How to Open a Door That the Handle Fell Off?

Adrian Rodger

By Adrian Rodger

Last Updated on July, 2024

Have you ever had your door handle break just when you were in a hurry? It’s annoying, right?

This article will show you simple steps to open your door when the handle gives up. From using essential tools you have at home to getting help from a professional, I’ll make it easy for you to fix this common problem.

Let’s get started with some tools you need to open a door.

Quick Summary

  • Opening a door with a broken handle is a common and frustrating issue that can be easily solved with the right tools and techniques.
  • There are different methods for opening a door with hidden or visible screws, and the process may involve using tools like a screwdriver, chisel, or utility knife.
  • It is important to determine the cause of the broken handle and to make sure the replacement knob fits the door’s specifications. It may also be necessary to call a professional locksmith for assistance.

Tools You Need to Open a Door

Opening a door with hidden screws might seem tricky, but with the right tools, it’s super simple. Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Flat-head Screwdriver: This tool is suitable for prying off cover plates and loosening screws. Go for a mid-size screwdriver that fits nicely in screw grooves.
  • Philips Screwdriver: For those Philips head screwdrivers hiding under cover plates, you’ll need this. Keep both mid-size and small Phillips head screwdrivers handy.
  • Utility Knife: Sometimes, cover plates can be stubborn. A utility knife can help pry them off more easily.
  • Old Credit Card Trick: In a pinch, an old credit card can be used as a makeshift screwdriver. Just slide into the screw groove and turn.

With these tools, you’ll be ready to tackle any door-opening challenge!

Open the Door By Removing the Hinge Pins

a person opening a door by removing the hinge pins

Removing a door’s hinge pins can be an easy way to open it. Here’s how:

Step 1: Free the Upper Hinge Pin

  • Grab a flat-head steel chisel and a hammer.
  • Slide the chisel under the lip of the upper door hinge pin. Push the chisel with the hammer until the pin loosens.

Step 2: Work On The Bottom Pin

  • Use a round steel punch with an ¼ inch tip and a hammer.
  • Place the punch into the bottom of the hinge pin channel. Gently push the pin upward with the hammer until it starts to come out.

Step 3: Remove the Door

  • Repeat for all pins: follow steps 1 and 2 for all the hinge pins on the door.
  • Once all the pins are loose, try pulling them out of the hinges. Pull or push open the door out of the door jamb, starting from the side with the hinges. This way, the door latch will come out of the strike plate hole in the door jamb.

Now, you’ve got the door open without a hitch in your house!

Open the Closed Door With Hidden Screws

a person opening a closed door with hidden screws

If your door handle is stuck and you can’t find any screws, don’t worry. You can still get the door open, here’s how:

  • Locate The Hidden Screws: Look carefully at the base of the doorknob. There might be a tiny door knob hole or a slit.
  • Loosen The Knob: If you find a hole in the door jamb, use a small tool like a hex key or a paperclip to loosen the screw. If there’s a slit, gently insert a flat-head screwdriver to release the knob. Pull the knob off once it’s loose.
  • Remove The Cover Plate: Take off the plate around the knob. Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry it off. Look for any screws hiding underneath and take them out.
  • Deal With Set Screws: Some knobs have hidden set screws inside. Use an Allen wrench to loosen them. Once they’re loose, you can remove the knob.
  • Check The Latch Mechanism: If you still can’t find screws, look at the latch plate on the edge of the door. There’s usually a square shaft that goes through the latch mechanism. Retract the screws holding it in place and remove the plate. 
  • Get The Screws: With the latch plate off, you should see the screws holding the knob in place. Remove them, and you should be able to open the door.

Now you know the secret to opening doors with hidden screws; it doesn’t matter whether it’s a bedroom or bathroom door; you can follow the same steps to come out of this problem.

Now, let’s see what you can do with visible screws!

Open the Closed Door With Visible Screws

a person opening a closed door with visible screws

If your door knob has visible screws, getting it off is simpler than you think. Here’s the tip you need to do:

Find The Screws:

  • Look closely at the knob. You’ll usually find screws on the side of the door that doesn’t have the lock.
  • Look at the circular plate around the knob and its base. Screws might be hiding there too.

Remove The Screws:

  • You’ll need a screwdriver, either Phillips or flathead, depending on the screw type.
  • Turn the screws counterclockwise until they’re entirely loose. Take them out and keep them safe.

Take Apart The Knob:

  • Once the screws are out, pull the knob away from the door. It should come off quickly.
  • Inside, you’ll see the latch part and spindle. They should come out with the knob.

Deal With The Latch Mechanism:

  • The latch plate covers parts inside the door. Unscrew it carefully and take it off.
  • Take out the latch and spindle completely. Other side bits like rosettes will come free, too.
  • Clean out any old hardware and the hole left behind by screws.

Now your door is ready for a new door handle. Easy, right? 

Call a Professional Service to Open the Broken or Locked Door

a professional fixing a broken door

If you’re struggling with a jammed door on the other side, consider reaching out to a professional service like a locksmith for assistance. Start by researching them in your area.

Contact them to explain your situation and schedule an appointment for them to assess the door.

Be prepared to clear any obstacles hindering their access. During their visit, they will inspect the door, diagnose the issue, and work to open it safely and efficiently using specialised tools if necessary. 

They may also repair parts of the locking mechanism as needed. Be sure to confirm the cost of their services beforehand and settle the payment after the job is completed.

With the expertise of a professional service, you can trust that your jammed door will be opened with minimal hassle.

Worth reading:


So, did you sort it out?

Your safety and comfort are essential. So, don’t wait. Get this done by yourself by following the steps above, or make it happen smoothly by calling a professional service.

Just call a locksmith, and they’ll help you out fast!


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