Have you ever seen a casket at a funeral? Most of us have, but do you know what those handles are called? You might be surprised to learn that they actually have names. In this article, we’ll explore exactly what the handles on caskets are called and why they’re important.

We all understand how essential it is for families to give their loved ones a proper goodbye. Funerals often include an open-casket visitation service with many mourners paying their respects. But before visitors can properly say their goodbyes, the casket must first be opened – something which requires the use of special handles attached to its exterior. So, just what are these handles known as?

For centuries, casket companies have been using specially designed hardware to open and close coffins during funerals. These devices come in different shapes and sizes depending on the type of coffin being used; however, one thing remains constant: no matter the design or manufacturer, these pieces of hardware all share one name – pallbearer bars. Keep reading to find out more about pallbearer bars and why they’re so important when saying our final farewells.


A casket handle is a component of the coffin that serves two primary purposes. The first purpose is to make it easier to transport the casket from place-to-place, and the second purpose is to be a decorative feature. Handles are usually made of metal or wood, depending on the exterior material used for the entire casket. They typically come in pairs, one at either end of the coffin, so they can easily be grasped by pallbearers during a funeral procession.

Furthermore, handles may also have an aesthetic value as some are designed with intricate details such as ornate engravings or shapes like crosses and hearts. All these designs give mourners an extra way to pay tribute to their deceased loved ones. Consequently, this provides closure and comfort while honoring their memory. With all this said, let’s move onto exploring different types of handles available on caskets today…

Types Of Handles

It is important to know the different types of handles available for caskets. Lever-style, swing-bar, drop-bar, pull-bar, and lift-bar are all common options when selecting a handle for a casket.

Lever-style handles feature two flat pieces that open in opposite directions from each other and can be used with either one or two hands. This type of handle offers more control when it comes to handling the casket as well as ease of use for those who may have difficulty using their hands. They also come in various sizes and shapes so they can fit any size casket.

Swing-bar handles consist of one long bar attached to both sides of the casket lid which swings outwards when lifted. These provide stability but require some strength to open and close the lid. Drop-bars are similar in design to swing bars but instead offer an easier way to open and close the lid by simply pressing down on them. Pull-bars are another option where several short bars connected together allow you to easily lift up the lid without having to use too much force. Lastly, lift-bars provide even greater convenience since they pull up with minimal effort while maintaining great stability at the same time.

No matter what style you choose, these handles help make transporting a casket easier and safer while providing protection against accidental damage during movement or transfer.

Types Of Caskets

The handles on caskets are called coffin handles. These handles come in a variety of materials and designs, depending on the type of casket used. Traditional caskets typically have metal handles made out of either brass or steel. Biodegradable caskets use natural fibers such as bamboo or seagrass for their handles, while cremation urns may be made with ceramic or glass handles. Burial vaults also often feature molded plastic handles that can provide easier access to the vault’s interior.

No matter which style is chosen, all types of caskets require durable, secure handle material that can support the weight of both the vessel itself and any contents inside it. The material used for these handles must stand up to repeated opening and closing over time and resist corrosion from outdoor elements like rain and snow. Next, we’ll take a closer look at what materials are best suited for this purpose.

Material Used For Handles

According to research, the material used for casket handles can vary from metal and wood to porcelain or ceramic. Many of these materials are chosen due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. Here is a breakdown of some of the more popular handle materials:

  • Bronze Handles
  • Wood Handles
  • Porcelain Handles
  • Ceramic Handles
  • Metal Handles
    When selecting a handle material, there are several factors that must be taken into consideration such as weight capacity, cost, and design preferences. Some materials may also require additional care and maintenance in order to preserve their longevity. For those who want a simple yet elegant look, bronze or wood handles might be best suited. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something slightly more luxurious and ornate then porcelain or ceramic handles could fit your needs perfectly. Metal handles offer superior strength and are often found on heavier duty caskets. Regardless of which material you choose for your casket’s handles, it should always complement its overall design seamlessly.
    No matter what type of material is being used for the handles on a casket, placement plays an important role in ensuring comfortable handling during transportation. In the next section we will discuss how proper placement of handles can make all the difference when lifting and carrying a casket.

Placement Of Handles On A Casket

The placement of handles on a casket is an important factor in the overall design and construction. Handles are typically attached to both sides of the casket, allowing it to be easily lifted by two people. Handle placement can vary depending on the type of casket being used. In some cases, the handle may run along the full length of one side, while others might have multiple smaller handles placed across its surface.

Casket handle positioning should also take into account how much weight will need to be supported during transport. If a heavier casket needs to be moved, additional support from larger or more numerous handles would likely be necessary. This could include having extra straps affixed to either side for added stability when lifting or moving the casket.

When considering handle placement for a casket, it’s essential that all safety protocols are followed when transporting and handling them. The proper use of secure attachments and supporting devices is key for ensuring no accidental damage occurs due to improper lift techniques or inadequate support structures around the handles themselves. With these precautions in place, you can ensure your loved ones’ final resting place can be handled with care and respect at all times.

To summarize, careful consideration must go into determining where handles should be placed on a casket so they can provide adequate support during transportation while following all standard safety regulations related to their usage. Moving forward we’ll look at the history behind why these handles were first introduced in burials and funerals services worldwide.

History Of Casket Handles

The history of casket handles is as varied and unique as the individuals whose loved ones have been laid to rest in them. It’s a journey that weaves through time, cultures, and traditions. From ancient Egypt to modern-day America, casket handle design has evolved with human needs and desires.

