Most common mistake made by customers is assuming all door hardware is made the same. We normally try to stay away from the big box stores mass produced lower end door hardware but we do understand there is a need for them. For this reason you might find a selective few on our online store we feel are an ok entry level as far as door locks go. With that being said we need to make sure customers do understand there is a grading system all dealers work with and those are established by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a globally recognized safety and certification organization. In the door hardware industry, UL grades are used to determine the durability and strength of various types of locks and other door hardware.
In this blog, we will provide an overview of the UL grades in the door hardware industry and what they mean.
What are UL Grades?
UL grades are a system of rating the strength and durability of door hardware such as locks, hinges, and exit devices. The grades range from 1 to 3, with grade 1 being the highest rating and grade 3 being the lowest. The grades are determined by the level of testing that the door hardware undergoes, with higher grades requiring more stringent testing.
UL Grade 1
UL Grade 1 is the highest rating for door hardware and is typically reserved for heavy-duty commercial applications. Locks with a Grade 1 rating are designed to withstand heavy use and abuse and are capable of withstanding 800,000 cycles of testing. In addition, Grade 1 locks must be able to withstand up to 10 strikes of 75 pounds of force and be able to resist picking, drilling, and other forms of forced entry.
UL Grade 2
UL Grade 2 is a medium-duty rating that is typically used in commercial applications. Locks with a Grade 2 rating are capable of withstanding 400,000 cycles of testing and are required to resist up to 5 strikes of 75 pounds of force. Grade 2 locks are also required to resist picking, drilling, and other forms of forced entry.
UL Grade 3
UL Grade 3 is the lowest rating for door hardware and is typically used in residential applications. Locks with a Grade 3 rating are designed to withstand 200,000 cycles of testing and are required to resist up to 2 strikes of 75 pounds of force. Grade 3 locks are also required to resist picking and other forms of forced entry, but drilling is not required.
Why are UL Grades Important?
UL Grades are important because they provide a standardized way to measure the strength and durability of door hardware. By using these grades, consumers can compare the performance of different locks and other hardware and make informed decisions about which products are appropriate for their needs. In addition, many building codes require the use of hardware that meets certain UL grades, so understanding these ratings is essential for compliance with safety regulations.
UL grades are an important factor to consider when choosing door hardware for commercial or residential applications. The rating system provides a standardized way to measure the strength and durability of locks and other hardware, allowing consumers to make informed decisions and comply with safety regulations. By understanding the different UL grades and their requirements, consumers can choose the right hardware to meet their needs and provide the necessary level of security and durability.
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