How to Replace a Door Hinge Pin

Written by mark morris
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How to Replace a Door Hinge Pin
Use a narrow flat-blade screwdriver to push the pin upward. (screwdriver image by Maciej Mamro from

All of the weight and work in a door frame falls to the hinge. These little steel plates can open and close dozens or even hundreds of times a day for years without any problem. When problems do arise, they typically require attention in a timely manner. Hinge pins can become rusty, corroded or just stuck because of paint and the daily dirt and grime of everyday life. Hinge pins are interchangeable with pins of the same diameter and length and can be changed out to make a door function better.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flat-blade screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Zippered sandwich bag

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  1. 1

    Tighten the hinge screws before removing the pin. Open the door and locate the hinge plate of the pin you intend to replace. If all pins are to be replaced, begin with the top hinge. Use a screwdriver to snug the screws up in the jamb and the back edge of the door. Turn the screws clockwise to tighten.

  2. 2

    Close the door firmly to position the pin for replacement. If the door is equipped with a lock, lock it to prevent traffic during the switch. Examine the pin. Modern pins are typically a cylindrical solid steel rod with a flat circular top a little larger than the rod. Older hinge pins have decorative balls at either end; the lower one must be removed before the pin can be removed.

  3. 3

    Insert the blade of a utility knife in the seam between the lower and upper ends of the pin and cut the paint, if the hinges are painted. This will help to break the pin loose. If the pin has a ball on the bottom, insert a flat chisel blade into the seam above the ball with the bevel pointed down. Tap the chisel with a hammer to break the ball loose and widen the gap. Twist the chisel to work the ball out of the socket in the bottom of the hinge. Place it in a plastic zippered sandwich bag for safekeeping.

  4. 4

    Repeat the chiselling process for the top ball attached to the top of the pin. This time turn the bevel facing up. If the hinge is modern, set the chisel under the flat top cap of the pin and tap upward. Substitute a narrow standard, or flat-blade, screwdriver for the chisel once the pin has been broken loose.

  5. 5

    Insert the screwdriver blade into the bottom of the hinge and drive it upward gently with the hammer, which will cause the hinge pin to rise. Place the tip of the screwdriver under the lip of the flat top cap or ball once it has been driven up about 1/2 inch above the top of the hinge plate. Tap upward on the handle of the screwdriver to complete the removal.

  6. 6

    Slide the replacement pin into the hinge from the top and drive it home with a few light taps from the hammer. Set the bottom ball, if so equipped, into position in the bottom of the hinge and drive it upward into position with the hammer.

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