Our Family Protecting Your Family Since 1959

Get a free quote on security services and products from Holders
Call Holder's Security
Call Holder's Security

The ANSI Grading System For Door Locks

ANSI grading explained

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

Locks that failed or weren't locked in the first place have caused an alarming number of burglaries.

The first step in choosing locks is understanding the grading system put in place by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The institute is a private non-profit that helps create standards for many products.

When you see packaging bearing “ANSI Grade 3” or “2” or “1”, those numbers on door locks and deadbolts are a collaboration between ANSI and the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association.

  • Grade 1

Top ANSI Lock Grade

Protects business or home

▹ This is the highest level of ANSI grades for door locks. It is often reserved for locks intended for commercial security. But, these grade locks and deadbolts are also useful in some residential applications. Please note the difference between commercial and residential applications is not functional. It is more a matter of budget, legal requirements, and the owner’s willingness to invest in higher quality.

To earn 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 withstand 250-thousand cycles and 10 door strikes with a hammer. The ANSI grading system has endured for decades. It is a proven way of setting professional standards of durability.

Master Lock Brand Commercial Locks - ANSI grading

So, combining ANSI Grade 1 hardware with video surveillance creates a solid defense against intrusion.

Some consumers say it’s not always easy to locate Grade 1 locks. This may be a result of the high volume of Grade 2 and Grade 3 locks sold at a lower price.

Correct mounting is essential. If you believe your door frame is not particularly thick, ask for 3-inch screws to secure your lock to the 2×4 wooden stud.

Medeco High Security Commercial Locks - ANSI grading   Arrow Lock and Door Hardware - ANSI grading


  • Grade 2

Heavy-duty status in ANSI Grading System

Durable security grade

▹ These locks are not expected to be as heavy-duty as Grade 1. Therefore, they may not be appropriate for many commercial applications.

Described as "light commercial," Grade 2 locks also exceed most apartment building requirements. The also exceed typical residential requirements. As a result, Grade 2 locks are not quite strong enough for most businesses. On the other hand, they offer more protection than common home locks.

“Most burglars strike between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, and around 34% enter through the front door,” according to Emily Ferron writing at safety.com. “These surprising statistics can be chalked up to the fact that it’s easy to slip into an unsecured door when most people are busy at school or work.”

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

  • Grade 3

ANSI Residential

Meets basic requirements

▹ While this is the lowest grade of locks set by the ANSI, don't assume that these locks are low quality! ANSI grading represents decades of hard work and research by security specialists.

DoorSecurityGroup.com points out that door locks are graded with specific criteria that has earned industry-wide respect:
“The handle or lever of a lockset is graded using the same system, however the important part of the lockset is the deadbolt. The deadbolt is the part of your lockset that deters a break-in.”

You'll find these locks in apartment buildings; they meet most residential building requirements.
These products are not as secure as Grade 2 locks and aren't recommended for use on your main entry point. Grade 3 locks are acceptable on secondary entry points.

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

Please consult a locksmith when evaluating ANSI Grade 3 for residential security needs.


Door functions – ANSI grading

“Locksets come in many variant types, each appropriate to a particular use. 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. 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.

Door functions list from wikipedia.org

These links show more information about ANSI and BHMA (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association):

At Holder's Security, we'll help you find locks to secure your home or business in Tulsa or NE Oklahoma. We carry high-quality Medeco products, as well as keys, deadbolts, locksets and keyless entry options.


Find out more!      

Tulsa Oklahoma flag - Holder's Total Security - home and business


PLEASE give Holder’s a good review!