How to Remove a Lever Door Handle Without Screws

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Paper clip

  • Allen wrench

A lever door handle is used in place of a traditional doorknob on many modern locksets. These handles are available in a variety of styles and finishes to complement different decorating styles. Most homeowners will find that these devices are easy to remove if they are broken or damaged, or if they simply want to replace it with a new style. Almost all lever handles are fastened to the door using screws, though these screws may be hidden behind trim plates or other parts of the lock.

Modern locks

Step 1

Expose hidden set screws. A set screw is typically installed along the base of the lock on the interior side of the door. It may be hidden behind a circular plate around the lever. This plate is known as a rose and can almost always be removed by hand. Try twisting or pulling the rose away from the door to expose the screws.

Step 2

Use a screwdriver to remove the set screws, which will release the lock and lever from the opening.

Step 3

Look for pin holes in the rose or in the lever body itself. Straighten a paper clip and insert it into the hole. Apply a bit of pressure to the paper clip to trigger a release button inside the hardware. Once triggered, the lever or lock trim can be removed from the door. If any screws are exposed during this process, remove them to release the lock and remove it from the door.

Step 4

Use an Allen wrench to remove the lever. Some lever handles have hexagonal-shaped fasteners that require an Allen wrench for removal. Look for these fasteners along the base of the lever, then use an Allen wrench that fits snugly into the head of the fastener. Turn the wrench to remove the fastener, then pull the lever away from the door by hand.

Older locks

Step 1

Examine the lever and look for slots or depressions. Older locks that have these depressions must be removed in two separate steps.

Step 2

Insert a flat-head screwdriver into the slot to trigger a release button. This will release the rose trim, exposing the rest of the lock.

Step 3

Look for a wire once the rose has been removed from an older lock. Metal wires were often wrapped around the base of the lever, then hidden behind the rose. Depress the wire with a screwdriver and the lever should pop off. Pull the other lever and the rest of the body away through the other side of the door.


Emily Beach

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.