types of hinges

6 Types of Hinges & Their Uses (with Pictures)

Hinges are available in different styles and sizes. For this reason, it would be helpful to know the different types of hinges and their uses. This will help you pick the best one for your needs. In this article, we will discuss these hinges, and provide details that will make you remember them.

Note, however, that aside from knowing the different types of hinges and knowing how they look like, it is important to know other factors, such as the type of door that you are planning to use the hinge on. This is vital, because some door issues may be blamed on the wrong type of hinge used. However, this does not mean that doors are the only ones that require hinges, as other items may also do. 

Hinges are also either right or left, and are available in different types of materials. They may also be concealed or visible. Indeed, there are a lot of choices available for you. To help you in making a decision, the following are some of the most common types of hinges and their uses. 

1. Butt Hinges

Butt hinges are basically the most common type of hinge that is used on doors. As suggested by its name, a butt hinge come with two leaves that are mortised to the frame and door, enabling them to butt up with each other. Under butt, hinges are three different types – plain, spring-loaded, and ball bearing hinges. 

Plain Butt Hinges

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Plain butt hinges are what builders generally use for lightweight and interior doors. A pin connects the two plates (or leaves) at the knuckles of the hinges. This pin may, or may not be detachable.

Spring-Loaded Butt Hinges

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To make sure that the door closes after you, a spring-loaded butt hinge is often used on doors. They are typical among screen doors. These hinges may be calibrated to open and close with different tension degrees. 

Ball Bearing Hinges

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Ball-bearing hinges feature lubricated hinges that are located between the knuckles of the hinges. This helps in reducing the friction that is often caused by heavier doors. These hinges are designed with durability in mind and are best for use on heavy entryway doors as well as doors that experience frequent use.

2. Concealed Hinges

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As suggested by its name, a concealed hinge is designed not to be seen, thus making the beauty of cabinetry or furniture stand out. They can also be self-closing. Some concealed hinges can be adjusted using screws. There are also bigger concealed hinges that are ideal for doors. Since these hinges are meant not to be exposed and tamper-proof, they offer better security than regular hinges. 

3. Barrel Hinges

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Barrel hinges are ideal for specialty woodworking projects, such as a small cabinet or a box. Barrel hinges are generally small and are recommended for projects where the hinges are supposed to be hidden from view. To install barrel hinges, all you need to do is drill holes at the right size, accommodating the barrels and inserting the hinges. These hinges are usually made of brass and are not ideal for load-bearing projects. 

4. Knife Hinges (Pivot Hinges)

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Knife hinges, also known as pivot hinges, are typically found in cabinets. They look similar to scissor blades, connected at a pivot point. One hinge leaf is mortised into the end of the door of a cabinet, and the other to the cabinet itself. After installing, all you can see is the pivot. 

Another variety of pivot hinge enables doors to pivot open and close, just like the kitchen doors in restaurants. These hinges are heavier and larger than those designed for cabinets. 

5. Offset Hinges

Offset Hoosier Cabinet Hinges in Antique-By-Hand; $18.69 House of Antique Hardware

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Offset hinges are specialty hinges that allow you to easily swing the door away from the doorframe. This further widens the opening to two inches more. Offset hinges are particularly useful for specific locations that you would like to be ADA compliant.

6. Overlay Hinges

DecoBasics Overlay Cabinet Hinges (25 Pair - 50 Pack) (Brushed Nickel), Face Frame Metal Hinges for Kitchen Cabinet, Cabinet Hardware, Quick & Easy Installation

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Some hinges are designed to incorporate thickness into the cabinetry. To decrease such thickness, overlay hinges are often used. These types of hinges are capable of folding back by themselves, enabling the door to flush against the front of the cabinet. 


As seen in this article, there are many types of hinges available. They come in a wide range of materials as well, including brass, stainless steel, pewter, bronze, and copper. They also come in different finishes such as polished, chrome, or brushed, complementing your design. There are also hinges for outdoor use, such as those that feature a rust-resistant finish. Share with us your story about hinges. Leave them in the comments section below. Share this article if you wish! 





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