How To Remove a Locked Door Knob from the Outside

Locked out of your own house? Don’t get frustrated. You can try picking the lock or use some metal tools to unlock the doorknob. If this does not work, try to remove the doorknob from the outside. Whatever you do, try not to cause damage to the doorknob.

Here are some tricks from our locksmith expert to try to remove a locked doorknob from the outside.

Tools required to remove a locked doorknob from outside

Basically, you must have some metal tools to start the process. These include screwdrivers, drilling machines, etc. If you cannot get hold of a metal tool, get a plastic card like a credit card, a coat hanger, or a paper clip ready. Apart from these essential tools, it is good to have a lubricant like WD-40 ready.

Unlocking a locked doorknob from the outside without a key

Before you try to remove a doorknob fully, it is wise to try to unlock it first. Start with using simple and basic tools like these-

Paper clip trick

Start by looking for a small hole on the knob on its outer non-locking surface. Inside this hole, is a small reset button. Use a sturdy paper clip and push it into this hole. Search for the button and press hard. The button clicks and your door is unlocked.

If you cannot find a paperclip, use barbecue skewers.

Coat hanger trick

For exterior doors that lock with a spring-bolt latch. In many doors, this latch grips the strike plate to keep the door closed. This latch may be inclined at an angle and have a plunger to prevent the bolt from moving.

If you have such a knob, see if the angle is facing you. Now you can use a metal coat hanger. Unbend the coat hanger and extend it into a thin rod with a hook. Feed this rod between the door and door jamb. Now rotate the rod in such a way that its hook catches hold of the latch bolt. Now, all you have to do is hold the doorknob as usual and turn it in the right direction. Simultaneously, pull the coat hanger towards you with gentle pressure. The coat hanger must grip the latch bolt and free it from the strike plate while being pulled.

Using screwdriver 

If your doorknob has visible screws, you can easily use any ordinary screwdriver to remove them. You can use a flathead screwdriver or a Phillips-head Screwdriver.

The Phillips-head screwdriver is a Star screwdriver used for removing screws with heads having a star pattern in their notch. This screwdriver is best if the screws are visible.

For the screws with a straight line or linear notch, the flat-head Screwdriver will do. This screwdriver comes in handy even if the screws are not visible. You can always insert the flathead screwdriver into the catch hold of the doorknob and pry it out.

Removing the rosette or faceplate of a doorknob

Inspect the rosette, faceplate, or trim plate. Some have visible screws while some others are of the snap-in variety without screws. For the ones with screws, unscrew using an ordinary screwdriver. If there are no screws, pry the faceplate open and the screws will be visible at the back for your or unscrew.

Removing a lever door knob without screws

A lever doorknob will have a hole near its neck. Insert a slotted screwdriver or an awl into it gently.  Hold the lever and pull it with the shaft. Now, the lever knob comes out fully.

Removing Kwikset doorknobs

If the Kwikset doorknob has screws, look for the hole in the neck of the knob. Insert a straightened paper clip into it and press till it clicks with a snap. Now, the knob releases and you can pull it out from both sides of the door.

If there are no screws, locate the awkward angle, insert an object and pry the faceplate to expose the lever. Push the lever down to free the entire knob.

Although all the above tricks look easy, they might cause damage to the door if you try them. Instead, call a professional locksmith serving Charlotte like A-Access Lock & Key and get the doorknob removed with efficiency and without a trace. Contact us today for any locksmith services in Charlotte.

Teddy Poulos, the founder and CEO of A-Access Lock & Key-Charlotte, is a highly respected figure in the locksmith industry, renowned for his expertise and unwavering commitment to exceptional service. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Teddy’s educational background in the locksmith industry has provided him with a solid foundation for his successful career in locksmithing. With hands-on experience since 1996, Teddy has established himself as a trusted authority in locksmith services, earning the trust and loyalty of clients throughout Charlotte and beyond. His dedication to excellence, reliability, and customer satisfaction has been instrumental in making A-Access Lock & Key-Charlotte a leading name in the industry. Teddy’s passion for innovation and his commitment to providing effective security solutions continue to drive the success of his company, ensuring that A-Access Lock & Key-Charlotte remains a trusted partner for all locksmith needs in the region.

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