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How to install a soft close hinge

Updated February 21, 2017

Soft close cabinet hinges, sometime referred to as "buffers" or "shock absorbers," are a simple way to eliminate the slamming of cabinet doors equipped with self-closing or euro-type hinges. The soft close hinge is actually a small mechanism that controls the closing of the cabinet door in the final couple of inches. Soft close hinges are easy to install and will add a quieting feature to your kitchen.

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  1. Position a soft close hinge just below the upper cabinet door hinge, aligning the front edge of the hinge's metal assembly flush with the cabinet face. The positioning should allow the rubber-tipped closer arm of the hinge to extend approximately 9 mm to 1.2 cm (3/8 to 1/2 inch) beyond the cabinet face.

  2. Mark the side of the cabinet where the soft close hinge's screw holes will be placed. Use a hammer to tap an awl into the screw centre points as pilot holes for the hinge's mounting screws.

  3. Secure the soft close hinge to the cabinet with the screws provided, using a screwdriver.

  4. Open the cabinet door and allow it to close against the soft close hinge. The closing of the door can be adjusted by turning the hinge's end adjustment screw. Turn the screw clockwise to increase the resistance as the door closes and counterclockwise to lessen the resistance. The last 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) of the door closing should be slow and allow the door to touch softly to the cabinet face.

  5. Tip

    Two soft close hinges should be used on larger doors, such as pantry or taller cabinets.

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Things You'll Need

  • Awl
  • Hammer
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Soft close hinges

About the Author

Paul Massey has been writing since 2009, drawing on a 35-year career in the construction industry. His experience includes 15 years as a general building contractor specializing in architectural design, custom homes, commercial development and historic renovations.

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