Spindles, what are they and how do I know what type I have?

Spindles, what are they and how do I know what type I have?

Looking for replacement door hardware can sometimes be mind boggling enough as it is without having to also try and understand the industry jargon that is thrown into the descriptions. A frequent question from our customers is "Your description mentions ** spindle, how do I know what I have?" Below we will break down what a spindle is and how to identify what you have and the use of each type.

What is a spindle? 

A spindle is typically a rod of metal usually square in shape that connects the internal and external door handle together by passing through the centre of the lockcase, which in turn operates the door lock. Depending upon which lockcase you have it may be possible that you have two spindles. 

How do I know what type of spindle I have?

The quickest and easiest way to see what type of spindle you have without having to remove any of you door furniture is simple. Follow the flow chart below. 

What type of spindle do I have flow chart

What is single spindle?

If you can gain entry to the property once the door is closed but the key has not been used then you will have the most common spindle type which is a single spindle. This will mean that your lockcase has one single spindle hole that runs the same the whole way through and your door handles will be lever/lever with the lever height been the same. 

What is a split spindle?

If you cannot gain entry to the property once the door has been closed even if it hasn't been locked then you will have a lockcase with a split spindle functionality. This is sometimes referred to as a night latch function. It is commonly found on ERA products as well as other brands. A split spindle again is a single spindle hole on a lockcase however, when you look closely it is split in two halves, this is so that the centre where the spindle fits can operate independently to each other. Therefore when you remove the spindles you will notice that there are two instead of one and they are surrounded by a spring (see picture 1),this is because when the lever is operated it pushes the spring into the middle to engage, allowing the lock to be operated from one side while the other side does not move. Lever/lever and lever/pad door handles can be used and again the handle height on both side will be the same. 

However, if you have a winkhaus product you may only have one spindle that has a dip in the middle and a washer on it (see picture 2).

split spindleWinkhaus split spindle

Picture.1 - Traditional split spindle                       Picture.2 - Winkhaus split spindle

What is a twin/dual spindle?

A twin spindle also known as a dual spindle operates the same as a split spindle however, instead of their only been one spindle hole there are two as the name would suggest. The spindle holes are commonly 30mm apart, meaning again the handles and lock operate on two separate spindles. The difference also been here that the height of the handle lever/pad will be different, these are known as offset handles.

Can I change my single spindle to a split spindle?

Customers often want to swap their single spindle for the split spindle as they like the added security function it offers them. It is possible but only if you have a lock that has this functionality already. If your spindle hole looks like what is described in the 'What is a split spindle?' section then it is possible that you have that function and all you need to do is replace your existing spindle for a split spindle. Our split spindle is available to buy here.


If you are still unsure as to what you have and need help then please call our technical team on 0113 2360800 or use our contact us form here.