If you want to make cabinets, you undoubtedly need cabinet hinges.
Do you opt for simple traditional hinges, hinges with an elegant look, piano hinges, or concealed hinges?
They all have their own advantages.
However, if you look at the most commonly used cabinet hinge, the hidden hinge or the European hinge is the big winner.
Just take a look at the cabinets in your home.
The kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, wardrobes …
Chances are that these can be opened thanks to a Euro hinge.
There is an incredible number of variants of this euro hinge, each with its own characteristics.
In this article, you will gain insight into how to make the right choice, and discover the 5 most used cabinet hinges.
Use this knowledge to clearly see the differences between these hinges. Like that, you will be able to choose the best hinge for your projects for the rest of your life.
What are european hinges?
European style cabinet hinges is a concealed hinge usually used on frameless Euro-style cabinets.
However, this type of hinge can also be used on face frame cabinets.
European cabinet hinges consist of two parts: the hinge and the mounting plate.
The mounting plate is attached to the cabinet and the hinge in a drilled hole in the back of the door.
Other names for European cabinet hinges are often Blum or Grass hinges. This is because these are two of the main manufacturers of this type of hinge.
How does a European hinge work?
European cabinet hinges are really super simple.
To attach or remove traditional hinges, you must tighten or loosen screws or install or remove hinge pins.
Euro hinges simply snap onto mounting plates in just a few seconds.
All you have to do afterward is to adjust the door until it fits perfectly with the cabinet, and the job is done.
3 reasons to use European hinges
So you are considering using European-style hinges.
Well, with these three reasons, you will convince yourself to use this type of hinges instead of traditional hinges.
- Easy to install — Just drill a hole in the right spot, and the rest is self-explanatory.
To make it even easier for you to install these cabinet hinges, there are jigs and templates that can help you with this.
You can discover more about it later in this blog.
- Easy to adjust — Once a traditional hinge has been installed, you can adjust little or nothing.
With European hinges, you can easily move a door in and out, up and down, or side to side, just by tightening or loosening a few screws.
- Direct installation or removal — To place a door on a cabinet, the Euro hinges click onto the mounting plates within seconds.
If you want to remove that door again, just pull the release lever and the door will come off.
Some things to think about before buying hinges
I am sure that you are already convinced to start using European cabinet hinges, because of everything you have read above.
But you cannot just search for European hinges and order the first type you come across.
There is a good chance that you will order the wrong type.
You will first have to think about a few things that are important when choosing the right hinge.
Only when you know what requirements you have to set for a hinge, you can choose one of the 5 types of cabinet hinges for your project.
I will discuss them at the bottom of this article.
So before you continue, go through the following important steps:
Step 1: determine cabinets type
When you make cabinets, you can do this according to two basic types:
- Face-frame cabinets — This type of cabinet has a frame on the front edges (face) of the cabinet.
Hinges are mounted on this frame.
This style is common in American cabinets.
- Frameless cabinets — this type of cabinet can be compared to a four-sided box.
The hinges are attached to the inside of the cabinet.
Another name for frameless cabinets is Euro style cabinets.
So be aware of this when you start in the search for hinges for your cabinets.
Below, I show you the differences between these two types of hinges.
Notice how the mounting plate is shorter at the face frame hinge.
Step 2: Opening Angle of the Door
You can buy cabinet hinges in different opening angles.
This is the angle at which the door opens from the cabinet.
Before you buy cabinet hinges, it is better to think about which opening angle best suits the project you are working on.
The most common opening angles are between 95° — 110°.
Larger angles, up to 170°, are often used for corner cabinets.
These hinges are usually in combination with bi-fold hinges. Bi fold hinges have an opening angle of about 50°, and can be used for opening the second part of the corner cabinet door.
Step 3: Hinge Mounting Plate Connection
A cabinet door can be attached to the mounting plate in the carcass in two different ways.
Either you choose a clip-on hinge or a slide-on hinge.
The clip-On hinge is often used with kitchen cabinets.
These hinges snap onto the mounting plate without the need for screws.
A slide-on hinge is slid onto the mounting plate and must then be screwed into position.
Step 4: Cup Hole Diameter in the Door
The cup hole of hinges can be different.
