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 builders 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 manufacturer’s of door hardware offer products in all 3 grades. Locks are tested in multiple areas 2 of which are strength and cycle.
The Strength Test examines how much forcible turning a lock in the locked position can withstand. To be graded, a lock must stay locked after the minimum force has been applied.
- 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.
(See example images below for Key-in-Knob and Lever designs)
The Cycle Test examines how many times the lock can be operated before it fails.
- Grade 1 lock must complete 800,000 cycles.
- Grade 2 lock must complete 400,000 cycles.
- Grade 3 locks must complete at least 200,000 cycles.
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.
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