commercial door hardware

Commercial Door Hardware: Learn the Lingo

The security of your business is your ultimate priority. Before the hubbub of customer service and sales and restocking and ordering, you need to know that your hard-earned space is safe from those who mean to steal or vandalize property. That’s where a commercial door comes in. Unlimited commercial door hardware options can be difficult to navigate, so consult the list below for a categorized dictionary of hardware terms that you need to know.

Commercial Door Hardware: Understanding the Basics


Commercial door hardware pieces are graded by durability. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) use the same standards to determine hardware performance and assign it an appropriate grade. If your door gets a lot of use, the highest grade pieces are the best option as they will provide long-lasting, high-level protection.

  • Grade 1: Supports over a million cycles without breaking. This is the best option for industrial, high-traffic doors.
  • Grade 2: Supports half a million cycles without breaking. Grade 2 doors are excellent for offices, side-entrances, and lighter use doors.
  • Grade 3. Supports 250,000 cycles without breaking. These doors are best for residential use.
    • Tip: If the hardware product you are looking at doesn’t have a grade, it means that it may not have been submitted to testing. A graded piece of hardware has been regulated, therefore you can trust its functionality.


Whichever locking mechanism you decide to use, understanding all of your options is key. Be sure to consider grade, material, and quality when selecting a lock.

  • Keyless locks: Our keyless lock options require a passcode, which is entered on a keypad. A key code lock gives you complete control of who enters and exits your building and when.
  • Hardware locks: A hardware lock provides a physical barrier from opening your overhead door in the form of a padlock or other security mechanism.
  • Electronic locks: These use electrical currents to unlock your doors. Even if power goes out, fail-secure locks will remain locked and protect your warehouse.

Be aware of the lingo used to describe how electronic locks respond to power outages:

  • Fail-safe: automatically unlocks when the power goes out
  • Fail-secure: automatically locks when the power goes out

Structural Hardware Parts

Understand the mechanisms behind your commercial overhead door. These integral hardware pieces should be inspected regularly for damage, as they directly affect the functioning of your door.

  • Torsion springs: Support the weight of your door as it opens and closes. A malfunctioning spring will not be able to lift the door off of the ground.
  • Cables: Cables align your commercial door to the tracks, ensuring a smooth open and close cycle.
  • Rollers: Rollers direct your door along the tracks as it opens and closes. Wear and tear from years of use and dust build-up can damage rollers, so be sure to inspect them regularly.
  • Safety sensors: Photoelectric sensors can detect light or motion. They will reverse the door’s direction upon detecting an obstruction.

Contact Us

Installation of a durable and reliable commercial door is one of the most effective ways to ensure the security of your warehouse and protect the business that you love. They require regular maintenance to last as long as possible, and should be regularly inspected for damage.

Do you have questions about commercial door hardware? Contact Frontier Pacific by calling (510) 279-0232 or online to learn more about the best commercial door for you.