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Complete Guide To Cabinet Hinge Types 2024

The functionality and style of hinges in a cabinet play a huge role in the performance and overall appearance of the doors of cabinets. The style of cabinet hinges is as important as the finish and choice of the wood required to design a cabinet.

So how do you choose among such a huge range of hinge options? This article will guide you through the main options that will help you choose the correct hinge for your cabinet. Prior to this, you need to assess the type of doors and cabinets that you have. This will help you figure out what types of cabinet hinges are required for your cabinet.

types of cabinet hinges

What are the things to keep in mind before selecting the cabinet hinge?

  • If you are building your cabinet from the scratch, then you have the upper hand on what kind of hinge you want. So, select the hinges prior to starting your project. Selecting hinges will be a critical point in the initial stage of designing the project. It is easy to make minor changes in the design than to make changes in a project or design in progress.
  • If you replace the old hinges you should start by first identifying the manufacturer as the name of the manufacturer is often engraved on the hinge or the buying manual/guide contains the name of the manufacturer and that should direct you to any best possible hinge replacement option. Upgrading the same exact hinge with additional features like a soft mechanism for closing can also be an option.
  • You should always keep in mind the size of the door of the cabinets. If you do not want to install multiple hinges on a cabinet door but at the same time you need enough support for your cabinet door then the size of the cabinet doors should be highly taken into consideration. The common configuration of cabinet doors is with two hinges but for bigger cabinet doors more than three might be needed. Thus, referring to the size of cabinet doors and the count of cabinet hinges will help you in determining the exact count per cabinet door.
  • You should decide whether you want the hinges exposed or concealed. Concealed hinges generally offer a neat and clean look for the exterior and offer a more contemporary look. Whereas, exposed hinges like butt cabinet hinges become visible and are commonly found in vintage-style cabinets and American traditional cabinets.
  • You should choose whether to put mortised or surface mount hinges. Surface mounts sit on the extreme top of the cabinet surface and it does not require a drill or hole. On the other hand, mortise hinges are drilled inside the cabinets and require an installation of a hole.

How would you choose the perfect hinge for your cabinet?

It is very important that the type of hinge matches the door style of the cabinet. This gives the door a perfect clearance as it is being mounted on the cabinet.

  • Full overlay- It covers the whole cabinet opening if the door is closed and the inside edge of the wooden cabinet gets exposed while opening the cabinet door. The hinges are partially wrapped around and full, surface mount, flush-mount, and European full overlay.
  • Inset- The door of the cabinet as the frame of the cabinet is on a similar plane and the cabinet door is surrounded by the cabinet door frame. The common hinges for inset cabinet doors are European inset, surface mount, or butt hinge.
  • Partial overlay- when the cabinet door is closed the box of the cabinet is partially covered by the door of the cabinet and if we open the cabinet door then the inside edge of the wood of the cabinet is exposed. The common hinges for partial overlay cabinet doors are partial wraparound, full wraparound, surface mount, flush-mount, and European partial overlay.

What are the types of cabinet hinges?

You have to decide whether you require motion features:

These features are becoming popular as they reduce the sound or noise that comes from slamming the cabinet doors and makes it easy while closing a door with just a tap. A few features are;

  • Self-close- this feature is available in concealed hinges. This let us close or draws the cabinet doors with very minimum effort.
  • Self-open- this feature just lets us open the cabinet door by just a press the front and it pops open. This is ideal for modern-style cabinet that does not contain external hardware for the cabinet.
  • Soft-close- this keeps doors from getting slammed by drawing and then slowly inside.

What are the most common cabinet hinges?

There are many cabinet hinge types according to their application and their style. They are:

  • European hinges- are generally installed inside the cabinet and it gets concealed while the door is getting closed. This comes in many styles; partial inset, fit inset, and full door with overly.
  • Full crank hinge (inset hinge)- they are generally offset from the door’s edge so that when the door is closed it sits flush. These hinges create a flush and sleek look.
  • Half crank (partial overlay)- they have a less bend than that of an inset style hinge. This allows the door’s edge to partially overlay the case.
  • Full overlay- they have straight arms that make a greater offset than the partial overlay hinge style. The door completely overlays the cabinet.
  • Surface mount- they are put on the outside of the cabinet frame thus, they are entirely visible from the outside. These are especially used in the frame face cabinet style.
  • Butt hinge- these are made of 1 barrel and 2 mounting plates. The plates are put on the frame’s side and the barrel is exposed. This gives the cabinet a traditional style.
  • Flush hinge- this has a slim look than the butt hinge. These are best for the door where you can’t drill a hole and they take lesser space too. These hinges are visible from the outside of the cabinet.
  • Semi concealed- these cabinet hinges are somewhat exposed on the edge of the door.
  • Wrap around- these hinges have an extra wrap that is partial on the inside of the frame’s edge or a wrap that is full. These are used with additional support.


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