In ancient civilizations such as Egypt, handles were used on coffins for practical purposes; they provided an easy way of transporting bodies from one location to another. The shape of these primitive handles often mirrored religious symbols or funerary items like ankhs or scarabs. As Christianity spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, coffin handles shifted in meaning and style crosses became a popular choice for adorning wooden boxes containing corpses. In both cases, however, it appears that the primary purpose was still transport rather than ceremonial display.

By the 19th century, ornamental handles had become increasingly common on caskets due to advancements in metallurgy technology which allowed for intricate designs and decorations. These decorative elements not only served aesthetic purposes but also indicated social status or life achievements when displayed at funerals or wakes. Today’s modern caskets use strong steel alloyed materials for their construction along with visually appealing fittings such as chrome-plated brass handles – all designed to be sturdy yet stylish enough to carry out their intended function while comforting mourners during times of sorrowful remembrance.

As our understanding of death changes over time so too will the importance placed on how we choose to honor those who’ve passed away – including decisions about how best to utilize casket handles both practically and aesthetically within various cultural contexts..

Etiquette Surrounding The Use Of Handles

The handles on a casket are an important part of the funeral process and their use comes with certain etiquette. It is considered polite to only touch or hold onto the handles if necessary. Generally, those attending funerals should not lift or carry the casket unless instructed by someone in charge, such as a pallbearer. If it is deemed appropriate for somebody to handle the casket, they must respect handle etiquette when doing so. This means that they should avoid touching any other parts of the casket besides the handles while supporting it and move slowly and carefully around tight spaces.

In addition to this, people should be aware that touching too many different areas of the casket can make it more difficult to keep clean. The slightest amount of dirt could damage its surface over time, so visitors should take extra caution when handling a casket’s handles. Lastly, some cultures may have specific rules about how often one can touch a particular area of a casket; these customs should be followed whenever possible. Moving forward then, understanding what purpose handles serve on a casket is essential for respectful mourning practices.

The Purpose Of Handles On A Casket

To understand the purpose of handles on a casket, it is important to first consider their structure and design. Handles are typically situated along the sides or top edge of a casket so that individuals can safely transport, carry, and move the coffin during services and funerals. Historically, they were crafted from brass with intricate designs and often feature an ergonomic shape designed specifically for comfort while carrying heavier loads.

TransportingMoving the casket from place to place as needed for services and funerals
CarryingEasily allowing multiple people to lift up the casket at once by gripping each handle
StabilityKeeping the casket in balance when being handled or moved around by providing support points along its side or top surface

The primary purpose of these handles is to provide stability, strength, and support while transporting and carrying a casket. In addition to this, they also serve as decorative accents which add visual interest to any funeral service. By using handles made out of different materials such as wood or ceramic, families have more options available when arranging their loved one’s final farewell ceremony.

Handles on a casket allow those attending a funeral service to be able to honorably pay respect without having to worry about physically carrying the burden themselves. With carefully selected material choices alongside thoughtful design elements, family members can trust that their loved one will be transported with dignity. From here we now turn our attention towards safety considerations regarding handles before closing out this section with some additional information concerning other types of decorative features found on contemporary coffins.

Safety Considerations Regarding Handles

Handles on caskets are an essential element for proper placement and transportation. It’s important to ensure that the handles are safe and secure, not only for those handling them but also for the person inside the casket. To guarantee safety, there are several considerations when it comes to using handles on caskets.

First, consider the number of handles needed. Depending on how large or heavy the casket is, more than two may be necessary. This ensures that multiple people can safely lift and move the casket without straining themselves too much. Second, think about where they should be placed in relation to the weight distribution in order to make sure they don’t put pressure on any weak areas of the casket itself. Lastly, choose handles made from strong materials like brass or stainless steel so they won’t easily break under pressure or strain.

These safety considerations will help ensure that anyone handling a casket has all the tools they need to do their job properly and safely. With these tips in mind, you can rest assured that your loved one’s remains will be handled with care and respect throughout every step of their journey. Moving forward, we’ll explore alternatives to handles as another option for placing and moving a casket securely.

Alternatives To Handles

Like a lock on the door to our homes, handles on caskets provide a secure closure for loved ones. But when it comes to alternative ways of closing off a casket, there are several options available. Just as one would use different latch mechanisms or lid fasteners in their home, so too can these be used to keep the deceased safe and sound within the coffin.

Carrying straps are often used in place of handles – they wrap around the perimeter of the box, keeping it sealed shut until its final resting place is reached. These straps come in various sizes and materials; some made from leather while others use more modern plastic or metal buckles. For those who want something even simpler than carrying straps, clamp-style locks can also offer an effective alternative without sacrificing any security.

No matter what type of closure is chosen, having peace of mind that your loved one will stay safely inside their casket is paramount. Handles replacements like these give families assurance that all necessary precautions have been taken during such an emotional time.


Concluding, handles on a casket serve an important purpose. They provide stability when carrying the deceased and make it easier to transport them in a dignified manner. It’s estimated that over 10 million funerals take place each year across the United States, with most involving some type of casket handle for ease of movement. With this in mind, it’s clear that knowing about the different types of handles and their uses is essential for funeral directors and those participating in services honoring loved ones who have passed away.

Handles are available in many shapes and materials, including metal, wood, ceramic or plastic. Depending on the style of casket chosen, they can be placed at various locations around its exterior. Etiquette encourages people to avoid touching the handles unless absolutely necessary since it can cause further distress to grieving family members. Additionally, safety considerations need to be taken into account when handling heavy objects like caskets so as not to risk injury or other harm.

In conclusion, understanding what handles on caskets are called and why they are used is important information for anyone involved in end-of-life ceremonies and memorials. By being aware of these details beforehand, individuals can ensure proper respect is paid during sensitive times while also keeping themselves safe from potential hazards posed by lifting heavy items such as caskets without adequate care or preparation.

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