Learning, Drilling,

How to Drill a Hole for a Door Strike Plate (5 Steps)

In this article, I’ll teach you to drill a hole for a Door Strike Plate. It is always advisable to drill a neat and precise hole before a door strike plate installation.

As a handyman, I have installed multiple door strike plates and have some tips and tricks I’ll teach you below so you can get it right. Learning how to drill a door strike plate hole and then completing the installation process correctly will result in a gorgeous front door with a new lockset. 

In general, you need to follow these steps to drill a perfect or near-perfect hole for the door strike plate:

  • Mark the edge of the door with the knob height measurement
  • Extend the mark with a square
  • Place the pilot bit from the hole saw and cut a pilot hole directly into the mark of the face bore
  • Cut through the door edge with your drill at medium speed
  • Mark the location of the strike plate
  • Install the door strike plate

I will cover more detail below.

Recognizing the Basics 

Before drilling a hole to install a strike plate on a door frame, it’s critical to know some measurements and dimensions of interior parts. These are essential to the installation process.

The knob height from the finished floor is the first and most important. The distance from the close edge of the door to the center of the knob is then measured. Referred to as backset, the first variable normally stays between 36 and 38 inches. To keep everything in line, you can look to other doors in your home.

On the other hand, the backset for inner doors should be 2.375 inches, while it should be approximately 2.75 inches for exterior doors. The backseat and knob height intersection is known as the face bore center. To enter the lockset, you must make a circular hole.

The second latch assembly hole is known as the edge bore. Many locksets have a cardboard template to maintain alignment between the two bores. Drill bits should be selected using the template’s specified diameters.

Getting Started – How to Drill a Hole to Install a Door Strike Plate

Now, let’s focus on how to drill a neat hole for the installation of a door strike plate.

The image below shows the tools you will require:

preparing drilling materials
Video | Mr Mac

Step 1: Make the Necessary Marks After Taking the Measurements

marking the door
Video | Mr Mac

The door should remain partially open. Then, to ensure stability, tap on one shim from each side. Mark the edge of the door with the knob height measurement.

After that, extend the mark with a square. It should cross the door’s border and land three inches from one face.

extending mark with a square
Video | Mr Mac

Ensure the template is properly aligned before placing it on the door edge.

Punch an awl or nail straight through the middle of the template face bore to mark it on the door. The same technique should be used to designate the door’s edge bore’s center.

marking the door for a pilot hole
Video | Mr Mac

Step 2: Make a Pilot Hole

cutting the pilot hole
Video | Mr Mac

Place the pilot bit from the hole saw and cut a pilot hole directly into the mark of the face bore. 

There must be uniform contact between every tooth. The bore can then be drilled after that. It’s crucial to keep the area around the cut free of sawdust. Thus, be sure to remove the saw periodically to remove dust. (1)

Stop when you see the tip of the pilot bit poking through.

Go around to the other side of your door now. You will use the previously created pilot hole as a template to orient the hole saw. Use that to drill the face bore.

Step 3: Drill a Hole for The Door Strike Plate Installation

drilling a hole for strike plate
Video | Mr Mac

Next, you need a 7/8-inch spade bit. Put the tip exactly where the edge bore mark is. 

Cut through the door edge with your drill at medium speed. Cease when the bit’s tip is visible through the face bore.

Avoid using too much force when using the drill. Otherwise, there is a possibility of over-cutting the wood. Continue drilling the edge bore while using caution.

checking the drilled hole
Video | Mr Mac

Step 4: Mark the Location of The Strike Plate

Make a cross mark of 11/16 inches or 7/8 inches from the jamb’s edge for interior doors, depending on where the lock bolt strikes the jamb. On this mark, center the strike plate and temporarily secure it with a screw. Draw a line around the strike plate with a utility knife, then take it off. (2)

marking location of strike plate
Video | Mr Mac

Step 5: Install the Door Strike Plate

You can now install the door strike plate.

installing the door strike plate
Video | Mr Mac

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) tooth – https://www.britannica.com/science/tooth-anatomy
(2) utility knife – https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-utility-knife/

Video Reference

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

| Reach Me

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