November 4, 2013

Milwaukee Door Lock Installation Kit - Review

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I consider my front door to be one of my prized possessions. It's original to the house, just about 100 years old, and it's made of the good old heavily shellaced, tight-grained pine that doesn't exist anymore (with a casing made of chestnut...which also doesn't exist anymore). It's got that nice red look to it and it takes a good shoulder shove to get it to close. It's a great old door.

But because the world is a creepy place, I needed to put a deadbolt in it and that meant drilling a few holes. Installing a lockset from scratch isn't really a difficult thing to do, it's just drilling holes. But the placement has to be exact. That's where door lock jigs come in. Over the years I've proved to myself that I can indeed drill out for a door lock freehand, but that doesn't mean I want to suffer through the process each time. I really don't. It's tedious and if I can avoid it, I'll do it. I knew that Milwaukee recently designed their own jig, and they nicely agreed to send me one to test out.

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Milwaukee's jig is really easy to use. Just clamp it on the door, click it to the correct backset, and start drilling. The kit comes with everything, hole saws and all. There's even a depth stop on the hole saw so you won't splinter out the back of the door. It drills just far enough for the pilot bit to emerge, so you can re-center the drill from the other side and meet the cut in the middle. Also included are a couple smaller bits for pre-drilling the strike plate screws.

The best part of this jig is that the latch portion auto-centers as you clamp the assembly on the door. With this, Milwaukee has managed to completely eliminate the need for any thinking at all. It's great. All you have to do is mark the door height (and the tool provides a little viewing window to make that easier too).

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The first time I used it, the hole saw shaved off a little of the black plastic of the jig, but it really wasn't enough to raise any alarms. Just general breaking in.

The whole thing costs about $35 which is really worth it if you drill out one or more locksets each year. Why bother go through the hassle when it can be so easy?

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The one thing that the kit is missing is some sort of case or bag. Between the drill bits and all of the hole saw parts, there are a lot of small pieces to keep track of. But that addition would probably bump the price up above the $40 range which, mentally at least, is a big jump.

But basically, this is a fantastic nice kit that takes all of the pain out of a tedious process. What more could you want?

At Home Depot

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at November 4, 2013 8:18 AM

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Recent Comments

I have the same Irwin set, I agree the mortise router guide leaves alot to be desired. I like to use my dremel multimax and hand chisel instead.


Posted by: Kevin at November 7, 2013 3:35 PM

I own one of these as well. It's a great tool to have. My thoughts as I opened the package it was in was just the same, why no case or small zipper pouch? Would be nice.


Posted by: Matt at November 4, 2013 10:54 PM

I just bought and used the Irwin one a few days ago. It is a bit different in the mechanism. There is a slider for the backset. The sides are springs that clamp to the door. Then you put two screws in (which are later used for the latch faceplate).

It also has a little router guide and bit for a drill to outline the mortise the latch faceplate. The bit ended up chewing into the guide.


Posted by: Tom at November 4, 2013 2:39 PM
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