how to remove cam lock fasteners


How to Remove Cam Lock Fasteners

Cam lock fasteners are a common type of hardware that is often used in furniture assembly. They are designed to provide a secure and tight connection between two pieces of material without the need for additional hardware or tools. While cam lock fasteners are easy to use and strong, they can be difficult to remove once they are installed.

If you need to remove cam lock fasteners, there are a few things that you can do to make the process easier. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks that you can use to remove cam lock fasteners from furniture, cabinets, and other items.

Understanding Cam Lock Fasteners

Before we delve into the process of removing cam lock fasteners, it’s worth taking a moment to understand how they work. Cam lock fasteners consist of two main parts: a cam and a bolt. The cam is the part that rotates and secures the joint, while the bolt is the part that fits into the hole on the other piece of material.

To install cam lock fasteners, you simply insert the bolt into the hole and then turn the cam to lock the joint together. To remove cam lock fasteners, you need to do the reverse: turn the cam in the opposite direction to release the joint, and then remove the bolt from the hole.

Removing Cam Lock Fasteners: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Locate the Cam Locks

The first step in removing cam lock fasteners is to locate them. Depending on the item you are working on, the cam locks may be difficult to see or access. Use a flashlight or other light source to illuminate the area and locate the fasteners.

Step 2: Loosen the Cam Locks

To loosen the cam locks, you will need to use a flat-head screwdriver or a similar tool. Insert the screwdriver into the cam and turn it counter-clockwise to loosen it. You may need to apply some force to break the seal between the cam and the bolt.

Step 3: Remove the Bolts

Once you have loosened the cam locks, you can remove the bolts. Use pliers or a wrench to grip the bolt and pull it out of the hole. Be gentle but firm, as the bolt may be tight or difficult to remove.

Step 4: Clean up

After removing the cam lock fasteners, you may notice some residue or debris left behind. Use a soft cloth or brush to clean out the holes and wipe away any debris. This will ensure that the new cam lock fasteners can be installed properly.

Tips and Tricks for Removing Cam Lock Fasteners

Here are some additional tips and tricks that you can use to make the process of removing cam lock fasteners easier and more efficient:

Use a rubber mallet. If the bolts are tight, you can gently tap on them with a soft rubber mallet to help loosen them.

Apply some lubricant. If the bolts or cams are stuck, you can apply a small amount of lubricant to help loosen them. Be sure to wipe away any excess lubricant before installing new cam lock fasteners.

Use a drill. In some cases, you may find it easier to remove cam lock fasteners with a drill. Use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the size of the bolt and carefully drill a hole through the center. You can then use pliers or a wrench to grip the bolt and remove it.

Heat the fasteners. If the fasteners are stuck due to adhesive, you may be able to loosen them by applying heat. Use a hair dryer or heat gun to warm up the area around the fasteners, being careful not to overheat the material.


Removing cam lock fasteners may seem like a daunting task, but with a few simple tools and techniques, it can be done quickly and easily. By following the steps outlined in this article and using some of the tips and tricks we’ve provided, you can remove cam lock fasteners from any piece of furniture or cabinet with ease. Whether you are renovating your home or repairing a single item, understanding how to remove cam lock fasteners is an important skill to have in your toolbox.


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