Door Locks 101: Identifying the Parts and How to Replace Them Yourself


At the first sign of trouble with a door lock, most homeowners' response is to call a locksmith to figure the problem out and fix it. This is usually due to lack of knowledge of the different door lock parts so that even DIY lock fixing tutorials sound like gibberish.

Knowing and identifying door lock parts is important and quite simple really. So here are the main door lock parts you need to know and how you can replace them.

Strike Plate

This is the part of the door lock that is attached to the door frame. It usually has two or more openings to accommodate the latches, which is how the door is closed and/or locked. These openings can be round, square, or flat on one side and rounded on the other, depending on the shape of the latch.

Replacing a strike plate is perhaps the easiest task of all the door lock part replacements. It is mounted using only two screws, which you can put in yourself as long as you match the holes in the door frame to those in the strike plate correctly. Note that if you want to replace your strike plate, you will have to buy the entire lockset since it is not usually sold separately.


The latch is that part of the door lock that protrudes from the door and extends into the door frame to hold the door shut. It is the round, square or curved metal bit that fits into the strike plate, and when you turn the door handle or key, it goes in and out of the lock.

Most door lock problems have to do with an ineffective latch. It could be stuck or broken, causing the door either not to open or shut properly. Stuck latches can be fixed with a little lubrication but broken ones need replacing, which will require you to purchase the entire lockset as latches are not sold individually.


The cylinder is the internal mechanism of a lock. The intricate interaction between pins, balls, springs and the body of the cylinder determines the kind of key that can be used on that door lock, and whether the door will be locked or unlocked.

Most problems with the cylinder have to do with either losing the key or breaking a key inside the lock. For a lost key, it is easier to re-key the cylinder that to replace it completely but a cylinder with a broken key inside it will require replacement. You could do the replacement yourself but it is advisable to call in a professional locksmith to help you with that.


27 November 2015

Five Star Security: Options For Locks, Keys And Safes

As the manager of a five-star hotel, I face many interesting challenges. There's never a dull moment! One of my biggest problems is security. I spend a lot of time obtaining quality keys, locks and safes and ensuring they are well-maintained. There's nothing worse than a tired guest and a broken lock at 3 am! Over the years, I have trialled many different types of locks and safes. I also keep up with the latest technology in this area. I am therefore quite the expert when it comes to advising family and friends about the best systems for their homes and businesses. Given that so many people ask me for advice, I figured that there may be others who are overwhelmed by the plethora of options out there. This blog may give you some ideas and help you make good decisions in your search for superior locks and safes.