Through the Lock Forcible Entry: Key in the Knob Locks – By Chris Collier

There are several types of key in the knob locks on the market.  For the purpose of this drill we will review the Kwikset style locks.  Kwikset style key in the knob locks can be identified by the entire lock cylinder being visible on the front of the knob, not just the key-way.  Keeping through the lock theory in mind (remove the lock cylinder and replicate its action) we can reasonably expect that if we remove the cylinder we should be able to manipulate the locking device into the unlocked position.

The lock cylinder can be removed using a straight blade screwdriver to pry around the edge of the cylinder.  There is a small clip on either side of the cylinder that hold it in place.  The light prying force generated with the screwdriver is more than enough to pry the cylinder out.

Once the cylinder is removed look inside the knob and locate the stem that previously sat into the recess on the back of the cylinder.  Turn this stem using a straight blade screw driver or a pair of pliers to unlock the lock.  Once the lock has been manipulated you can turn the knob as you would normally.

This method of forcible entry is very quick (30 seconds or less) and creates very little damage  if you know how to do it properly.  I DO NOT let damage dictate my forcible entry tactics.  I force entry if the quickest and most professional manner that is applicable to the given situation.  If we are forcing entry into a building or area of a building then we must have reason to believe that there is some type of emergency requiring our services on the other side of that door.  If this through the lock method fails for some reason you cannot walk away from the door and just say “oh well, I guess we are not getting in.”  Having the irons available as a back up plan is always a must.

These and all techniques displayed by Brotherhood Instructors, LLC. are to be used only by emergency services personnel in the performance of their official duties.


  • Mike says:

    Do those clips break or can you pop that lock cyclinder back on when you leave, like screwing the cyclinder back in with a mortise lock? Obvisously if for a fire you could care less, but for something less like a fire alarm where you have reason to make entry but want to do so in a gentlemenly (is that even a word?) manner so that you can leave the door secure when you are done

  • Tim says:

    most likely they will need a new door knob, usually the clips fall out but if they don't the knob is scratched and the plate usually bent. they do this on purpose so their are "signs of forced entry" if someone does it illegally. however, kwikset is a pretty inexpensive lock, cost $10 to replace vs whatever the door would cost…(much more)

  • Chris Collier says:

    Tim is correct. Its about a 50/50 shot whether the cylinder will go back in or not. I've seen instances when the cylinder went back in and worked properly and others where it would not clip back in place. As Tim mentioned this is an inexpensive lock and can easily be replaced. Thanks for the questions and comments!

  • Mike says:

    My thought on if they could go in or not would be so we could secure the door and leave. I recognize that just like when you spin a mortise that the next day a lock smith will have to come out and fix the lock. Thank you all for posting answers and for the great training material.

  • Mike says:

    I'm noticing more and more locks that cannot be manipulated this way. I'm finding locks with the entire face as one piece, in the knob and dead bolts. Is there any way to manipulate these, like with an A-tool?

2 Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

Brotherhood Instructors Blog

We specialize in the basic fundamentals of firefighting. While we believe that hazardous materials, terrorism, emergency medical and the various rescue disciplines are essential parts of the Fire Service, we also think that the basic fundamentals of firefighting have been overlooked in recent years. We are here to help turn that trend in the other direction.

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Firefighters and the Risk of Asbestos Exposure – Mark Hall, Guest Blogger
Being a firefighter must be real tough job, thanks for giving us an insight about the many risks in that field.
2014-01-16 09:04:59
carroll price
Power Saw Decompression Valves – By: Andrew Brassard
Some smaller chainsaws like the Stihl 025 are very hard to start because they are not equipped with a compression relief valve. Anyone who owns one of these saws will probably tell you that it was not as hard to start when new as it became later on. My theory, as to why this happens,…
2013-12-23 18:04:43
Chris Cahoon
Another Rex Tool Modification – By: Andrew Brassard
Andrew, I am looking to have this mod done. The first thing I need to do is purchase a Rex Tool. Do you recommend getting the original Rex and cut the handle of as you have done here or buy the Lil Rex and try to modify that version? Thanks bro, Chris
2013-02-03 15:34:13
History of Lock Pulling Tools
I cant believe how quickly things have moved on. Imagine how things will have moved in the next 100 years. wow. Remember cassette tapes... people will be saying.. remember ipads hahaha
2012-09-03 06:12:14
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Lawsuits The Best Asbestos Lawyer
Firefighters and the Risk of Asbestos Exposure – Mark Hall, Guest Blogger
[...] exposure, ask your doctor about asbestos, cancer and other health complications.Create a video blog Bruce Peters asked: Exposure to asbestos can lead to the development of serious health problems late...s, were exposed to asbestos at some point during their occupational history. A number of occupations [...]
2012-08-15 12:36:40

Photos from Past Classes

Visit Our Youtube Channel

Sign up for our Email Newsletters

* indicates required

FireEMS Blogs eNews

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter