Name of door handle "spindle" in French? And where to buy a longer one?

I gather that the thin bar that goes through a door frame and attaches one handle to the other is called a “spindle” in English.
Please can someone tell me what they are called in French? Thanks.

I need a longer one that we have at present - our door is quite thick and one handle is not gripping the spindle properly and the ones in our local DIY store are not long enough (nor indeed do they have a word for them on the packaging!) so I thought I’d try online.

Thanks for any help.

My Concise Dictionary of French House Building Terms (a bit pricey, yet invaluable) lists ‘spindle’ in the ironmonger section and gives the translation as ‘arbre’ (m).

Hope that helps

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Tige carrée percée…


Thanks Jane, that’s spot on. :grin:

Mark I think on this occasion your dictionary is literally giving you the translation that it’s a tree! Spindle wood is a small tree. :slight_smile: :grin:

Not quite I think, Mark :slight_smile:

Jane beat me to it.

For bits like this the phrase “pièces détachées” (spare parts) is useful - add it to the main item (in this case poignée for handle) and do a search & see what comes up.

Or just browse the quincaillerie section of a brico with an online store.

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Nice idea Paul, but I’d lose the will to live - especially as at the moment we have less than half a megabyte of internet. SF is MUCH quicker. :grin:


Thanks, useful to know about tige carrée percée

However, I think the explanation’s more complicated.

A spindle is also part of a staircase and originally made of wood, but from the C19th onwards, particularly in France, was often made of metal, hence it being in the ironmongery part of my dictionary rather than under carpentry.

After a quick online search I’ve discovered that these are also known as ‘barre’ or ‘barreau’.

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Of course it is. :slight_smile:

Its called a balustre on a staircase , when several are put together with a main courante ,form a balustrade rampante.

I’ve got loads of different lengths, the spindle is free but door to door delivery is 250 euros. :grinning:

Thanks, your knowlege of french is helping expand my knowledge of english

Apart from rampant’s more common meanings, I knew its application in heraldry (an animal standing on its hind legs) but couldn’t link this to staircases. However, now know it’s also an english architectural term for having ‘abutments at different levels’ ie. stepped!

And nothing to do with ‘rampart’ (from the fr. remparer ‘to fortify)’.

One can learn a lot from doorhandles…

If you are looking for a good building dictionary ,french, the annotated Dicobat dictionnaire général du bâtiment by Jean de Vigan

The ISBN on mine is ISBN: 2-9523608-1-2
I would assume that there is a later edition ,it is expensive ,one of the reasons I haven’t updated mine.

A diagram and some terms for staircases


“Le truc entre les poignées”.

Everything I don’t know the word for is a “truc”. I’ve built loads of trucs with trucs.


Hi there I have quite a few at my house in bessines 87 area what length do you want .I brought them here from uk regards jeff.i also have uk locks some handles

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Be sure you get the same size, I think they come in 6mm and 8mm diameter. You can also buy a little spacer thing to make a 6mm one 8mm in size. Any DIY shop will have them I should hope!

just for information

But only up to 13cm - not long enough.

Maybe use two and have them both seated touching eachother in the center of the lock?

You could go to a professionnel brico “quincaillerie” and ask them to cut you off a lenght of what ever size box steel you need.