Flipping a Lever Handle on a Door

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In a previous post, I showed you how to install an electronic deadbolt on your door. My handle-set style included a lever handle for the lower position. As it turns out, mine was backwards for use in my door and I needed to reverse it. So here’s a quick walkthrough of how to flip a lever handle.

lever handle installed upside down

This lever handle was installed upside down. The curve should actually round up. To flip a lever handle, we must swap the inside and outside handles.

Reversing door handles

Whether they include a lock or not, lever handles are generally reversible. In fact, many rotating door handles can be removed quickly and switched to a different position.

insert pin into hole in handle collar

It just takes a pin

My handle-set came with a pin tool for just this operation. If you don’t have one, you can use a thick paperclip, small pick, or even a hex key. Whatever you use, the procedure is the same.

press firmly with pin tool whille pulling handle out

On the side of the handle’s collar, typically the side away from the door jamb, you’ll find a small hole. You’ve probably never noticed it before, but most levers have one. Firmly pressing your pin tool into this hole will release the handle.

Try not to lose your pin tool while you flip a lever handle

You may need to pull fairly hard on the handle to get it to detach, so be prepared and don’t fall over when it finally lets go. In my case, I was caught off guard and somehow lost the pin tool when the first handle came off. I think I must have chucked it into my yard while trying to catch my balance.

use a pick, hex wrench, or paperclip to flip a lever handle

Repeat the same process for the other side

No worries though, because a pick or a small hex key (Allen wrench) will work just fine. Repeat the same thing on the other side of the door.

insert handle and press into lock cylinder

Now with both levers removed, you’ll want to switch them inside for outside. When flipped around, they’ll finally look correct. Press them back into place until they click and give them a couple pulls to make sure they are seated correctly.

That’s how to flip a lever handle

That’s it! You’ve just flipped a lever handle. It really wasn’t so hard, was it?

Since I’m tall, reversing the subtle curve of the lever made a big difference to me. But you may want to flip yours the other way. It all comes down to personal preference. Hopefully now you’ll have the confidence to replace your locks and turn your handles whichever way you want!