Lock Grades

Why Should I Buy Locks by Grade Instead of Name Brand?

Door locks are tested for their construction and durability and separated into 3 different grades. It's important to understand the difference between these grades. Locks are tested and assigned to a grade by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA). The BHMA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop and maintain performance standards for builder’s hardware. For most consumers, shopping for a new lock can be as basic as selecting the right color. A good rule of thumb is not to just look for a brand or design but to first look at the grading of the hardware. Most manufacturers of door hardware offer products in all 3 grades. Locks are tested in multiple areas 2 of which are strength and cycle.

Grade 1- This is a heavy-duty commercial security lock. It is specifically designed for high traffic and superior security. As the strongest grade, it can be used for residential applications too, but it is predominantly found in commercial and industrial applications.

What is the difference between grade 1 and grade 2 locks?
Grade 1 requires a key in knob must hold up to 300 lb-in and a lever lock must withstand 450 lb-in. Grade 2 requires a key in knob, must hold up to 150 lb-in and a lever must hold up to 225 lb-in. Grade 3 requires a key-in-knob to withstand at least 120 lb-in and a lever lock must withstand at least 180 lb-in.
Grade 1: Commercial, highest grade security and durability.
Grade 2: Residential, with excellent security and durability.
Grade 3: Residential, minimum acceptable grade.

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Most commercial applications require either grade 1 or grade 2 locking hardware. Grade 1 not only meets commercial building requirements; it also provides the best security available against vandalism and heavy usage. Grade 2 meets light commercial requirements and exceeds residential building requirements. These locks are adequate for lighter duty doors where security is less of an issue. They will stop unauthorized personnel from walking through the door, but will have less of an effect on deliberate force than grade 1 products. When shopping by grade instead of name brand, often a consumer will find there is a small difference in the price between a well-advertised brand name grade 3 and a less advertised grade 2 lock. Come by and visit our shop and look at the door hardware we have in stock next time you need a lock instead of going straight to the big box store. When you see and feel the difference between the grades of hardware; we feel sure you will also agree that grade is far more important than name brand.

Our technicians are ready to assist and advise with the best option.
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*Cylindrical Levers
*Cylindrical Knobs
*Tubular Locks
*Door Closers
*Interchangeable Core
*Key Systems
*Exit Devices
*Door Operators
*Exit Alarms
*Mortise Locks


*Grade 1 Commercial Keyed Locks
Keyed entry is for exterior doors. Locks with this function have a keyed cylinder facing the outside of the home and a thumbturn on the interior. Lock the door using a push button on the inside of the door, or with a key on the outside of the door.

*Grade 1 Commercial Privacy Locks
PRIVACY SETS are often used for single-occupant restrooms or dressing rooms. They can be locked from the inside with a thumbturn or push button/ turn for privacy, and they are typically unlocked from the outside using a tool rather than a key.

*Grade 1 Commercial Passage Knobs and Levers
The passage/hall/closet function is ideal for doors in hallways, closets, and other rooms where a key is not necessary. The lock is freely operational from both sides of the door at all times.

*Grade 1 Commercial Dummy Knobs and Levers
When locked from the inside there is NO ACCESS from the outside. Dummy - Used on fixed (non-operating) doors and sometimes on closet doors. These handles do not operate, they stay in a fixed position, no latch is provided or normally needed.

*Grade 1 Commercial Classroom Locks
Classroom Function. A storeroom function always requires a key to retract the latch and enter the room. A classroom lock can be locked or unlocked using a key in the outside lever. For both functions, the inside lever always allows free egress.

*Grade 1 Commercial Storeroom Locks
Storeroom locks are used when the outside lever should be locked at all times. A key is used to retract the latchbolt and open the door; when the key is removed the door is locked on the outside. There is no means to lock/unlock the door from the inside


Three standard grades
The grade specified according to the standards of ANSI/BHMA indicate the security and durability of the lockset.

