There are 3 Grades of door locks. It is a Good, Better, Best grading system. Grade 1 is Best, grade 2 is better and grade 3 is good. The grading system was designed by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA), which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). You will see the grading system written as ANSI/BHMA. The grading is progressive, meaning that as it progresses for grade 3 to 2 to 1 the requirements and standards increase.
For Grade 1 door locks some of the standards are:
- Latches of the locksets (lever and knob) extend ¾ inches from the door
- Latches on deadbolts extend at least 1 inch from the door
- These door locks can withstand at least 10-75 ft. lbs. strikes to the lockset
- They are tested to withstand at least one-million opening and closing cycles
ANSI/BHMA standards are more involved and detailed including things like the finishes. These standards extend to not only entry locks but also privacy, passage and storeroom locks. All having a different set of standards depending on the type of lock. In order for a lock to have a grade 1 rating it will be built with a higher quality grade of materials. The manufacturing tolerances will also be much tighter. All of this will come at an increased cost.
Grade 1 door locks are used in commercial and industrial applications such as offices, schools, hospitals, shopping centers and government installations. Grade 2 locks are used in light commercial and heavy residential applications and grade 3 locks are used primarily in residential applications.
Any grade lock is not only the lock itself, but also the strike, latch, bolt, screws and other hardware. How the lock is installed is very important and will maintain its grade. For example, if you take a lock that is a grade 1 and install it on a hollow core door or if you use half inch screws for the strike this will lower the grade. Any grade lock should be installed with the hardware that comes with it. safe cam lock
Normally grade 1 locks will be installed by locksmiths either employed by large businesses or contracted locksmiths. For everyone else like a small business or home I would recommend at least a grade 2 for all exterior doors. If the cost difference is affordable than go with a grade 1.
Like I have said in many of the articles I write, ask yourself: what am I trying to protect and how much is that or are they worth to me?
George Uliano is a security professional with years of law enforcement and security experience. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and Business graduating with honors. George holds three U.S. patents on different locking principles. This combination gives George and His Company Locking Systems International Inc the unique ability to provide its customers with the correct security at an affordable price.