Step-by-step expert advice on how to replace an interior cylindrical door knob, from removing the old door knob to installing the new one. Also, advice for installing a security deadbolt.

The key to replacing an old door knob 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

Replace a door knob cylindrical
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. Master Lock


• 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 an Interior Door Knob

Some interior door knobs are held in place by screws and some are have a shank-release button that releases the interior knob so you can get to the mounting screws.

This video shows how to remove and replace the type of knob that is screwed in place.

To replace a door knob that has a shank-release button, first remove the old knob by pressing the shank button with a small screwdriver as shown in the  illustration below. 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.

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


remove doorknob 2
Remove the door knob’s mounting plate. © Don Vandervort, HomeTips

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.

To install the new lockset, just reverse the process.

Installing or Replacing a New Deadbolt

A deadbolt can significantly add to the security of an exterior door. Replacing an existing deadbolt is a very easy job because the holes were 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.

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


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

Here is a well-made video by Lowe’s that shows available types of deadbolts and how to install a deadbolt successfully:


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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, 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. Read more about Don Vandervort