How to Disassemble a Kwikset Key-In-Knob

Kwikset, once thought of as a bargain brand, has become a standard among builders. They offer one of the widest varieties of finish and style available. Among their styles, one in common usage is a key-in knob entry lock. This lock features a small cylinder lock in the center of the knob with a keyhole on the outside and a thumb toggle on the interior side. To remove the lock for replacement or re-keying, you will need a Kwikset cylinder removal tool.

Key-in knobs have a thumb toggle on the inside for locking.

Step 1

Locate and remove the two screws in the base plate of the knob on the inside. Pull the inside knob from the door to reveal the lock mechanism. Pull the outside knob from the door and hold it so that the tail piece, or spindle, is pointed toward you.

Step 2

Look at the bottom of the lock spindle, protruding from the door, for a small square retaining tab. Pry this up gently with the square end of the removal too, or a small screwdriver, while at the same time pulling out gently on the cylinder. It will slip out into your hand revealing the access hole to the knob lock cylinder in the center of the back of the knob.

Step 3

Insert the cylinder removal tool into this hole. Keep it parallel with the half-round tail piece to ensure it properly engages the retention ring. Press firmly toward the outside of the knob to release the retention ring holding the cylinder. Catch the lock cylinder in your other hand. Use a hammer to gently tap the removal tool if the cylinder does not slip out easily.

Step 4

Reassemble the lock in the reverse order. Realign the cylinder in the knob with the key hole vertical, the wider end at the top. Press it firmly into the knob, tapping it gently to set it in place. The retention ring will automatically snap back into place.

Step 5

Reinsert the spindle into its position, aligning the crescent shape in the knob. Press the spindle in firmly; the retaining tab will snap it in place.

Step 6

Replace the knob halves, aligning the spindle with the hole in the back of the thumb toggle. Insert and tighten the screws in the base plate of the interior knob to complete the reassembly.

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