How to Remove a Screwless Doorknob

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It won't turn, it won't catch or it is simply stuck. When a door knob doesn't function properly, it can stop you in your tracks. Fixing or removing a screwless door knob is a relatively simple endeavor as long as you avoid some common mistakes and are prepared to put in a little extra cash and effort for a solid replacement.

How to Remove a Screwless Doorknob
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The Way the Door Knob Turns

A relatively simple machine, door knobs are designed to work with just a few parts in motion. There are six types of knobs to consider when you are putting in a new door knob to replace the one you are removing. The wedge, pulley, screw, wheel and axle, inclined plane and lever each operate with two main parts. A door knob works by the shaft retracting the spring-loaded latch when the handle is turned.

Removing a Screwless Door Knob

Lock sets conceal the mounting screws on most interior doors for aesthetic reasons. This can make the door knob seem impossible to disassemble for easy removal. The solution lies in the shank. Look for a small slot or tiny hole on the interior of the door knob. Take a screwdriver with a narrow blade to the hole and give it a good tug. The door knob should loosen and fall to the side. Pry off the decorative plate or the rose of the lock set to expose the mounting screws beneath. These secure the lock set to the door and shouldn't require more than a few twists of the appropriate screwdriver to dismantle.

Common Removal Mistakes

The orientation of the lock is important. Make sure the new lock is aligned correctly before you finish the mounting screws.

Check the door material or style before you purchase and install a door knob. Glass, solid core and hollow interior bedroom doors require specific door knobs. If you purchase a door knob mechanism that is too heavy for the particle board bedroom door you are installing it onto, you will have difficulty each and every time you reach for the knob. If you are looking to replace an exterior lock set, find a door knob that is weather-proof so they can withstand extreme weather fluctuations without letting the door stick.

Locks have grades. The higher the grade, the better the lock. Grade 2 locks are as cheap as you should go, particularly for exterior doors or those you want to lock to keep others out.


Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at

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