How to Install Locks on Your Cabinets

Hickory White Chest 500x393 How to Install Locks on Your Cabinets

Hickory White Chest

Some people are extremely handy. They can do virtually anything with their hands that they set their minds on. Others aren’t nearly as good at do-it-yourself projects. Even with simple jobs, they seem to struggle. No matter what level of experience you have, or how versatile you are, you should be able to complete a few basic home improvements. Following are a few tips on how to install locks on your cabinets.

Keep Your Papers Safe

Having a lock on your cabinets may not be necessary in every situation, but if you have papers that you want to keep safe, you should make sure there is a quality lock on the cabinets you keep them in. Cheap locks may give the appearance of safety, but unless you buy good locks, they can be defeated easily. You may as well save your money. If you decide that you need to put locks on your cabinets, you should buy good ones.

Get the Right Lock

Once you decide to put locks on your cabinets, you should go to a hardware store and purchase the locks. Make sure you get the right locks. If you don’t buy the right kind, they may not fit properly and could be difficult to install. You may even want to take a cabinet, or at least a drawer, into the store so they’ll know exactly what you need. It’ll simplify the process if you have the right material to work with.

Gather Your Tools

The project will be easier if you get your tools together before you begin. Waiting until you need a particular tool will slow the process down--especially if you have to search for everything you need as you go along. In most cases, you can do the job with a hammer, punch, screwdriver, and a pair of pliers. Depending on the type of lock you get, everything you will need to secure your cabinet should come in the package; the exact tools you’ll need will depend on the type of lock, and the configuration of your cabinets.

Follow Directions

Each lock you buy should come with all the material necessary to install it, except the tools you’ll need. The package should also contain a set of instructions that will help you install them. These instructions are usually written in an easy to understand, step-by-step manner. If you follow them precisely, you shouldn’t have any trouble installing your new locks.

Find the Knockout

Usually a cabinet will come with a place on its surface where a lock can be installed. This is generally referred to as a ‘knockout.’ The idea is to remove this space, leaving a hole in the cabinet, and then installing the lock in the area that has been ‘knocked out.’ The ‘knockout’ is placed there for that reason. Although some cabinets come with locks already installed, those that don’t are usually fabricated with the ‘knockouts’ in place so they can be added later. It will typically be easier to install the lock if the drawer is removed from the cabinet. You can set the drawer on a workbench, instead of having to work in the confined space of the cabinet.

Knock Out the Knockout

Use a hammer and a punch to remove the knockout from the cabinet. You can usually do this quickly by tapping on the center of the knockout. Removing the ‘knockout is almost always quite easy to do, because the cabinet is designed to have a lock installed--if you want one. In most cases, it won’t take an awful lot of effort to remove the knockout. After it’s been taken out, the cabinet is ready to have the lock installed.

Install the Lock

After you’ve removed the knockout, it’s time to install the lock. Follow the directions that come with the package so you’ll be sure to do it the right way. The lock will need to be properly aligned, and all the moving parts will need to work smoothly. Be sure to keep the bolt facing upward when you install the lock, and then use the clips to hold it in place. Before putting the drawer back in the cabinet, it would be a good idea to try the lock a few times to make sure it works.

Guest post from Nicky Shaw. Nicky writes for

Be Sociable, Share!
  • more How to Install Locks on Your Cabinets