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European Hinge Buying Guide

5 Factors to Consider When Buying European Hinges

The number of European hinges available these days is quite a few. For the average homeowner, it is not easy to understand how to choose between these European hinges. Merely going through hinges specification won’t solve the problem.

If you choose the wrong one, the doors will not function properly. The cabinets will not open as well.

To avoid all this trouble, you should consider a few parameters while comparing the European hinges. Today, we will share with you five things you should consider. Once you compare the different European hinges on these five parameters, picking the right European hinges becomes easy.

1. Type of cabinet:

The type of cabinet which you have determines the type of hinges which you choose.

You can either go with a face frame cabinet or a frameless cabinet. Often, when you have a European cabinet, it is the frameless cabinet.

Irrespective of the type of cabinet which you have, European hinges can serve you well. However, the exact European hinges which you pick will be dependent on the kind of cabinet.

When comparing the different types of hinges, they will clearly state whether they are compatible with the face frame cabinet or the frameless cabinet. Accordingly, you can make the buying decision.

Frameless Vs Face Frame Diagram

Source: The Handyman’s Daughter

2. Hinge size:

When comparing the European hinges, you will note that there are 2 types: compact hinges and longer arm hinges.

If you have small cabinets, you can certainly go with the compact hinges. They are also more affordable.

The advantage of long arm hinges, however, is that they have clip-on installation. That is why you can remove them and install them on the cabinet doors easily. No need to through an elaborate procedure to remove them or install them.

The long arm hinges are suitable for framed as well as frameless cabinets. That is why compatibility isn’t an issue. Another advantage of long arm inches is that they hold the door near the cabinet. That is why the swinging space needed for the door is pretty limited.

Thus, you have to look at the size of the hinges as well and, after that, make the decision.

If you do not want bulky or bigger hinges, compact ones are a good choice. However, if you want to swing open the door in limited space, the longer arm ones are better.

Compact Hinge And Long Arm Hing 300x300

source: familyhandyman

3. Type of doors:

The type of doors you have will also determine the kind of European hinges you use.

There are essentially 3 types of doors which your cabinets can have. These include:

  •  Full inside doors:

Full inside doors close into the cabinet itself. Full inside doors are available for frameless cabinets as well as face frame cabinets.

  •  3/8″ inset doors:

3/8″ inset doors are half inside the cabinet when they are closed. They are specifically suitable for cabinets smaller in size.

  •  Overlay cabinet doors:

The overlay cabinet doors certainly stand outside the cabinet when they are closed. The advantage of such doors is that they allow you to maximize space utilization.

Once you detect the type of doors, you can go through the European hinges specification and find out which ones are compatible with which type of doors. Accordingly, making the right decision is easy.

inset cabinet door hinges

4. Type of hinges:

Most European hinges are self-closing in design. However, within this category, there are 2 different types that you need to choose from. These are the snap-close as well as the soft-close type.

Details of these types of hinges are highlighted below to help you choose the right one.

  •  Snap close hinges:

Snap close hinges as the name itself suggest close with the snap when you push the door slightly. The advantage of such hinges is that they are more affordable as compared to soft-close ones.

Snap Close Hinge

Source: Rockler

  •  Soft close hinges:

The soft close ones close gently with a slight push. It means that there will not be a lot of sound while using the soft close hinges. The doors will also last longer when you have soft close hinges.

Hinge 5

Alternate options:

  •  Free swinging hinges:

Free swinging hinges are only suitable for small doors. When you push the door slightly, such hinges will not close the door. You have to push the door all the way to close it.

You can go with a combination of hinges if you’re on a short budget.

For example, you can opt for one hinge of the free-swinging type and another one of the self-closing type. That way, you can get the self-closing mechanism without spending a lot on the hinges.

Blumotion Without Blumotion Free Swing

Source: Woodworker’s Hardware

5. Opening degree:

Whether the door opens perpendicularly to the cabinet or remains tilted with respect to the cabinet depends on the opening degree of 

the hinges. That is why it is essential to look at the maximum opening degree of the European hinges while buying one.

Most European hinges can open up to 120°. That is why you can open the door wide when using the cabinet.

Depending on the functionality of the cabinet, you might need to go for some other hinge. We will highlight those below.

  •  In case the cabinet is in a corner, a 90° hinge is more suitable. That way, the door will not hit the edges and cabinets or adjacent walls.
  •  In case the cabinet consists of pull-out shelves or large items are stored inside the cabinet, you need zero protrusion hinges. With the help of these hinges, you can move the door entirely away from the storage space, and therefore accessing the stuff inside is easy.
  •  Another option which you have for the corner cabinets are the pie corner hinges. These are specific to the lazy Susan corner cabinet.

Thus, you cannot ignore the degree of opening of the hinges if you want to utilize the space efficiently. Depending on the type of cabinet, the opening degree of the hinges can vary.

Opening Degree

Source: Rockler

When you’re confused between the different European hinges, you have to compare them on the parameters highlighted above. After going through the parameters above, it will undoubtedly become easier for you to go with the best possible European hinges.