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How to Replace a Front Door Lock With a Keyed Deadbolt?

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to replace a front door lock with a keyed deadbolt

Want to learn how to replace a front door lock with a keyed deadbolt? Remove your front door lock by opening and unscrewing it. Once done, install the keyed deadbolt in an inward position. If the deadbolt is stiff, remove some wood in the area. Place the front key plate and secure it with screws.

Replacing front door lock with a keyed deadbolt is a smart decision since a front door lock can be easily opened using a credit card or a screwdriver. With this tutorial, you can change front door lock and ensure the security of your family.

What You Need


If you want to replace door knob with deadbolt, there are specific items that you need to have first. These items are affordable and easy to find. You can look for them in hardware stores or you can also make your purchase online.

1. Keyed deadbolt

To prevent any hassle, look for a keyed deadbolt that has similar size to your front door lock. It would save you from drilling new holes on your door and door frame. Also, it is preferable that you purchase a lockset where mounting screws are already included to ensure easier installation.

The keyed deadbolt must be made of a durable material like stainless steel for longer service life. Aside from that, it must have extra security features that would prevent prying and picking.

2. Screwdriver

Most of the mounting screws require a Philipps screwdriver. Check the size of the screw head when choosing the size of a Philipps screwdriver. If the sizes of the screw heads are 0 and 1, you can choose a #0 Philipps screwdriver. However, if they are 2, 3, or 4, you can use a #1 Philipps screwdriver.

There are some instances that the screw heads of the mounting screws are slotted. In this case, you will need to use a flat head screwdriver. The available sizes are 3/32 by 1 1/2, 3/16 by 1 1/2, 1/8 by 4, 3/16 by 4, and 1/4 by 4.

3. Drill and drill bit (optional) 

If your keyed deadbolt doesn’t have the same size as your front door lock, you will need to have a drill and drill bit to create new holes. If the deadbolt requires a larger hole for the deadbolt unit, you will need a hole saw.

To make a bigger hole on the side of the door, prepare a spade bit. This is also useful if you need new holes to the door. The ideal size for the spade bit is ⅞-inch, however, you can also use a bigger one if your keyed deadbolt requires you to do so.

Step-by-step Guide


Step 1: Remove the front door lock by opening and unscrewing it


To remove the front door lock:

  • Position the lock in a way that you can hold its other side to catch the lock plate.
  • Once you are in a comfortable position, remove the screws that secure the lock using the Philipps screwdriver.
  • Pull out from the hole and secure it since it can still be helpful in the future.

If your deadbolt has a larger size than your front door lock, you will need to drill a bigger hole using a hole saw and a spade bit. This will provide the required area for the unit.

Step 2: Install the keyed deadbolt in an inward position


Check if the strike plate of the keyed deadbolt has the same size as your former strike plate. If they have the same size, you don’t need to replace the strike place unless you want to.


If they don’t have the same size, you need to remove the old strike plate and install the new one by securing it with two screws.


After that, you can now proceed in installing the keyed deadbolt. Make sure that it is in an inward position. See to it that the latch moves easily. If not, you can remove some wood in the area.

Step 3: Place the front key plate and secure it with screws.


Place the front key plate on your front door and align the cylinder screws located on the deadbolt. Tighten the screws carefully to prevent stripping the screws.


Once you are done, check if the deadbolt works properly. It is also advisable to lubricate the bolts so that they won’t get stiff.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I replace my front door lock with a keyed deadbolt?

Some situations will require you to replace your front door lock with a keyed deadbolt. Some are stolen, or lost keys, frequent break-ins, damaged pins and tumblers, and daily wear and tear.

Can I replace my door handle with a keyed deadbolt?

Yes, you can. By following the tutorial above, you can replace a door handle with a keyed deadbolt. This will help you secure your house from prying, picking, and forced entry made by burglars. There are also various replacement front door locks that are available in hardware stores.


Have you successfully executed our tutorial on how to replace a front door lock with a keyed deadbolt? You don’t have to call for professional help to provide safety to you and your family. Mastering the steps will also be helpful if you need to replace your locks in the future.

If this article has been useful to you, you can share this post with your friends. We also want to know your suggestions on the top-rated keyed deadbolts on exterior doors you have used in the past. Just leave a comment below.

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