What Is A Door Lock Backset?

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You may have heard the term, door lock backset, but do you know what it means? You may think that you know what it means, and perhaps you do.

We are here to eliminate any confusion and give you some information about your door lock backset.

With that, you can better understand your door and how to protect your home. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

Door Lock Backset

Door Lock Backset

When you think about the look on your door, there are two main components. One part is the cylindrical-shaped part which goes from one side of the door to the other. This is the part which commonly has a keyhole on one side and a locking mechanism on the other. This part controls the actual snub which will lock the door.

The second part is the part which secures your door. This part connects to the first part and sits in the edge of the door. When the locking mechanism is turned, the snub will come out and extend into the door frame, securing your door.

When we are thinking about the backset, we need to think about the first part of the lock. If you were to take this part out of your door (you would remove both parts when you do this), you would be left with a cylindrical hole in your door, going from one side to the other. This hole is bored into your door to provide space for the lock.

The backset of your door lock is the distance from the edge of your door to the center of this hole. It is as simple as that.

Common Backset Distance

When we look at the most common locks, you will find that the hole bored into the door is roughly 2 1/8 inches. This will fit most common lock sizes. With this in mind, the most common distance of backset, the distance from the edge of the door to the center of this bored hole, is 2 3/8” to 2 3/4”.

Preparing Your Door

When it comes to putting a lock in a door or replacing a lock on a door, the backset distance is important. Modern doors also have a variety of ways to help you with this, from pre-drilled holes to guides.

If you are replacing a lock in your door, then you do not need to worry about the backset as you are going to use the existing one instead of drilling a fresh one. The only thing which you need to worry about here is buying the correct size of lock. Thankfully, most holes are drilled with the most common backset in mind, so you do not have to worry too much about buying the wrong lock. The same is true if you buy a door with pre-drilled holes. They will be the most common distance, and most locks should fit.

Preparing Your Door

Drilling A Hole

If you have a door without pre-drilled holes, then you will have to drill your own. Do not worry; this is an easy thing to do. Just remember to measure twice and drill once. Once the hole is drilled, it is hard to change it, so be sure that you have it right the first time.

We talked about 2 1/8” as being the most common size for your hole. You should first ensure that you have the equipment to drill a hole exactly this size. If you do, then you can proceed to the next step.

We recommend buying your lock first and drilling your hole second. Once you have your lock, you will know how far back you need to drill the hole. Consult the user manual and then mark the position of the hole. You should mark the position of the hole on both sides of the door to ensure that you are exact if you have to drill from both sides.

Our top tip is to drill a small hole through the door as a guide.

Once you have your markings, you can drill your hole completely through the door. You can then drill the hole for the second part of the lock. Again, consult the user guide for the lock. Once you are done, it should be easy to slip in the two parts of the lock and secure them to the door.

Follow our simple advice, and you can have a new lock on your door in no time.

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