What Hole Saw Size Should I Use for a Door Knob and Deadbolt?

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

Share It

Most home invasions involve physical force, and a high-quality door knob and deadbolt lock are one of the best ways to prevent this kind of burglary. 

If you need to install a new door knob and deadbolt lock, you should know the hole saw sizes for a door knob and a deadbolt to start installing sound home security.

Hole Saw Size for Deadbolts and Door Knobs

Drilling holes for doorknobs requires careful planning to ensure success. In the same way, you would want to double-check your measurements before making any cuts while working with wood. You should do the same when dealing with numbers.

#1: Drilling the Doorknob Hole

To make sure you pick the right size hole saw, you need to first find it in the doorknob’s package or check the hole saw size chart. Deadbolts and earlier lock types may have a smaller primary bore hole size of 2 1/8″.

Check the thickness of your door to ensure that a normal doorknob or deadbolt will fit. In general, a door’s thickness shouldn’t be more than 1-3/8 inches and shouldn’t be less than 1-3/4 inches without serious consideration.

If you want to install a new set of door knobs, you should also measure the backset. The backset is the distance between the door’s edge to the bore hole’s center. 

drilling a doorknob hole

2-3/8 and 2-3/4 inches are the most common sizes available, with the latter being more common for outside doors. Some sets of door knobs contain a latch mechanism that you can adjust to accommodate either backset measurement, making them suitable for use in various situations.

If you don’t have a c-clamp to help guide the hole saw through the door knob , use the template with the lock package to mark the hole’s location. Put the pilot bit of the hole saw you use in the exact center of the template.

You should drill through the door until the pilot bit sticks out the other side. Once you’ve drilled halfway through one side, flip it over and repeat the process on the other. Switching sides midway through the cut can avoid blowout and splintering and maintain a neat hole.

#2: Creating a Latch Hole

This is a crucial stage that requires precise measurements to complete successfully.

Assuming you have drilled the main hole for the doorknob or lock, the next step is to make a passageway for the sliding bolt.

creating a latch hole

A 1″ hole saw, or spade bit, will work for this application. A hole saw will be more precise and slower, but it will get the job done, and a 1″ hole saw is likely included in your door lock installation set.

Drill perpendicular to the huge diameter hole you just made by marking the drilling site with a clamp template or a piece of paper.

#3: Installing the Faceplate

The faceplate, or edge guard, is the flat metal plate attached to the door’s edge to prevent wear and tear. The faceplate requires a mortise to be cut into the wall using a chisel or router before it can be attached.

Attach the cover plate over the newly drilled hole at the door’s edge. You can draw the perimeter of your mortise by tracing the shape with a pencil.

You can cut the mortise with a hammer and chisel; however, a router will simplify the job.

using chisel to install faceplate

After that, install the faceplate with the screws provided. You can now assemble and install the doorknob or deadbolt through the drilled holes.

Now that the lock has been built, there are a few more procedures to take before you may use it. Mortising the door jamb to fit the striking plate and drilling a hole for the bolt is also required.

#4: Attaching the Strike Plate

The bolt is threaded through a hole in the strike plate, which is a flat metal plate. It is installed directly across from the lock to protect it from being broken [1].

The metal lip on the back of a doorknob strike plate sets it apart from the strike plates used for deadbolts. The door will close more quietly and smoothly with this lip, but you must cut the mortise in a slightly different form than that of a lock strike plate.

A longer, more robust striking plate with additional mounting screw holes is a terrific addition to your lock when it comes to protecting your door from being kicked in.

attaching the strike plate

Installing the strike plate requires aligning the plate’s hole with the deadbolt’s bolt. Simply lengthen the bolt until it depresses into the door jamb, and then cover the flat end with a marker or paint. This neatly outlines the area where a mortise 1/8″ deep should be cut for the strike plate.

Try attaching the striking plate with the provided screws (for maximum safety, use screws that are 2-1/2 inches or longer). The next step is to take out the strike plate and drill a hole for the bolt.

#5: Drilling the Bolt Hole

The last step is to prepare the door jamb for the bolt. Start by drilling a hole in the center of the mortise you just made using a hole saw or spade bit measuring 1 inch in diameter. 

To identify the precise placement of the bolt hole, you can apply the same strategy as before.

Testing the lock is as simple as closing the door after drilling the hole and installing the bolt. When closed, the door and the bolt should glide effortlessly into the door frame.

installing door bolt

You may need a little fine-tuning and rearranging to get the lock working smoothly again.


Any door knobs and locks require drilling latch holes in the door and a strike plate in the frame. Thus, we made an effort to provide a guide for you to know what the hole saw sizes are for door knobs and help you learn how to install a round door knob handle properly.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
Related Articles
Join our community on facebook and get 3 woodworking plans for free!

Join Our Woodworking Community on Facebook And Get 3 Woodworking Plans for Free!