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The ABC of hinges

definition of a hingeHere is probably more than you’ll ever need to know about hinges.


Definition of a hinge

A pivoting mechanism to a fixing and rotating action to framed door leaves, window casements etc.

Parts of a hinge

  • Hinge Bolt – a metal security lug fitted to and projecting sideways from a hinge stile of a door leaf which fits in a housing in the jamb when the door is shut and prevents it from being forced open
  • Screw hole – the hole in which the screw is fixed – can be pre-bored or made as the screw is drilled
  • Hinge rebate – shallow depression cut into door frame and the edge of the door itself to allow room to take the leaves of the hinge and ensure a flush installation and correct functionality
  • Hinge leaf – one of the metal flaps that joins the frame to the door
  • Hinge pin – the part of the hinge around which the flaps are fitted and rotate; these can either be retractable or permanently fixed
  • Ball-bearing – in certain hinges the ball-bearing is incorporated between adjacent knuckles; where used they help reduce friction
  • Knuckle – the hinge’s joining tube in which the pin rotates and around which the leaves pivot. Sometimes also known as a loop, joint or curl

Count ‘em up - the 21 types of hinges

If you can’t tell your cranked from your Parliament, here are 21 different hinge types as defined in the ‘Dictionary of Architecture and Building Construction’ by Nikolas Davies and Erkki Jokiniemi:

  1. Butt hinge, first-pin hinge, tight-pin hinge
  2. Lift-off hinge, loose-butt hinge
  3. Ball-bearing hinge
  4. Pin-hinge, loose-pin hinge
  5. Non-mortice hinge, surface-fixed hinge
  6. Falling-butt hinge
  7. Rising-hinge; gravity-door hinge
  8. Cranked hinge, easy-clean hinge, cleaning hinge
  9. Cylinder hinge, barrel hinge
  10. Cabinet hinge, furnishing hinge
  11. Table hinge, rule-joint hinge
  12. Butterfly hinge
  13. Parliament hinge, H-hinge, shutter hinge
  14. Strap hinge, flap hinge
  15. A-hinge
  16. Screw-hook-and-eye hinge
  17. Band and hook hinge
  18. T-hinge
  19. Weld-on hinge
  20. Piano hinge, continuous hinge
  21. Loose pin