How to Enlarge a Hole

It’s easy to drill a new hole, but how do you go about enlarging a hole that’s already there? This is a common problem when drilling a larger hole in a door for a new deadbolt or lockset.

To enlarge an existing hole:

  1. Cut two scraps of 1/2″ or thicker plywood, making them several inches larger than the hole.
  2. Mark the centerline of the existing hole on the edge of the door.
  3. Clamp the scraps of plywood above and below the hole.
  4. Extend the centerline of the hole across the top scrap of plywood.
  5. Measure from the edge of the door to the center of the hole, and mark it on the centerline.
  6. Chuck a hole saw in a drill and drill through the plywood and door.

Watch this video to see a simple way to get the job done in no time.


  1. Hi Bryan, Good question. You could use a similar technique as the one shown in the Simple Solutions video. Only instead of clamping the plywood piece over the hole, I’d simply screw it to the door’s edge. Transfer the hole’s two centerlines (horizontal and vertical) to the plywood and bore the larger hole with a hole saw or spade bit.

    Now, with that said, it might be faster to enlarge the hole by hand using a round (aka: rat tail) rasp or better yet, a round MicroPlane, which works like a super-sharp cheese grater. Since you’re only removing 1/16-in. of wood from around the hole–enlarging it 1/8 in. in total–it shouldn’t take too long. Just be sure to remove an equal amount of wood to keep the hole as round as possible. Thanks for writing and good luck!–Joe T.

  2. I have the same question as Byron Cole. I’m newly single and learning how to do simple home improvements. My first accomplishment was changing out old door hardware and rehanging them! I encountered a hiccup yesterday. I have an old (1955ish) linen closet door I have sanded and repainted. When I went to re-install a new doorknob, I discovered the latch hole is just a hair too small, probably, as Byron said, 7/8″. I have a drill, but not sure I have what I need to enlarge the hole.

  3. Hello
    How do I make a hole smaller. I have a sewing machine and purchased a table for it to go in however the hole is too big. Please advice. Thank you in advance.


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