French door handles are more than minor accessories. They play a central role in your door's functionality, security and even aesthetics. Since handles are the main point of use on any door, it is critical to choose high quality materials that will stand up to wear and tear and not require regular replacement or maintenance. High-grade materials, RAL certified lacquers and reliable, sophisticated mechanisms will keep your handles looking good and working correctly for many years to come.

Choosing a Material: Chrome, Steel, Aluminium and more

When shopping for new handles, most people focus on looks and price. But whether your door simply swings open or also offers a tilt, lift or slide function, the handle will be the focal point and see the most use. This includes regular rotation, pushing, pulling and subjection to dirt and sweat on the inside and the weather outside. While uPVC is typically the least expensive option and therefore tempting, we recommend avoiding it for all doors that see regular use. They would suffice though for a basement closet or storage area door for example. 

Especially in households with young children, stainless steel door handles are worth considering, as the material has slight antibacterial properties, can be cleaned easily, and does not show wear.

While a uPVC model might generally be the more affordable alternative, it is also more prone to being broken from repeated use or by burglars. Stainless steel offers top durability and security for your door. 

This is also why stainless steel is frequently used in hospitals and offices. Lift and slide doors in particular should feature a stainless steel handle, as it is also used to adjust the opening mechanism and therefore is subject to higher forces.

Security Features of French Door Handles

First floor balcony and patio doors are particularly popular targets for burglars, as many homeowners neglect their security and - for example - may not close them at night or when they leave the house. Burglars are aware of this and tend to concentrate their efforts on this weak spot.

Usually, their approach is to push in the seals and lift out the leaf as a whole. Multipoint locking can help to avoid this. Another common method used on doors with a tilting function is to insert some form of grabbing tool and move the interior handle. A simple lock renders this approach futile.

Types of Security Mechanisms for French Door Handles

There are different ways of locking French doors. The most common types include:

  • Push button
  • Lockable push button
  • Keyed lock

The standard locking mechanism is the push button. With this mechanism, the door can be locked from the inside by pressing a button and only opened by pressing it again. French door handles with locks use the same mechanism, but feature an additional lock that holds the button in place and can be locked and unlocked with a specific key only. While the button allows anyone to lock and unlock the entrance from the inside, a locked model can only be used with the right key. For this simple reason, a lockable handle can be particularly useful in households with small children.

Newer door models can also be equipped with a door gear. This type of locking mechanism is often used for doors that also serve as a side entrance and thus need to be lockable from the outside. Apartments with a low set balcony also benefit from this kind of mechanism, as it provides efficient burglary protection in general. However, if roller shutters have been mounted to your French doors, small handles should be mounted to the exterior to guarantee hassle-free opening and closing.

Shapes and Opening Functions

The French door handles most commonly consist of a lever and pivot in the form of an L. This type of French door handle can usually be set in three positions that activate the different opening mechanisms of a tilt and turn model. In its starting locked position, it points downwards. Turning it 90° opens the casement, while 180° enables the tilting function.

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