Electrical Enclosure Handles Buying Guide

An electrical enclosure is a cabinet for protecting electrical equipment from the environment. Also, this shelter protects the equipment users from electrical shock.

On the other hand, an electrical enclosure handle is an equipment that provides alternative locking option for the electrical enclosure.

electric enclosure handle

electrical enclosure handle

Choose Electrical Enclosure Handle Design

Electrical enclosure handles have various designs which dictate how they operate.

Commonly, the designs are determined by the shape of the electrical enclosure handles i.e., T handles and L handles.

Also, there are pull handles, commonly referred to as P handles.

We will discuss these various designs so you can be able to make a well informed decision when purchasing an electrical enclosure handle.

T Electrical Enclosure Handle

A cam lock latch with a T handle design will open and close with only a quarter turn motion. Consequently, this specific handle design allows for easy and fast accessibility.

Typically, the T handle design is ideal when you need to access the electrical enclosure handle frequently.

T electrical enclosure handle

T electrical enclosure handle

Most of the T handles are surface mounted but they also have the option of flush mounting.

L Electrical Enclosure Handle

With regard to fast and hassle-free opening of the electrical enclosure using the handle, the T and L handles have more or less a similar rating.

To open an electrical enclosure using an L handle, all you will do is turn the handle. The turning will activate the mechanism that will unlock the handle.

L Electrical enclosure handle

L electrical enclosure handle

Notably, the T handle can be substituted with the L handle if the space is not sufficient for the T handle.

Pull (P) Electrical Enclosure Handles

Unlike the T and L handles, the P handles are pulled in order to open the electrical enclosure door.

Although they are mostly used in rack cabinets, they have diverse applications.

In electrical enclosures, the p handle will be ideal for a rack mount or cabinet racks electrical enclosure to allow for easy pull.

pull electrical enclosure handle

pull electrical enclosure handle

Points to Note

  • If your electrical enclosure is NEMA rated, the electrical enclosure handle, regardless of the design should also be NEMA rated.

This will enable the enclosure to maintain its rating.

  • Your choice of handle design is entirely dependent on your space limit and preference.

Know Material Electrical Enclosure Handle Is Made Of

Electrical enclosure handles are made from various materials. The material choice greatly determines the handle’s durability and flexibility.

The commonly used materials for the electrical enclosure handles include:

Metals – The commonly used metal for handles is stainless steel.

The corrosion resistance of handles made from stainless steel makes them more preferred for outdoor applications.

Plastic – Durable nylon is the preferred plastic material for the manufacture of electrical enclosure handles.

However, the application of the plastic materials is dependent on the prevailing environmental conditions such as temperature.

Consider Locking Options For Electrical Enclosure Handles

Despite the need of simply opening and closing the electrical enclosure, these enclosures also have to be locked for security reasons.

Most, if not all electrical enclosure handles, come with various locking option to secure the electrical enclosure.

Below are the common lock options for the handles.

Pad lockable – As the name implies, these handles provides the option of using a padlock to enhance security.

Key lockable – The key lockable handles are either opened locked or closed using a key mechanism.

Consider How To Fix/Install Electrical Enclosure Handle

Installing an electrical enclosure handle may not require expertise.

However, for accuracy and efficiency, we would advise it is done by experienced personnel.

The two main installation methods for most electrical enclosure handles are:

Surface Mounting

Surface mounting installation is quite simple and straightforward. Typically, it simply involves screwing the handle on to the surface.

In most cases surface mounting is a DIY installation process.

Flush Mounting

Flush mounting might be a bit complicated considering the fact that the handle has to be installed within the enclosure’s door.

You will have to curve out a hole on the enclosure’s door as per the handle’s size and dimensions.

The handle is then fitted into the curved-out hole.

Note: The main difference between the two installation types is in flush mounting.

The handle is installed within the door while in surface mounting the handle is placed on the door’s surface.

Meaning, if you run your hand on the surface an enclosure with a flush mounted handle you won’t feel the handle.

On the other hand, if the enclosure has a surface mounted handle, your hand will be obstructed by the handle.

With regard to fixing your enclosure handles, it will depend on the type of installation. Generally, you will remove the damaged part and replace it; or entirely replace the handle.

Know Factors Determining Price Of Electrical Enclosure Handles

Electrical enclosure handles have varying price tags. This can be attributed to factors such as:

Material – Depending on the type of material used to manufacture the electrical enclosure handle it might be affordable or costly.

Most often plastic enclosure handles are cheaper than their metallic counterparts.

Lock options – If the electrical enclosure handle has diverse lock options, it will attract a fairly higher price.

Customization – Customized handles tend to attract a fairly higher price. However, this cost might reduce depending on the quantity you are purchasing.

Choose Best Finishing Option For Electrical Enclosure Handle

Most metal electrical enclosure handles do not have sophisticated finishing. The common finishing type is a bright plated finish

However, the type of finishing may vary depending on the market or client demand. Manufacturers are willing to customize their handles to in cooperate the type of finishing you need.

For example, you can get a metallic handle with a plastic finishing.

Check The Size Of Electrical Enclosure Handle

Electrical enclosures vary in sizes. Consequently, there is no one size fit all handles for the electrical enclosures.

Electrical enclosure handles come in various sizes. The dimensions are open to customization.

You should go for a handle that perfectly fits your electrical enclosure’s door, not too big not too small.

You preferred supplier or manufacturer can guide you size selection.

Know The Exact Reason Why You Need Electrical Enclosure Handle

Electrical enclosure handles are a necessity for two main reasons; security and easy mobility.

Handles that have locks or are padlockable will secure the electrical enclosure handle from external interference, damage or theft.

Also, the handles allow for easy mobility by enabling easy opening and closing of the enclosure’s door.

Consider Possibility Of Replacing Electrical Enclosure Handle

Depending on the quality of your handle, it can last for over 5 years without requiring any replacement.

However, you may need to replace your handle due to the below reasons:

  • Poor handling by those using the handle.
  • Failure of the locks in the handle.
  • Being at par with new handle innovation.

Ensure Electrical Enclosure Handle Is Durable, Strong And Functional?

We would like to emphasize the importance of testing the handles and thoroughly going through the quality control certificates.

If the handle is key lockable, you can insert the key, open and close the lock on the handle to see if it operates efficiently.

For the durability and strength of the handle, you can rely on the compliance of quality assurance standard or certifications.

Check Availability Of Custom Electrical Enclosure Handle

Nowadays customization is a common denominator among manufacturers in various industries.            They not only give you the option to choose from the already existing product but also give you the liberty to come up with your own design.

custom electrical enclosure handle

custom electrical enclosure handle

Before settling for an electrical enclosure handle supplier or a manufacturer do a background check to see if they offer customization.

This way, you will get exactly the handle you need.

Be Clear On Any Additional Accessories You Many Need Alongside Electrical Enclosure Handle

When placing any order, especially bulk order, it is key you come out clear on what you need – such as the accessories.

If you are green on matters handles, inquire with your manufacturer, supplier, or an expert on the possible accessories you will need.

Check Quality Compliance Of Electrical Enclosure Handles

Internationally, most electrical products and accessories ought to comply with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

Electrical enclosure handles that are in full compliance with the NEMA set standards are categorized as quality handles.

More Resources:

How To Build Electrical Enclosure

Electrical Enclosure Hinges

Electrical Enclosure Designs Guidelines

Electric Enclosure Rating

For all your electrical enclosures, contact KDMSteel now.

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