Unlocking Comfort – How to Open a Recliner Without a Handle

We have all been there, struggling with the most fundamental problems that are too embarrassing to describe, let alone ask for help from a stranger.

Let us take a recliner without a handle, for instance, especially if it is an old or a secondhand one; you decided one evening to plop down your fine Chesterfield to watch your favorite game of football, only to have the handle crumble or function on you, frustrating right?

Being a recliner enthusiast, I have had my fair share of misfortunes with it, too, and losing a recliner’s handle might be one of my biggest pet peeves that, god forbid, happen to anyone because it does seem to render an otherwise refined and well-made recliner pretty much useless, unless and until you have a workaround at hand.

But I wouldn’t fret yet because, in this article, I will be guiding you on how to open a recliner without a handle. The guide itself compromises recliner mini lifehacks, so make sure you do not skip any, as you never know which one might come in handy.

How To Open Recliner Without Handle – Struggle No More

Here are a couple of personally tried methods that will help you go through this fiasco, while you could integrate your own creativity and problem-solving skills, these tricks helped me the most so I suggest that you replicate them first before trying something else.

Start With A Substitute 

If your recliner’s handle broke for whatever, don’t worry. It is not the end of the world; the solution is simple and straightforward; all you have to do is look around for things that you would use in your everyday scenarios; this could include, 

  • A wooden spoon or spatula 
  • The handle of a fly swatter
  • A chopstick or barbecue skewer
  • Part of a broken umbrella
  • A long screwdriver or nail file

As absurd as some of these might sound, they actually work wonders if you are creative enough to work your way through the handle area.

The key is to find something as rigid and functional as possible that is solid enough to do the job without bending or causing more harm than good.

Just make sure you don’t overuse your strength or use swift moves; otherwise, it might break off just like your old handle; after all, these things are only a substitute.

Look For A Cord

Some recliners, especially the newer ones, often have a power cord or string that lets you manually recliner when things go haywire, either mechanically or when the handle breaks.

Whatever the case might be, you are better off looking beneath the chair and finding a small string or cord that is located near the cushioning of your recliner.

Try to wiggle the cord and keep on pulling on the backrest till you feel a movement in your recliner. Don’t rush it, as you may cause unnecessary wear and tear on the string.

On the other hand, make sure to keep a tab on the cord once the chair is fixed, and tuck it in a safe place that is out of reach from children or pets.

Recline Manually

I know what you are thinking right now in your head: “Wasn’t pulling the handle also called manual reclining?”. Well, yes, however, we need to get more manual than that; in fact, you need to pull your sleeves because we might get down to business as you will be removing the recliner cushioning and revealing the inner modules that make the clock tick, or dare I say the recliner works?

Well, whatever the case it might be here, you need to carefully remove the padding and upholstery that is covering the backrest and uncover the mechanism beneath it.

Once done, try fiddling around with the latch that is connected to the broken handle, force your down on it, and you will hear a couple of clicks.

Keep in mind it might take a while to identify the mechanism that will help you recliner the backrest, so you need to carefully examine the parts that are connected to the handle region when they were in their ideal state previously.

Make sure you don’t poke your fingers around and instead use force until the backrest starts to click; try to get a hang of it, and you will eventually be able to recline your chair without a handle.

You might also want to keep a pair of pliers or a wrench handy as you may need to adjust certain nuts or bolts to adjust the position of the backrest manually.

Remember, patience and caution are key when manually reclining a chair, and it’s always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional help if you’re unsure of how to proceed.

Use Your Legs

The force applied by counteracting against the wall works wonders if done correctly, all you have to do is sit on the recliner and use your legs by pushing on the wall, with enough force you will be able to recline the chair without using your hands.

This is by far one the most effective and, in fact, the laziest ways you could manually recline your recliner, but in hindsight, it’s very effective because one way or another, you are pretty much getting the job done; make sure you don’t push too much above your weight.

However, I wouldn’t guarantee that it won’t break anything inside your chair, so make sure you know what you are doing and only follow this method once you are out of luck.

Professional Help

If every other method fails, sometimes it is best that you let a hand professional hand take it. After all these years of going through so many recliners and fixing some of them by myself, sometimes there are some models that are just too “stubborn” or downright sophisticated enough to be fixed by any tricks or tips that I have mentioned above.

In that case, taking it to the local repair shop and letting them fix the handle worked wonders, at least for a couple of years to come.

How Do I Prevent My Recliner Handle Breaking In The First Place?

Look, I understand that mishaps can happen to anyone. However, it doesn’t mean that you don’t do something about it.

A handle in a manual recliner is by far one of the most crucial components that keep the recliner mechanism operable; without it, you are pretty much left with an unusable Chesterfield. Here are some tips to prevent it from malfunctioning.

Use A WD-40 Spray

Recliner handles getting stuck isn’t uncommon; in fact, it is the most suspectable region that malfunctions the most.

The explanation is simple: the sweat and oils from the handle usually make their way to its machinery, causing it to jam, or in other cases, pushing too much on it causes it to break altogether.

Use an excellent old WD-40 spray on it; a couple of puffs would do the trick. Just let it rest on it, and your handle will be as good as new.

Check For Debris

A WD-40 spray is only suitable for rust and other grease getting stuck in between mechanisms, so it’s in your best interest that you keep your recliner handle as squeaky clean as possible.

Make sure to remove the upholstery that is covering the mechanism and use rubbing alcohol to get rid of any gunk and debris that’s been clogging up the mechanism.

Routine Repair 

As previously said, if you are using an older recliner or a second-hand one, chances are, its inner machinery has taken a toll due to inevitable wear and tear. In the worst-case scenario, it might even suffer from dents that could damage the latches and other parts.

Seek professional help to weld any part that you believe has become out of order to restore your recliner back to its full glory.

Bottom Line

A handleless chair is more of a headache to deal with because you have to go through hoops to make it recline to your liking. However, my methods mentioned above on “how to open a recliner without a handle” will not only work wonders for you but will also save you from endless hassle.

Hope my comprehensive guide was well worth the read, i even mentioned tips on how you could protect your handle from breaking in the first place so you don’t repeat the mistake with your newer recliner.