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    Mortise Style

  1. 1

    Locate the setscrew on the side of the doorknob. The setscrew will be the only screw on the knob. Use the appropriate type screwdriver head to loosen the screw, either a flathead or a Phillips head.

  2. 2

    Loosen the setscrew until the knob turns freely without the latch moving.

  3. 3

    Turn the knob clockwise (to the right) until it is fits snugly against the door. Tighten the setscrew until it is flat.

    Cylindrical Style

  1. 1

    Locate the slot on the post, just below the knob. Push a small screwdriver into the slot to release the doorknob. The knob will pull off.

  2. 2

    Press the spring clip located at the edge of the decorative plate. Pressing the spring will release the plate from the door.

  3. 3

    Tighten the two screws that were covered by the decorative plate.

  4. 4

    Attach the decorative plate to the mounting plate. The plate will pop into place with a push.

  5. 5

    Place the knob onto the shaft until it snaps into place.

Tips and warnings

  • Mortise style doorknobs are glass, porcelain or brass. These knobs are common for older homes.

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