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How to Select the Right Commercial Locks for your Property

Whether it is a hotel, office, school, movie theatre, or a warehouse, you should not take its security for granted. Business owners and entrepreneurs generally spend hours designing a security system for their workspace. Fire and burglar alarm systems take a lot of preparation and work to install, and the same applies to panic buttons and intercom systems.

However, these business owners often overlook the criteria for selecting door locks that suit their commercial buildings. Most of them leave this decision entirely on their contractor, who mostly chooses and installs the door locks without discussing it with the owners. While the idea saves a lot of time, it may lead to many problems down the line.

What if your installed lock doesn’t comply with building regulations?  Does its hardware provide security?  What if you don’t understand the function of the installed lock?

That is to say, if you own a business, its commercial security should be your top priority. And when it comes to selecting locks for your commercial property, you must take things like handing, thickness, and lock clutch into account.

As selecting the right lock for commercial property is something that owners must not take lightly, we have broken down everything they need to know to make this decision.

Let’s begin with how to select the right lock grade.

Things to Consider when Choosing the Right Lock for your Commercial Property

·         Understand and Select the Right Lock Grades

You might have noticed a lock grade in new locks.  But do you know its purpose and function in the lock?

Lock grades are part of the BHMA/ANSI grading system. Manufacturers make and sell them within the US and Canada. Lock grades typically play an essential role in helping users choose the right lock system for their home. It is an indicator that tells you about a lock’s overall performance.

There are three types of grade locks, including ANSI Grade 1, 2, or 3.  ANSI Grade 1, for instance, is a heavy-duty lock for commercial uses. It is a strong grade that is predominantly effective for commercial applications. ANSI 2 Grade is more effective for residential security. It is durable and is suitable for light use.

Locks come in different varieties such as handle sets, deadbolts, keyed levers, and entry knobs. If you need a lock that’s suitable for commercial property, opt for a Grade 1 lock as it provides better durability and maximum security. Choose a grade 2 lock for the interior door. Remember that the type of lock grade you choose depends on how much protection you want.

If you are not sure which lock grade is suitable, it is better to consult a professional who can select the right lock for your commercial property.  Local experts can offer guidance on selecting the right lock grade.

·         Determine Backset, Thickness, and Handing of a Lock

Determining the backset of the door is essential to choose the right lock for commercial property. If you don’t measure the backset of the door before replacing the latch and lock, getting the right fit for hardware will be difficult.

The backset is the distance from the center of the 2-1/8 inch borehole to the door edge. Backsets are of two common types, including 2-3/8 inch and 2-3/4 inch. To choose the right lock, you must measure the backset by determining the inches from the door edge to the center of borehole. 2-3/4 inch is the standard type many contractors use on exterior doors.

Measuring backset from the door edge to the highest point of the borehole is easier. Once you know the correct measurement of the backset, you can choose the right latch size. The right backset is not too short or long and can help you mount the door hardware.


After measuring the backset on the door lock of your commercial property, you need to determine the handing, which is also called door swing. Know that it is essential to determine the right type of handing when you order the hardware for your door.

You need to know which side of the door the lock is on.  For exterior doors, stand to face the door on its outside. For interior doors, stand to face the side you use to enter. If hinges on the door are on the right, it is the right-side handing, and if they are on the left, it is left-side handing.

You can use one of two methods to determine the handing. For commercial doors, use the commercial method. You can determine it by opening the door and backing yourself to the hinge jamb. Then swing one arm the same way the door moves or swings.


Door thickness is the next thing you need to know to select a lock for your commercial property. You can hold a measuring tape to one end of the door edge and record the thickness. Don’t forget to gauge this edge on the frame of your door (jamb).  The common width of the door is 1.75 inches.

·         Look For Lock Clutch

The door lock system relies on a clutch mechanism. It has specific applicability and uses in conjunction with the lever handles. Manufacturers combine two rotatable assemblies with the help of a coupling pin. Manufacturers use another coupling assembly for exterior door handles. This drive assembly uses a motor that controls and moves the coupling pin position. Put simply, the clutch is a mechanism that provides a door with a robust locking and unlocking function. 

Its smart mechanism and features such as automatic locking, anti-panic egress, smart touchpad, and break-in damage alarm make it a mandatory consideration for commercial properties.  

·         Opt for Interchangeable Core Locks

There is no denying that key loss can be a major significant security concern no matter what type of commercial property you have. The problem has enough potential to reduce the use of any on-site lock.

Unlike more traditional counterparts, manufacturers design interchangeable-core locks to re-key without having to replace or change the entire installation. Many businesses and commercial properties need to re-key their door locks at regular intervals for security reasons. Plus, they utilize interchangeable core locks to save time and cost.

Moreover, when commercial property owners swap out the core of their door lock, it dramatically simplifies efforts to replace older installations. This makes it ideal for commercial property owners who have some specific security concerns related to keys that have gone missing.

·         Check Lock Keyway System

Whether you are replacing a garage door or installing a front door to your coffee bar, you probably like to keep the same keyway system for new locks. This is where you need to have enough knowledge about the lock keyway system.

The keyway system is a unique cylindrical design that operates the locking function of a commercial property.  The particular design often has a cross-sectional configuration or shape and applies lengthwise to its vital blade. Many people refer to this shape as the critical section or keyway.

The reason why it is an important thing to consider when choosing the right lock is because of the security it provides. The keyway restricts the wrong keys if anyone tries to insert it into the cylinder. That means your cylinder with specific keyways only works with the matching keyway.

·         Understand Door Strike

A strike is a primary component of the door locking system. It works with latches and handles that make the lockset of the door. The door strike is the strike plate or a metal plate with small holes. Key makers fasten it with screws on the frame of the doorway. They carefully align it with the lockset to give latch maximum space to sink properly when door flaps or closes.

For commercial properties, owners use an electric strike for better access control. It allows the door to remain locked on the outside and help prevent free access of the public.

·         Explore Different Types of Lock Functions

Determining different types of lock functions help you find out the best lock for your commercial property. Although there are plenty of lock functions, the vast majority of them use one of the eight mechanical lock functions. The knowledge of the right type of lock includes a basic understanding of deadbolt and electromechanical functions.

Some lock functions include an entrance lock that requires turning and pushing button locks. It uses the key to unlock the button manually.  Similarly, the storeroom lock is a dead latch bolt that people can operate with the key in its outside lever.

Furthermore, there are patio, privacy, and classroom lock functions that people can choose for better safety of their commercial property.  Click here to learn more about different lock functions.

Bottom Line

Overall, choosing and installing the lock is a significant concern, particularly for commercial businesses that need smart ways to improve the security of their workplace. With lots of resources to assist commercial property owners and businesses, people now have a better understanding of hardware options, different locks, and security solutions. Thus, the given information can help enterprises select the right lock for their commercial property.