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How to Install a Single-Cylinder Deadbolt Lock

Give yourself a little peace of mind by securing your door with a deadbolt.


  • : Always exercise caution when using a power drill. Wear safety glasses at all times.
  • Step 1: Determine your door material Determine whether your door has a steel-clad or wood trim. If your door has a wooden edge, install the lock as you would with an all-wood door. If it has a steel-clad edge, look for a plastic piece covering the area.
  • Step 2: Cut the plastic If you have a steel-clad edge, look for marks on the plastic piece. These marks correspond to different bolt plate sizes. Pick the size you need, and cut through the plastic piece with a utility knife.
  • Step 3: Make a hole With the paper template from the lock kit, mark the centers of the bolt and the lock. Using these marks, drill through the face of the door with the holesaw. When the pilot bit just pokes through, finish the hole from the opposite side. Then, drill into the door's edge with a 1-inch spade bit.
  • TIP: To accommodate the throw of the bolt, drill a half-inch past the far edge of the lock hole.
  • Step 4: Install the bolt, latch, and cylinder Insert the bolt into the hole you drill on the edge, and screw the bolt plate in place. Then, slide in the latch side of the lock, and make sure it engages the bolt mechanism. Finally, install the cylinder half of the lock on the opposite side of the door. Secure everything with the screws from the lock kit.
  • TIP: Apply lipstick to the raised part of the end of the bolt. Close the door and turn the bolt out to leave a spot of color on the jamb. Center your strike plate over this mark.
  • Step 5: Install the strike plate Install the strike plate into the doorjamb. Hold the strike plate against the jamb and trace around it with the utility knife. Then, drill into the jamb, and chisel out the strike-plate area to about one-sixteenth of an inch deep, and secure the plate with the mounting screws.
  • FACT: More than 2 million Americans are the victims of burglary each year.

You Will Need

  • Safety glasses
  • A single-cylinder deadbolt hardware kit
  • A utility knife
  • A pencil
  • A drill with bits of various sizes
  • A 1 u00bd-inch holesaw attachment
  • A Phillips screwdriver
  • Lipstick
  • A chisel

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