How to Remove a Lock Cylinder From a Door Knob

Written by cassandra tribe
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How to Remove a Lock Cylinder From a Door Knob
Remove the Cylinder rather than Replace the Entire Lockset (metal knob image by timur1970 from

Rather than replace the entire door knob set when you need to change the locks on a door, you can opt for the more economical solution of simply replacing the lock cylinders in the knob. Once you remove a lock cylinder from a door knob you can purchase a cylinder that will work with a different key from any home supply store. Removing the lock is surprising simple and takes about 10 minutes. Please note, you must have the key to the lock to remove the cylinder.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Screwdriver (Phillips or flat head)
  • Door key
  • Paper clip

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  1. 1

    Using either a flat head or Phillips screwdriver, take out the two screws on the "inside" of the door that hold the door knob in place.

  2. 2

    Pull the two halves of the door knob out of the door itself. One side of the door knob will be just a handle and the other will have the handle with the lock cylinder in it.

  3. 3

    Put your key into the lock and turn the cylinder to the locked position.

  4. 4

    Straighten out a paper clip and push one end of the clip into the small hole on the side of the door knob on the cylinder housing between the handle and the collar of the knob. Hold the clip in the hole.

  5. 5

    Turn the key past the locked position while pressing the clip into the hole, you will feel the retaining tab on the inside (that you are pressing through the hole with the paper clip) release. When it does this you will be able to rotate the lock cylinder freely in the knob.

  6. 6

    Remove the key from the lock cylinder.

  7. 7

    Push the lock cylinder out of the knob. Put your finger on the key slot of the face of the cylinder and push the cylinder towards the back of the knob. You can then grab the back of the cylinder and pull it completely out.

Tips and warnings

  • Bring the old lock cylinder with you when you go to purchase a replacement to make sure that you get the correct size for your door knob.
  • Make sure you retrieve the key from the old cylinder before discarding it if you still have other lock cylinders installed that it opens or you not be able to unlock or lock those doors.

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