How to Use the Three Types of Hinges

How to Use the Three Types of Hinges. Projects go better if you know exactly what you need to do the job ahead of time. There are a lot of hinges in the market but they fall into three major categories; door hinges, cabinet hinges and miscellaneous hinges. Knowing what kind to buy is simply a matter of knowing what each one is used for. Hinges are found in brass, stainless steel and chrome.

Step 1

Learn the differences. To use the right hinges you have to know what all the hinges are for. They all look a little bit different if you look carefully. Butt hinges are all comprised of two flat pieces of metal with holes in them that are connected in the middle by a pin or a series of ball bearings and the hinges themselves. They need to be recessed into the two pieces of wood you are joining. Butt hinges are the most commonly seen hinges on most types of cabinets. These are usually used on wooden doors as well as on some furniture.

Step 2

Use security butt hinges for added protection. These are used on wooden doors, cabinets and, occasionally on furniture as well. A security butt hinge locks in place when a door is closed. It’s a great deterrent for burglary because even removing the hinge pin will not open the door. This is a simple but effective safety feature. Security hinges are required on external doors by many insurance companies before they will provide coverage.

Step 3

Understand how a continuous or piano hinge is used. These are called piano hinges because they’re commonly used on piano benches. These are long hinges with two narrow sides. They can carry a large load of weight because they are one continuous hinge that is secured by many screws or nails. The wonderful thing about piano hinges is that because they are one continuous hinge you can cut them to any size you want to fit your project. Hinges come in many sizes, including continuous or piano hinges, but these are the only ones that can be cut to perfectly fit your project.

Step 4

Know the use of a tee hinge. This is usually used on things like tool shed doors and certain wooden gates. They’re comprised of one small moving hinge with a very long arm. These are sturdy but they don’t offer any protection. All the screws of the hinge are visible so it’s very easy to break into. These aren’t recommended for anything that needs protection.

Step 5

Start your project, next time, with a better idea of what you want out of hinges and you’ll know exactly what to buy to do the best job possible.

Step 6

Start off your next project with the proper hinge to save you time and insure functionality.


  • If you're unsure of what to buy, bring a sample of the wood to the home improvement store and they can help you with size,style and color choices.