how to change door lock: step-by-step instructions


 If you've ever had the experience of being locked out, you'll know how frustrating it can be. Even more so if you don't have a spare key or the keys have been lost or stolen. Even if your lock cylinder is getting old, it may be worth changing. But don't worry - replacing your lock cylinder isn't difficult and doesn't require any special locksmith skills.

Changing the locking cylinder

In this blog post, we'll go through each step in detail so you know exactly what to do when replacing an old lock on any door with a new one.

Whether you want to regain access to your home or take additional security precautions, these steps will make it a breeze!

What dimensions does my new locking cylinder need?

Not all cylinder locks are the same, as they come in different sizes. To ensure you get a new locking cylinder that fits your door perfectly, you should first measure the old cylinder or the door fittings.

For this, you will need a ruler or folding rule, a screwdriver and a square or Allen key.

Now measure the distance from the centre of the adjusting screw, which is located under the door latch, in both directions to the end of the door fitting. With the inner and outer lengths, you now have the values ​​you need to buy a new locking cylinder.

The easiest way is to remove your old locking cylinder and simply take it with you when you get a new one.

How do you replace a locking cylinder?

It is not that difficult to replace a locking cylinder. With good instructions, you can easily remove the locking cylinder and change the door lock yourself.

Step 1: Loosen the forend screw

On doors, there is a screw under the door latch that you must first remove in order to be able to take out the old locking cylinder. This so-called faceplate screw holds the cylinder lock in place.

Step 2: Remove the old locking cylinder

Once the forend screw is loosened, you can easily remove the cylinder. To do this, turn the key in the lock a little and simply pull out the cylinder lock.

If the locking cylinder is stuck and cannot be removed, you can tug on it a little or loosen the screws on the door fittings a little. If that doesn't help, you should remove the door fittings completely. But this is usually not necessary.

Step 3: Insert the new locking cylinder

Insert the new cylinder in the same way that you removed the lock cylinder in the previous step. Make sure that the locking lug does not block the insertion of the lock cylinder.

Step 4: Tighten the forend screw

If the new locking cylinder is correctly seated in the socket, you must fix it again with the adjusting screw. It is best to use the new screw that comes with your new cylinder, even if the old screw should also fit.

If you have completely removed the fittings from your door, you will of course have to reattach them before fully tightening the faceplate screw.

Step 5: Test the locking process

Once the new door lock is installed, all you have to do is check that it is firmly in place and working properly. Give it a little shake and test opening and closing the door.

If everything worked without problems, you are done and have successfully replaced your locking cylinder.

Remove the locking cylinder without the key

If, for whatever reason, you no longer have a key but still want to remove the locking cylinder, there is a solution for this too.

If the door on which you want to remove the door lock is closed, you can drill the lock open. Take a hard drill and drill below the keyway until it is about halfway into the lock. You should now be able to open the lock with a screwdriver. But be careful: with locks with anti-drill protection, drilling is obviously not possible.

If you want to remove the lock from a door that is already open but doesn't have a key, you can use a sturdy pair of pliers instead. After you have removed the fittings and screws on both sides of the door, press the pliers firmly against the narrow side of the cylinder and tug on it until it breaks. You can then remove the pieces of the locking cylinder from the door.

Changing the locking cylinder - FAQ

  • Can you change a door lock yourself?
Even if you don't have any special knowledge, you can easily replace a door lock yourself with good instructions. Just follow the steps and you will have replaced your locking cylinder in no time.
  • How much does a new locking cylinder cost?
Depending on the security level, door locks cost different amounts.
  • How much does it cost to replace a locking cylinder?
If you don't want to change the cylinder lock yourself and get a locksmith to help you, just changing the cylinder usually costs between 50 and 100 Dollars. Losing a key can be particularly expensive: If you no longer have a key, this drives up the costs significantly.
  • Can you replace a lock yourself?
Yes, you can replace locks like mortise locks yourself, even without much experience. You usually don't need more than a few tools and a good step-by-step guide.
  • Does it matter which way a locking cylinder is installed?
In principle, the locking cylinder can be installed in both directions, but should ultimately be flush with the door leaf, i.e. not protrude, for example. However, since door leaves are usually constructed asymmetrically and the cylinder therefore has sides of different lengths, it is difficult to install it the wrong way round without being noticed.

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