Everything You Need to Know About Door Hinges: Types, Components, & Selection Guidelines

The hardware used to secure the door to its frame are door hinges. They serve as the fulcrum for opening and closing doors. Hinge placement is crucial for keeping your door in the correct position, whether you are installing a new door or replacing an old one.

Door hinges are an essential part of any building’s structure. Without them, it would be difficult to open doors and cabinets. When used properly, they can improve the quality of architectural requirements while remaining virtually invisible in most of their applications.

Parts of a Door Hinge

Before discussing different kinds of door hinges, we need to know the basic parts of a door hinge. The following are the basic parts of door hinges:

Parts of a Door Hinge

i) Leaf: There are two leaves on each hinge. These are the flat parts of the hinge that go on the door frame and the door.

ii) Knuckle: It is a looped part at the end of each leaf. The knuckles have space that allows the pin to hold the two leaves together.

iii) Pin: The pin is the long, skinny part of the door hinge that slides through the knuckles to hold the two leaves together. The hinges can turn on the pin, so a door can open and close smoothly.

iv) Screw Hole: Screw holes are drilled into each hinge leaf to secure the door frame and the door itself.

Advantages of Door Hinges

  • Door hinges are Ideal for both interior and exterior doors (wooden and metallic)
  • It has superior resistance to corrosion
  • They are appropriate for fire-rated doors
  • Door hinges are extremely robust
  • Resistance to friction

Different Types of Door Hinges

01. Ball-Bearing Hinge

Ball-Bearing Hinge

Mortise door hinges, such as ball-bearing hinges, are installed in a cut out in the door and frame. They’re an excellent option for particularly heavy doors. Because of the permanently lubricated bearings, heavy doors can open and close easily, and the hinges can withstand repeated use. These are popular for heavy-duty exterior doors, such as in commercial establishments.

Friction between the knuckles reduces when ball-bearing hinges are in place. It is best suited for large entry doors and places with a greater volume of traffic. A ball-bearing hinge can open and close smoothly, reducing squealing and friction. This hinge is ideal for doors or gates.

02. Butt Hinge

Butt Hinge

The butt hinge is a popular plain-bearing door hinge suitable for heavy doors. When the door is closed, the butt hinge’s two leaves butt against each other in the mortise. They can be found in interior, exterior, and commercial doors. They usually have removable pins and are simple to remove when necessary.

03. Barrel Hinge

Barrel Hinge

These are small barrel-shaped hinges, typically solid brass, with brass links. SOSS is the most common brand. Small cabinets and jewelry boxes use these barrel hinges. (Vertical or load-bearing applications should not use barrel hinges.) Barrel hinges are a great option if you don’t want a hinge to be visible from the front or back of a wooden box or cabinet. A full 180 degrees opening is possible with these hinges.

It is necessary to drill holes in the door and frame before inserting barrel hinges (or lid and box hinges). Small screws on the hinges, like those on SOSS hinges secure the barrel in the hole.

04. Concealed Hinge

Concealed Hinge

Concealed hinges are those hinges that the casual observer can’t see as they remain hidden behind closed doors. For a more seamless appearance, they’re frequently used on cabinet doors. Modern concealed hinges match various door types. They have soft-close adjustable arms and are simple to remove.

A cup hinge is also known as a concealed hinge because of the cup-shaped piece inserted into the door’s backside. Flush mounting is possible thanks to a recession on the door’s surface. The doorknob arm can also fit in here when the door shuts.

05. Knife Hinge

Knife Hinge

A knife hinge, or pivot hinge looks like a pair of scissors, with two parts of the hinge connected at a pivot point. It is used in cabinets for overlay or inset doors. It is barely noticeable once installed.

06. Pivot Hinge

Pivot Hinge

A pivot hinge is a door hinge that allows a door to pivot from a single point at the top and bottom of the door. Pivot hinges connect the top and bottom of a door, the head of the frame, and the floor to make the door more stable. The door and pivot hinges allow the door to open in any direction.

Pivot hinges are used in high-traffic doorways. Pivot-hinged doors open when pushed. They are commonly used in restaurants, where waiters need to move in and out while carrying trays. The kitchen and dining room doorways are good places for pivot hinges. Since the bottom bracket of pivot hinges is anchored to the floor, they can handle heavier doors than other hinges. These hinges are ideal for the doors of an entertainment center.

07. Heavy-Duty Hinge

Heavy-Duty Hinge

These hinges provide support for heavy doors (such as entrance doors, gates, or furniture lids like trunks and benches). Ball-bearing, concealed hinges, and piano door hinges come in heavy-duty types.

08. Piano Hinge

Piano Hinge

It gets its name because it is primarily used in pianos. These hinges are best suited for bifold or concertina doors, as they are crafted from continuous 2-meter lengths. It is ideal for normal insets and doors. The door’s cylinder hinges hide when closed because they are installed in holes drilled into the wood.

With a central pin and leaves of equal size, this type of hinge (sometimes referred to as a continuous door hinge) is suitable for any object with a central pin. Folding workbenches and desks also use these hinges.

09. Strap Hinge

Strap Hinge

A strap hinge is an early-model hinge with a long, slim design. It comprises two triangular-shaped metal pieces connected by a rotating axis in the middle, as shown in the photo. Once attached to two objects or surfaces, the rotating axis allows the strap hinge to open and close.

It is used in both commercial and consumer applications, on both interior and exterior doors. Their long and narrow design enables them to securely connect two objects or surfaces while taking up little space.

10. Offset Hinge

Offset Hinge

Offset hinges are put on door frames and doors that are already in place to save money. They come in many shapes and sizes. An offset hinge facilitates the movement of the door pivot point further from the hinge, allowing more clearance for the door.

In modern commercial and industrial building codes, large machines, equipment, and people who use wheelchairs and walkers must be able to access the interior of the building. Increasingly large doorways necessitate the use of offset hinges.

11. Overlay Hinge

Overlay Hinge

Some hinges can increase the thickness of the cabinetry. If you want to reduce the thickness, you should think about installing overlays. These door hinges fold back and do not add thickness to the cabinetry.

How to Choose the Right Door Hinges?

Choosing the Right Door Hinges

Hinges are produced using materials like cast iron, bronze, pewter, copper, and bronze. The location of the door ultimately determines the type of material needed. Stainless steel is ideal for exterior doors because it is corrosion-resistant.

Functionality, finish, and design are important. Hinges come in various finishes, such as brushed nickel, rust, black, and oil-rubbed bronze. There are wide options in terms of shapes and styles too. Some even have lovely designs etched directly into the hinges’ knuckles and leaves.


The hinge is important for keeping your door in the correct position. Homeowners have a variety of hinge styles to pick from when it’s time to upgrade a front door, build new kitchen cabinets, or even fix a toy box. Stainless steel, brass, bronze, pewter, and copper are just a few of the materials used to make hinges.

You can select various finishes like chrome, polished, or brushed to match your design. Choose a hinge with a rust-resistant finish if you will use it outdoors. Your project’s ideal hinges will depend on where you plan to install them and the final appearance you want to achieve.

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Author Bio

Sikandar Choudhury – Sikandar Monwar Huda Choudhury is a freelance article writer who is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience with others through writing. With several years of experience in the engineering field and having written 100+ articles related to construction, Sikandar is a skilled writer with a talent for breaking down complex concepts and making them accessible to a wider audience. Sikandar is always looking for new opportunities to share his knowledge and experience with others through writing and is available for hire as a freelance civil engineering article writer. He is easily reachable on LinkedIn- https://www.linkedin.com/in/sikandar-monwar-huda-choudhury-2b3a1a20a/.

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