Grade 1
Commercial, highest grade security and durability.
Grade 2
Residential, with excellent security and durability.
Grade 3
Residential, minimum acceptable grade.
Two lockset mechanisms
The lockset's latching (resp., locking) mechanism may be of the mortise or cylindrical type.[3] The mortise mechanism resides in a (usually metal) box, requiring for installation a rectangular cavity mortised into the door. The cylindrical mechanism is typically installed into the door via a cavity that can be simply bored into the door, say with a hole saw.

Two types of latches
A lockset may incorporate a latch bolt, a deadbolt, or may integrate both into a single lockset.

Latch bolt
The latch bolt is spring-loaded, allowing the door to be closed without first retracting the bolt. In addition, the bolt may be fitted with a guardbolt, which is arranged to prevent the unwanted retraction of the latch bolt by an intruder; in this case the latch bolt is called a deadlocking latch bolt. There may be a provision on the inside handle to disable (lock) the outside handle from operating the latch bolt; this is referred to in the table below as the "inside locking mechanism". This mechanism may consist of a push button or turn button in the inside handle.

A deadbolt may be projected (thrown) only once the door is in the closed position; it will resist being forcibly retracted once it is in its projected position, hence is known as a deadlock. If it is projected or retracted by a handle (rather than by a key), that handle is referred to in the table below as a "thumbturn".

Keyed and non-keyed locksets
A lockset may be fitted with a keyable lock on inside, on outside, or not at all, the latter being known as a non-keyed lockset. If the lockset has a single keyed side, it is called a keyed, single-cylinder lockset, if both, a keyed, double-cylinder lockset. In this aspect, the word "cylinder" refers to any type of keyed cylinder lock, rather than to the type of mechanism of the lockset.

Door function
Locksets come in many variant types, each appropriate to a particular use.[4] Lockset manufacturers may describe a lockset product in terms of how a door is operated by a user, while ANSI/BHMA assign standard alphanumeric codes to the function of a lockset.[5][6][7] For accurate and precise descriptions, the standard function code should be used when specifying a lockset.

Closet door
May use a lockset consisting of two operating handles, both of which are never locked. A cylindrical mechanism lockset on such a door would be given the ANSI code F75, a mortised lockset F01.

A lockset for such a door typically includes a provision to lock from the inside, preserving the privacy of the occupant, along with a means of unlocking from the outside in case of emergency (lockset F76B/F19).

Office Door
A typical use case occurs upon departing the office: the user pushes a button on the inside handle, locking the door, then pulls the door shut behind. The door must now be opened with a key. The F82(F04) function works for this case.

Server Room
For enhanced security, the addition of a deadbolt is useful. The F88/F09 "Entrance" function allows the door to be locked from the outside with a key, while still allowing people inside to freely leave without a key.

Break Room
Door may be specified as non-locking; the F75/F01 "Passage" function serves the purpose.

Medical Storage Closet
Door should be locked at all times, calling for the F86/F07 "Storeroom" function.

Classroom function
Designated F84/F05, which allows occupants out of the room regardless if the door is locked. In the wake of school shootings, the F110 lockset may be desirable: it allows the outside handle to be locked by using a key on the inside, but still allows occupants free egress.
ANSI/BHMA door function codes
The latch bolt may be specified as the deadlocking type; if so, the fact is explicitly stated.
A deadbolt, if present, automatically deadlocks when fully projected.
In the table below, "handle" may refer to either a lever or a knob; the former is preferred equipment for usability sake. Some manufacturers refer to "trim".
"Inoperable" may be considered synonymous with "locked"; the locked handle may be immovable, or it may freely turn but without opening the door. For some manufacturers' locksets, a locked handle is immoveable, and they use the term "rigid" in referring to a handle that is locked.
The inside handle may have an affordance for locking the latch bolt: it may be a push button, a turn button, or may operate in both modes. It is referred to in the table as the "inside locking mechanism".
There may be an (inside) affordance to project or retract the deadbolt; it is referred to in the table below as a "thumbturn".
In some lockset functions, the inside handle retracts the latch (and deadbolt, if present) even when the door is locked; this feature is intended to allow those inside to open the door without difficulty under possible emergency circumstances.
In some lockset functions, operating the inside handle or closing the door has the effect of canceling the lock on the outside handle; this feature may be thought of as protecting the user from inadvertently locking him- or herself out.

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