What is the Difference Between a Surface and a Concealed Vertical Rod Exit Device?

March 26, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Von Duprin exit devices have been saving lives since for over 100 years.  While there are a myriad of styles to choose from, all exit devices function on a similar principle.  Choosing the right style for a particular application means evaluating these differences, like the difference between a surface and a concealed vertical rod mechanism.

Most exit devices consist of two major components: the touch bar and the rod.  The touch bar is the part of the exit device that is used to unlock and simultaneously open the door.  Touch bars come in two major styles: touch pad and crossbar styles.

Both styles of touch bars are attached to a rod device.  As their names imply, this rod may be concealed, or it may rest on the surface of the door.  In either case, the rod functions in the same way.  When the touch pad is pressed, the rod mechanism is activated and releases the lock, allowing the door to be opened.

There are three main considerations to make when it comes to choosing one style over the other:

1) Aesthetics: Concealed rod devices look more aesthetically pleasing than surface rod devices.  If looks are important, a concealed vertical rod mechanism is the best choice.

2) Cost: Surface rod devices are more easier to install.  Concealed rods must be buried within the door, so installation costs will be higher.

3) Durability: Concealed rod devices will last longer.  Rods mounted on the door’s surface are exposed to abuse and may require more frequent repairs and need replacing more often.

New buildings or office spaces which are in the construction phase should choose concealed over surface rod exit devices.  The extra cost is minimal when compared to the overall cost of construction.  They look more professional, and will perform better in the long run.

When it comes to replacing an old exit device, it may be more cost effective to stick with the original design, especially if the doors have already been outfitted with surface rod exit devices.


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