Door Handle Only Works on One Side [Solved]

Have you ever been frustrated by a door handle that only works on one side? This is a common issue that makes your mind inconvenient and puzzles too. Fear not, these could be the possible issues:

The Possible Reasons Are

  1. Slipped Rotational Stop
  2. Misaligned Door Latches
  3. Loose Grub Screw
  4. Short Spindle
  5. Wear And Tear
  6. The Problem in The Spring
  7. The Problem in The Latch Assembly
  8. Problem With The Transmission Plate
  9. Broken Cam Drive Unit
  10. Misaligned Driver

In this article, we’ll explore all the possible causes behind this phenomenon and provide practical solutions to ensure your door handle operates seamlessly from both sides.

So without further ado…

Let’s get started…

Door Handle Only Work On One Side [10 Reasons And Solutions]

1. Slipped Rotational Stop

Door handles come in different designs but the internal assembly is almost identical. If we open the outer cover by removing the screws, both sides (internal and external door handles) of the lock come off.

#Issue: The round parts of the lock are called rosette has a spring with two rotational stops. In an ideal situation the rotational stops of the torsional spring face one side. if your door handle only works on one side, the chances are high that one of the rotational stops has slipped from its place.

Solution: The torsional spring helps to control the rotation of the door knob or handle. To fix this issue make sure that both stops of the torsional spring face the same side.

Also Read: Door Latch Stuck in Locked Position [Solved]

2. Misaligned Door Latches

#Issue: If there is no issue with the torsional spring then the second possibility is a malfunctioning latch mechanism. If the latch isn’t engaging properly, the door handle won’t move in either direction.

Solution: This can happen due to damage or misaligned door latches. Make sure the door is properly aligned with the frame. If it’s not adjusting the hinges or strike plate may be necessary to restore proper functionality.

Also Read: How To Open A Stuck Wooden Door [8 Effective Ways]

3. Loose Grub Screw

#Issue: Grub screws keep both handles of the door lock in place. With time these grub screws become loose or fall out.

Solution: To fix this issue take a screwdriver and tighten both the screws. Replace the screws if they wear off.

4. Short Spindle

A spindle is a square metal rod that facilitates the connection between the internal and external door knobs of a door lock.

#Issue: A short spindle rod is unable to connect both door handles cause the door handle only works on one side.

Solution: The ideal size of a spindle rod is 100mm (4”). Make sure the length of the spindle rod of your door lock is up to the standard so that both handles are aligned properly and function properly.

5. Wear & Tear

Over time, door handles can succumb to the effects of daily use, weather exposure, and aging. This can lead to a misalignment of internal components of your door lock, causing the handle to function unevenly.

6. The Problem in The Latch Assembly

The latch assembly has a moving latch that moves back and forth with the help of a spring. One side of the spring is attached to the latch and the other side of it is connected to a transmission plate. Which is also moving along with the movement of the spring and latch.

7. Problem with the Transmission Plate

If the transmission plate is broken or jammed, it prevents the movement of the latch and causes your door lock to either not work or only rotate in one direction.

Solution: In this case, you have to change the transmission plate, or if it is not available then contact its manufacturer to fix it.

8. Broken Cam Drive Unit

The latch assembly consists of two Cam Drive Units. Each drive unit moves the door latch back and forth when you rotate one of the door’s (either inside or outside) handles.

Solution: The Broken Cam Drive Unit needs a replacement or a complete replacement of a door lock.

9. Misaligned Driver

The Driver plays a pivotal role in locking and unlocking your door. When the lock is in a horizontal direction you can easily move its door handle but you can’t move it when the door lock is in a vertical position. This feature works only with the help of Driver.

One side of the driver is connected to the door lock and the other side is connected to the Fixed Cam. A damaged driver affects the functionality of the door lock and makes it function unevenly.

Solution: If the driver of your door lock is damaged then you have to replace it.

10. Problem in The Fix Cam And The Sliding Cam

Fix driver is attached to the driver and it moves when the driver moves. The sliding cam moves back and forth with the movement of the driver. Your door lock doesn’t work and its handle will be jammed when there is a problem with the Fix Cam and the Sliding Cam.

Solution: Check the fixed cam and the sliding cam of your door lock and if they got damaged, replace them, or contact the manufacturer of your door lock.

Professional Assistance

When To Call An Expert?

By applying all the listed methods if you don’t get positive results, it’s time to consider professional assistance. A skilled locksmith or door hardware specialist can diagnose and address more complex issues, such as internal component failure or damage.

Replacement Options

There is a need for a complete replacement of the old door locks. In some cases, especially with older handles, replacement may be the most practical solution. Upgrading to a modern, durable handle can not only resolve the immediate issue but also enhance the overall security and aesthetics of your door.


In conclusion, if your door handles only turns one way, disassemble them by removing the screws and inspect all the above-mentioned areas such as slipped rotational stop, misaligned door latches, loose grub screws, the length of the spindle, broken cam drive units, and other listed areas to fix this issue yourself. If you find it difficult and are uncomfortable with this type of DIY work, must contact an experienced locksmith in your area to fix this issue.


Q.1 My door handle moves only in one direction. Should I repair it, or do I need a complete replacement?

Ans: If your door handle moves in one direction but stops moving in another direction then first try to fix it yourself as I’ve mentioned all the possible reasons and their practical solutions in this article. Replacing a door lock would cost you between $45 to $500, which is not cheap. If repair attempts are unsuccessful or if the handle is severely damaged, consider a complete replacement for a more lasting solution.

Q.2 What are the most common reasons of one side of the door knob won’t turn?

Ans: Misaligned door latches, broken cam drive units, inappropriate size of the spindle, loose grub screws, and misaligned drivers are some most common issues of the door knob only turning oneway.

About The Author


Adam is here, I'm an Editor and writer on guidingpapa. I love to share home improvement tips and new ideas in this blog. I have been doing this from couple of years and I'm very passionate about it.

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