Have you ever wondered what makes the kitchen cabinet door close so quietly and smoothly? In fact, there is no sophisticated electronic mechanism built in the door that allows for its smooth shutting. It is a small hardware called soft close hinge that makes the magic happen. Read on to get an overview of soft close hinge working principle, its advantages and other useful information.
How does a soft close hinge work?
A soft close hinge looks the same as a standard hinge, but it is assisted by a hydraulic damper that makes the quiet closing possible. When the door swings closed, the damper reduces its speed and takes control over its movement when it’s close to touch the cabinet frame. By the touch point, the damper manages to slow down the door to snail’s speed, enabling a smooth and ear-pleasing shutting. The pads attached to the door’s points of impact with the cabinet frame have also a role in absorbing the shock, yet it’s fair to admit that the greatest part of the job is made by the hinges. In case you don’t like the way the door shuts, you can change the setting of the damper by tightening it or loosening it with a screwdriver to allow for a slower or a faster door closing.
What are the advantages of soft close hinges?
1. Reduced noise
The door slamming is extremely distressing and may distract you from doing your kitchen tasks. If more people are working in the kitchen and you hear repeated thuds, it may increase your stress levels and make you less productive. With soft close hinges, the annoying slamming sound dissapears, making you enjoy cooking and cleaning in a quiet atmosphere. Such hinges also benefit you if you have little kids, as there is no shutting door clatter anymore to scare and wake them up.
2. Increased safety
Another way families with kids win from installing soft close hinges is reducing the risk of trapping fingers in the doors. Having a clumsy and playful nature, children are unaware of the danger threatening them when they are placing their hand in front of the closing door. If the door is big, heavy and is moving fast, the impact is going to be truly painful. Soft close hinges reduce the speed of the door, minimizing the risk of someone pinching their fingers in it.
3. Prevented wear and tear
Being exposed to permanent abuse, some pieces of furniture wear out faster. Cabinet frames and doors are one of them, as they suffer heavy impacts daily, which lead to their damage and the need for early replacement. Alternatively, you may want to repair the damaged parts, which is an additional waste of time and money. There are two ways you can reduce the wear and tear of your cabinet. First one, you start to be extremely careful and gentle while shutting the door. But, if you are a kind of person that does everything in a rush, you will most probably fail to master this habit.
For all those who don’t have the patience to hold the closing door until it meets its frame, or have little kids who enjoy slamming the door for fun, there is the second way of preventing severe cabinet damage. You just fit the doors with soft close hinges and pads and left them work wonders. Any attempt to slam the door with vigour will turn into a smooth and elegant shutting motion. In this way, you lower the stress on the doors, keep aesthetic deterioration at bay, and prevent injuries.
Are there any disadvantages of soft close hinges?
Like any other product, soft close hinges have some disadvantages, but they are so minor that the advantages outweigh them by far. One drawback some people may mention about this hardware is that it’s found on the high end of the price spectrum. Indeed, soft close hinges beat standard hinges in terms of price, but the value you get from them is worth every penny you pay. You don’t waste your hard-earned money on a useless thing that brings no benefit to your home. Instead, by installing soft close hinges you eliminate the annoying sound of door slamming, keep kids from getting injuried, and reduce maintenance effort and costs, extending the life of the cabinet’s mobile parts.
Another drawback may be related to the hinges regulation and repairs. Having a more complex structure than a traditional hinge, a soft close one may not be that easy to fix and adjust on your own. If you are not mechanics-savvy, you may find it a challenging task making the damper softer or more rigid. But it’s not a big issue, as long as you can always call out a professional to do the job for you.
Where can I use these hinges?
Generally, you can use soft close hinges with all cabinet doors for a smooth glide shutting and an improved look of your kitchen. But, if your budget is tight, you can prioritize which cabinets to equip with these amazing fittings. First of all, install them on doors that are used heavily every day. In this way, you minimize the destructive effect of door slamming and prolong the lifespan of your cabinet. If you have kids, you are good to add hinges to the cabinet doors that are in their easy reach. This includes the cabinet sections placed on the floor. Also, focus on large and heavy doors, because they generate a tougher impact with their frames than small doors.
A soft close hinge enables a smooth door shutting thanks to the hydraulic damper integrated in it. The damper slows down the door before it meets its frame, ensuring their impact is nothing but a tender touch. This amazing mechanism comes with many benefits for your home and your family members. It guarantees that no door slamming occurs anymore, prevents kids from trapping their hands, and reduces maintenance costs while making your cabinet serve you for years ahead.