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How to Remove a Key Cylinder From a Door Lock

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Muhammad Baballe Ahmad, Mehmet Cavas, Sudhir Chitnis, and Zhen-ya Liu.

✓ Verified & Tested Information

If you need to remove a key cylinder from a door lock , there are a few things you’ll need to do. First, find the screws that hold the doorknob or handle in place. Once you’ve found those, unscrew them and carefully remove the knob or handle. Next, locate the screws that hold the key cylinder in place. These are usually located on the side of the cylinder. Unscrew them and carefully remove the cylinder . If you need to, use


In many cases, removing the key cylinder from a door lock is an involved process. Depending on the type of lock you have and the level of security it provides, different steps may be required to remove the cylinder and replace it. This guide will provide an overview of the most commonly used methods for removing a key cylinder from a door lock. It will also give you tips on selecting a compatible replacement and how to re-install it properly.

Before beginning, please note that accessing and replacing a key cylinder require special tools which should only be used by experienced professionals to ensure safety. If you are uncomfortable attempting this task yourself, consult with a locksmith or other qualified professional instead.

Preparing to Remove the Lock Cylinder

Before attempting to remove the lock cylinder from a door lock, it is important to ensure that you have the right tools and materials to do so safely. You should make sure that the door is open and the screws are securely fastened so that the door lock will not slip out of its frame when it comes time to remove the key cylinder. Additionally, you should consider wearing safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands while you are working.

Gather the right tools

Removing a key cylinder from a door lock is an important part of making sure that the lock will work properly. The process requires the proper tools and materials in order to be done correctly and safely. In order to remove the cylinder, the following tools should be gathered:

-Torx screwdriver
-Phillips screwdriver
-Flathead screwdriver
-Hex wrench
-Locking pliers
-Needle nose pliers
-Lubricant, such as WD-40 or graphite dust
-Hammer, mallet or rubber mallet
-Electronic pick

It may also be helpful to have a flashlight handy in order to see into spaces where loose parts might have fallen. Once all of the necessary tools are gathered, it is important to make sure that they are in good condition before proceeding with the task.

Understand the lock’s components

Before you begin to remove the lock cylinder, it is important to familiarize yourself with the lock components and how they are connected. In order for you to correctly remove the key cylinder, you will need to know the identified parts of a regular door lock including:
-the faceplate of the lock (often called a ‘rose’);
-the unlocking handle;
-the mounting screws;
-the deadbolt, and finally;
-the lock cylinder.
The locking mechanism consists of several parts that all work together. The faceplate attaches to both sides of the door in order to hold together the internal components and handle. The unlocking handle is mounted onto a metal plate with three several holes located within an oval shape where screws connect it. Inside this mounted plate lies a mounting screw that fastens the handle into place on either side of the door, as well as two longer screws that extends from each side and are secured by a lock washer on one end and by a knurled thumb nut on other end. These screws also integrate securely with one another in order for them both remain perfectly level when locked or unlocked. Additionally, there is a deadbolt which is secured inside its pocket in order for it not be exposed when not in use. Lastly, at its center lies a small hole for which your key (or keys) will fit snugly into and this hole comes from what is known as your key cylinder.

Removing the Lock Cylinder

Breaking Open a lock cylinder from a door lock can be a challenging task and requires specific tools, but it is possible. It is important to note that you should not attempt this if you are not experienced in lock picking and have not received proper training. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the steps involved in Breaking Open a key cylinder from a door lock.

Insert the key into the lock

Insert the key into the lock and turn it to get an idea of which direction the cylinder is facing. You may need to move it several times before you can be certain which way the cylinder is pointing. In most cases, the lock will be facing toward you above the handle, however some locks point away from you, and this should be taken into account when removing the key cylinder.
Once you have determined which way the cylinder is pointing, look for a small retaining pinhole near where your key sits after you have inserted it.
Insert a small pin or tool into this hole to push on the retaining pin that holds the cylinder in place. If there is no pinhole present, gently pull on one side of your cylinder while holding onto its face with your other hand till it pops off.
Once your retaining pin has been released and pushed through or out of its seating hole, use two fingers to carefully pull out your key cylinder from its seating area inside the door lock case. Once removed, it should look like an open ring with a shaft running through its center; both sides will now freely rotate on their hinges as they are unlocked from their fixed position in your door lock mechanism.

Turn the key to the locked position

The first step in removing the lock cylinder is to turn the key to the locked position. This ensures that all pins in the cylinder will be lined up when it is taken out and can prevent misalignment, jamming and breakage. Before attempting to turn the key, however, make sure that you are facing the correct side of the door knob or deadbolt. You should also make sure that your hands are free from any oil or grease as this can cause damage to other parts of the lock system. After turning the key to its locked position, insert a small screwdriver into one of the cutouts at either end of the cylinder and carefully twist it until it unlocks.

