Fix High-Traffic Doors For Good With Geared Continuous Hinges

Aug. 5, 2010
Deliver total door service by fixing the real problem — worn hinges — and you’ll make more money and also satisfy a customer by fixing their problem for good.

Locksmiths are often called to repair high-traffic entryways where doors won’t close or locks won’t latch. The real problem isn’t the doors or locks, of course. High-traffic entrances wear out butt and pivot hinges, causing doors to sag and drag. Building owners and property managers struggle with the hassle and expense of these repeated repairs, a continuing source of dissatisfaction, and the bad impression a poorly functioning door makes with customers.

Geared continuous hinges, which use 38 or more fasteners to attach door to frame from top to bottom, distribute a door’s weight more evenly along the frame and reduce repeated maintenance expenses and hassles. They are ideal for high-traffic doors in retail storefronts, schools, convention centers, sports facilities, airports and other public buildings.

Geared continuous hinges can also salvage expensive doors and frames since the full-length hinge leaves cover up existing cut-outs, screw holes and door/frame damage.

The next time you get a call to repair a high-traffic entrance, do more than just fix the lock. Deliver total door service by fixing the real problem — worn hinges — and you’ll make more money and also satisfy a customer by fixing their problem for good.

Tested for 25 million cycles and to resist attacks

Geared continuous hinges are designed to last. For example, a SELECT geared continuous hinge surpassed 25 million open/close cycles in laboratory testing — equivalent to 50 years of average high-traffic entrance use — which is 10 times beyond the BHMA Grade 1 cycle count. The ANSI Physical Endurance test, conducted at Architectural Testing, mounted a full-mortise geared continuous hinge on a standard FRP door to simulate a real-world situation. The hinge completed the 25 million cycles with no loss in performance and a measurable drop of only a few ten-thousandths of an inch.

A geared continuous hinge has also proven itself against attack. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) approved a SELECT geared hinge for use in its embassies overseas to protect workers from mob activities or terrorist attack based on tests conducted at H.P. White Laboratory, Inc. in Street, Md. In the first test, attackers fired eight shots from high-powered military rifles directly at the hinge from 20 feet away. All bullets were stopped, so the entrance was classified as “no penetration.” Next, attackers used every means at their disposal, including 10- and 12-pound sledgehammers, a 9 by 2-1/2-inch wood-splitting wedge, 1-inch and 3/4-inch cold chisels, pry bars, plus other tools to gain entry. After separate attacks lasting one hour, none had penetrated.

As a result, the SELECT geared hinge earned 60-minute Ballistic Resistance and Forced Entry certification and this model of hinge is now approved for use on all DOS doors.

Continuous Warranty™

Because of the durability of its hinges, SELECT now offers a Continuous Warranty™, which covers any failure of its geared continuous hinges under normal use with no expiration date, as long as they are properly installed. It literally lasts forever.

SELECT’s unique manufacturing processes — Pair-Matched™ hinge leaves, lifetime lubrication and anodizing after machining — work together to achieve this durability. With the combination of these exclusive features, and after the cycle test proved the hinge could withstand more than 50 years of high-traffic use, the company felt confident in offering a warranty that never expires.

Many Applications

There are several models of geared continuous hinges. Full surface hinges mount to the door and frame faces, and are ideal for repairs because they can easily be mounted on an existing door and frame. They also let you salvage the door and frame. Concealed hinges mount to the door edge and frame rabbet and require a specific clearance between the door and frame, so they are usually used in new construction. Half surface hinges blend the two by mounting to the door face and frame rabbet, and, like full surface hinges, work well for repairs. Hinges come in standard lengths from 83 to 120 inches, with custom lengths available.

For architectural appearance, geared continuous hinges are available in custom anodizing and paint colors to match door and frame colors. So you can save the customer the cost of replacing expensive doors by matching the hinge to the door and frame appearance.

To meet building fire codes, geared continuous hinges are available with up to a three-hour fire rating.

For customers interested in green products for their buildings, hinges from SELECT are made from up to 100 percent recycled aluminum.

Make Doorways Safer

Sometimes, facilities such as hospitals, correctional facilities, schools and other institutions need an anti-ligature hinge to deter patients, inmates or students from injuring themselves. You can help them increase safety and meet legal requirements by ordering either a hinge with a hospital tip prep (concealed hinges only) or by retrofitting doors with the new SELECT Tipit™ anti-ligature hospital tip. Made from a durable, high-tech polymer, the wedge-shaped Tipit hospital tip securely attaches to the door frame header above the hinge with #10 Torx® SST security screws.

Retrofitting existing doors with the tip and a full surface geared continuous hinge cuts expenses by saving the existing door and frame. So you can increase safety without replacing hardware on all doors, and end repeated door repairs because of SELECT hinges’ 50-year life span. Or add the Tipit to most other brands of full surface hinges.

The SELECT Tipit comes in black (for dark bronze anodized hinges) and gray (for clear anodized hinges).

When you get the call, do more than repair the lock. Install a geared continuous hinge and provide a strong solution to high-traffic entrances, a good source of income and a way to create long-term, happy customers.

Bob Cronk is vice president, sales & marketing, Select Hinge.

For more information on Select products, contact your local locksmith distributor or Select Hinge, Web Site:

To read additional Locksmith Ledger articles on hinges, visit