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The Best Exterior Door Handles

David Papazian/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated March 2022

The purchase of an exterior door handle should be given thought as it's used daily and is important for functionality and safety. Check out these high-quality door handles for your exterior doors.

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  Best Color Options Best Traditional Design Best Keypad Best Lever Key Set Best for Gates
Camelot Front Entry Handleset
Amazon Basics
Exterior Door Knob
Camelot Keypad Entry
Entry Door Lever
Barn Door Handle Se
Our SummaryThis handle set is ideal for those who want a secure, smart lock option that comes in a variety of finishes.A standard doorknob that comes with a set of four keys.A convenient keyless entry door handle with a programmable four- or six-digit code.A classic stainless steel door lever for keyed entry.An easy-to-install push/pull design perfect for gates, garages, barns, sheds, and more.
ProsProvides additional security, curb appeal, certified, universal latch.Classic style, brass body, steel internal structure, comes with four keys.Keyless lock, four- or six-digit code, automatic re-lock option, battery-powered, illuminates at night.Classic, stainless steel, keyed, right/left-handed easy installation, smooth operation.Dramatic design, great for variety of door types, includes necessary hardware.
ConsInstructions may be unclear.Not interchangeable left/right, may not fit all doors.Expensive, requires battery changing.Square plate is unremovable.Requires drilling holes in door, not ideal for front doors to homes.
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The Best Exterior Door Handles

Angled view of glossy black front door to a family home.
David Papazian/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Exterior Door Handles

A close-up of a blue exterior door with a silver handle and lock.

Why buy an exterior door handle?

A functional exterior door handle will be one of the first lines of protection and defense for your home, yard, or shed. It’s essential to pick one that can do its job well with a sturdy, secure, and easy-to-use design.

What should you consider in an exterior door handle?

  • Lock Type: Determine the type of security you need for the front door and if you plan to have a regular keyed lock, a coded lock/keyless entry, or one with a deadbolt. Each is a secure option, so it will mostly come down to your personal preference.
  • Shape: Door handles come in various shapes, so consider whether you want a classic or modern look.
  • Security: Exterior doors particularly need to be secure. They’re a big point of defense for your home, shed, or barn. Door handles come rated with various security ratings, so you can look for those in the listings to feel assured that the handle is secure. Also look for durable, quality construction.
  • Measurement: If you need a handle on an existing door, make sure to measure and ensure compatibility before buying.
  • Installation: Consider the ease of installation and what tools and skills are required to properly attach the handle to the door. Most will simply require a screwdriver and the screws.

What types of door handles are on the market?

There is a variety of door handles available for exterior doors. The types include lever handles, pull handles, doorknobs, and even smart locks. Depending on your lifestyle and intended use, there are benefits to each type of handle. For example, those with busy families can benefit significantly from smart locks or keypads on their front doors since they won’t have to worry about remembering keys or making extra copies.

Our Picks for the Best Exterior Door Handles

Best Color Options

Schlage Camelot Front Entry Handleset

This handle set is ideal for those who want a secure, smart lock option that comes in a variety of finishes.

Pros: This door handle is perfect for use on entry doors where additional security and curb appeal are needed. The premium metal construction and quality craftsmanship offer everyday strength and provide you peace of mind. The handle is certified for safety and durability. The universal latch will slide easily into place without tools.

Cons: The installation directions can be challenging to follow. It might require some finesse to get the handle to fit.

Bottom Line: This exterior door handle is easy to install and works on both right- and left-handed doors. If you’re looking for a specific finish, you should be able to find it here.


Best Traditional Design

Amazon Basics Door Knob

A standard doorknob that comes with a set of four keys.

Pros: This classic doorknob featuring a brass body and an internal steel structure comes with four brass keys. It will fit doors 1 3/8 to 1 3/4 inches thick and includes detailed instructions. This doorknob is built to last and offers easy functionality for the whole family. Plus, it’s a great price.

Cons: This doorknob is not interchangeable from the right side to the left side. This doorknob may not fit in all door hole openings.

Bottom Line: This doorknob set offers smooth, efficient, and secure operation and long-lasting performance. If you want a classic look and functionality, this is an excellent choice.


Best Keypad

Schlage Camelot Keypad Entry

A convenient keyless entry door handle with a programmable four- or six-digit code.

Pros: If you’re looking for a keyless lock, look no further. The flex lock feature allows you to switch between unlocked or automatic re-locking. The keypad illuminates at night so that you can see it easily. It’s easy to change the code using the lock’s four-digit or six-digit programming code. The lock is battery-powered and includes a 9-volt battery. 

Cons: It’s more expensive than the other options on this list. It will require battery changes over time.

Bottom Line: There are no keys to forget, lose, make copies of, or dig for with this lock! Make your life easier with this convenient and safe keypad.


Best Lever

Probrico Entry Door Lever

A classic stainless steel door lever for keyed entry.

Pros: This stainless steel door lever handle is a classic keyed option for exterior or interior doors. It fits both right- and left-handed doors, and it’s easy to install. It comes with all accessories included. It offers a smooth operation and a slightly more modern look than some doorknob models.

Cons: Sometimes, the handles can stick, and you’ll just have to reposition the lever.

Bottom Line: The metal construction of this door lever handle adds strength, security, and durability. It’s conformed with ANSI Grade 3 security and is a solid choice for many.


Best for Gates


An easy-to-install push/pull handle perfect for doors, gates, garages, barns, sheds, and more.

Pros: This dramatic door handle will make your door stand out. It’s a barn door style and includes all necessary hardware for installation. This handle is great for use on exterior and interior doors and will look especially lovely on wood, glass, or aluminum doors. It can be used for gates, garages, barns, sheds, closets, and sliding doors.

Cons: You will need to drill two holes into the door to install the handle screws. If the door is too thick, you will need to buy longer screws. It’s not ideal for doors to homes since it doesn’t have a built-in lock.

Bottom Line: You can’t beat the value of this door handle. You get excellent quality for such a low price, and it makes a great addition to a gate or shed.

Final Thoughts

Walking through the front door will be better with an easy-to-use door handle. Finding an exterior handle that meets your needs is easy when you know what you want and have these suggestions to get you started.

Rachel Shubin Rachel Shubin
Rachel Shubin is a freelance journalist who is passionate about telling stories. Along with writing reviews for LifeSavvy, she writes a book column for Cape May Magazine and is a reporter for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper. When Rachel is not writing, she can be found advocating for mental health awareness and animal rescue, reading novels, exploring Cape May, or working on her polymer clay jewelry business, Piper + Pearl Co. Read Full Bio »
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