Product Test: Marks USA Exit Devices

Jan. 1, 2018
Locksmith Ledger kicks off a new product testing series with the Marks USA M9900, which passes with high marks

A first impression after opening the Marks USA M9900 exit device is 'Beauty in a Box.' Standard features of the surface-mounted M9900 exit device include a stainless steel deadbolt with 3/4" throw, heavy guage extruded aluminum rail assembly, cast roller strike, a dogging feature, sturdy 'panic protector' beveled end cover and a lifetime mechanical warranty. M9900 devices meet ANSI 156.3 (2001) requirements for Grade 1. An M9900F version is UL listed and Fire Rated for doors up to 38" by 86". Standard finish is 32D.

Models M9900 and M9900F have a 33" length designed for 36" door widths. Models M9900-48 and M9900F-48 have a 42" length and are designed for 48" door widths. Marks USA M9900 series rail assemblies can be cut to a shorter desired length for narrower doors.

Marks USA also offers an M9900 VR exit device which contains vertical rods. This surface-mounted device is designed for standard height, 7'0" doors. M9900 VR devices can be mounted on RHR or LHR doors. A minimum stile width of 3 1/2" is required. Top and bottom strike plates are furnished. M9900 VR devices can be installed on single doors or pairs of doors. As with the M9900 exit devices, M9900F VR vertical rod versions are available to meet an ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 Panic Exit Hardware, 3-Hour Fire Rating. M9900 VR exit devices are non-handed and can be installed on hollow metal, wood or mineral core doors. Standard finish is 32D.

In addition to the M9900 series, an M8800 series is also available. M8800 exit devices have a thin footprint and are designed specifically for narrow stile doors. M8800 devices can be installed on single doors or double door openings which have a mullion. Standard features of the M8800 series are identical to the M9900 series.

All M9900 series exit devices are designed to accept optional exterior hardware. Options include: An M411 finger pull with a cutout for owners cylinder, Lever/Rose trim, lever/escutcheon trim and key-operated dogging. Lever/Rose and Lever/Escutcheon trim is available with Entry, Storeroom, Passsage or dummy functions. Special Marks USA cylinder cams may be required depending on the trim function.

Electrified versions of the M9900 and M8800 exit devices are also available. Heavy duty M9900ER devices can be used for momentary latch bolt retraction or for maintained latch bolt retraction. Latch status and REX output are available. An M9900DG version has electric dogging. When energized, the latch remains retracted when the pushpad is depressed. When attached to a fire alarm, the latch is released to provide a fail secure status.

In addition, Marks USA offers an M9900EA exit device. EA devices contain an alarm and signage which states " Emergency Exit - Alarm Will Sound." . M9900EA devices have a 100 db alarm powered by a 9V battery. When armed, a green light blinks every four seconds. A key-operated cylinder is used to reset the unit. An M9900ME exit device completes the M9900 package of devices. This device offers delayed egress and can be set to open after 15 to 30 seconds. Options include a wall-mounted keypad controller.


An exit-only situation was chosen without use of any outside trim. This only required drilling mounting holes for the exit device and roller strike. However, the door width was 32". The M9900 exit device is designed for a 36" door width so the first procedure was to trim 4" from the rail assembly and from the cover plate. A cutoff saw was used to assure a smooth straight cut on both pieces. This procedure took longer than completing the actual device installation.

Marks USA furnishes a template which simplifies hole locations. Two measurements are critical. First, the centerline of the device must be located 40" from the bottom of the floor. Second, the centerline of the device must be 2 3/8" from the door jamb (door stop). A fold mark on the template is provided to assure the correct 2 3/8" horizontal positioning. The template was temporarily taped to the door and the four mounting holes were drilled. Door material was wood. A metal door would have required drilling and tapping.

In order to assure a horizontal installation, only one mounting screw was initially installed into the head of the exit device. The exit device was temporarily held in a horizontal position and a level was placed on the rail frame. The end cover mounting bracket was set into place at the end of the rail frame and holes were marked at a perfect horizontal mounting position.

A battery drill made hole drilling and screw tightening a two minute job and the basic exit device was quickly installed. Horizontal Slots in in the roller strike allowed for correct horizontal latching alignment. A shim is provided if needed for adjusting correct in-out alignment of strike and exit device.

The final procedure was to install the head cover and the Panic Protector end cap, then sit back and admire the results. This was a simple, fast, one-man job. The product exudes quality and if there was ever a problem, Marks USA offers a lifetime mechanical warranty. And exit devices by Marks USA are Made In USA. Few companies can make that statement these days.

For further information, contact; Marks USA, 800-526-0233,