Door Hardware Terms

A list of common door hardware terms.

Door Hardware Definitions

Active Door

The door that is opened first and to which a functional lockset is applied in a double-door set.


Backset refers to the distance measured horizontally from the edge of the door to the center point of the bore hole. 

The door-prep image seen to the left applies to any standard tubular lock or latch set, including interior door knobs, door levers, deadbolts, entry door handle sets, and door handle plates.

You can see the bore hole that is 2-1/8" in diameter. The distance from the edge of the door to the center-point of this bore hole is the backset.

Most interior doors have a 2-3/8" backset. Most exterior doors have a 2-3/4" backset.


A hole drilled through the door to allow the installation of hardware, such as a latch set or an entry set. Bore holes are typically 2-1/8" in diameter.

Center-to-Center Hole Spacing

The vertical distance measured between the center points of two bore holes. 

This measurement is most often needed for tubular entry door handle sets.

Custom Keying

An custom option for how a door lock is keyed, such as a deadbolt or entry set. Custom keying requires supplying either a copy of a key or a key code that you would like your new lock to accept.


The cylindrical-shaped mechanism housed within door locks that contains the tumbler and keyway, into which a key is inserted to operate the lock.


A heavy-duty door lock that has no spring action but is operated by a key or a thumb turn. When the door is locked, a metal bolt will slide from deep inside the door into the door jamb Deadbolts are often combined with a locking knob or lever and are typically seen on exterior doors as a security feature. 

Door Handle Plate

A large plate covering any bored hole in a door with an attached knob or lever. Door handle plates are typically decorative. 

Door Swing

The direction the door opens while standing outside. If you push it away from yourself to open, the door is an in-swing. If you pull it towards you to open, the door is an out-swing.

Door Thickness

The measurement of the physical thickness of your door.

Double Cylinder

A door lock requiring a key to lock and unlock from inside and outside. The double cylinder lock is an option for specific door locks, such as deadbolts or entry sets. Double cylinder locks can occasionally make it difficult to leave your home quickly in an emergency. 

Dummy (pair)

A pair of handles with no functional lock or latch. Their sole purpose is to give the door a handle to pull it open. Dummy pairs are typically installed on the inactive door in a double-door set or doors that require a handle on either side with no latching or locking function.

Dummy (single)

A single handle with no functional lock or latch. A dummy is typically surface mounted to a door to allow for easy opening. Single dummy handles are often found on closet doors, bifold doors, or other doors where latching or locking functionality isn't required. 

Edge Bore

The hole connecting the edge of the door to the main bore hole.


A rectangular-shaped piece of metal surrounding the door latch on the edge of the door.


The color of your door hardware. 


The mechanisms that are used and how they operate in your door hardware. Interior hardware, such as doorknobs, have passage, privacy, or dummy options available. Conversely, exterior hardware uses single cylinder and double cylinder functions. 


The direction of the door swing when opened. Doors are either left-handed or right-handed. To determine handing, stand on the outside of the door. Left handed doors have hinges on the left. Right handed doors have hinges on the right.

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Inactive Door (in a double door)

Refers to a door within a double-door set that is bolted at the top and bottom to keep it stationary when shut. The inactive door receives the latch or bolt of the active door.

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Interconnect Device

A device assembled into an entry set that allows you to disengage the deadbolt and the lower latch at the same time. An interconnect device allows you to open the door with a single action.


The door frame where the door's hinges are attached. A jamb surrounds the door when it's closed.

Keyed Alike

Keyed alike indicates that all of the cylinders in your order will operate using the same key.

Keyed Differently

Keyed differently indicates that the cylinder for one particular door lock to will operate using a unique key.

Key-In Knobs or Lever

Knobs or levers containing a cylinder on the exterior side that can be locked/unlocked by a key. The interior side has a thumb turn that operates the locking function. Key-in knobs and levers are often combined with a deadbolt for additional security.


The beveled "tongue" spring mechanism extending from the edge of the door to the door jamb that holds the door shut.

Mortise Lock

A secure entry set that combines locking and latching into one mortise lock-box. Mortise locks use specific tools and door-prep methods that are best done by a professional. This allows the whole mortise lockbox to be installed into the door for maximum protection.

Passage (Function)

Commonly found on hallway doors, closet doors, or laundry room doors, this function is for interior door handles that don't need a lock feature but require a latch. 

Pocket Door

A door installed on a sliding track that slides in and out of a space in the wall. These doors eliminate the necessity to maintain clearance for the action of a swinging door, meaning that they can be used to create additional space. 

Privacy (Function)

A function for interior door handles that require both a lock and a latch. This function is commonly used on bedroom doors or bathroom doors.


A decorative backplate attached to a door knob or lever that covers the bore hole.

Single Cylinder

A door lock that requires a key to lock/unlock from the outside. Single cylinder locks have a thumb turn mechanism on the inside to lock/unlock your door. This is an option for specific locks, such as deadbolts and entry sets. The thumb turn on the inside allows for an easy exit in case of an emergency.

Split Finish

Indicates that the exterior door hardware has a different finish color than the interior. To notate a split-finish, the exterior finish color is always indicated first.

For example: Satin Nickel X Polished Brass - Satin Nickel is the exterior finish and Polished Brass will be used on the interior.


The metal plate installed on a door jamb and receives the latch or bolt. The latch or bolt extends from the door into the strike plate.

Tubular (Lock or Latch)

Any door lock-set or latch-set that requires a bore hole and an edge bore for installation.