Choosing the Best Hinges For Cabinets

August 4, 2020 by No Comments

Building a cabinet for the kitchen, bathroom, or elsewhere is among the most popular types of diy woodworking projects for the home. Building the hinges correctly is often listed as the most challenging aspect of these woodwork projects.

When you begin to consider the hinges, you will discover a wide range of possibilities. Deciding upon the right one for your project will depend upon various aspects – including the cabinet’s construction, the appearance and aesthetics that you want, and the use to which the cabinet will be put.

Woodworking pros advise deciding upon the hinges you will use prior to starting your project.

Here are some of the hinges available, and their use.

Overlay Hinge

Photo Credit: Woodworker Express

Overlay hinges work best in cabinets in which the door lies upon a face frame.  Overlay hinges come in various versions.  Your best choice will depend upon how much strength you need from the hinge, and on whether you want the hinge to be hidden or visible.

Inset Hinge

Photo Credit: Clodagh Collection

If your cabinet’s door does not lie on the frame of the cabinet, you need an inset hinge. If the cabinet’s door fits completely inside the cabinet, you need a full inset hinge.

If the door fits inside the cabinet only partially, you still need an inset hinge but you can use a 3/8 inch inset hinge. This particular hardware item is also called a semi-concealed hinge.

Flush Hinge

Photo Credit: AZ Partsmaster

Typically, flush hinges are concealed when the cabinet’s door is closed. Only the barrel will be visible.

One exception to this is a hinge known as the surface mount hinge. It’s a type of flush hinge, but it sits on the cabinet’s outside rather than the inside. It is likely to have a decorative, eye-appealing design.

The main reason to use a surface mount hinge lies in the fact that it is easier to fit. You will not need to use a chisel to fit the mortise.

The most common type of flush hinge is the butt hinge.  When open, it resembles a barrel with symmetrical leaves on both sides.  Creating a mortise is strongly recommended, although not one hundred percent necessary.

European Hinges

Photo Credit: Kitchen Cabinet Kings

European hinges are a relative newcomer to the hinge scene.  These items have two separate leaves that fit together. The result is a concealed hinge with no barrel visible at all.

An additional benefit is that you can fine tune these hinges by turning a screw. A different screw allows you to adjust in three directions. 

Additionally, thanks to the way the leaves fit together, you can remove the door and install a replacement with the exact same fittings.

Any diy woodworking enthusiast would do well to familiarize himself or herself with these types of hinges.