Does Your Business Hinge on Profit? An Overview of Butt Hinges

Hinges. Do you sell them? Do you service them? Do you replace them? Many locksmiths service the leading edge of the door from top to bottom.

Spring hinges allow doors to close automatically or be held in the open or closed position. Depending on the size and weight of the door, spring hinges may be required in more than one hinge position, or a stronger spring hinge may be required. If spring hinges are used with additional architectural hinges, they must be ball bearing, not plain bearing hinges. A ball bearing hinge has ball bearings that contact the knuckles from jamb and door leaves. Ball bearing hinges operate smoothly as only the bearings contact the knuckles of the leaves. A standard butt hinge has the metal of both leaves knuckles contacting each other. They rub against each other as the door is opened and closed.

In some applications the spring hinge is used in place of a hydraulic door closer. Although it's more economical it may not produce the desired results. Unlike a door closer there is no "sweep" or "latch" control. The only adjustment is how much pressure is exerted onto the door. The more pressure the faster the door swings closed.

Double acting hinges will allow the door to open in and out, allowing the door to be pushed open in either direction.. A double acting hinge is created by adding a third leaf and a second pin/knuckle assembly. The double acting hinge is capable of operating in two directions. When the door is opened in one direction, two leaves of the hinge remain flat against the frame side while the third hinge rotates with the door. When the door is opened in the opposite direction, one leaf of the hinge remains flat against the frame side while the second and third hinge rotate with the door. A good example is a restaurant kitchen/dining room door application where people will be entering and exiting on a repeated basis.

Inside stop hinges normally operate from the 0 degrees or closed position towards the open position, stopping at 90 degrees. Outside stop hinges normally operate from the 180 degrees or flat, open position, towards the closed position, stopping at 90 degrees. For special applications, some hinge manufacturers furnish special stop angles.

Decorative hinges in a variety of styles and shapes. They add style to the common hinge. Although not commonly used on today's commercial office buildings, some older buildings can have an exquisite examples of them. With all of the sources at our fingertips on the Internet, you may find just the style of decorative hinges your customer wants to go with that decorative hardware.

Weld-on hinges are just what the name implies, hinges that are designed to be attached by welding them into position instead of using screws.


The quality of door hinges is determined by the way they are produced. Stamped hinges are low-cost, made of thinner material and considered residential grade. Extruded hinges could either be residential grade or higher-quality architectural grade hinges. Hand-cast bronze door hinges would always be considered architectural grade. Choices for construction materials for industrial hinges include aluminum, brass, bronze, steel, and stainless steel.


The pins of the hinge may be constructed from alternative materials of the main body and these include aluminum, brass, and stainless steel.

The caps or tips (finial) on a hinge can be plain or fancy. Some hinges are designed with the tip fixed in position while others have a separate, replaceable tip. Special sloped tips are designed for hinges used in hospitals. The declining slope prevents anyone from hooking or hanging anything on the tip of the hinge, reducing the possibility of injury or suicide.


Hinges used on a fire-rated door must also be fire-rated. You must use steel or stainless steel base material, ball bearing hinges. Brass and bronze hinges will melt under extreme heat causing the door to fall out of the frame.


Hinges come in a variety of sizes to fit just about any door and frame setup you encounter. Most common applications will fall in between the 3-inch by 3-inch to the 6-inch by 6-inch sizes. The size of hinge used is usually determined by the application. If a door and frame were manufactured to use a specific size hinge, for example a 4.5" X 4.5" butt hinge. Then only that size hinge or a swing clear hinge would be the proper size to properly replace it without modifying the door or frame.


Residential hinges are designed for the knuckles of the hinge to rotate against each other. In a residential setting, the usage is such that the wear of metal against metal will still allow a long life. When the wear becomes excessive, the door can begin to sag, become misaligned and will eventually bind. It is usually when the door no longer closes will the hinge be replaced with a new one.

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