Many people who have never purchased a door hinge before automatically assume that they are all the same. While apparently, they may appear the same, the fact is that there are various types of door hinges and their radius vary too. So, you’ll want to buy the right door hinge based on its size, type, and radius size.
We often get calls from customers who want to buy a door hinge but aren’t sure what information they need to give. Many people become overwhelmed if we ask them questions. That’s why we strongly recommend that you understand all the options before buying a door hinge.
Anyone in the market for a door hinge should do the following:
- Educate themselves about the size of the hinge.
- Count all the exterior and interior doors. You will want to make a note of the type and size of the hinges for each door.
- You will also want to educate yourself on the various types of residential interior and exterior door(s) and their hinges.
Understanding The Radius of Your Door Hinges
Now, if you’ve taken a closer look at the door hinges, you’ll notice that the corners of each hinge tend to differ. For instance, the corners of the hinges on your door are different from that of your window. You may notice some of the hinges have small square corners; others have rounded corners, aka their radius.
The difference between the round corner hinges and those with square corners is in their functionality. If you are starting from scratch with a door slab that hasn’t had a set of hinges attached to it before, you can outright choose the square or round hinge, whichever you think will work best.
On the other hand, if you are in the process of replacing the hinge on an existing hinged door, then you need to choose one with a matching cut-out. Sure, you could put a round hinge on a square hole, but it may not look good, not to mention there could be unforeseen issues later on.
So, the next most important question is: How do you know the right radius? Put another way, what should be the radius of the hinge you buy to replace the existing one?
The traditional way to determine the radius of your door or window hinge is to use a tape measure or a ruler. You start by measuring the top half of the hinge down to the rounded area where the hinge ends. A hinge that, for instance, measures 5/8″ will also measure 5/8″ from top to bottom, the same goes for one with a 1/4″ hinge. But we understand that everyone may find this type of measurement hard to do. That’s why there is another albeit slightly more straightforward way to do it.
The ¼” Radius Corner Door Hinge
To measure this hinge, you hold up a dime to the corner of the hinge. If you see that the hinge radius is smaller than the dime, it is a ¼” corner hinge. While it isn’t an exact form of measuring, in our experience, there are two radius sizes one is the 1/4″ corner hinge and the 5/8″ radius corner hinge. So, it can either be the same size or smaller than the quarter.
5/8″ Corner Door Hinge
Now, if you hold up a quarter to the door hinge, and the radius is about the same size as the quarter, then you’re dealing with a 5/8″ radius corner door hinge.
This short exercise should help you buy the right radius door hinge for your door or window.
The Difference Between Ball Bearing Butt Hinges, Spring Hinges, and the Standard Hinge
Once you have figured out the radius of the holes for the hinges, the next thing is knowing what type of hinge you want to buy. Better yet, which one is a good choice for your door or window? To understand this, you need to know the difference between these hinges and how they work.
- Ball-bearing hinges are comprised of two ball bearings located within the knuckles.
- The so-called standard door hinge does not have ball bearings.
- The spring hinges are also referred to as self-closing hinges, and some call them adjustable hinges because they can be adjusted. These are now required in many states to be installed on the door that leads to your garage. The tension of the spring is adjustable, which mainly controls how fast the door closes on its own after it is opened. The primary benefit of having these hinges on the door leading to the garage is that it prevents gas fumes from the vehicle from getting into the home.
Generally speaking, the ball-bearing hinges are of a higher quality and don’t squeak compared to regular or plain hinges without bearings. Most hardware stores have both types of hinges, but we’d recommend that you buy ball-bearing hinges since they are quiet, last longer, and offer smoother operation.
How Many Hinges Should You Buy?
Now that you are educated on the hole patterns, their shapes, and sizes, the next question you probably have is how many? Well, that will depend on the number of doors you have. Once you know how many doors (interior and exterior) you have, along with the sizes of the hinges for each door, you are all set to buy. However, a few things you should be aware of before buying door hinges:
- Many doors use sets of three hinges.
- Hinges, for the most part, are sold in pairs.
- You are better off replacing hinges in pairs even if only one hinge may be acting up.
Buying the best door hinges are a little more complex than most people first assume. However, with a bit of knowledge regarding what you need, it’s possible to buy the right hinges online even without having to leave the comfort of your home. That said, when you need help, always make sure to consult with one of our experts.