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Hinges – How to Choose the Right One For the Job

Home handymen (and women) are sometimes surprised to find out just how many different types of hinges there are on the market. Hinges come in all shapes (i.e. butterfly hinges, square hinges, H hinges, etc.) sizes and styles (i.e. butt hinges.) The type of hinge that should be chosen depends upon the application.

One of the main factors that will influence your choice of hinges is the type of door you are installing. For example, the differences between a cupboard door and a heavy commercial glass door are vast. The hinges must be able to support the door when it comes to:

* The door’s weight (i.e. how heavy the door is.)   * Frequency of usage (i.e. how often the door is swung open and shut in a given day.)

* Other hardware that is applied to the door (i.e. a door closer.)   *How the door is mounted (i.e. flush mounted.)

* Where the door is located (i.e. indoors versus outdoors.)

In other words, a commercial door needs a much stronger, sturdier hinge than a cupboard door. An exterior door requires a hinge that will withstand weather and temperature changes and still function properly. It will also require a hinge with a security-type pin. This type of hinge cannot be tampered with by removing the pin from the outside to gain entry.

Another consideration that may be important when choosing hinges is aesthetics. This may be especially true when it comes to interior doors (both residential and commercial), exterior residential doors (especially architectural doors) and decorative door applications such as cupboards. Hinges can be decorative as well as functional. A non-traditional shape, such as a butterfly hinge, can add an extra dimension of beauty to things like cupboards and cabinets. Butterfly hinges are also often used on small household decorative items like hope chests and jewelry boxes.

Sometimes doors are more aesthetically pleasing when outfitted with concealed hinges. A concealed hinge is hidden from view completely when the door is closed. Concealed hinges are often used in modern/contemporary décor to create clean lines. This type of hinge is frequently found on cupboards and furniture pieces like entertainment unit cabinets, wardrobes, etc.   Another factor that may play a role in the type of hinge required 270 degree hinge for an application is how a particular hinge is constructed.

Hinges come in a variety of styles, the most common being the butt hinge. Butt hinges consist of two halves bound together by a pin. The pin chamber consists of “knuckles” which pivot and allow the door to swing open and shut. Hinges have varying numbers of knuckles. A typical butt hinge has five knuckles. However, they may contain more or fewer than this.  Three-knuckle hinges are the second most common. The number of knuckles affects the performance of the hinges, and therefore of the door.

Butt hinges also come with varying numbers of holes for screw insertion. Three to five holes are typical. Sometimes the number of holes isn’t important, while other times the number affects the performance of the door.

Be sure that you understand how your door functions before choosing hinges. Choosing the wrong type may compromise the performance or even the safety of the door. The right choice, whether it’s a butt hinge, a butterfly hinge or other type, should last for ma