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February 6th, 2005

Bar Door Handle Usage

Let’s talk doorknobs and door handles.

In my last few jobs, I’ve been pleased to work in environments using door handles instead of doorknobs. (Check out the image at the bottom of this page to see what I’m talking about.) The simple reason I like them is when these are installed and working correctly, I think they’re way more efficient than doorknobs.

The whole efficiency thing comes from being able to pull up on the door handle when opening the door towards me. At my current job, this is how the men’s room door is designed. It gives me more power to open up the behemoth versus a doorknob (which I’d pull straight back) or pushing down on the handle (which makes me lose some power.) Pulling up also makes me feel like I’m on board a navy ship for some reason, and anything that can make me feel like I’m on board a ship is a plus in my book.

Ah but the thing that gets my goat is when I can’t pull up on a door handle. It irritates me greatly, because now I have to open doors like everyone else. Bah, I say!

Do you open doors in this manner, too? Or do you rely on the old pull down method?

Posted in Everyday Life

DATE: Sunday February 6, 2005 -- 4:37:18 pm
The bathrooms at our school have handles like that, it is especially fun to put ketchup or mustard under the handle so when they grab the handle it gets on their hands.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Sunday February 6, 2005 -- 4:48:04 pm
I... uh... guess....

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Monday February 7, 2005 -- 10:24:58 am
As a former architect, I like these handles. They are stylish and efficient. They are also more convenient: unlike a doorknob, you can actuate the lever with your knee when your hands are full. You can also actuate them with your feet, elbow, or forehead if you like--I've even seen people use their ass, but this last practice, unfortunately, raises cleanliness issues.

They were originally designed, ASFIK, for nursing homes and hospitals, where it takes a lot less effort to open a door using this kind of handle.

There are problems with this progress, though. For example, I've had belt loops ripped out twice by this type of handle, but one where the return is not well designed, to the end of the handle remains a few inches away from the door face.

Also, because you can really generate a lot of torque power easily, due to the greater leverage generated by the application of force further distant from the axis of rotation than with a conventional knob, I find that there can be recurring maintenance issues--probably those using their feet or ass are to blame.

However, there are economic benefits also. It's just plain easier to make a rod and bend it a little than it is to make a round knob. All things being equal, these handles are generally cheaper to purchase than a similarly spec'd and finished knob.

Still sucks when you tear a belt loop out of or suit pants. Worse, if you have jeans on, which are tough, you usually end up being spun and crashing into the door without breaking the loop. It's best when something like this happens in front of friends or on a first date.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday February 7, 2005 -- 12:05:20 pm
Good analysis, Joseph!

I like these types of door handles on bathroom doors because they're easier to open when using a paper towel than doorknobs.

FROM: aharris
DATE: Monday February 7, 2005 -- 3:46:06 pm
I actually have these kinds of knobs on the [superheavy] door to my apt. I'd seen them on the insides of buildings before but never on a door leading outside.

And I agree w/ Joseph, they are darn stylish.

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