I recently moved to a new home and need to replace a door knob that will be exposed to the outdoors. Does it matter what kind of door knob I get if it will be exposed to the outdoors?

If it doesn't matter, are there types of knobs that hold up better to the elements than others?


Normally anything that has keys that come with it is meant for outdoor use. And almost all of these are made from non corrosive metals.

I can't think of any house that I have ever looked at that had a rusted out door knob and everything else was in good shape.

  • Locks typically tell you what their use is, (labeled "Outdoor"). Also, they typically tell you @of uses, years warranty, or what type of finish is on them. Not sure what the relevance is to disrepair of the rest of the home with respect to a door knob? – noybman Sep 27 '17 at 0:17

Locksets (including doornobs) are intended for either interior or exterior use. Some may be rated for both.

There are some differences in configuration (such as deadbolt vs. privacy lock) and differences in durability and sealing. Doorknobs and locksets intended for interior use may have no water seal and may use a thinner protective coating.

Doorknobs and locks intended for exterior use could easily be used indoors, but interior sets may quickly leak, corrode, or lose their finish if exposed outdoors.


Sooner, or later even excellent exterior lock sets will look bad, especially if you live near the ocean. I live 1/2 mile from the ocean and believe me, my exterior locks look very bad...and the rest of my home is in ship shape. Of course, my lock sets are now 17 years old...put in when the home was built. So I disagree with the above comment. My home is worth over a half million and I have the money to keep it up...but exterior locks near the ocean can suffer first. It pays to buy the best you can find and that means coated with rust repellent.

  • Good advice and considerations. Not to mention, companies producing exterior grade locks/handles also compete with each other, so between user reviews and product documentation one can find a decent lock compared to its competitors. – noybman Sep 27 '17 at 0:20

We have a place on Longboat Key that is 40 ft from the Sarasota Bay and less than a mile from the Gulf of New Mexico. I wasn't paying attention and our contractor put on 3 exterior doors a cheap Kwikset door lock sets on 3 exterior doors knob sets during our major renovation which are exposed to the elements. In less than a year all three are rusting. So I am in the process of getting warranty replacements, but moving on to a much better brand, Schlage. Better quality and better customer service.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. I'm not sure the OP was asking for brands as much as types of door knobs. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. – Daniel Griscom Jul 25 '20 at 20:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.