Hinge Terminology

by Oct 6, 2019Cabinet School, Uncategorized

270 Degree Hinge  This refers to a hinge that allows the door a full movement of 270 degrees, which allows it to open all the way to the outside side of the cabinet wall. 
Ball Tip  An exposed tip of the pin of a butt hinge that is shaped like a ball. 
Barrel  The part of a butt hinge where the two halves come together and are joined with a pin. 
Butt Hinge  A hinge composed of two plates attached to abutting surfaces of a door and cabinet, joined by a pin. 
Clip On Hinge  A concealed hinge that allows you to attach the two parts of the hinge together by simply snapping them together making finishing the doors easy. 
Concealed/Cup/European Hinge  Hinges that are not visible when the door is closed. Concealed hinges can be used on frameless cabinets or face frame cabinets with full overlay doors, and can be European style cup hinges or knife hinges. Knife hinges do leave a visible slot on the edge of the door. 
Cup  This refers to the door portion of a concealed hinge that requires a hole to be drilled in the back of the door. The cup portion of the hinge is inserted into this hole. 
Degree of Opening  This refers to how far or to what angle a door will open. Some hinges will allow the doors to open farther allowing for better access to the contents of the cabinet. 
Demountable Hinges  Demountable hinges come in single and double varieties. The singles demount from the cabinet door only (this requires a special slot to be cut into the door for new installations) and screw directly to the edge of the face frame. Doubles demount from both the door and the frame. 
European Hinges  Concealed hinges that utilize a hole bored into the back of the door. 
Exposed Hinge  A term used to describe a cabinet hinge that is visible from the outside. Barrel hinges are one type. 
Finial Tip  An exposed tip of the pin of a butt hinge that has a fancy turned shape. 
Free Swinging  This means the hinge can move freely along its path from open to close. There is no spring feature to keep the door shut. 
Hinge  A mechanical device used to attach a cabinet door to a cabinet box. There are many styles offering different applications, degree of swing and visibility. 
Knife Hinge  A concealed hinge that require a slot or saw cut into the door to house the “knife” (some types that mount on the top or bottom of the door don’t require these cuts). The hinge mounts to the back of the door and to the edge of the face frame. 
Mounting Plate/Hinge Plate  The piece that mounts to the cabinet (either the face frame or the inside of the cabinet for frameless cabinets). Generally used with concealed hinges. 
No-Mortise Hinge  A style of hinge that can be mounted directly to the cabinet and the door without any mortises or special cuts being made into the wood surfaces. 
Pin Hinge  A hinge that pivots on a single point. Offers a very low profile as only the pivoting knuckle is visible from the outside of the cabinet. 
Reverse Bevel  A door edge that is angled backwards allowing the door edge to serve as the pull giving a clean, simple look. 
Self Closing/Snap Closing Hinge  A hinge that helps pull the door shut and keep it closed. Sometimes called a snap-closing hinge. 
Semi-Concealed Hinge  Semi-concealed hinges are partially visible when closed. The hinge pin is what is visible and on some styles as well as the screws that mount the hinge to the cabinet frame. Also called kerf or knuckle hinges. 
Slip-On Hinge  A concealed hinge where the two parts are fastened together by slipping one half onto the other and tightening a screw. 
Soss Hinge  A specialty concealed hinge used for inset doors. Requires mortises in the door and cabinet for the bodies of both hinge halves. 
Surface Mount Hinge  Exposed hinges that screw to the back of the door and to the front surface of the face frame without requiring a hole or mortise. Also available with decorative finials on the ends of the hinge pins. 
Wrap Around Hinge  A style of hinge where the plates of the hinge are formed around the back edge of the door and/or the face frame. A partial wrap around hinge will wrap around the door and have a plain flat leaf for the cabinet so it can be used on a frameless cabinet 
Zero Clearance  A hinge that allows unobstructed access for pullout shelves or drawers when the door is opened to 90 degrees or more.