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Types of Door Hinges

A Brief Introduction to the Common Designs and Types of Door Hinges

The most important components that facilitate the movement of doors are hinges. Some common types have been described in the following paragraphs. Common applications, and their engineering anatomy has also been described.
Scholasticus K
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017
What makes a door open so smoothly and flawlessly? Well of course, the hinge that holds the door down to the wall. The hinge is a combination of three simple components: the screw, the wheel (rotating) cylinder, and the lever.

Door Hinges Today

Just look at the different types of doors by which you are surrounded. Each different door is supported by a different type of hinge, each having its own, unique mechanism. There are three critical components of any door hinge: the pivot section, which is usually a cylindrical section; the attachment which is screwed on to the hinge; and the door. These attachments basically hold the door in good alignment and in coordination with the pivot. The weight of the door, the angle of incidence with the door frame, and other such factors have led to the development of several designs in door hinges.

Common Designs and Types
  • The most crude and primitive of all hinges, is the barrel hinge. Principally, the name of the hinge is based upon the pivot point which resembles a barrel. This point is made from a cylindrical pin, of a really strong alloy, which holds together the moving door attachments. The attachments are affixed with a single cylindrical hollow section, which is put up on the pivot pin. The design is quite simple and very durable, though without lubricating oil, it tends to squeak a lot.
  • A pivot hinge is another basic type of hinge which is attached to the top and bottom of the door. This type of hinge is vertical. A pivot is attached with two flat, straight, and long attachments which are screwed on to the bottom or upper surfaces of a door. This is another very basic design of door hinges. Cabinet door hinges are usually pivot hinges.
  • When a genuinely strong hinge is required, the butterfly hinge is put to use. This type is an evolved design that came into being in 17th-century Britain. The anatomy of this hinge is very similar to the barrel hinge, especially the pivot point. However, the attachments that hold the door and are affixed to the non-moving surface are very widespread, and are usually shaped in the form of butterfly wings.
  • With a slight evolution in the pivot section, you get mortise and case hinges. Case hinges are basically congruent to barrel hinges. However, instead of two hollow cylinders, there are alternating and multiple hollow cylinders grasping the pivot pins. In such a case, the strength, ease of use, and movement of the door is better. The anatomy of this hinge is such that smaller, stronger hinges can be made for small cases, desk doors, and cupboards.
Now within these basic designs, several small modifications as per need can be made. For example, a continuous hinge is used for the door of a soundproof room. Such a hinge runs for the entire length of the door and the attachment matches the breadth of the door.
case hinge
butterfly hinge