Is Lock Quality Dependant On Where It Is Purchased?

Being a locksmith company, we often get asked if lock quality is dependent on where it is purchased. In many instances, lock manufacturers have different lines of locks that they can supply depending on which company they are supplying to.

Big box companies in many instances, receive a lower quality line of locks from a manufacturer than say a builders supplier or a builders hardware store. A much better grade and design of lock is available through a builders supplier or a builders hardware company. Builders hardware and builders suppliers usually will supply locksmith companies and independent locksmiths alike.

That being said, the locks supplied by a lock manufacturer to a builders hardware or supply company are usually not available through big box type stores. The reason for this is that builders hardware or builders supplier companies are considered to be “Locksmith Supply Houses”.

Many deadbolt locks that are available through Locksmith Supply Houses are security feature rich and the manufacturers just don’t include these features in the locks that they supply to retail stores. Some of the features of locks supplied to Locksmith supply houses can include a tempered and hardened steel slip ring. It fits beneath the decorative trim ring that encircles the exterior face of the lock.

Some deadbolt and handle type locks are manufactured with 6 pins. This means that there are 6 cuts in the key as opposed to the 5 cuts in the locks that most retail stores carry. The extra pin makes picking the lock a little bit more difficult so your skill set must be better in order to be able to pick the lock open.

The locks that a locksmith can supply are a better grade of lock. Both the deadbolt and the handle type lock can be supplied with a solid brass type cylinder. The retail outlets carry locks where the lock cylinder and housing can be composed of any number or combination of materials like, brass, plastic, cast metal among other materials.

There are also different grades of locks that a locksmith can supply for residential or commercial applications. With the retail stores, they usually carry only one grade of handle or deadbolt lock and it is usually a residential type. A locksmith company can supply Grade 1, Grade 2 or Grade 3 residential and commercial application locks. The grade of lock that is required is relevant to the application.

A Grade 1 lock would generally be used in an area where there is high traffic and subsequently high use of the lock. A Grade 2 would be used in a medium duty situation and a Grade 3 lock in a light duty situation. Basically speaking, the grade of lock is a direct representation of the wear factor of the lock, that is, the number of uses the lock can endure before it begins to show signs of wear.


Security Article Written by: John Farquharson


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