It’s called a door closer. Most of them last for a long, long time but every now and then one needs a repair or replacement.

Some of the factors to consider when choosing a door closer:

  • Backswing requirements
  • Weight and size of door
  • Opening and closing frequency
  • Cost
  • Mounting Location

In general, heavier doors in higher traffic areas need stronger, more durable door closers.

Door closers are rated for performance standards by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association and the American National Standards Institute. Performance is judged on closing force, cycle testing and finish tests. The American Disabilities Act also has requirements for door closers.

There are a number of types of door closers, including overhead (there are three common types of these); concealed; surface mounted; and floor spring. Overhead units are the most common choice.

Here’s a video by Stanley about their door closers. It will give you a better idea of why the choice you make for this essential piece of hardware matters.