Circlipped and Ball Bearing Roses


The best ideas are the simplest – and the unsprung door rose came along and changed the way that door ironmongery looks. The door rose itself is quite an unpretentious object, but one that has evolved with time. Instinct offers two different types of unsprung door roses…circlipped and ball bearing. So what’s the difference? Quite a lot actually!

At Instinct, we have had a long-running love affair with this essential piece of stainless steel door ironmongery. Like all love affairs, it has had highs, lows and needs constant attention to make sure we get the best from it (and can offer that to you!). On the eve of us launching a market-first slim sprung rose, we thought we would take a nostalgic look at our unsprung roses – and what makes them tick!

Unsprung Door Roses

Unsprung door roses remain a popular choice, mainly due to their slimline shape and easy functionality. An unsprung rose relies on the door locking mechanism itself to ‘spring’ the handle back to position. This means that a more solid sprung latch or lock will be required to make the lever work effectively.

Modernising Unsprung Door Roses Over Time

Some of the first incarnations of our unsprung roses had a rounded off edge. We found that we were receiving numerous requests for a more squared off edge to the rose. Squaring off reflects the light in a cleaner way and adds to the overall look of the door ironmongery. As always, our customers are king, so looked to find a way to make this work.

With hard work and innovation in steelwork we developed the square-edged unsprung rose in 2006. Over time, the original crimped inside edges of the rose gave way to the smoother turning of a rubber insert. This means the door rose retains its perfectly circular shape inside as well as out. This rose now comes as standard with a number of our lever handles.

How the Circlipped Door Rose Works

The circlipped rose has a simple premise – the clip attaches to the grooves in the lever shank…and Bob’s your uncle…it’s attached! Then it’s a simple matter of attaching the lever to the spindle and bolting on the rose. Our assemblers are experts at getting all the washers and clips in the perfect position, making the job easier for the fitter. However, this style of rose isn’t without its constraints. Whilst Instinct has once again perfected the style over years of manufacture, this door rose ultimately relies on washers and the circlip to grip the lever shank. This can mean the handle itself is subject to more flex. Of course, with the passage of time and with extensive use, some of the smaller parts can fail, even with top quality self-lubricating washers and clips. We only use the highest quality of steel for our lever handles (grade 316), but with quality can come weight, so where the handle will undergo high commercial usage, we would always recommend opting for the ball bearing rose.

circlipped unsprung door rose

How the Ball Bearing Door Rose Works

So, when you think of ball bearings, many of us go straight back to our childhood marble runs, but the ball bearings in this rose wouldn’t work too well – they are only 3mm in diameter! Around the centre of the ball bearing rose sit around nine of these tiny ball bearings, surrounded by washers which loosely hold them in place whilst allowing movement, and lubricating oil to make sure everything can move smoothly. Each individual ball bearing plays its part in supporting the overall structure by taking a small percentage of the pressure. The ball bearings rotate when used, meaning they are able to deal with both radial and axial loads at once.

Our unique hexagonal nut grips firmly onto the lever shank, but can be removed from the back of the ball-bearing rose. This means if the client requires a particular PVD finish or certain embellishments, we can do this to the very highest standards by ensuring all areas are reached by the spray. This can then be re-applied and tightened with no impact on the nut itself.

The main benefit of the ball bearing rose is that it totally eliminates any flex on the lever itself. This gives a super flush finish on the door. It also practically eliminates future failures, as even the failure of one ball bearing still allows the others to pick up the slack. This almost guarantees a lifetime of use for the lever.

Ball bearing unsprung door rose

As we mentioned in our initial paragraph, one of the main reasons our Architectural Ironmongers opt for an unsprung door rose is because of the slim depth (just 4mm as opposed to around 9mm for a sprung rose). However, this is about to change thanks to our new, innovative sprung door rose, which matches the unsprung depth. This will also mean that less costly locks/latches can be purchased to match with the lever handle. Will this mean that the unsprung rose has no place? No. There will always be other considerations for AI’s when putting together projects, from design features to cost implications – and both of these unsprung roses have their place in the market.

Instinct Hardware will continue to innovate and shape the UK ironmongery market, improving, updating and revising our products as new technology allows. With micro technology improving all the time, maybe someday the rose will be even more compact, or even completely integrated, but until then we will continue to offer advice and support for whatever system you need – so you can be sure you will come up smelling of roses!

Instinct have many years worth of knowledgeable expertise in manufacturing and designing advanced, sustainable door ironmongery to suit you. If you are interested in our range of unsprung door rose collections, don’t hesitate to contact us and allow us to help you with your requirements. To make an enquiry about our ranges, please contact us or call 0121 459 2358 and talk to us today.

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