Passage Door Knob Vs. Privacy: Which To Choose?

Finding the right door knobs is vital to access your home. Yet, there are types of door knobs that you can only use inside the house. You must be able to identify the purpose of your rooms before buying the knobs. To help you decide, we have consulted experts on how to differentiate passage and privacy door knobs.

When selecting the right door knob, you should consider the entry type to a room. Passage and privacy door knobs are for interior purposes, but they are not the same. Here are the differences between the two:

  • Privacy door knobs are common for bedrooms and bathrooms. You can lock these doors but do not have keyed security. In times of emergency, you can use a privacy key to unlock the door.
  • You can use passage door knobs for hallways and closets. Unlike privacy doors, you cannot lock them.

Choosing the door knobs for your home depends on your needs. You must think about the convenience of operating the door for different rooms. Adding the right door knobs will increase the functionality of doors. Keep reading to learn what to select for your doors.

A collage of a passage door knob and privacy door knob, Passage Door Knob Vs. Privacy: Which To Choose?

What To Consider When Selecting Interior Door Knobs?

It is essential to understand how you want to use a room before buying relevant door hardware. There is a variety of door knobs based on the entry types of the rooms inside your home. The classification includes the passage, privacy, and dummy purposes.

Find out where to use dummy door knobs from our previous post.

In this post, the focus is on privacy and passage knobs. When choosing between the two options, you must know how each knob works and its purpose. Also, take into account the age and activity of the occupants inside the house.

How Does A Privacy Door Knob Work?

Women hand open door knob

Privacy door knobs are best for rooms where no one should disturb or intrude on your space. You will usually find privacy door knobs in bedrooms and bathrooms, and even in home offices. Although they are designed with locks, they cannot provide reliable security.

A privacy door knob has a lockset. The lock configurations will include buttons, push pins, or levers to control the door. You can use these features to close or open the door from one side.

If you are in the bathroom, you need to push or turn buttons to lock yourself inside. No one can access the bathroom because the outer knob does not have a keyhole. If ever you get trapped inside, there is an emergency release hole where someone can insert a small pin.

How Do You Use A Privacy Key?

Even if privacy doors lock you inside of a room, the knobs are easy to manipulate. You can even unlock the door with a paper clip or thin tools. But if you intend to unlock the door and rescue a person locked up legally, you can use a privacy key.

A privacy key allows you to unlock the privacy door knob when there is an emergency. This key is not like the common door keys. It has a loop or hook on one end and a thin shaft on the other.

Click here to see this set of privacy key on Amazon.

Door knob brands create their privacy keys differently, but the process of unlocking is similar. Follow the instructions below on how to use a privacy key:

  1. Insert the flat end of the key into the center hole of the knob. Push it deeper in the hole until it stops.
  2. Turn the key in a clockwise direction so that it falls in the groove.
  3. For lever locks, turn the key to the left. For knob locks, rotate the key towards the right.

There are some privacy keys with a round shaft on one end that do not require turning. You only have to insert the key into the hole and push it to open the door.

For more information, check out a related post: Do Door Knobs Come With Keys?

Where Can You Use A Passage Door Knob?

A passage door knob is another interior door hardware. You can use this door knob for rooms that do not need privacy, such as hallways and closets. You can use a passage knob in the kitchen, utility, laundry, or living rooms.

Unlike privacy knobs, there are no lock and key mechanisms for a passage knob. There are buttons or handles on both sides that easily open the door. You can also freely turn both knobs to operate the door.

For the safety of your children, you should put a passage knob for their bedroom or playrooms. You also must have easy access to these types of rooms.

Can You Use A Passage Door Knob Outside?

Door knob on white door

You might think that you can use any door knob for the exterior doors. However, the nature of a passage knob is for interior purposes. There is no rule that you must not use a passage door knob for exterior doors. Yet, there are two things to understand before installing passage doors outside.

1. Security

It can be a dilemma if you want to match all the door knobs inside your home. Even so, style is only secondary to safety. Your number one priority is to keep out intruders from breaking into your home. Lockpickers can easily tinker the door with the tools they have.

Although this type of knob does not have locking mechanisms, the security it provides is the weakest. Therefore, it is a must to check the security grade of the door knobs. Passage knobs usually have an ANSI security grade 3, which is the least secure.

If you still want to install the passage knob on entrance doors, your home is at risk for trespassers. But you can add other physical barriers like gates or bars as another layer of security.

2. Environment

Installing the passage knobs outside is prone to deterioration. The environment outdoors is constantly changing. It is also not a guarantee that materials like brass or stainless steel last long outside. After some time, the door knobs will tarnish and lose their finish.

Brass will lose its lacquer coating when exposed to air. If the rustic feel does not bother you, you can choose this material for the door knobs.

Get more insight on the topic by reading this other post: Can Passage Door Knobs Be Used On Exterior Doors?

Can I Use A Passage Door Knob For The Front Door?

A passage door knob inside a house

For your front door, you can still add a passage door knob. But you should install a deadbolt to create a locking system. With the deadbolt, you will need a key to lock the door from the outside.

Besides adding a deadbolt, you should also consider the material of the front door. If there is a powerful force on a hollow-core door, the passage knobs cannot withstand the impact. With high foot traffic, deadbolts can also get loose.

In essence, passage knobs might not be the most secure, so it is best to use them inside your home.

In Closing

You can use privacy and passage door knobs for the interiors of your home. Privacy knobs have a locking system but do not require keys. If you want to unlock the door, you can use a privacy emergency key instead. For passage knobs, you cannot lock them. The knob is purely for easy access to another room.

You can still use a passage knob for the exterior doors, but you should buy a deadbolt as a security feature. After all, you must not compromise the security of your family inside your home. Choose the right door knobs to access your interior rooms with ease.

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