Broken Door Knob with No Access!

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New Member
Jan 10, 2009
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The doorknob on my master BR closet is broken... the knob will turn but nothing happens. The door opens into the closet, so I cannot access the screws or the door hinges on the inside of the closet. The molding on the bedroom side of the door prevents me from sliding a credit card to move the latch. The knob has no lock, just a flat surface on the knob, but other bedroom doorknobs have a small access hole in middle of the knob to insert a small screwdriver or tool to open it from the outside. This knob does not, so I tapped a small hole in it & inserted a screwdriver - I can turn the mechanism inside but it won't free the latch. Tried WD40, but it didn't help either. There is also no release hole on the shaft side of the door knob to press to remove the knob.

At this point the only option I can see is to use a hacksaw to remove the door knob so I can access the hole and try to remove the parts with needle nosed pliers. I don't want to remove the molding either. Any other suggestions? Thanks!
Drill an access hole, then punch out the lock on the other side. Drill as far as you need to, then change the lock.:D
you may try a piece of vinyl siding slide the whole way through above lock and work downward on a angle so the the siding on the inside of door hits latch release with a little bit of persistence you will get it, if you don't have a piece of siding find a job site and look in dumpster you may have luck there.
Here's a real low tech solution but it only works if you have a decent gap between the door and frame. I've used two sharp objects on the actual latch where it goes in the strike plate. You simply use one object to slide the latch back into the door, the hold so the latch doesn't spring back in, then use the other sharp object to move it back a bit further, and repeat several times until the latch moves back into the door and you can pull the door open. I've also had success sing a piece of wire shaped like a boomerang, fishing it behind the latch and then pulling the two ends, one above and one below the latch, towards me to release the latch.
Its your call, when you can look in there you should see a crescent moon looking piece going through latch slide mechanism. This is where you insert a flat head screwdriver and turn clockwise. Good luck....
I just noticed you don't have access to the hinges :-(
I pulled the pins from the door hinges and tried opening it from the opposite side.
The hinges had to be bent with vise grips in opposite directions in order for them to clear each other sufficiently, and then the door pulled off.
Good luck!
Because it is an interior door, the handles are easier to remove or open. Using a thin piece of metal or the siding may be a good option it should push the catch so the door can open.

You may be able to pry the escushion off the door knob, then you will see the screws that hold the 2 sides together, drill those out and the door knobs will come apart leaving you with the mechanism to operate the catch.

The doors that have the little hole, the hole is to unlock the door from the outside but has nothing to do with opening the door (at least on all door knobs I have seen).

One other idea is to take another knob apart so you can see how it operates and you can gain some insight on how to manipulate it.

Good Luck!

Use a credit card. When I was younger and in school, my dad wondered how I got into the house without a key. When I showed him that my school ID worked to open a LOCKED door, he promptly changed the locks. Give it a try.

[ame=]How To Get Into Your House With a Credit Card When You're Locked Out - YouTube[/ame]

To get around the moulding, don't pry it off. let your card bend and flex a bit.
If drilling the knob dosn't get you there, I have two suggestions. Cut a hole in the drywall outside and inside the wall, reach in and open door. Or remove outside trim with a saws-all cut nails between the frame and the stud and remove the door.
Credit Card. Unless you have a dead bolt on the door, or the door jam is really tight, of which I have yet to see one that is tight enough, except on a RV trailer, I will walk through the door quicker than you with the door key. Yes I have proved my point with a few people who don't realize just how easy it is using a credit card. Use your deadbolt! Use a credit card that is not good anymore, use a little force and don't worry about the card, jiggling the door as you push the card into the latch. Also sliding glass doors, this trick aired on 20/20, if you do not use a wooden or metal pole to scotch the sliding door, I will open the door is a split second.
Oh heck ... Take a sawzall and hack off the doorknob. You have already ruined it by punching a hole in it, so you have nothing to lose. Once the knob is gone, you can turn the mechanism with a large screwdriver.