There are a wide variety of hinges suited to specific DIY purposes, from heavy duty gate hinges to piano lid hinges.
With such a wide range of different applications relying on hinges to function correctly, we take a look at some of the many hinge types you’re likely to come across throughout the home. By gaining an understanding of the various functions of specific types of hinges, you can discover exactly what type of hinge would best suit your DIY requirements.
If you’re looking to purchase hinges in the near future, it’s important to understand the numerous terms and approvals that are used.
For instance, a “brassed” hinge has been coloured to look like brass but is not solid brass, while “BBA Approved” stands for the British Board of Agreement, which is the major approval body for construction products in the UK.
Some other terms you’re likely to come across include:
- BS EN 1935 – applies to all forms of standard hardware
- BS EN 1634 – applies to hinges required for fire resistant doors
Here are some of the many commonly used hinge types suited to appliances that are based both indoors and outdoors:
If you’re looking to hinge together two standard pieces of wood for something like a wooden cabinet, you’ll almost certainly require a butt hinge. They are probably the most common type of hinge and are used widely for all kinds of straightforward DIY projects. You are likely to find them on wooden and external doors, furniture, cupboards and cabinets. The traditional butt hinge style incorporated a shaft that held the two halves together, although recent heavier fixtures have used ball bearings for enhanced sturdiness. There are plenty of different finishes available as well, so you can use a butt hinge that suits your specific design preferences.
Security hinges are designed in a similar way to butt hinges, incorporating two halves that are joined together by a central shaft. However, they are instead designed to be a secure alternative to standard butt hinges. Ordinary butt hinges would allow for the pin to be removed so that a door, cupboard or cabinet could be opened. Security hinges lock the two halves together when the door is closed so that simply removing the pin won’t allow for a door to open. They are fitted in a similar way to butt hinges and need to be recessed into wooden surfaces.
Flush hinges are an efficient alternative to butt hinges. They are lightweight can do not need to be recessed onto wood. Instead, they can be fixed directly onto the surface without any additional cutting required. They are a hugely popular choice for cupboards and cabinets and are recommended for smaller DIY jobs.
You often need a large gap between doors and surfaces so that they can be easily opened without any friction. However, rising butt hinges are designed specifically so that the door rises as it is opened, thus negating any need for a gap between the door and the surface. While they only suit wooden doors and need to be recessed, they can be bought in both clockwise and anti-clockwise types. The two parts should separate when you open the door, thus giving you the option of lifting the door off if necessary. They aren’t the most reliable of hinges, as they tend to allow doors to close automatically when let go.
Tee Hinges look absolutely nothing like your average butt hinge and are designed for use outdoors. They are commonly used on timber sheds, yet they don’t necessarily provide an effective level of security that you might instead get from other heavy duty gate hinges. For this reason, they are generally used as a means of allowing any door fixture to open and close reliably. The long arm part of the Tee Hinge is fixed to the door, while the hinge at the base is attached to the door jamb.
Continuous hinges are widely used for piano lids, which is why they are also often referred to as “piano hinges”. Their efficient length means that they are ideally suited to the opening and closing function you commonly associate with a piano lid. They are often purchased in 1 metre lengths, yet they can be cut down to size or even bought at larger sizes if necessary. If you’re looking for a hinge that provides support along the entire length of a fixture, continuous hinges may be a useful investment.
If you’re a big fan of DIY projects, you now know exactly which types of hinges are best suited to your requirements.