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A156.11 - 2024 Cabinet Locks

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American National Standard for Cabinet Locks

Standard ANSI/BHMA A156.11-2024 establishes requirements. This standard establishes requirements for Locks used on Cabinets. Cycle tests, operational tests, and strength tests. For further information, consult the full standard, ANSI/BHMA A156.11 for Cabinet Locks.

BHMA has created this series of Hardware Highlights to provide useful, accessible information about builders hardware for anyone with an interest in devices that hang, control, secure, and trim the doors. BHMA is the trade association which represents almost all of the North American manufacturers of builders hardware. One of its main activities since 1983 has been the development and maintenance of ANSI-approved standards for 35 separate product categories.

Product Performance: Purchasers of cabinet locks certified to A156.11 ( can be assured products will perform to their expectations.

Below are an explanation and some examples of the evaluations conducted for certification:


There is a large variety of cabinet locks covered, including: cam, chest, drawer, cabinet door, file cabinet, lever and tee handle, locker, and sliding door locks. Applicability of the tests varies by the type of cabinet lock.


Building products are expected to last a long time, and builders hardware is no exception. Grade 1 locks, for example, must pass a rigorous test through 40,000 cycles, usually through the operation of a key and cylinder.


Locksets are counted on to allow carefree operation to those who are authorized, and ensure a high degree of security from the outside. Seven aggressive tests are specified, including a 1,200 in-lbf locked lever torque and two directions of impact.


An additional duty of builders hardware is to be aesthetically attractive and stay that way. Resistance to corrosion by salt spray and abrasion by pencil hardness is verified, providing confidence in the long term appearance of the architectural metals and coatings.


Cabinet locks contribute to building sustainability through their verified durability, as well as material characteristics such as recycled content and recyclability. The reliable closing and sealing of openings can also contribute to energy conservation. BHMA has developed Product Category Rules, which will further define sustainability requirements and guide life cycle assessments and environmental performance declarations.

Function and Identifying Numbers: Another significant contribution of standards for product specification is a numbering system for lock function. Please consult A156.11 for the full list; an example is provided here:

Drawer Locks: Key retracts latch bolt. Key removable in locked position only. Half mortised into back of drawer.
E07031 E07032 E07033


Lever and Tee Locks: Locking lever handle. Key removable in locked and unlocked positions. E07601 E07602 E07603
Locking lever handle. Key removable in locked position only. E07611 E07612 E07613
Non-locking lever handle. E07621 E07622 E07623


This document is not a substitute for the full standard. Refer to the entire standard for full information.

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Participate in the BHMA® Certification Program by voluntarily submitting a hardware product to independent laboratory testing to confirm that it fully meets the criteria of the appropriate ANSI/BHMA® standard.  This industry-wide certification program does not call for a manufacturer to be a BHMA® member in order to certify its products.

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