How to Change a Lock Cylinder

Have you ever wondered how to change a lock? If so, read our guide to changing the cylinder and in just 6 easy steps you will be able to change the lock on your door.

If your door is correctly installed and adjusted, but the lock remains difficult to operate, it may be an issue with the cylinder. Alternatively, if you have lost a key or moved house and want the extra security of changing a lock, then read on for how to change a lock by replacing your cylinder.

It is a quick and simple procedure to change over the cylinder, requiring only a screwdriver and no specialized knowledge.

6 steps to replace your cylinder

1. Unlock and open the door. Leave the key in the lock. Check to see how the cylinder sits within the door. It may protrude by slightly different lengths at each end.

Protrudes 2cm at each end

2. In the edge of the door, locate the screw which is in line with the lock. Unscrew the screw.

This screw

3. Push the lock out towards the inside, rotating the key gently if required to allow free exit.

Push out

4. Check how the lock looks and ensure the new lock is the same way around and each end is the correct length.

Check end length

5. Insert the key in the new lock and offer up to the aperture. Rotate key gently in lock if needed until the lock locates accurately. Check the cylinder is clear through the exit aperture.

Key at approx. 35-45 degree angle

6. When the lock appears to be located correctly, insert the screw through the edge of the door and screw tight. You may need to move the lock slightly to locate the screw.

Screw tight

Troubleshooting advice

The only bit of the procedure which may not be completely straightforward is inserting the new cylinder in the correct position. Tips for this are:
• Adjust the angle of the key – start in a horizontal position and rotate slowly clockwise until you feel give
• Ensure the exterior end is not caught on the inside the plate (as shown) – ensure it is pushed through completely flat and straight

Caught on inside left side of plate

• Make sure each end projects equally and check you can see the screw hole, otherwise the screw will not engage

Not projecting far enough, screw cannot go into hole

If you would prefer to replace your door then George Barnsdale can help with that also, visit our entrance doors page to see our selection of wooden doors to suit any property.