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How to Fix a Recliner’s Pull Handle

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Your recliner probably gets a lot of use. As it gets more use, it gets broken in. That’s good because it means it’s even more comfortable. It also means it is easier to break.

One of the most common things to break is the pull handle.

There’s no need to pay professional rates to repair more recliner handles, however. They’re pretty straightforward and don’t require a lot of handyman know-how to repair. Plus, the parts are affordable, especially compared to paying a furniture repair pro.

You also won’t need any special tools. A driver of some kind and a set of needle-nose pliers is as complicated as it gets.

Types of Recliner Handles

Flapper recliner handle, d-ring recliner handle and lever recliner handle

There are three basic types of recliner handles: lever, D-ring, and flapper. While they have slightly different operations, they all achieve the same thing through roughly the same means. They physically open your recliner.

The lever handle is the most familiar. It just a lever — made out of wood, plastic, or even metal — that you pull back to recline. These are the most common form of recliner handle and are the most intuitive.

A D-ring handle is a handle in the shape of a D connected to a cable. If you’ve ever started a gas engine on, say, a gas-powered lawnmower, this operates the same basic way.

Pull the handle and the chair will recline.

Flapper handles are recessed into the chair and are less noticeable. To recline in this chair, pull out the flap with your fingers. It will open the same way that the access door to your car’s gas tank does, except that it will open your recliner up.

Step-by-Step Guide For Fixing Lever-style recliner pull handle

how to fix level style recliner pull handle

1. You’ll need one tool, a driver of some kind. Most lever recliner handles these days use a Torx-head screw. Those are ones with six points and look like a little star. You may also find ones that are Phillips head or a simple hex key. For our purposes here, we’ll use the Torx.

2. Stand at the back of your recliner and gently push it until it is upside down. If it’s a big, heavy recliner and you are neither, you might need some help.

3. Examine the bottom of the lever handle for the screw holding it in place.

4. Remove it with your Torx-head driver.

5. Remove the lever, and remove the little piece of protective metal from the recliner.

6. Place the new piece of protective metal over the recliner mechanism, and slide the new lever handle over it and into place.

7. Screw it into place with your Torx-head driver.

8. Lift the recliner back up.

How to replace D-ring recliner handle step by step guide

D-ring style recliner pull handle repair

1. Take a screwdriver and a set of needlenose pliers from your toolbox.

2. Remove the screws used to hold the handle in place, and gently remove the handle.

3. Lower the recliner onto its back so you can access the internal area.

4. Examine the cable-end. It is connected in two places to the mechanism-release trigger. The first is an S-tip, which when removed will cause the recliner cable to lose tension.

5. Next, use your needle-nose pliers to remove the mechanism release clip.

6. Remove the handle and cable. Pull it all out of the chair.

7. Insert the new cable the way you removed the old one.

8. Ease the new mechanism release clip into its spot on the mechanism-release trigger.

9. Clip the S-tip back into its location.

10. Return your recliner to its upright position.

11. Ease the handle into the spot you removed the old one. Take care not to tear the fabric.

12. Screw it into space, either with the old screws or new ones.

13. We’d recommend giving it a couple of test runs while you’ve got your tools out. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting in your recliner only to find that a minor error during replacement means you can’t recline.

Where to Buy recliner Pull Handle Replacements and Which one to Buy

If you have an expensive, custom-built recliner, you should probably consult with the manufacturer for replacement parts. For regular-old recliners, however, the parts are pretty standardized.

For regular recliners, you can try a local big box but unless they sell furniture you’re likely to be out-of-luck. You might even find that furniture stores sell the goods but prefer that you bring your chair in for a pricey visit with a repair specialist.

Regardless, you’re likely to spend a lot of time getting frustrated.

We recommend using an online retailer. While most online retailers stock basic recliner parts, we’d really recommend Amazon. While major retailers might carry only parts for recliners they sell, you are sure to find what you need at Amazon.

Most of the parts are standardized so if it’s not an exact match, you can buy something similar or freelance if you prefer.

If absolutely want the same thing, you should consult your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to see if a parts list is available.

Most recliner handles are universal, but always make sure it will fit your recliner before ordering. For additional assistance on this you can reach out to your recliner’s manufacturer.

Wrapping up How to Fix a Recliner Pull Handle

You don’t need to pay a professional to repair a recliner handle. They’re simple enough most anyone can do it themselves.

Plus, the easy availability of parts at major online retailers like Amazon makes one of the most frustrating tasks a snap.

We hope you found value in this. If you did, leave a comment or share it on your favorite social media network.

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