How to repair a recliner chair handle

Updated March 23, 2017

A broken recliner handle can make it difficult or impossible to raise and lower the chair's footrest. If your recliner's warranty has expired, troubleshoot the handle yourself before calling in a repairman. If you have to install a new handle, make sure to use the correct replacement part for your make and model of recliner. You may be able to find a part number listing or order a replacement handle directly from the manufacturer's website.

Spray the connection point between the lever and shaft with WD-40 or a similar lubricant if the recliner squeaks when you pull the lever.

Remove the handle if it is warped, cracked or broken. You may have to pry a plastic cover off the end of the retaining bolt. Depending on the design of your recliner, there may be a screw or hex bolt holding the handle in place. Use a screwdriver or Allen wrench to loosen and remove the bolt.

Pull the handle away from the shaft. The end of the shaft is square, so you may have to wiggle the handle back and forth to loosen it. If you still cannot pull the handle away from the chair by hand, use the claw end of a hammer to pry it off the shaft.

Place the new handle on the end of the shaft and tighten the retaining bolt. Replace the plastic cover onto the end of the bolt. Open and close the recliner several times to test the new handle.

Things You'll Need

  • WD-40 or other spray lubricant
  • Replacement handle
  • Screwdriver
  • Allen wrench
  • Claw hammer (Optional)
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About the Author

Denise Sullivan has been writing professionally for more than five years after a long career in business. She has been published on Yahoo! Voices and other publications. Her areas of expertise are business, law, gaming, home renovations, gardening, sports and exercise.