The direction doors open might seem minor, but it can greatly impact access lock selection.
There are four basic ways a door can swing, and knowing how to properly determine it is critical when designing access control systems and ordering door hardware.
In this note, we lay out how to describe doors based on this subtle but divisive characteristic.
Door Swing Defined
Openings are configured to have doors swing in four separate ways:
- Right Hand
- Left Hand
- Right Hand Reverse
- Left Hand Reverse
The differences in these types are best described in images below, which show all four types:
Here is a composite showing all four types:
How To Find Door Swing
You can describe any door using this standard by following these steps:
- Stand outside the door, on the locked or public side.
- Check which side the door hinges are located on. This direction, left or right, describes the direction.
- Next check to see if the door swings in (away from you) or out (towards you). If the door swings out, it is a 'reverse' type.
Describing doors in this manner is standard in architecture and is the same nomenclature used by engineers, specifiers, and access control.
We show this in action in this short video:
Why Swing Matters