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Inside my house, the strike plates are T-shaped and the protruding tongue sticks out 10-13 mm (3/8"-1/2").

enter image description here

Occasionally someone gets their clothing caught on the strike plate.

It seems to me that these would do their job just as well if I cut the tongue nearly flush with the wood or bent the tongue far enough back that they wouldn't catch on clothing.

Is this commonly done?

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Cutting it would be okay so long as you keep enough of the bend for it to function properly. Having said that, the tab on that strike looks exceptionally long to me. You might want to see if you can pick up a new one that has a more appropriately sized tab, it would be way easier than modifying the old one.

  • Yes that does have an "extended lip". Definitely NOT standard size. It could be cut or bent back, either one may look a little rougher than a new properly sized one. A few bucks a piece will fix it readily. – Jack Nov 17 '14 at 2:36
  • it also doesn't seem to be fitter properly, – ratchet freak Nov 17 '14 at 9:59
  • Correct, it needs to be finished setting it in place, the lip and edge are not cut in flush. – Jack Nov 17 '14 at 16:46
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The strike plate that you have looks like a very odd ball unit. It is either specially made for a specific application and misapplied here OR is some artsy piece of hardware that is a PITA (as you have found out).

You should remove one and take it with you to the hardware or big-box store for size reference. Then look for a much more conventional type of strike plate as shown below:

enter image description here

As you can see this type of strike plate has nice curved edges that really help keep it from getting caught on clothing and other things. Installing this type will require that you modify the shape of the inset in the door frame a small amount so that it can seat properly. The normal tool used for this is a good sharp wood chisel.

  • Be careful using these as a replacement, they are cheaper, will do the job, but the biggest part of the "tee" profile cutout of the old strike will show beyond the new one. I have had that happen on many occasion when the strike has been replaced with a different style. – Jack Nov 17 '14 at 2:47
  • @Jack - From the look of the picture, posted by the OP, it shows that the tab of the "T" was never inset as much as it maybe should have been. For the pictured door jamb at least the thinner (more conventional) strike plate would probably inset right nicely. – Michael Karas Nov 17 '14 at 4:59
  • @Jack - Although it may be hard to tell. The pictured strike plate may actually have been bent out toward the door by somebody's sturdy set of clothing getting caught. – Michael Karas Nov 17 '14 at 5:02
  • I seen the edge strike not being cut in too. That will throw it out more than it should be, but it truly is an extended lip strike. That one is made to protect thick edged trim or small jamb extension applied to the wrong side of the door. – Jack Nov 17 '14 at 16:41
  • @Jack - You are totally right about the proper usage model of the extended tab type of strike plate. But does seem to be totally misapplied in the OPs picture. – Michael Karas Nov 17 '14 at 20:23
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In the end I just marked the frame edge on each one, removed them and carefully bent them in a vice with a rubber mallet so that the tip of the metal tongue was flush with the woodwork when refitted. They work well and don't look especially weird.

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