A very common question is what is a door closer?

A door closer, very simply, is a type of hardware that is used to close a door either mechanically or automatically.

Door Closers

Most of the time, when we think of a door closer in the commercial door business, we think of a surface mounted door closer that is installed to the door and frame with fasteners. There is an arm that connects the body of the door closer to the “shoe”. The body of the door closer can be attached to either the door or the frame, depending on circumstances at the door, and the shoe will connect to the frame or door (opposite of how the closer body is installed). So if the door closer body is installed to the door, then the door closer shoe will be installed to the frame, and vice versa.

The main benefit of using a commercial door closer on a door is the range of controls available to adjust the swing and motion of the door when it is used. These can help a building stay secure, reduce air flow and save on air conditioning, and are used on fire rated doors to help prevent the spread of fire and smoke by closing the door behind occupants as they escape a building.

Other Door Closers

Other styles of door closer could include spring hinges or automatic door operators.

Using spring hinges as door closers is an economical option when budget is a concern. These aren’t as fully adjustable as standard door closer hardware. Spring hinges can be tightened to create more tension and ensure latching or they can be loosened to slow the swing speed of the door. Besides this, there is not a lot of adjustments that can be made.

Automatic door operators are much higher in cost than typical door closers, but for obvious reasons. Auto operators allow a door to be automatically opened with an actuator such as a handicap push button or motion sensors. These have built-in motors that will open the doors as well as close them once people pass through the opening. Most auto operators are available with hydraulic closing or have completely mechanical motors that operate both the opening and the closing of the door.

Electromechanical Opener


Door closers are built to help control the swing of a door. Whatever type of door closer you use, make sure you understand the benefits and limitations of each. Talk with a sales rep at Beacon Commercial Door & Lock to find out the best solution for your doors.