The Essential Screwdriver: The Handyman’s Tool For Problem Doors

Person screwing on the hinges of a cabinet doorProperly working door hardware is critical to opening, closing and locking the common door. When things go wrong, certain tools are required to repair it. The most essential tool is the Screwdriver as hinges, doorknobs, locks and chain latches are all affixes to wood or metal with screws. Consequently, having a reliable screwdriver and a set with multiple heads will go a long way towards fixing the most common problems associated with a door’s hardware. But what are these hardware parts? And how do they help the door to function?

The Mighty Hinge

Found on all doors save pocket doors, the mighty hinge connects the door to its frame, allowing it to open and close. Hinges are found on anything from the kitchen cabinet to the bedroom door and come in sizes that allow each door’s moving function to operate. Most often made of polished steel or brass for long wear, they can be 3 to 4 inches long, with a thickness of 11/4 to 1 ¾ inches.

The Dependable Doorknob

Without a doorknob, you’d be hard pressed to open and close the door. Ranging in style and size to accommodate the door they will operate, the dependable doorknob kit comes in ‘twos’ with a knob for each side and has an interlocking, spring-loaded bolt device. This bolt is meant to fit precisely into a drilled hole in the door’s edge with each knob fitting into the door’s face. When you screw the knobs together with your screwdriver, the bolt will retract by turning either knob mechanism. The bolt then fits with precision into a metal strike plate in the door frame or jamb, which keeps the door closed. Some doorknobs also include a lockset with a keyed or electric locking device in one of the handles.

The Reliable Deadbolt

Doorknob locking mechanisms may be sufficient for certain doors but if you want added security, a deadbolt lock barrel is stronger and protrudes deeper into the door jamb and is not spring loaded. If you install a separate deadbolt lock, you will also need to have a strike mortised into the jamb’s wood, with a pre-drilled hole large enough to handle the lock barrel.

The Lovely Latch

Typically used as an ancillary locking device, latches are installed on the face of a door or its edge. The latch can be a chain latch, cabin hook, or barrel-bolt. Latches are found more commonly on sliding doors or pocket doors but can also be installed on conventional doors.

In the hardware locking devices described above, installation and repairs will always necessitate using a reliable screwdriver, whether they call for a flat head or Phillips screwdriver. The same goes for hinges as all are affixed with screws.