Understanding BHMA Ratings, So You Can Pick the Best Lock for Your Needs 

Shopping for a new lockset is a daunting process. There are a million options to choose from, and on first glance, they all look the same. Truth is, they are all different and most likely all have a different BHMA Certified ratings.  

As products get BHMA certified, they go through a series of rigorous tests for durability, finish, and security. Ensuring that progressive (A to C) levels of performance requirements are set for residential hardware. If a product is capable of meeting the specific performance requirements for security, durability and finish, it is given a C (Good), B (Better) or A (Best) rating in each category, based on how it performed during each testing phase.  Here’s what you need to know: 

The rating combination you choose will reflect the specific security, durability and finish needs for the specific doors in your home. 

The door you are buying hardware for can make a big difference as to what rating you would like. For example, an interior door will likely be used often. Meaning a rating in durability and finish will be important. However, since this isn’t an exterior door, security may not be a priority.  Here, you may opt for a rating that is A for durability, B for finish, and C for security.  

Exterior doors on the other hand are much more complex. Not only are they used often, but they are also exposed to the elements, and are the first level of security for your home. For these doors, you may want to opt for a rating that is A for security, A for durability, and B for finish.  

Where can I find these locksets and their ratings?  

Now that you know what ratings are and what they mean, the next question is, where do I find them? To make it easy, BHMA has a Certified Product Directory that showcases certified hardware – all you do is search. In the section “Select ANSI Standard from the drop-down list below:” you can scroll through and pick the options ‘residential locksets and latches’ or ‘residential deadbolts. Now you have a list of every BHMA certified brand, their product, and its ratings.  

January 8, 2024

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