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The ANSI Grading System For Door Locks

Lock grades explained

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

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

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

  • 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.

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.

Master Lock Brand Commercial Locks

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

Medeco High Security Commercial Locks   Arrow Lock and Door Hardware


  • Grade 2

Heavy-duty ANSI Rating

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.

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!

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 could be used 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.


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.


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