This also depends on the journal, if they do not allow to cite a handbook and the page in it due to their citation style you are refering to, then the reader has not a high chance to find it this information within several hundred pages quickly.
In general your thinking is right and my rule of thumb here would be to cite a handbook if possible and necessary only as a primary source in a research article.
I don't agree so much with the comment of @Andreas due to the time factor. The point of a research article is not to teach the reader something or give an introduction and references, but to report on scientific advances. So brevity, non-redundancy is the most important goal. A case making this/your question/situation maybe even clearer are review articles. Here I could agree with his comment, but even in review articles you will not find many references on handbook.
Another reason for this is the difficulty to get a handbook, they are very expensive in comparison to an article, so putting several handbook references in an article might make it simply impossible for a reader to understand your research/he gives up. That is not good for you and the journal.
A place where handbooks are referenced quite a lot and for good reasons are bachelor, master, PhD thesis, because everything in a thesis is often explained from the fundamentals to the new scientifc advances in a thesis.
So the criterion is not laziness, rather think about who your audience is. If you don't have a special page in my mind citing a handbook and would have to look for hours therein on your own, it's also no good argument to reference it to save your time.