How to Fix Recliner Pull Handle – 2 DIY Methods with Steps

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Your recliner is supposed to withstand the rigors of continuous use. Even so, chances are the pull handle will break after a while if you use it frequently. For that reason, it is good to know how to fix a recliner pull handle at home.

Fortunately, repairing a broken recliner handle isn’t a big deal and it can be completed at home without calling a repairman and paying professional rates. Once done, you will be able to relax in your armchair and enjoy watching TV again.

Generally speaking, there are 2 ways to repair the broken pull handle of your recliner. They only take up to 10 minutes. Read on to learn more about these step-by-step DIY methods.

How to Fix Recliner Pull Handle

How to Fix Recliner Pull Handle

Tools You Will Need to Fix a Broken Recliner Pull Handle

Gather your tools first. The entire process is going to be quicker if you have everything ready near at hand.

Don’t worry, no special tools are required for this task. In addition to a set of needle-nose pliers, you will need a screwdriver. Be sure to buy a new cable and replacement handle as well.

Method 1: How to Fix a Recliner Pull Handle with a Simple Step-by-Step Guide

Please note that this guide relates to a D-ring recliner handle, as this is the most common type of pull handle today. The instructions can be partially used for lever-style pull handles as well.

Step 1: Remove the Screws and Handle

First, you need to take off the screws that hold the recliner handle in place. At the bottom and top of the recliner, you are likely to see 2 screws. Remove them slowly with your screwdriver to avoid twisting.

Put them in a safe place since you’ll have to return the screws after fixing the pull handle. Then remove the handle by pulling it out gently. Be sure not to rip the cloth of your chair while doing this.

Step 2: Expand Your Chair and Turn Over the Recliner

If you have a hard time accessing and locating the screws, then you should consider expanding your chair. For more convenient and easier access, you may also change its position.

Make your armchair stand on its back if needed. That should help you turn over the recliner and remove the screws. Also, this will make it easier for you to reach the bottom end of the broken cable.

Step 3: Remove and Dispose of the Cable

Once you’ve located the cable, you will need to remove it. Actually, you should locate the end of the cable that’s connected to the release trigger — it can be seen when unscrewing all the screws and opening the mechanism.

You can do this by squeezing the recliner cable and jerking its holder out of the chair actuator. That will make the cable come loose, so you can easily remove it now. The mechanism release clip can be removed with needle-nose pliers.

Step 4: Insert a New Pull Handle Cable

One of the last things you need to do is insert a new cable. Make sure the cable goes in exactly the same way as your old one so that it is placed correctly.

It is important to tighten everything and check whether the recliner reacts rightly to the current mechanism before you put the cover back on. If yes, you can take the last step.

Step 5: Screw the Pull Handle Back

Lastly, you should screw the recliner handle by returning the screws in place. Use either new or old screws. Take a screwdriver and tighten them well.

After returning the recliner of your chair into place, sit back and test it out to make sure it functions properly. That’s all!

Method 2: Replace the Recliner Pull Handle

This DIY method is very similar to the one you’ve just seen above. It’s also quite easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time. Be sure to buy an original replacement kit that works.

Step 1: Prepare Your Replacement Kit and the Recliner

Have the tools required. Prepare your replacement kit, including a screwdriver and needle-nose pliers.

The footrest needs to be closed when flipping the chair recliner. It should face the floor to make it easier for you to reach the lower area of your chair.

Step 2: Remove the Pull Handle

Locate the recliner handle as well as the hardware or retaining screws. If there are screws that hold it together, you’ll have to unscrew them with your screwdriver.

Otherwise, simply remove the mechanism by twisting the handle of your chair. That will cause it to come off. Then simply remove the old recliner handle by pulling it out.

You will see the cover below the handle. Remove it too. Now you can easily reach the mechanism that should be replaced.

Step 3: Set Up the New Mechanism

Once you’ve removed the old mechanism, you need to insert the new one. Place it in exactly the same position. Put the handle and tighten it with your screwdriver. Before tightening and closing everything, you need to check if the new mechanism and handle work properly.

Step 4: Put the Lid and Screws Back into Place

If your chair has retaining screws, you will have to screw them before returning the cover.
Some chairs come with just a lid below the recliner pull handle. In that case, all you need to do is return the cover.

Tips for Maintaining the Recliner Pull Handle

By taking proper care of your recliner pull handle, you can increase its lifespan and enjoy using it for many years to come. Basically, this involves regular cleaning and proper maintenance.

Here are a few tips on how to maintain your recliner pull handle:

  • Clean the recliner pull handle regularly to prevent dirt and dust from piling up. If dirt and dust accumulate on your recliner, they will cause the mechanism to get jammed, so it will not work correctly.
  • Make sure no liquids and water get dripped on the pull handle. That will make your recliner last much longer and serve you better.
  • Aside from that, you should also oil the recliner mechanism from time to time. Use the WD-40 Multi-Purpose Lubricant. Apply this powerful aerosol spray to the bolts and nuts of the chair mechanism to make it recline smoothly.
  • The recliner should not be used in a way that is not intended or recommended by the manufacturer. Use the pull handle gently without putting too much pressure on your chair. Never tug or grab the handle hard.
  • Don’t let your pets and children play with the recliner pull handle. This is not a toy. They could damage it or cause it to stop working.
  • If your recliner is too old, you should consider purchasing a new one even if it can be fixed in order to get the best results and ultimate comfort. It is a good idea to have a spare pull handle, just in case you need it for replacement.

FAQs About How to Fix a Recliner Pull Handle

How to Repair a Manual Recliner?

Identify the place where the cable of the manual recliner comes into the reclining mechanism. When pulling it through, make sure there is a little slack.

How to Prevent My Recliner from Rocking?

Install a wedge between the hinges box frame and the chair frame to stop the recliner from rocking. It will do the trick.


Now that you know how to fix a recliner pull handle, you will no longer have to hire professionals to do this simple job for you. If done properly, your recliner may serve you for a pretty long time providing that you maintain and treat it with care.

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