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August 11, 2023

How is door hardware graded?

While you are out shopping for a new lock, you may have noticed different grading on each lock. Wonder what these number grades mean? And how locks get graded?

Door hardware is graded by the BHMA (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association) The BHMA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private non-profit organization that manages and coordinates the voluntary standardization to develop and maintain performance standards for builder's hardware.

The two most highly recognized and widely accepted organizations for assessing the quality of locks are the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Underwriters Laboratories, an independent product safety certification organization.

ANSI standards set forth different product grades for door hardware products and these product grades are defined by performance benchmarks in each applicable standard. The purpose of each level is to help identify the quality and durability through a series of operational and security tests. These tests ensure the quality and durability of locks are within the defined benchmarks of operation and security.

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BHMA Certification

UL 437 is a security rating that provides a barometer for the security of a keyed lock. During the test, picking tools are used to manipulate the components of the lock device, which requires a high level of skill and practice. Our Weiser deadbolts, featuring SmartKey Re-Key Technology, met the UL 437 11.6.1 pick test, one of the toughest picking tests in the world.

According to ANSI standards (ANSI Code 156.2, Series 4000), the following standards are used to grade locks. Each grade specifies minimum acceptable requirements for operation, key torque cycles, pull strength, impact resistance – see the requirements for each test below.

The force to retract the latch is measured along with the force to shut the door. This to ensure it is easy to egress and close the door smoothly.

Safety & security
A high level of security is a must for locks and there are 7 tests to measure this.

Building Codes
BHMA locks are required to meet the essentials of building safety and performance, including emergency and fire protection.

The BHMA judges the materials used in the locks and latches to see if there is recycled content and recyclability. Ensuring that the closing and sealing of the doors are reliable also adds to a more sustainable product.

There are various types of trim which meet the ADA and A117.1 requirements for operable parts to be “operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist.” (ANSI 2022)

Finish tests include resistance to weathering, harsh elements, scratches, and light and they ensure the appearance also lasts.

You expect your door hardware to last a long time and be resistant to large amounts of opening and closing. Grade 1 locks, the highest grade, must survive a laborious test of one million rounds of opening and closing with a 10 pound axial load applied.

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What value does this bring to the consumer?

The process of certifying products is strictly voluntary, yet Weiser feels there is a certain responsibility to let consumers know what type of product they are purchasing, and the standards set by ANSI. All Weiser products are certified and tested.

Weiser’s low profile deadbolts are stylish and secure. With ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 security, an all metal construction and a Smartkey Security cylinder, these modern beauties are built to protect.

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