How to Remove Schlage Lock Lever Handles

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Schlage lock lever handles have a slight curve in the middle that makes the handle resemble a smile or -- if inverted -- a frown. When the levers are installed correctly, they frown -- that is, the curve in the center of each handle faces up. If you have a lock installed on a right-hand door -- which is a door that swings open from right to left -- and you want to change it to a left-hand door, you need to exchange the handle on the outside of the door for the inside, and vice versa. You need the pin tool that came with the lockset to make this change -- if you don't have it, a 6d finish nail will do. You also need the key.


Removal Procedure

Replacing the Handles

After you've removed both handles, drop the key cylinder into the handle that now goes on the outside of the door and insert the key. Line up the hole on the barrel of the handle with the tab on the lock mechanism -- which is still attached to the door -- then slide the barrel onto the lock. Turn the key to the reset position and push the barrel until it snaps in place. Turn the key 90 degrees and remove it.

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Replace the handle on the inside of the door using the same procedure. The one difference is that you don't need to insert the key -- the barrel should simply snap into place.


Step 1

Insert the key in the handle on the outside of the door. Turn the key 90 degrees so that it's oriented vertically in the reset position.

Step 2

Insert the pin tool -- or a 6d finish nail -- in the hole at the other end of the handle barrel. Push it in.

Step 3

Pull the handle off. Remove the key from the lock and remove the key cylinder from the handle barrel.

Step 4

Remove the handle from inside the door by inserting the removal tool or finish nail into the hole in the handle barrel and pushing on it while you pull off the handle.


Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker and Family Handyman.