Currently this is what my doorknob looks like below

I was trying to change out my doorknob and left both sides inside of the room but the AC kicked on and shut the door on me and now I am stuck outside of the room. I was wondering how I could I open the door?

My current doorknob state

  • 27
    It would have been a much nicer story had you been locked inside and the first thing to ask for help was diy.se
    – PlasmaHH
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 11:08

3 Answers 3


See the lock insides? That's a metal sleeve, with an inside sliding piece. That inside sliding piece is connected to the latch bolt. Push it to the left, and voila!

Lock component with where to push

Some additional details. This is what you see when you remove the knobs, shaft and escutcheons from a knob set. The central shaft, which is has a flat, vertical cross-section, goes through that D-shaped hole. Turn a knob either way, and the top or bottom edge of the bar pushes against that sliding piece to open the latch. (Hence bib's suggestion of using a large screwdriver to act as that shaft.)

I believe the smaller hole on the right is for a lock. Push a button on the (interior?) escutcheon and a round shaft is pushed into that hole, preventing the sliding piece from sliding. Low-tech, but quite functional.

  • 5
    I once got trapped in a closet in a similar situation, and the latch was stuck. Fortunately, there was enough space under the door for my wife to pass some tools, and I removed the hinge pins. Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 14:18
  • 5
    It took me less than five minutes to answer this, and it's now my third-highest-rep answer across all of Stack Exchange. Rep is weird. Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 11:12
  • @DanielGriscom It's a hot network topic on an otherwise low traffic SE site. As long as it keeps garnering upvotes it will continue to be shown network-wide. Enjoy the rep :)
    – Machavity
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 12:41

Lacking any regular tools, a pair of scissors works great.

enter image description here

Open up the scissors to a cross, and push one blade all the way into the hole in the metal part then turn. You can use the other handle as a lever if she be tight.

Hey presto, she be loose.

DISCLAIMER: Do not cut yourself or run with this tool, or use your spouse's good tailoring scissors.

  • 2
    This may ruin the cutting edge of the scissors. Don't use your housemate's good fabric scissors!
    – zwol
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 20:39

If it is accessible, take the circled part of the door knob and put it into the hole. You'll then be able to open the door.

diagram of a door knob/latch assembly

  • 2
    John Rawls mentioned in his question that he left both sides inside of the room he was locked out of.
    – Mark Booth
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 10:13
  • 2
    @MarkBooth He doesn't say that it's the only door handle he has available. Square spindles are standardised, so any door handle spindle will fit any latch. You could even take one off another door (although of course if you've got a screwdriver set then other answers give you quicker ways of solving the problem).
    – Graham
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 12:20
  • If he had a spare @Graham, do you think he would be asking how to open the door without a spare? As it is, I'm not convinced that this requires a square spindle, since the hole in the sleeve is the wrong shape for it. I have never seen Kwikset latch like this though, so can't be certain, but it looks like it might require a semi-circular latch: i.ytimg.com/vi/QXP_9iXv1L0/maxresdefault.jpg
    – Mark Booth
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 13:59
  • 1
    @MarkBooth I read too fast, sorry.
    – flaviut
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 14:38

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