Unscrew the cylinder retaining screws

Removing the key cylinder from a door lock is a fairly simple task, but care must be taken to ensure that the pins and springs that retain the cylinder are not damaged. Before attempting to remove the key cylinder, be sure you have all the necessary tools. Most door locks that use a key cylinder require either a pin-type or screwdriver.

Once you have the appropriate tool for your particular lock type and you have found a good place to sit and work, begin by loosening and removing any screws or pins that are used to secure the cylinder in place. In most cases, these screws can be removed with an ordinary flathead screwdriver or with an Allen wrench if they are set screws for pin-type cylinders. Once these screws have been removed, you can then pull out the lock cylinder using your fingers – being careful not to pull too hard as this may damage any pins or springs in the lock.

Remove the cylinder

Removing the lock cylinder is a simple procedure to perform. Before you begin, however, determine what type of mechanism your lock has and the depth of the cylinder. Many locks feature shims that will require specific sizes of wrench or an adjustable spanner to break apart.

First, find and identify the retaining screws on the face of the cylinder. Depending on your lock model, these may be located either at the top or bottom. Often, you will need to use a small screwdriver to fit into tight areas when accessing these screws. After locating the screws, carefully remove them by turning them counterclockwise with a Phillips-head screwdriver (or other tool depending on your lock).

Once all of the screws are out of the way, you should now be able to pull out your cylinder or keyway cover plate to expose a large hole at one end where you can insert a thumbturn key and rotate it counterclockwise inside until it stops turning–this should free up and push out all parts from that end.

Finally, take note of which way each piece was oriented before unscrewing any pieces like pins or tumbler springs during reassembly for future reference when replacing components later. This will make it much easier!

Replacing the Lock Cylinder

Replacing a lock cylinder on a door lock is a relatively straightforward process. All you need is a few basic tools and an understanding of how the mechanism works. Before you begin, make sure you have the right lock cylinder for your door. Some cylinders may require special installation tools or techniques. This article will outline the steps for removing and replacing a key cylinder from a door lock.

Insert the new cylinder

Installing a new lock cylinder is relatively straightforward and should take ten minutes or less to complete. To begin, make sure the door is unlocked and open it. Insert the key into the existing lock cylinder and turn it clockwise to unlock it. Push in the retaining screws that hold the cylinder in place on either side of its key slot using a screwdriver. Pull out the cylinder from its housing until you can see enough of its tip to grab onto it.

From here, you are ready to insert your new lock cylinder. First, remove any plastic shield or cam inside its housing as needed before pushing in the new cylinder. Place a key into the new lock and slide it into place until you feel an even resistance. Turn the key back and forth several times to ensure a maximum fit before tightening down both screws that are holding the lock in place. This will protect against any unwanted tampering of your door lock’s security features in the future!

Secure the cylinder with the retaining screws

When removing a key cylinder from a door lock, it is important to first secure the cylinder in place by tightening the specified retaining screws, which will typically be located on either side of the cylinder. Once secured, use some lubricant to loosen any build-up of rust or other corrosion within the outside housing. Gently pry and manipulate the retaining screws until they are free from their respective grooves.

Once this is done, remove both sides of the key cylinder and maneuver until it is fully detached from its sleeve. If necessary, insert flat-head screwdrivers into each end of the cylinder’s chamber and gently rotate until a clicking sound is heard – this is an indication that it has been successfully disengaged. If this does not occur as expected, take caution when attempting to operate further as excessive force may cause damage to your door lock mechanics. Finally, proceed with replacing your existing key cylinder with another compatible model and reinstall using standard practices.

Test the new cylinder

After the old cylinder has been removed, it’s time to test the new cylinder. Insert the key into the locked position and try to turn it back and forth several times. Make sure that the key operates smoothly without any hang-ups or resistance. That is an indication of proper installation and guarantees that it will work soundly when you go to use it again.

Next, make sure the key operates both ways – when turning clockwise and counterclockwise. If everything checks out, then you can begin to assemble the other components of your lock, such as mounting plates or decorative covers. Once these components have been reassembled, your lock should be fully functional.

It’s also important to make sure that all other keys associated with the Lock Cylinder will properly fit into the new cylinder before reinserting them into use. If a key does not fit in properly, you may not be able to unlock the door at all due to extra tight tolerances on a new Lock Cylinder! When testing is complete, store any spare keys safely away until needed again in case of an emergency entry or malfunctioning Lock Cylinder!


Once the key cylinder is loose in the door, it should come out easily. Pulling gently with a pair of pliers may help if it does not come off easily by hand. After you have removed the cylinder from the door, you can take it to your local hardware store or locksmith to get a replacement. Keep in mind that some types of locks are more difficult to replace than others and there may be additional steps involved. In these cases, it is best to consult an experienced professional locksmith who can help you through the process.

It is also important to remember that in order to protect yourself and your home, it is important that all locks are functioning properly and that all keys are accounted for. If there are any questions or concerns regarding your security system, contact a professional immediately for further assistance.

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