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How to Replace a Doorknob

Replace a door knob cylindricalMaster Lock

Replacing an old cylindrical door knob with a new one is an easy job when you know how. Be sure to choose a replacement that fits the existing holes in the door.

Step-by-step expert advice on how to replace a doorknob, from removing the old door knob to installing the new one, and installing a security deadbolt.

The key to replacing an old doorknob is to buy a new one that fits the existing holes in the door. Please see the Doorknobs Buying Guide. With this in mind, it pays to remove the old doorknob and take it with you when go to buy the new one (or note all the critical dimensions when buying online). If, for some reason, you can’t do this, gather this information:

• Type of lock—cylindrical, tubular, or rim

• Diameter of the cylinder and latch holes or the size of the rim

• Distance from the edge of the door to the center of the doorknob

• Thickness of the door

• Direction the door opens—inward or outward


Step-by-Step Techniques | Replace a Doorknob

remove a doorknob©HomeTips

Release the existing knob by pushing a screwdriver into a lot in the shank.

To replace a doorknob, first remove the old knob by releasing the shank button with a small screwdriver as shown in the  illustration at right. Then remove the mounting plate as shown in the bottom illustration—to do this, you usually have to unscrew one or two screws that hold it to the cylinder.

Next, unscrew and remove the latch assembly from the edge of the door. Once you pull out the latch mechanism, you’ll be able to remove the remaining knob and lock cylinder.

remove a doorknob mounting plate©HomeTips

Remove the doorknob’s mounting plate.

security deadboltMasterlock

A deadbolt adds an extra measure of security to an exterior door.

To install the new lockset, just reverse the process.


Installing a New Deadbolt

A relatively easy repair for a door that doesn’t lock securely enough is to install a new deadbolt. To do this, you drill two new holes in the door—one in the face for the lock’s body and one in the edge to accommodate the bolt. For drilling the large hole in the face of the door, you’ll need a hole saw made for installing a door knob.

Deadbolts are packaged with templates that show the exact placement of holes to ensure a perfect fit.

About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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