Looking back through old ironmongery catalogues, many items of door hardware were handed. This doubled-up stock levels and caused site problems when incorrect hands were supplied. In more recent years, there has been a trend towards making door hardware easily reversible or universally handed. However, occasions still arise where this is impossible or impractical for manufacturers and it is therefore necessary to state the "hand" of the product when ordering. This can lead to confusion where a product that is termed "left-hand" by one manufacturer is designated "right hand" by another. Furthermore, national handing codes such as DIN in Germany or ANSI in the USA may also differ substantially.

In order to avoid confusion and costly mistakes we use the International Standard Organisation (ISO) handing convention based on a combination of the direction of closing and the door face to which a hardware component is fixed. A handing code can then unambiguously describe the door leaf as detailed below:

Items from our own ranges that are handed are some dropseals, lift-off flag hinges, single action floor spring straps, combination Pullman latch kits for panic bolts and some door stays. The product most likely to be incorrectly handed are the split follower locks on pages 141-143, and we adopt a convention of Fig 1, Fig 2, Fig 3 and Fig 4 to describe the hand of the door, whether it opens inwards or outwards and whether it is clockwise or anti-clockwise closing.

Handing of doors