How to Add a Lock to a Cabinet Door

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Securing items, such as toxic chemicals or medications, from children in the home or locking away critical files from prying eyes in the office are some of the reasons to install locks on your cabinets. Adding a lock to a cabinet door secures the door and keeps those without keys out. Cam locks are available for different door thicknesses and in different cam lengths, giving you the ability to find a lock to best suit your cabinet door.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Cam lock
  • Drill
  • Assorted wood-spade bits
  • Phillips or slotted screwdriver

Measure the width of your cabinet opening and the width of your cabinet door. Subtract the width of the opening from the width of the door to determine how far your cabinet door extends past the cabinet opening. Place a mark on the exterior cabinet door where the interior cabinet opening begins. This lets you know where you can safely drill a hole for the cam lock without hitting the cabinet base.

Place a mark on the face of the cabinet where you intend to install the cabinet lock. Measure the cam, or locking arm, to make sure it is long enough to reach past the opening of the cabinet when the lock is installed.

Check your measurement once more before creating the hole for your lock. Drill a hole through the cabinet door with a wood-spade bit equal to the size of the lock cylinder.

Remove the screw from the back of the lock holding the cam to the back of the cylinder. Turn the locknut counterclockwise to remove it from the cylinder.

Slide the cabinet lock through the hole you drilled in the cabinet door. Tighten the locknut onto the lock cylinder to secure it in place. Place the cam on the back of the lock and secure it with the screw you previously removed.

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