What is ANSI?

You may have seen something like “Conforms with ANSI…” next to the UL rated sign on some of the commercial hardware. But what does ANSI mean? If you happened to read the UL Listing post you may know a little bit about it. It stands for American National Standards Institute. This is an agency that tests and sets standards for lots of things.

You may also see something about BHMA (Builders Hardware Manufacturers), which is a similar agency to ANSI. Unlike ANSI, BHMA specifically tests door hardware, where ANSI could be pretty much testing anything. To be a little more specific on testing and setting standards, ANSI grades the hardware for strength and longevity. You may have noticed that door hardware has different grades like grade 1, grade 2 and grade 3. Those are ANSI grades.

Grade 1 being the highest or the most heavy duty grade for door hardware. Grade one is used for public buildings, like schools or hospitals etc.

Grade 2 is considered more of a light commercial and used on apartment buildings, dentist offices or pretty much any office or business. For example, the Schlage F-Series residential and Weslock residential locks have a grade 2 rating.

Grade 3 is basically all the simple hardware you would find in the home. The doors at home aren’t used quite as often as more public places so they don’t require heavy duty hardware. Hardware like the Kwikset residential is a grade 3. And Sure-Loc would probably be a grade 3 if ANSI rated it.