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  • Writer's pictureCustomer Service 24 Seven


Updated: Jan 4, 2019

So you are thinking about buying a new lock; might be for your house or you might be a business owner. However, you might not be sure which one will be the best for you because there are so many locks and brands out there. It's a decision that is hard to make and there are a few things you should look out for.

* In order to choose the right lock you need to understand the American National Standards Institution or ANSI grading system.

So we have 3 grades where grade 1 is the highest and grade 3 is the lowest;


Cycle test

replicates regular usage of the

lock x amount of times

and checks how many time

the lock can withhold.

* Grade 1= 800k

** Grade 2=400k

*** Grade 3=200k

Vertical Load Test 🏋️

replicates knocking the lock

off the door

* Grade 1=360LB

** Grade 2=250LB

*** Grade 3=150LB

Dead-bolt and strike impact test

replicates kicking the door in

* Grade 1= 2 blows 60 lbf

+ 2 blows 90 lbf

+ 2 blows 120 lbf

** Grade 2=2 blows 60 lbf

*** Grade 3=2 blows 60 lbf

Torque test

replicates wrenching the

lock off the door

* Grade 1= Knob 300 lbf

Lever 700 lbf

** Grade 2= Knob 150 lbf

Lever 450 lbf

*** Grade 3=Knob 120 lbf

Lever 225 lbf

Latch bolt strength

replicates pushing

the door in

* Grade 1= 1200 lbf

** Grade 2= 800 lbf

*** Grade 3= 600 lbf

So we can conclude that:

Grade 3 is good: It's light weight residential security.

Grade 2 better: light weight commercial and heavy Duty Residential

and Grade 1 is the best: Heavy duty commercial Use.

and how can I find the grade of the lock I buy ?

big box stores will have the grade under the product information, if not you can find it usually on the back/front of the boxing.

What is the price difference ?

Hard to determine specifically, branding and design can affect the price in addition to the grade of the lock but usually for the basic same style same brand the price difference can be as low as 10-15$ for a combo set of a deadbolt and door knob, upgrading from a grade 3 to grade 2.

Usually big box stores do not carry grade 1 locks the price goes up double or triple (depending on the brand) more than grade 2 and 3 locks.

What Brand should I consider ?

A brand does not always indicate how tough the lock is according to ANSI tests, a good example is to assume that a Kwikset is a simple lock and easy to force or break - wrong, a Kwikset is usually easy to force or break is because most people buy grade 3 Kwikset lock but kwikset come in modules that are manufactured with grade 1 ANSI standards we just don't encounter a lot of those.

*please note that ANSI tests do not include locksmith manipulation methods (a good example is lock picking and lock manipulation).

So branding can make a difference when considering other methods of entry, two locks of the same grade but different brand can be up to the standard but one is easier to manipulate than the other.

If you are still not sure, contact your local locksmith!

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