Types Of Hinges

Types Of Hinges

Hinges come in a wide range of styles, so you need to know how to choose the right one. First, that depends on the type of door that needs the hinge.

That’s an important point, as often issues with doors can be blamed on the wrong hinge being used. If your door is heavy, look at heavy door hinges types, for example. Doors, however, aren’t the only application for hinges, which is why you’ll also find different types of cabinet hinges.

An outdoor telecom equipment cabinet needs hinges. So does an outdoor utility cabinet, a rack mount cabinet, a data center server cabinet, an outdoor electrical junction box – hinges are also an HVAC system component.

Hinges are either right or left and come in different materials. You can use a hinge that will be visible or concealed. The point is, you have a lot of choices. To help you determine which type you need, here are some common hinges and how they’re used.

How Hinges Work

Most types of hinges comprise three basic parts: the leaf, knuckle and pin. When joined together, they create limited rotational movement.

The hinge leaf is the piece of metal that moves with the door or gate it is connected to. One recognized type of hinge leaf is the stamped metal plates attached to doors and the frames.

The knuckle, or loop, is the hollow tube in the middle of the hinge. Each hinge leaf is made with tabs or ridges that are rolled to interlock with an opposing leaf. When the leafs are joined, it creates the knuckle.

The pin, the third part of the hinge, slides through the hollow knuckle to lock and join the hinge. There are different types of hinges, such as those for residential doors, that have removable pins. Others are fixed, such as the pins that are part of the best cabinet hardware hinges.

Hinge Materials and Finishes

Hinges are manufactured out of a broad range of metals. Stainless steel, brass, bronze, pewter and copper are common hinge materials.

The finishes for different types of hinges complement the design of the door and surrounding decor. Common finishes include primed, polished, plated, rust-resistant and more.

Most hinge types are available in a wide range of sizes. For example, spring joints may range from 2 to 4 inches.

The right choice of hinge will improve doorway access or improve the look of a cabinet renovation. There are so many choices of hinges to choose from.

10 Types of Hinges

1. Strap Hinge

Strap Hinge

Strap hinges offer an attractive way to hang gates and very large doors, like those on a barn or similarly styled entrances. Constructed of all types of materials, from stainless steel to brass, they can be merely functional or elaborately decorative.

Strap hinges are produced in heavy-duty, light-duty, and even purely ornamental varieties known as dummy strap hinges.

2. Ball Bearing Hinge

Ball Bearing Hinge

A type of butt hinge (see below), it has hidden bearings between the knuckles of the hinge, which reduce friction and help doors operate more smoothly. Ball bearing hinges are considered heavy-duty and durable, making them ideal for entry doors.

3. Butt Hinge

Butt Hinge

The most common type of hinge used on doors is the butt hinge. It’s so named because the two leaves are mortised into the door and frame, allowing the two to butt up to each other. There are three different types of butt hinges: plain, ball bearing, and spring-loaded.

Builders generally use plain butt hinges for lightweight interior doors. A pin, that may or may not be removable, joins the two leaves (or plates) at the hinge’s knuckles.

4. Spring-Loaded Butt Hinge

Spring-Loaded Butt Hinge

To assure a door closes behind you, use a spring-loaded butt hinge. Often used on screen doors, you can calibrate these hinges to open or close with varying degrees of tension.

5. Surface-mount hinges

Surface-mount hinges

Surface-mount hinges come in several forms and are generally available at hardware stores and big home-improvement stores. Depending on the type, they can be nailed or screwed in place.

Surface-mount hinges are visible when the box is closed or open. So if you want to accentuate the hinge and draw attention to the back of the box, surface-mount hinges are a great choice. If you prefer a more subtle or hidden hinge, move along.

6. Butterfly Hinges

Butterfly Hinges

It is best used for instances where the hinge might be visible in boxes, cabinets of general furniture. It is also used in cupboards to make it swing open easily such as in the case of kitchen interiors.

Butterfly hinges also find their uses in installing shutters, trunks, or any other item with a lid or a door to open. Moreover, if you are confused about the types of hinges and their application, this option can be of great use.

The design appears close to the spreading wings of a butterfly from the centre pin. Available in different textures and finishes to provide suitable color options, they contribute to the overall appearance of the hardware.

7. Bi-fold Hinges

Bi-fold Hinges

They are two hinges of various lengths that are multi-leaf allowing the door or panel to be opened in both or the same direction. Bi-fold hinges have multiple pivot points that allow a tighter swing with a greater degree of travel.

8. Continuous Hinges

Continuous Hinges

Continuous hinges are also known as Piano Hinges. They can be used in any setting requiring a hinge of specific length. Monroe Hinge and Hardware has the capability to manufacture custom continuous Hhnges in a wide variety of lengths, finishes, and metals including stainless steel, steel, aluminum, and hot rolled pickled & oiled.

Continuous hinges are so widely used that Monroe Hinge and Hardware maintains in stock several of these common variations of continuous hinges ready to ship. Monroe Hinge and Hardware is ready to work with you on developing the right Continuous Hinge for your application. All of our projects start with a question, a print or a sketch.