When working on a new project, the cup hole is of less importance as you will drill the holes in the cupboard door yourself.
However, if you need to replace hinges, or if you use existing cabinet doors in a renovation project, it is important to check what the cup hole size should be.
Usually, the cup hole is 26 mm, 35 mm, or 40 mm.
So first measure the size of the hole in the door before you place your order.
Step 5: cabinet and door thickness
It is good to check the thickness of the cabinet and the thickness of the door.
The cabinet hinges you buy must be adapted to this.
Usually, euro hinges are good for wood thicknesses of 14 to 20 mm (1/2” to 3/4”), but other dimensions are also possible.
So make sure you don’t make any mistakes here.
Step 6: special features
Cabinet hinges can have special features that can be useful for your project.
Some of these important features are:
- Self-closing hinge: when the door is closed within a few centimeters, this type of hinge will pull the door shut and keep it closed.
Another name is sometimes snap closing.
- Self-opening systems: when you press the door, the mechanism in this type of hinge will push the door open.
A handy system if you want to make cabinet doors without handles.
- Soft-Close hinge: If you don’t like the banging sound a cabinet door makes when it slams shut, then you should definitely choose this option.
Within a few inches of the closed position, the hinge will slow down the door and gently close it.
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5 Most use cabinet hinges
With all the data you can gather from the information above, you can get started choosing cabinet hinges.
The differences between the most common cabinet hinges, are in the positioning of the cabinet door against the carcass.
You can choose from full overlay hinges, half overlay hinges, or inset hinges.
These 3 hinges are supplemented with 2 additional types of hinges you can use if you want to make corner cabinets.
I will explain each type one by one below.
Cabinet hinges type 1: full overlay door hinge
If you want a cabinet door that covers the entire surface of the cabinet, then choose a full overlay hinge.
When you look directly at the cabinet, you will only see the doors and nothing of the carcass.
These types of hinges are used for doors at the ends of a cabinet.
Buy these hinges here:
Cabinet hinges type 2: half overlay door hinge
If you want half overlay doors on your cabinets, then this is the type of hinges you are looking for.
This type of overlay hinge is used in the center of a cabinet where two doors share a single partition.
Because of this hinge, each door will cover half of the partition wall.
These hinges can open both doors placed on either side of the partition without touching each other.
Cabinet hinges type 3: inset door hinge
When using insert hinges, you will see the frame of the cabinet.
The front of the door is flush with the front of the carcass.
Buy these hinges here:
Cabinet hinges type 4: Corner doors hinge
If your project has a corner cabinet, you will need adapted hinges for this. These corner door hinges have an opening angle of up to 170 degrees, and are therefore made for this type of cabinet.
With this hinge, you connect the cabinet door to the carcass.
To open the second door you will need a bi-fold hinge, this is the 5th type of hinge that I am discussing and can be found below.
Buy these hinges here:
Helpful jigs & materials to install hinges
Euro hinges are not that difficult to install.
Just mark and drill very accurately, and the rest is a breeze.
What you need to install euro cabinet hinges is:
- a decent pencil for marking,
- a measuring tool,
- a cordless drill for drilling the cup hole,
- and a Forstner drill bit.
If you don’t have a cordless drill yet, be sure to check out my blog — cordless drill buying guide -. This blog will undoubtedly help you to determine which one is best for you.
If you want to install cabinet hinges even easier and faster, then the Kreg KHI-Hinge Concealed Hinge Jig Face Clamp is an absolute must.
This jig will help you avoid mistakes when drilling the holes for the hinges.
With this jig, even an inexperienced person can place hinges like a pro.
If you want to install drawers in addition to doors, it is better to opt for this combination package from Kreg.
(Drawer Slide Jig + Cabinet Hardware Jig + Concealed Hinge Jig + Two 2″ Face Clamps).
With this jig, you can mount both hinges and drawer slides.
How many hinges do I need to support a cabinet door?
In most cases, cabinet doors will be of the size or weight that two hinges should be enough.
However, if the weight or size differs from a normal cabinet door, hinges must be added to provide adequate support for the cabinet door.
To find out how many cabinet hinges you need, please refer to the tables below.
When in doubt, always choose too much support instead of too little.
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Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration