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How To Replace a File Cabinet Lock


A major addition to office furniture are file cabinet locks. They are a simple and economical option for securing everything from files to personal belongings. However, what do you do if they break? Even though a file cabinet with a lock is nothing like a safe, people still may store something important or personally precious there. That’s why neglecting its lock functionality may be the wrong decision. Thankfully, it’s not a safe, so it’s likely equipped with a relatively simple lock. Let’s try to replace a broken file cabinet lock together. Sure Lock & Key has been in the industry many years and we are glad to try to answer all of your locksmith and safety-related questions!

5 Easy Steps To Replace a File Cabinet


Replacing a file cabinet lock is relatively easy if you can open the cabinet or the drawers and have the proper replacement parts and tools. However, you may still run into some problems, but a locksmith is just a call away if that happens. Don’t be confused or afraid to ask for help.

  • Step 1

    Replacing the file cabinet lock begins with removing the top drawer. You will need to open the cabinet drawer closest to the lock. If you don’t have a key and the cabinet is locked then you have several options. A big hint … many of these locks work by gravity, so sometimes, turning the cabinet upside down will open the drawer.


    Otherwise, you may punch through the lock cylinder with a regular drill bit. That should be done carefully so as not to damage the cabinet itself. After you drill the lock, the drawer should open easily.


    Use pliers to remove the C-clamp at the back of the lock. You will probably need a flathead screwdriver to pry the clamp open. Once you remove the C-clamp, disconnect the mounting link. If you remove this clamp, you will slide the lockout of the hole.

  • Step 2

    The next step is where the installation starts. First, you need a new lock for your cabinet. Specific instructions may vary, but general procedures are as follows: Before inserting the lock into the slot, ensure that the key is inside the lock. Since it is just a replacement, use the screw holes of the previous lock to put the new lock in place then insert the C-clamp of the new lock into the hole.

  • Step 3

    Hold the C-clamp flush with the inside wall of the cabinet. Insert the two prongs of the clamp into the pre-drilled holes on the lock body to lock it in place.

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  • Step 4

    Check the lock with the key before closing the drawer. For the file cabinet lock to work effectively, make sure that the lock is well aligned with the locking system on the cabinet wall.

  • Step 5

    Turn the key and check if the replacement process was successful. If the lock fits and locks easily, then the cabinet is ready to go. Enjoy! You’ve just done a fantastic job.

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Useful Tips on Replacing a File Cabinet Lock


It always makes sense to see if you can do it without injuring yourself or destroying the entire cabinet, resulting in the high cost of replacing the cabinet itself. If you feel that you can’t replace the cabinet lock yourself, it may be logical to find a professional. The tools you use in this job can cause injuries if used carelessly and unskillfully, especially regarding the cutting tools. That’s why we recommend that you get a locksmith to help you replace the lock quickly, reliably and safely.

As simple as the process of replacing a file cabinet lock may seem, things can quickly get complicated and go south. Think of a locksmith as a "simplifier." If unforeseen circumstances have made you in dire need of professional assistance, you may not have time to gather all the information and details you need. Depending on your needs, maybe you should skip all these steps and hire a commercial or home locksmith.

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Summing up


In conclusion, replacing your file cabinet lock is easy, as long as you have a licensed and trustworthy locksmith. That will prevent you from damaging your filing cabinet, causing you to have to buy a new one. When you need a lock, key or any security related service for your home or business, turn to an experienced team. This is what we do. It's been our job throughout 35 years of experience. We are Sure Lock & Key! Our commercial locksmiths and door security specialists can recommend the best solution for your needs from our extensive array of services, 24 hours a day, throughout the year.

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file cabinets

Why choose us?


Sure Lock & Key as one of the best-rated locksmith companies, aims to provide customers with the most professional house, car, and commercial locksmith services at honest prices. Having 35 years of experience in the industry, we always aim to be your best locksmith partner. Rely on us and make sure that we are the best.

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