Round door knobs are a bane on the face of the earth. Face it, people, they’re just not user-friendly. Wet hands, mittens, gloves, an armful of groceries . . . everyday something makes turning that knob a pain, even if nothing else is going on with your arms or hands. Add arthritis, grasp impairment, carpal tunnel syndrome or whatever and whooeeee . . . standard doorknobs aren’t really very user-friendly.
I think all door knobs should be replaced with levers. Accordingly, here are some options:
Dynamic Living carries the Leveron knob adapter, which slips over an existing knob. Not too esthetic, though — it’s plastic, colored brass. About $12.
A quick check at any home improvement store will demonstrate that there are a whole slew of levers to choose from in the $12 to $25 range (and higher). If they’re affordable, these might be a better choice, and perfectly fine for DIY — replacing a doorknob is a pretty straightforward job. (Where is that handy niece or nephew?) Then you’ve added a nice toney touch to the house along with making life easier.
When I first started replacing ours, I bought somewhat elaborate levers with a scroll at the end, mistakenly thinking it would be an advantage. It wasn’t — the lever blade isn’t as wide on other models, the squared-off edges are harder (and less comfortable) to hold — and the scroll end feels gnarly and unpleasant. The plain ones work better (and, I think, are a lot more attractive).
Did I say “first started replacing”? Why yes . . . where there are budgetary constraints, identify the most critical knobs, replace those, then work around the rest of the home. The levers blend nicely with existing hardware, so the change won’t be terribly obvious.
If you need a little grippier surface on your levers, try egrips on the level surfaces.