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The ANSI Grading System For Door Locks

Tough-as-nails door locks are crucial for your home security.

An alarming number of burglaries can be traced to a lock that either failed, or wasn't locked in the first place.

The first step in choosing locks is understanding the grading system put into place by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

  • Grade 1

▹ This is the highest level of ANSI grades for door locks and is typically reserved for locks intended for commercial security. These are commercial grade locks and deadbolts that can be used in some residential applications.

In order to attain this grade, a door knob must withstand 800,000 cycles, six door strikes and a 360-pound weight test. A deadbolt rated as Grade 1 must be able to withstand 250-thousand cycles and 10 door strikes with a hammer.

Master Lock Brand Commercial Locks

Combining ANSI Grade 1 hardware with quality video surveillance creates a solid and respectable defense against intrusion.

Medeco High Security Commercial Locks   Arrow Lock and Door Hardware


  • Grade 2

▹ These locks are not expected to be as heavy-duty as Grade 1 and aren't appropriate for many commercial applications.

Described as meeting "light commercial" requirements, Grade 2 locks also exceed most apartment building requirements and typical residential requirements. This means that Grade 2 locks are not quite strong enough to be used on most businesses, but offer more protection than you should need at home.

Consider this ranking in combination with advanced access control. ANSI Grade 2 remains a viable choice for those with budget restrictions yet focused on security system durability.

  • Grade 3

▹ While this is the lowest grade of locks awarded by the ANSI, don't assume that these locks are low quality.

You'll find these locks most commonly in apartment buildings as they meet most residential building requirements. They are not as secure as Grade 2 locks and aren't recommended for use on your main entry point, but could be used adequately on secondary entry points.

It’s important to note that ANSI Grade 3 is higher quality than ordinary non-ANSI locks.

We strongly recommend you consult a qualified locksmith when evaluating ANSI Grade 3 locks as an option for your residential security needs.


These links open a new tab/window to more information about ANSI and BHMA (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association):


At Holder's Security, we'll help ensure you end up with locks that properly secure your home or business. We carry high-quality Medeco products and will help equip you with keys, deadbolts, locksets and keyless entry options. 


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