How to install gate hinges

Updated February 21, 2017

A hinge represents the gate's strength. The length of the screws or bolts that hold the gate hinge in place are significant and have a direct bearing on the gate's strength. Because there are many types of gate hinges, it is best to research which brand and type is the best for your gate.

Place one of the hinges on the gate to locate the spot for a solid installation. The more wood it grabs, the stronger it will make the gate. Drill pilot holes for the hinge screws.

Take the hinges apart, if applicable. This allows for a smoother installation when holding the gate in place while installing the hinge screws to the fence post or other structure.

Drive the screws as far in as they will go for a tight fit. In some cases, you might have to use a ratchet to keep from burning the motor out in the 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) drill.

Place some blocks on the ground to rest the gate on while positioning it to install onto the post. The goal is to alleviate as much stress on the screws as possible. This will ensure a solid, level installation.

Check the hinges after the installation by swinging the gate open and closed a few time. After this, allow the gate to come to a stop. If it settles without swinging closed or open, then the gate is level.


Keep the hinges free from vines or other clinging plants, as these can damage the hinge. For the best possible result, follow the manufacturer's instructions concerning installation and care of the gate hinges.


Do not leave power tools unattended in the presence of children. Discontinue using the 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) drill if it gets hot.

Things You'll Need

  • 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) variable-speed drill
  • Socket attachment for drill
  • Socket (size depends on screws)
  • Blocks of wood (various sizes)
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About the Author

Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.