What is this little screw thing used to secure my door handles?
May 27, 2021 4:28 AM   Subscribe

What is this little thing called? It's for a door knob/handle. I'm asking because I have a set of such knobs/handles, and I lost one of the little bits. It's function is to lock the knob/handle in place - you twist it into a little hole with the hex key. Is it a generic part or would it be specific to this knob/handle?
posted by cincinnatus c to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: That's a set screw.
posted by bricoleur at 4:36 AM on May 27, 2021 [13 favorites]


Best answer: I couldn't say for sure, but I'd say generic--to old doorknobs. It may not be readily available in your local hardware store, but any purveyor of vintage hardware should have them.
posted by bricoleur at 4:38 AM on May 27, 2021


Best answer: At either Home Depot or Lowe’s you can head to the screw aisle and look down - below the hanging boxed screws/nails/etc placed at eye level you’ll see a bunch of drawers you can pull out filled with niche fasteners. Set screws live there!
posted by thejoshu at 4:45 AM on May 27, 2021


Best answer: Yep, set-screw. Generic part. Not particularly 'vintage' - last time I needed one it was for a desktop CNC.
posted by pompomtom at 4:48 AM on May 27, 2021 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Thanks!
posted by cincinnatus c at 5:00 AM on May 27, 2021


Best answer: If it keeps falling out, you can put a drop of Loctite threadlocker adhesive on it before screwing it back in.
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:01 AM on May 27, 2021 [5 favorites]


Best answer: They are also called grub screws, particularly in the UK. Where it comes from may tell you if it is metric thread or imperial, or take an existing one to match it. If it is an IKEA piece, it will be metric for sure. Anything else? Who knows.
posted by Brockles at 5:07 AM on May 27, 2021 [3 favorites]


Best answer: Set screws use the same thread sizes as regular screws, so you could take it to the hardware store and compare it to the screws they have there. Or if you have some regular machine screws that you know the size of, you could try them until you find one that fits.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:15 AM on May 27, 2021


Set screws use the same thread sizes as regular screws, so you could take it to the hardware store and compare it to the screws they have there. Or if you have some regular machine screws that you know the size of, you could try them until you find one that fits.

In addition to this, some hardware stores (including, I think, the big box stores) have a little board which has fixed to it a spectrum of machine screw threads and nuts so that you can try your own screw or nut against the assortment until you find the one that matches, and the board will tell you that you have an 8mm M-10 screw or whatever.
posted by gauche at 6:05 AM on May 27, 2021 [2 favorites]


Have no fear at all of that Loctite threadlocker, by the way; it's deliberately designed not to make the screws locked by it impossible to remove with ordinary hand tools. All it does is make sure that vibration won't loosen them. I recommend putting a drop on any set screw, whether you've had them fall out before or not.
posted by flabdablet at 6:45 AM on May 27, 2021 [5 favorites]


When I had an old house, I bought a dozen of them. The local hardware store staff will help me find the hardware I need, I find them much better than Lowes/ HD.
posted by theora55 at 6:59 AM on May 27, 2021 [4 favorites]


If you’re working with small fasteners that you may want to disassemble later you should use purple Loctite (purple is weakest followed by blue and then red).
posted by doctord at 7:39 AM on May 27, 2021 [2 favorites]


I found a regular bolt that fit one old loose handle, ugly but it was alway coming loose and the bolt was easier to tighten.
posted by sammyo at 8:25 AM on May 27, 2021


Have no fear at all of that Loctite threadlocker

… as long as it's not Red or Green. Those are not for turning. Worse yet would be Loctite 648, but sensible people don't have that stuff around.
posted by scruss at 12:03 PM on May 27, 2021 [2 favorites]


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