Comparing Lock Grades – What You Should Know

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When choosing a lock for your home or business, protecting our assets is at the forefront of our attention. Many people assume that all locks are created equal so their buying decision hinges on the aesthetics of the lock sets but even though two locks may appear identical, they may not be of the same quality. Another consideration when purchasing locks is where it will be used. Exterior doors need different locks than bedroom doors. As an informed consumer, you should consider all three criteria when choosing a lock. Understanding lock grades can be a bit confusing so we are going to clarify that below.

ANSI Lock and Deadbolt Grading Standards

ANSI is the American National Standards Institute and as the name implies, they create standards for measuring and comparing the quality of locks. These criteria were designed to help the average homeowner understand and compare locks of varying security and quality levels. To keep things simple, locks are put into one of 3 categories with Grade 1, 2, and 3.

Grade 3 Locks

This grade offers the lowest level of security and durability. These locks are designed to meet the minimum security standards for homes. Even at this level locks must be able to withstand 200K opening and closing cycles, 2 door strikes, and a 150 pound weight test. These locks are often recommended for interior and light residential applications.

Grade 2 Locks

Grade 2 locks must be able to withstand 400K cycles, 4 door strikes, and a 250 pound weight test, nearly double the requirements for a grade 3 lock. These locks are often used in light commercial applications or in homes where greater security and durability is required.

Grade 1 Locks

These locks are generally used for commercial applications because of their superior durability and security attributes. Remember, a grade 2 lock must only survive 400K cycles, a grade 1 lock on the other hand must be able to endure 800K cycles. It also must be able to endure 6 door strikes and a 360 pound weight test. Deadbolts in this grade must be built to handle 250K cycles and 10 door strikes.

Choosing the perfect lock for your home can be a bit confusing and your security is the last place you want to take unnecessary risks. If you are thinking of replacing your locks or are looking for guidance on what type of locks to install on your new home or office, consulting with a professional locksmith can save your time, money, and ensure your get the best lock for your needs.