What is a backset?

Not sure what a backset is? Wondering how to determine your backset? It’s really pretty simple. The backset is how far back from the edge of the door the hole is drilled for your doorknob to mount through. See the diagram below:


What is backset?

If you don’t have any hardware on your door, just measure from the edge of the door to the center of the bore hole (the large hole where the door knob assembly is mounted). See image above for help. You should have either a 2 3/8″ backset, or 2 3/4″ backset. The most common backset is 2 3/8″ but 2 3/4″ is quite often found on exterior doors especially.

Already have doorknobs mounted on your door? No problem, just measure from the edge of the door to the center or highest point of the rounded plate behind the knob itself, like this:

2 3/8" Backset

2 3/8\

2 3/8″ Backset shown above is 6 little marks past 2. Shown below a 2 3/4″ backset is 12 little marks past the 2.

2 3/4\

When you measure your own knob, there may be a slight variation. Just pick the one that is closest (within a couple marks on the measure tape). The variation can be caused by how deep the installer cut out the hole in your door to install the latch (part that slides in the cross bore hole and pops in and out to hold the door closed).

You can get 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″ backsets for most any brand these days as they are standard backsets. Schlage, Kwikset, Weiser, Weslock and Sure-Loc use adjustable backsets, so as long as you have on of the two backset measurements you can adjust to fit what you have. If you are ordering Emtek, Taamba, Linnea, Nostalgic Warehouse, Grandeur or Baldwin brand locks you will need to specify one backset or the other.

Have a 5″ Backset? We can get 5″ backsets for Schlage and Kwikset brands, just give us a call to order.

Have a 2 1/2″ Backset and a box in your door instead of a standard latch? You need a mortise lock.