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Locksmithing/Outside Latch Button Will Not Open Door


Our outside door knob consists of a button/handle on the outside and a normal knob on the inside.  There is no lock associated with the mechanism, as we have a separate deadbolt lock.
The problem is that I can turn the inside knob and open the door, however, the outside button does not open the door.  With the door open, I can see that the button is not retracting the bolt far enough to allow the door to open.  There is some 'play' in the button, in other words, I can depress it a distance before it begins to retract the bolt.
Unfortunately, I can't tell you what brand this is.  I do know that the deadbolt is a Kwikset (sp).
Thanks so much.

Hello Mark,

You likely have a handleset and there's a good chance it's a Kwikset since they come with a deadbolt.

Handlesets have a thumbpiece that actuate a tailpiece or spindle which then turns.  This tailpiece goes through the latch mechanism.  When it turns, the latch retracts.

Sometimes the connection between the thumbpiece and the tailpiece becomes damaged, broken, worn out or just dirty.  Removing the handleset from the door and inspecting the pieces can sometimes locate the issue and a cleaning, adjustment or repair can then be made.

Most of the time the handleset is beyond repair though.  A replacement can be found easily.  Simply measure the distance from the center of the main section - where it goes through the door, and the center of the bottom mounting screw hole.  Then compare that to models made by Kwikset or any other brand to find one that is the same measurement (by visiting the manufacturer's websites).  Then decide on the style and finish you want.

We also have a few handlesets on our site:



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I do not answer Safe or automotive questions. Period. I am knowledgeable in almost every area of Locksmithing. This includes locks, keys, lost keys, residential and commercial lockouts, rekeying, masterkeying, high security locks, access control, electric locks, security cameras and home safety. I have been running an online business since 2004 where I sell all types of lock and security hardware to everyone from apartment renters to business owners to the US government. Before that I started a locksmith service in 1999. I deal with many types of security equipment including high security safe locks, heavy duty padlocks, exit devices, biometric readers, electric strikes, magnetic locks, full surface hinges and I only sell what I personally stand behind 100%. The online business has given me a more in-depth look at the locksmithing industry, helping me to learn more about each and every product that I offer, as well as products I don't have but end up finding for customers to solve any issues they have with security or door hardware.

Please don't submit any automotive or safe questions as these aren't areas that I can help in.


I have been Locksmithing since 1999 and own my own Locksmithing business. I have many years of hands-on experience through the many services I have performed for my customers. I've run my business the way I wanted, treating everyone as I would like to be treated and knowing that any customer could be my last if I didn't perform my locksmithing duties as I had promised.

I have a diploma in Masterkeying, Advanced Locksmithing & Locksmithing from Foley-Belsaw.

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