Understanding Lockset Grades

Founded in 1925 as the Hardware Manufacturers’ Statistical Association, now known as the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association, BHMA took a leadership role in developing standards for builders hardware to ensure quality and performance.

Hardware is a key element in buildings as door openings provide means of egress, security and building accessibility for people with physical disabilities. BHMA developed a minimum performance grading system for locksets. This grading system is also accredited by the America National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private, non-profit organization that coordinates the voluntary standardization in developing and maintaining performance standards for builder’s hardware.

Grade 1 is the highest performing rating. A Grade 1 lock must be capable of performing through 800,000 latches and unlatches without failure. It must withstand 700 lbs of force per inch for lever locks. Typically used in commercial high traffic areas or door openings that will get a lot of abuse.

Grade 2 is a medium grade and capable of operating through 400,000 cycles while withstanding 450 lbs of force per inch for lever locks. A good choice for light commercial areas.

Grade 3 is the lowest grade. It must operate for a minimum of 200,000 cycles and withstand 225 lbs of force per inch for lever locks. This grade is typically for residential applications.

Buildings frequently use both Grade 1 and Grade 2 locksets. Entry doors and rooms with high dollar items would typically use Grade 1. Another use would be high abuse doors – think schools. Office doors, teacher’s lounge bathroom are examples of where a Grade 2 lock might fit.

To make it easy to determine our locks Grade all of our locksets have the Grade number included in the description of the lock. We also have the certifications numbers listed under the Certifications heading and a photo of the BHMA logo noted also. Of course if you have any questions please feel free to call our customer service department.

Proper installation is essential in hardware performing how it was designed and intended. Please make sure to read the instructions and install accordingly. If a specific door opening has had locks not perform well consider using a higher grade lock.

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