How to Remove a Kwikset Doorknob

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Kwikset door handle removal is the reverse of installation, and since Kwikset makes a variety of doorknobs, locksets, and security handles, it may help you to get started if you check the installation instructions for your model. This may help resolve some of the mysteries you might encounter, such as, "If the handle has no visible screws, what's holding it on the door?" There has to be something, and you'll probably chuckle when you find the simple answer. It's almost always screws; they're just hidden.

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This is true whether the knob has a traditional ball shape or it's a lever, whether or not it has a key, and whether or not it's a Kwikset smart lock with a keypad or Wi-Fi connection for a remote key. In fact, the type of locking mechanism doesn't matter when you're removing a doorknob because all you need to do is physically remove the knob, locking mechanism and all.

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Finding the Screws

When you look on both sides of the door and you don't see any visible screws, it's because they are hidden by a faceplate or rosette. You always screw the knob from the inside of the door, so check the rosette on the inside for a small indentation somewhere on its perimeter. Wedge a flat-head screwdriver into this slot to pry off the rosette. If you have an inexpensive passage doorknob, look for a tab on the shaft of the inside handle and press this down with a screwdriver. You should be able to pull the knob right off to reveal the screws.

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If you have an electronic lock and you don't see screws, it's because they are behind the faceplate on the inside of the door. Faceplates are often designed to simply snap off, but if you aren't having any luck, check the Kwikset installation manual for your model. You'll probably find there is a button or tab you have to press to release the faceplate.

Removing the Knob

Once you find the screws, the rest is easy. Use a Phillips screwdriver to loosen them and separate the inside knob from the outside one. As you loosen the screws, the knobs will pull apart by gravity, and this makes it more difficult to keep turning the screws. To prevent this, hold the outside knob flush against the door as you work, and the screws will back out toward you as you loosen them.

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Once the knobs are separated, they should just fall into your hands. If they don't, it's probably because the lock is engaged, and you have to disengage it first. Do this from the inside of the door using the button or lever on the inside knob. You shouldn't need to use the key, security code, or remote.

Removing the Latch Mechanism

Once you've removed the knobs, you'll see the latch mechanism spanning the hole in the door, and if you're replacing the knob with a new one, that mechanism has to go too because the new knob will require a different one. To do this, unscrew the barrel strike from the edge of the door and pull it out.

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Sometimes, the latch mechanism gets stuck because the installer drilled a hole that is slightly too small. Don't despair; just grasp the barrel with a pair of pliers or vise grips and pull. It may help to slip your screwdriver through the hole in the center of the mechanism that spans the hole in the door and use that as a lever. It may take a bit of wiggling, but the mechanism should come out.

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