Different Types of Small Hinges

Written by elizabeth punke
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Different Types of Small Hinges
This door hinge represents the butt-hinge type. (hinge image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com)

Small hinges are used to affix cabinet doors to a cabinet frame. Hinges are also used for jewellery boxes, tackle boxes and other small containers. There are several types of hinges, some that are better suited for specific applications. Hinges are also made from diverse metals that may enhance your product.

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The flush hinge is meant to sit flush when the door is completely open. While not strong enough for heavy doors, like your front door, the flush hinge is ideal for trinket boxes and cabinetry. One side is an open boxed-frame, while the other side is a solid square. Upon opening the door, the solid square sits flush within the open boxed-frame.


The butt hinge is made of thick metal, anywhere from 13mm to 150mm. The hinge is strong enough for large, heavy doors, as well as cabinetry made from heavy woods. The butt hinge is designed with symmetrical sides that open fully into a flat piece of metal. Similar in design to the butt hinge are the butterfly and the piano hinge. Butterfly hinges are made for light doors that desire a decorative appeal as the butterfly hinge is made in numerous styles. The piano hinge is a larger version of the butt hinge, with three to five screw holes for a taller door.


The barrel hinge is made from two small screws that interlock at the head. One screw is placed inside the cabinet door, the other on the cabinet frame. The screws are close enough for the heads to interlock as male and female connections to allow the door to swing open by the rotating barrel screws.


The hidden-hinge type is positioned on the inside of the cabinet door, connected to the frame without being seen from the outside of the cabinet. The device looks like a "T" with two screws holding down the "T" head on the cabinet frame and one screw on the door. This concealed hinge is tightened and levelled into place by an adjusting screw in the centre of the body of the "T."

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