9. Flag Hinges

Flag Hinges

A Flag Hinge can be taken apart with a fixed pin on one leaf. Flag Hinges can also swivel a full 360 degrees around the pin. Flag hinges are manufactured as a right hand and a left hand configuration.

Monroe Hinge and Hardware has the capabilities to manufacture Flag Hinges in a wide variety of lengths, metals and finishes. Monroe Hinge and Hardware is ready to work with you on developing the right hinge for your application. All of our projects start with a question, a print or a sketch.

We are ready to provide you with the support your need to complete the design and manufacturing and delivery of hinges for your project.

10. Heavy Duty Hinges

Heavy Duty Hinges

Heavy duty piano hinges are made of various hinge styles used in heavy duty applications. The material thicknesses for Heavy Duty Hinges range up to one quarter inch thickness.

Monroe Hinge and Hardware is ready to work with you on developing the right heavy duty hinge for your application. All of our heavy duty hinge projects start with a question, a print or a sketch. We are ready to provide you with the support your need to complete the design and manufacturing and delivery of hinges for your project.

We are ready to provide you with the support your need to complete the design, manufacturing and delivery of hinges for your project.

How to Choose Right Hinges for Doors

With so many different types of hinges available, how to decide the right hinge for your application? There are some things you should consider.

  • The load. What is the weight of the door? The load indicates how strong the hinge needs to be to support the weight of the door. Because the load can be vary depending on the center of gravity if the equipment is mounted on the door and people or objects hang from the door. If you need strong hinges, butt hinges are your choice, while flush and barrel hinges are suitable for lightweight applications.
  • The material. The material indicates what the hinge is made up of, the material selection depends on the required strength and also the environment, temperature chemicals, UV radiation, and moisture. Hinges are usually made of metals or plastics add other materials like rubber. The most common type of hinge material is 304 or 316 stainless steel, brass, aluminum, and plastic.
  • The type of hinge. We list common types of door hinges above, there can be used as removable door hinges, fixed door hinges, concealed hinges, etc. Ask yourself what type of hinges you need based on their advantages and disadvantages.

Choosing The Right Cabinet Hinge

When it comes to cabinets, a lot hinges on the hinges. Their style and functionality have a huge effect on the overall appearance and performance of your cabinets and doors, maybe as much as the choice of wood or finish.

With such a wide range of options, how do you choose? The best place to start is to figure out what type of cabinets and doors you have because that’s typically how hinges are broadly categorized.

  • 1. If you’re building from scratch, you have the flexibility to decide which hinge you want. But be sure to select your hinges before you get started. Selecting hardware should be a critical element in the initial design stage. It’s much easier to make a minor change in your design to match the required hardware than it is to rework a project in progress because the hardware you thought would be available can’t be found.
  • 2. Replacing existing hinges starts with trying to identify the manufacturer. Their name is often stamped on the hinge itself. If it is not, go through the buying guide as if you were buying a new hinge. This should direct you to the best replacement hinge option. Don’t forget that you can also upgrade a replacement hinge with one that has the exact same functionality, but with some new features like soft closing mechanisms.
  • 3. How big are your doors? You do not want to install too many hinges on a door, but you need enough to support the door over time. Two hinges are the common configuration, but for larger doors, three or more hinges may be needed. Refer to our door size and hinge count graphic to determine if you need more than two hinges per door.


With so many different types of door hinges, it can be a challenge to make the right selection. There are several common questions that people have regarding door hinges. Some of these questions are related to the size of the hinges, the number of hinges, and how to install the hinges themselves. Knowing the answers to these questions can be helpful when trying to find the correct hinges for a door. Some of the most common questions that people have include:

What are Door Hinges Made Out Of?

Door hinges can be made out of a variety of materials. Some of the most common materials include brass, copper, and steel. One of the strongest materials is residential-grade steel, which is meant to stand up to the wear and tear that comes with routine use. In addition, the hinges can often be finished with a plate of your choice. This means that people have the ability to customize a door hinge to meet their needs. Hinges can also be decorated with ornamentation to meet the style of a given room. For most applications, residential-grade steel is a good choice for door hinges.

What Size Door Hinge is Right for my Door?

In general, most homes are going to use the standard-sized hinge. This is a hinge that measures 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches. Measurements of door hinges are taken from the bottom edge of the hinge up to the top edge of the hinge. Then, the other measurement is taken from the outside edge of the hinge to the inside when the hinge is open. Those who are looking for exterior door hinges usually need a 4-inch hinge; however, this is not always the case.

How Many Door Hinges Do I Need?

This is one of the most common questions about door hinges. To answer this question, simply take a look at the existing door and count the number of hinges that are present. In general, doors require three hinges; however, this is far from universal. Interior doors will typically require 3 separate 3.5-inch hinges. On the other hand, an exterior door is going to require 3 separate 4-inch hinges. In some cases, you might be looking for hinges that are going to go on a set of brand new doors. If you have questions about the number of hinges for new doors, talk to the company that is making the doors. They should be able to answer this question for you.

1 Comment

  1. blank

    I’m trying to find a hinge for a crawl space door that’s in the floor.
    The door is huge and weighs at least a100 pounds.

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