How to Install a Deadbolt on a Metal Door Without Hole (Full Guide)

A deadbolt is an essential security feature for any home or office, as it adds an extra layer of protection to your entrance.

Installing a deadbolt on a metal door without a pre-existing hole might seem daunting, but don’t worry! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through each step of the process to ensure a successful and secure installation.

Tools and Materials Required

Before beginning the installation process, gather the following tools and materials:

  1. Deadbolt lock kit (with template)
  2. Tape measure
  3. Pencil or marker
  4. Drill and drill bits (metal drilling bits)
  5. Hole saw (size according to the lock specifications)
  6. Center punch
  7. Hammer
  8. Metal file
  9. Screwdriver
  10. Chisel (for the strike plate, if necessary)

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Choose the Location: Select the appropriate height and position for your deadbolt on the door. Typically, deadbolts are installed 6-12 inches above the existing door handle. Use the tape measure to mark the desired location with a pencil or marker.
  2. Align the Template: Take the template provided in the deadbolt lock kit and align it with the marked location. Make sure it is level and centered on the door’s edge. Secure the template to the door using painter’s tape or masking tape.
  3. Mark the Center: With the template in place, mark the center of the deadbolt hole on both sides of the door. Use a center punch and a hammer to create a small indentation at the marked center. This will help guide the drill bit and prevent it from slipping.
  4. Drill the Hole: Attach a metal drilling bit to your drill and drill a pilot hole at the marked center. Next, replace the metal drilling bit with the hole saw (size according to your lock’s specifications) and drill through the door. Be sure to apply consistent pressure while drilling and avoid pushing too hard to prevent damaging the door.
  5. Cut the Latch Hole: On the door’s edge, use the template to mark the center of the latch hole. Repeat the process from step 3 by using the center punch and hammer to create a small indentation. Drill a pilot hole and then use the hole saw to cut the latch hole.
  6. File the Edges: Inspect the drilled holes for any rough edges or burrs. Use a metal file to smooth the edges and ensure a clean finish.
  7. Install the Deadbolt: Insert the latch bolt into the latch hole and secure it with screws. Place the exterior side of the deadbolt lock through the hole, making sure the keyed side is facing outward. Align the interior side of the lock with the exterior side and fasten them together using the provided screws.
  8. Mark the Strike Plate: Close the door and turn the deadbolt to extend the bolt. Use a pencil or marker to mark the door frame where the bolt touches it. This will help you determine the correct position for the strike plate.
  9. Install the Strike Plate: Using the strike plate as a template, mark the outline and the hole for the bolt on the door frame. If necessary, use a chisel to create a recess for the strike plate to sit flush with the door frame. Drill a hole for the bolt, then attach the strike plate with screws.
  10. Test the Deadbolt: With the installation complete, test the deadbolt to ensure smooth operation. If needed, make any necessary adjustments to the lock or strike plate.


Installing a deadbolt on a metal door without a pre-existing hole may seem like a challenging task, but with the right tools and a step-by-step approach, it is entirely achievable.

This guide provides a detailed explanation of the process, helping you improve the security of your home or office without the need for professional assistance.

Remember to follow all safety precautions while working with power tools and metal surfaces. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles and gloves, to prevent injuries during the installation process.

Regularly inspect and maintain your deadbolt lock to ensure its continued performance and longevity. By installing a deadbolt on your metal door, you are taking an essential step towards enhancing the safety and security of your property.

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