Door handing or swing is not the big mystery most people think
it is. Follow either of these two simple methods, and
you are assured of the correct handing every time. If
you are handing a door for a full mortise lock, please see the
mortise lock information section.
The outside in method:
- Face the outside of the door. The outside is the
exterior or hall side of any door. If you are inside
a room looking out, you are on the wrong side of the door.
- Determine which side, right or left, the hinges are on. If
the hinges are on the right, it is a right hand door. If
the hinges are on the left, it is a left hand door.
The butt to butt method:
- With the door open, stand with your backside against
the hinge side jamb.
- If the door swings to your right, it is a right hand
it swings to the left, it is a left hand door.
- Caution – this method does not work with out-swinging
closet doors that require single dummy sets. In
that case, pretend the door is swinging into the closet. In
other words, the door handing will be the opposite of
the way the door swings.
(click to enlarge)
Full mortise locks are known for durability, security and distinctive
styling. They are best suited for wooden doors, and highly
recommended for large, heavy entry doors. Steel or fiberglass
doors require special factory preparation to accept full mortise
Installing a full mortise lock requires special tools and techniques
and is best handled by a professional familiar with mortise
locks. We specialize in mortise lock installation.
You will need the following information in order to order a
- Door handing:
a. Determine the door swing from the exterior of the door. If
the hinges are on the left, it is a left hand door. If
the hinges are on the right it is a right hand door.
b. Determine if the door swings in to the building or out
to the exterior. If it swings in, stop. Specify the
handing determined in step “a”.
c. If the doors swing out, specify “reverse bevel” after
the handing specification. For example, a door with
hinges on the right that swings out, requires a right hand
reverse bevelmortise lock.
- Door thickness: Measure the thickness of the door at
the lock stile. Common
sizes include 1-2/4” and 2-1/4” but we need
to know to order the correct components for your mortise
- Stile dimensions and details:
a. Determine the width of the lock stile. This is
the vertical member that makes up the lock side of the door.
b. Note if there are any details, trim or carvings that
project from the surface of the door that could interfere
with the door hardware trim. Measure their location from the edge of
the door. This information will help up determine
the best back set to use with your mortise lock.
Nomenclature of Door and Frame
(click to enlarge)