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How to drill a door knob hole

Fitting a door knob may seem like an unimportant job, but getting it right can make a huge difference. It isn’t a difficult job once you know how. Just simply follow the instructions and fit your knob like a real professional.

What you need to know

You will need to drill two holes in order to place you door knob properly. First one is for the knobs and the spring-loaded mechanism they turn, and the other is for the barrel. And additionally, you would need to make a hole in the jamb into which the barrel fits. The manufacturers of locksets have standardized their products so most door knobs can be drilled with a 2 1/8 inch hole saw and a 7/8 inch spade drill bit. Along with the lockset you will also get a template which will make the job easier.

Step 1

door knob hole installation
Door knob template

If you have a template, cut it out with a pair of scissors. Tape the template to the door and mark the centers of the holes. After you have marked it, remove the template.

Step 2

First you secure the door, so that it won’t move around while you drill. Tap a nail into the door edge to mark the center of the latch hole. Use a 7/8 inch spade drill bit to drill the hole for the latch. Keep the drill horizontal and straight while you make this hole.

Step 3

Insert a 2 1/8-inch hole saw into your drill and position the pilot bit on the mark you made on the face of the door. Holding the drill steady to prevent wobbling, drill through the door until the tip of the pilot bit emerges from the other side of the door. Finish drilling the hole from that side of the door. This procedure guarantees clean edges on both sides of the door with no chipping. These tools leave nice, professional-looking results.

Step 4

Drilling a strike hole would also be necessary. If you are already drilling a hole for a door knob, you can also drill this one while you are there. Close the door to see the exact location of the hole. Center the 7/8-inch bit in the mark on the jamb and drill about 3/4 inches into it. And that’s it.

Door knob hole in a metal door

When you are drilling a door knob hole in a metal door, the process is more or less the same. First you would need to drill a pilot hole with a ¼ inch drill bit straight through the door. After that put a 2 1/8 inch metal hole saw to a mandrel – a spindle with collar to attach to a hole saw. For best results, replace the ¼-inch pilot bit with a 10-inch long steel rod and place it in the pilot hole so that it passes through the front and the beck metal panels of the door. After this you are free to drill the hole. And for the door edge use a 7/8 inch paddle bit.

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