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How to Drill New Door Knob Holes

How to Drill New Holes for Door KnobsHow to Drill New Holes for Door Knobs

Every once in a while, you might find yourself with a new (or old) door that needs a hole drilled into it for a door knob (or a deadbolt). Today I have the perfect tutorial to ease your mind and help you learn how to drill a new hole for door knobs in your door.

While working on restoring the original 1900 portion of the Saving Etta house, I removed the original bedroom doors and took them to a local workshop to have the lead paint stripped off the doors. It was a pricey decision, especially because I didn’t know what the doors would look like when they were stripped. But, as you can probably tell from the photos, they came back more beautiful than I could have imagined! In fact they were so pretty, I didn’t stain them. They just got a clear sealant to protect them. The restoration company had to do some “surgery” on one of the doors, basically adding a new stile. When I received the door it didn’t have a door knob hole. But, I knew I could drill a new hole (if I could stop drooling over the beauty of the wood grain).

bedroom with 1900 wood door and glass door knob in the background

Doors this gorgeous needed exceptional door hardware. For that reason, I reached out to Schlage and asked them to be a Saving Etta sponsor. Luckily, they responded that they would be thrilled to send me door knobs and hinges for the whole house.

Two Schlage Hobson Door Knobs

While perusing the Schlage door knob selection, I was halted by these classic Schlage Hobson round glass knobs. The beauty in these knobs was unique and captivating. For an old look, I decided to pair them with the oil-rubbed bronze Century backplate trim.

with intricate details in the glass knob

The coolest thing about these knobs (besides the intricate detail inside the glass), is you can purchase a variety of backplates to compliment your style:Schlage Hobson Knobs with other Backplate trims

I loved the look of the round and square backplates, but felt the rectangle was more fitting for a historic house.

Reclaimed wood door with round glass door knob

Ready to learn how to drill new door knob holes in your door? Luckily, I’ve drilled holes for knobs in many a door and each time I’m amazed at how simple it is to accomplish with a good door knob jig. Ready to learn how to drill a new door knob hole? Watch this video or read the step-by-step tutorial below!


(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)


Measure the height of the door knobs on other doors in your house. Transfer this measurement onto your slab door.

Measure and mark door knob heights

Be sure to select the backset for your door knobs on the jig before you begin.

Selecting setback on Irwin Door Knob Hole Jig

Locate the latch face plate screws with your door knob. Use these screws to secure the door knob hole jig to your door.

Removing Door Knob Hole Jig

Grab your drill and insert the 2 ⅛” hole saw into the drill. Apply firm pressure as you drill the hole into the door making sure the hole saw is flat and not angled as it goes through the door.

Once the center bit protrudes through the door, stop and switch sides. Continued drilling through the opposite side until you complete the door knob hole in the door.

Small center bit hole drilled through door, switch sides to drill door knob hole

Now find the 1” hole saw and insert it into your drill. Drill through the edge of your door to create the hole for the latch. Use the same firm pressure and make sure the drill is perfectly perpendicular to the door edge.

Drilling 1" hole for latch

Sweep out any sawdust in your door knob holes. Remove your face plate screws from the jig and set them down nearby. Remove the jig.

Attach the face plate to the door using the same screws you used on the jig.

Attach face plate onto door edge

Using your utility knife, carefully score a line around the face plate.

using utility knife to score around latch plate

Remove the face plate. Use your chisel and a hammer to remove some of the wood material inside the marks you made.

Chisel out area for latch face plate

Now you are ready to add your door knobs and latch assembly. I have another video showing you how to install door knobs in five minutes or less!

Add New Door Knob Hardware

Feel free to watch that tutorial below:

Please excuse me while I drool over these gorgeous glass knobs I installed on the doors in the Saving Etta house. They have to be the most beautiful door knobs I’ve ever seen!


Sun glinting off glass door knob on raw wood door

Gorgeous Schlage Hobson Glass Door Knob

Door opening with ocean painting showing. Glass door knob with sun glinting on it.

Wasn’t drilling a door knob hole easy? I know you can do this (assuming you have a wood door of course.)

Disclosure: As a sponsor of the Saving Etta project, Schlage sent me the door hardware for the doors. I was not told what to write, all opinions are my own. 

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