How To Install A File Cabinet With A Lock

a filing cabinet lock
Publish at Dec 21, 2022 By: Isaac Bell
Post View: 373

Storing documents of different kinds and importance is one of the most common ways to preserve information and data. As files and documents have a certain level of significance, you must ensure the safety of these documents.

A file cabinet will hold all your important documents and tidy up them. However, you also need to ensure its safety. What if your important business documents get stolen or lost? That's why installing a lock on your file cabinet is as important as installing locks on the main gates of your office.

It's understandable how crucial it is to ensure your important document's safety. That's why here's a detailed guideline for you.

Know how you can install a file cabinet with a lock on metal, plastic, wood filing cabinets, or any other cabinets.

Why Do You Need To Get A File Cabinet Lock?

If the lock on your file cabinet is broken, you could try getting a new one. You can lock as many drawers as possible without a file locking bar. In either case, the installation will take the same time, and the result will be a level for almost any business.

The steel bar is meant to fold over the front of the drawers like a lock to keep them from opening. Your choice of the padlock will keep it safe, so pick a good one.

Get Ready For The Installation

The locking bar comes with a drill bit and packs of wood and metal screws in the right size (3/32). Save these to install at a later time. You will need a drill, a screwdriver, and a marker.

Don't forget that the locking bars can be removed and back on, so you can always switch them. For now, please put it on the most convenient side. Make sure there's nothing within an inch of it. This is because the bar must be opened outwards for the drawers to open.

Putting A File Locking Bar In Place

a filing cabinet lock

The cabinet's locking bar should be on the same side as the hinges. Once you've made a choice, it's time to start.

Step:1 Start By Putting The Locking Lever In The Bar.

Hold the bar up so you can see the three holes through the hole in the middle where the handle will go. Put the black handle in these holes, flip the bar over, and use a big screwdriver to hold the handle. When the lever is placed on the cabinet's right side, it should rise.

Step 2: Put The Bar In The Same Spot As The Cabinet.

The outside of the bar should be flush with the outside of the cabinet so that the bar can open easily. Mark with a pencil or marker where you'll put the first screw in the top hole of the bar. Put down the bar and get ready to drill.

Step 3: Drill The Holes

Use the drill bit that came with the kit to make the first hole in the cabinet. Take your screwdriver and screw the locking bar when you're done. Please don't put it all the way; first, make sure the bottom is straight. Repeat step two for the bottom hole, and then use another screw to hold it.

Step 4: Put The Locking Bar In Place.

After the top and bottom anchor screws have been put in, ensure all the screws are tight. Put the last screws in place. Just drill through the right screw holes in the hinges and put in the right screws.

Using The Locking Bar For Files

To lock the cabinet first, lift the black handle, close the file bar, and lower the black handle. It will be fastened well.

Loop your chosen padlock through the top bar and lock it to keep the black handle from being pulled up. To open it, remove the padlock, lift the black handle, and turn the bar 90 degrees.

If you've never thought of using a locking bar to keep your files safe, but like the idea, you can always drill out the lock on your filing cabinet and replace it with something stronger, like a locking bar.

Have You Lost File Cabinet Keys?

If you lose your filing cabinet keys, you can get a key that will be keyed like your existing key by a local locksmith. To replace a lost file cabinet key, the locksmith can either cut a key by code or make a mold of the lock.

But cam locks can sometimes have their keys changed. If your locksmith has a pinning kit for that type of lock, they might be able to help. Even if this is the case, it is usually cheaper to replace if it is a normal cam lock.

How Do You Change The Lock On A File Cabinet?

A cam lock is the simplest technique to replace a lost filing cabinet lock. If your normal cam lock breaks, changing the lock on a cheap file cabinet wouldn't be worth the trouble. The cost of finding the right piece for your cabinet, buying it, and putting it in will be more than the price of many low-cost file cabinets.

However, changing the lock on an existing cabinet is best for older file cabinets, fire-resistant file cabinets, well-built file cabinets, and other high-quality file cabinets. Your nearest locksmith can order the cabinet lock you want and put it in for you.

Depending on how old the file cabinet is and what kind of lock it has, there might be cheaper and safer ways to lock it.

How To Put A Lock Bar On A File Cabinet

File cabinet lock bars go on the exterior of metal file cabinets. These are also locked using a padlock. Filing cabinet drawers can't open because of the bars. Such lock bars come in various sizes for cabinets with one to five drawers. They lock all of the drawers at once.

Putting Locks On Each Drawer Of A Filing Cabinet

If you want your drawers locked separately, you can often put cam locks in the compartment faces, which lock against the filing cabinet frame pieces if there is enough room inside.

A tiny piece to hold the cam extension could also be added. A cam lock is often inexpensive, and you can buy a new lock with the same key or with a new key, depending on the situation.

If you don't want to use a key that could get lost, there are types of cams that are combination locks. Such locks are generally a little larger than a normal cam lock. Yet, some people think the traditional ones are more convenient.

Ways To Secure A File Cabinet Other Than Using A Lock Kit

Use a hasp to join your file cabinet's frame and the drawer as an alternative to your cabinet key. 

There will be a hasp attached on the side of our file cabinet, and a side of it covers the drawer.

This isn't always the best way to set them up because they don't look very nice, but sometimes it's the best way to keep them safe.

There are also plunger locks that can make a remodeled cabinet self-latch when it is shut; however, some filing cabinets might not be able to use these. These, too, would be at the side of your file cabinet, which might not be the best place for them. It depends on where the filing cabinet is going.


Can the lock on the filing cabinets be changed?

The locks on filing cabinets can be changed.

A filing cabinet

How do the locks on file cabinets work?

Each filing cabinet lock has a tumbler, just like a door lock. The same thing happens with this tumbler. When the key is put into the filing cabinet lock, the teeth push and roll the tumblers into place, depending on the shape of the key.

Armor Locks Co. Can Help You Out

If your filing cabinet locks are stuck or you've lost your cabinet key, you should first figure out why. If you can't figure out what's wrong with your filing cabinets, it's best to take it to someone who knows how to fix it. If you ask Armor Locks Co. a question, they usually give you a clear answer. Please schedule an appointment with us before it's too late.

We are happy to help you with any locksmith service because our team is both friendly and skilled.

You can call us at 832-481-5030 or email us at for additional information. 

Article written by: Isaac Bell
I'm Isaac Bell, founder of Armor Locks Co. I founded the company in 2014, and we've been growing. We're a Houston-based locksmith and security services provider, and we're dedicated to providing quality service and helping people in emergencies. We still uphold our founding ethos of putting customers first, which is why we're one of the most trusted names in security. Thank you for considering me for your next project!