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Commercial Door Lock Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need to Know

From building owners and operators to installers and integrators, anyone in commercial real estate should know a thing or two about commercial door locks. After all, they’re one of the most important components of maintaining a secure property.

So, if commercial locks are a mystery to you, keep reading!

After reading this guide by YH Locksmith, you’ll better understand the many types of commercial door locksets available and how they work. You’ll also learn tips for choosing the right locks for you or your clients’ buildings and discover the best commercial locks on the market.

What are commercial door locks?

Commercial door locks are any mechanical or electronic locks that are graded for commercial use and ideal for commercial settings, like offices, businesses, industrial facilities, and other commercial real estate.

In contrast to locks used in residential properties, commercial locks need to handle the unique demands of commercial real estate. Often, commercial grade door locks are particularly secure, durable, and convenient for several tenants — sometimes dozens or hundreds — to use daily.

About commercial grade locks

Commercial grades are industry standards that guarantee the quality and specification of commercial door locks. Lock grades help developers, contractors, locksmiths, owners, and operators choose the best hardware for their unique buildings.

Grades are determined by the Builders Home Manufacturers Association (BHMA). The BHMA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to enforce these lock grades.

Every commercial lock is graded based on:

  • Function
  • Application
  • Security
  • Durability
  • Cycles (how often the lock can be used before it needs to be replaced)
  • Material
  • Finish

There are three grades of commercial door locks.

Grade 1

Grade 1 locks are the strongest, most durable, and most secure locks available. These heavy-duty commercial door locks help maximize security and can withstand twice the amount of use as grade 2 or 3 locks.

Grade 1 locks are common in both exterior and interior doors in schools, hospitals, and other businesses where security needs are high.

Grade 2

A commercial grade 2 lock is a mid-range lock, a step down from grade 1 locks in terms of security and durability.

They’re most often used at:

  • Exterior entrances with low or medium traffic
  • Interior entryways that require high security, such as storage rooms with valuable equipment

Grade 3

Grade 3 locks are standard locks that are ideal for all other light applications. You’ll typically find grade 3 locks installed on doors in residential buildings, low-security offices, and low-traffic rooms like supply closets or break rooms. 


Commercial door locks are locksets that are graded for commercial use.

The Builders Home Manufacturers Association grades every commercial lock on a scale from one to three.

If you need high-security commercial door locks, go with grade 1 or grade 2 locks.

What are the different types of commercial door locks?

Now that you know about commercial locks and how they’re graded, let’s explore the various commercial door lock types.

The six most common types of commercial door locks are:

  • Mortise locks
  • Cylindrical locks
  • Electric strikes
  • Magnetic locks
  • Keyless locks
  • Smart locks

Tips for choosing the right commercial door locks

Now you know about all the different types of commercial locks. But how do you choose the right ones for your business, office, or building?

You should look for locks that are:

Secure: Regardless of where you’re installing the locks, you’ll want to maintain security. Unless the locks are for low-security supply closets, look for commercial grade 1 or 2 locks.

Convenient: Avoid clunky, cumbersome commercial locks that are difficult to use. Always consider the tenant experience when choosing locks.

Smart: Physical keys are a thing of the past. Today, most tenants seek smart commercial locks that pair with a mobile app, enabling smartphone-based entry.

Able to integrate with other access control technology: Chances are you have other access control solutions in your commercial building. So, improve the tenant and staff experience in your building by investing in commercial locks that integrate with other devices.

Get in touch with YH Locksmith to get commercial door locks installed in your business.

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