Dummy Knobs For Dummies

, , , , , | Working | September 24, 2017

(I’m purchasing hardware for our new front door.)

Me: *to guy working in the hardware department* “Excuse me, can you answer a probably-obvious question about doorknobs?”

Hardware Guy: “Sure.”

Me: “We’re installing a new door. I’ve got this keypad-operated deadbolt so that we don’t have to worry about locking ourselves out anymore. Since the deadbolt has a keypad and an actual key, I don’t think we need a locking door-knob, as well, right? So… here’s just a plain doorknob with no lock on it. It’s labelled ‘hall/closet,’ but can you think of any reason why I can’t use it on an exterior door?”

Hardware Guy: “Well, it’s for interior doors because it doesn’t have a lock on it.”

Me: “Yeah, I get that. But I don’t need it to have a lock on it, because I’m buying a separate keypad deadbolt. What I’m asking is if, like, the metal is for some reason not designed for exterior elements. See, this one looks exactly like the doorknobs with keys that are labeled as ‘entry’ doorknobs, same metal and everything, so I’d think they’d handle the weather just as well, yeah?”

Hardware Guy: “Those are entry doorknobs because they have a lock and key. This one doesn’t have a lock, so it’s for interior doors.”

Me: “…yes, I can read the labels. Let me start over. I need a knob for my front door, but I don’t need it to have a lock. So, I’m asking if I can just use this ‘hall/closet’ one. Can you think of any reason it won’t hold up to exterior conditions or whatever?”

Hardware Guy: “If you don’t need it to lock, why don’t you just use a dummy knob, then?”

Me: “Hm… maybe. Wait, what do you mean by a dummy knob?”

Hardware Guy: “Just a knob bolted to the door. It doesn’t turn, since it’s just there as a handle.”

Me: “Uhhh… no… the door still needs a doorknob to latch the door. We’re not just going to keep the deadbolt locked anytime the door is shut.”

Hardware Guy: *clearly tired of me* “Well, why don’t you just buy the entry knob with a lock then?”

Me: *sighing* “Well, I’d rather not since it’s just one more key to keep track of, and we might accidentally lock the doorknob from the inside and then lock ourselves out of the house. Hence, the deadbolt with a keypad; it locks when we need it to lock, but we can’t lock ourselves out.”

Hardware Guy: “I still think that what you’re looking for is a dummy knob.”

Me: *muttering* “You’re a dummy knob…”

(I wander off and find an older no-nonsense-looking woman working in the next aisle over. I ask her the same question; does she know if there is any reason why this key-less interior doorknob wouldn’t work on our exterior door?)

Hardware Lady: “If you want to re-tool the lock, you’ll have to go see [Other Employee] in the door department.”

Me: “What? No, I don’t need to re-tool anything. I’m just trying to make sure that this doorknob will be okay on an entry door.”

Hardware Lady: “Oh, we sell entry doorknobs with their own keys. Did you look in the door hardware section?”

Me: “…yes. I just said I don’t need an entry doorknob with a lock, since I’m buying this keypad deadbolt. It opens with a code, or with its own key, so the doorknob itself doesn’t need to have a lock on it.”

Hardware Lady: “Well, don’t you want the key to be the same for your other door?”

Me: “…what other door?”

Hardware Lady: “Your back door. Don’t you want the keys to be the same?”

Me: “Our back door just locks from the inside… wait, never mind. This isn’t about my back door.”

Hardware Lady: “I guess I don’t understand what you’re asking.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s obvious.”

(I bought the doorknob.)

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