The Ultimate Hinges Guide
The humble hinge has been used for thousands of years. Most commonly used to connect doors to their frames, hinges can essentially connect two objects together, allowing them to pivot around the hinge. But if you thought hinges were boring, you’d better think again!
Throughout history, we have been using hinges for all sorts of things, such as:
- Drawbridges on castles
- Medieval hinged weapons such as crossbows
- Jewellery such as lockets
Hinges have been made with various types of metal over the years and archaeologists have even found objects resembling hinges, made from stone and wood, dating back to before the Bronze Age.
These days, we most commonly use stainless steel for our hinges but there are many different types of hinges that are used for different applications. Take a look at our hinges guide below to see which hinges will be the most suitable for your project.
A tee hinge can also be called a T-hinge. They are a blend of a butt hinge and a strap hinge, so they look like a bit like a “T”. You will see these in places where the hinge has to take a lot of weight and so the strap part of the hinge spreads the load over a larger area, for example, on garage doors, loft hatches and gates.
Reversible hinges are hinges which can be turned back on themselves. They are used for things that open outwards, like windows or gates.
Butterfly hinges are used when there is a need for a more decorative hinge. They literally look just like a butterfly and can be found on jewellery boxes and display cabinets. They are sometimes used for more heavy-duty work too, in which case, they are less ornate but still one of the more attractive hinges.
Flush hinges are convenient because they don’t need to have recesses cut for them to sit in. They are just screwed to the surface of the two objects that need to be attached together. However, for this reason, they are not the strongest of hinges so they are mainly used for lighter materials.
Cranked hinges are sometimes called offset hinges and are used when the door or other object needs to be opened further than normal hinges. Common uses are in cabinets that have drawers inside them – the doors have to open more than 90 degrees so that the drawers can be pulled out.
They are also useful in retirement homes where the residents need to be in and out of the doors with walkers and wheelchairs.
The Butt hinge is probably the most common kind of hinge. They can be found on most internal and external wooden doors. They need to be recessed into the door and the two halves of the hinge are held together by a central spine.
Rising Butt Hinges
Rising butt hinges are hinges that rise up when opened. They are mainly used for doors that open onto rooms that are carpeted.
The door will sit low down when closed, but when opened, the door will rise up, over the carpet, allowing the door to move freely and not get stuck in the carpet fibres.
Back flap hinges are useful when there is not much room on the timber to fit other types of hinge. They have additional screw holes on their plates for extra strength. They are commonly used for box lids and extending tables.
Concealed hinges or kitchen cupboard hinges can be seen in kitchen cabinets, where they are sunk into the cabinet door so that they sit flush with the door.
They are useful for such applications because they can be adjusted horizontally, laterally and vertically, enabling you to reposition the doors easily.
Self-closing hinges, as the name suggests, are hinges which close themselves. The in-built spring allows you to only partially close a cabinet or drawer before the hinge pulls it closed completely.
This is particularly useful for kitchen cabinets, where you are likely to have your hands full or covered in food. Just a gentle tap will ensure the hinge does the rest.
We have a huge range of hinges in stock, in various materials. Check the load limits of each hinge to make sure that you have a strong enough hinge for your project.
Don’t forget other supplies you might need for your jobs, such as, the right screws for your hinges and some oil to lubricate those joints. If you are using hinges to hang doors, you can also take a look at our fantastic range of door handles.
You might also need some extra timber for reinforcement. If so, we have a great timber range too.