All About the Different Types of Door Hinges

Are you looking to get a replacement exterior door? Door hinges are a part of your new door that are often over looked. There are many different types of door hinges available and it can be overwhelming to determine which one is best for your door. We’ll show you everything you need to know about door hinges so by the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be an expert.

types of door hinges

Types of Door Hinges for Exterior Doors

Your exterior door is the first thing guest see when they enter your home and the last thing they see when they leave. That’s why your exterior door needs to be something that’s eye catching and will make you proud. Your door hinges can play a major role in that.

It’s also important to pay close attention to how your door opens.  For instance, do you know if your exterior door swings inwards or outwards? Your door hinges determine that.

The types of door hinges you choose play a major role in both aesthetic appeal and functionality as well. Here are some common hinge styles for exterior doors.

Butt Hinges

Butt hinges are a very common type of door hinge. They’re not only used for exterior doors, but interior and cabinet doors as well. They’re installed on the edge of the door and an abutting surface – hence why they’re called butt hinges. There are several common styles of butt hinges you should know about.

butt hinge

Lift-Joint Butt Hinges

Lift-joint butt hinges have a pin in between the two leafs of the hinges. A leaf is the surface part of the hinge where you screw it into the door or frame. When the pin is removed, the door can be easily removed. This is a great option for a door that is often taken down. If you’re moving large items in and out of your home frequently, a lift-joint butt hinge is the type of door hinge for you.

Rising Butt Hinges

Rising butt hinges are perfect for exterior doors that open into rooms with uneven floors or rooms that are carpeted. They make it so your doors pass over the elevation with ease!

Ball Bearing Hinges

If you’re looking for a butt hinge for a larger, heavier exterior door, then look no further than the ball bearing hinge. They’re built to last and can handle more stress than a typical butt hinge. These hinges are perfect for high traffic exterior doors like your entryway.

Butterfly Hinges

Butterfly hinges are very similar to butt hinges. They are installed on the door edge and an abutting surface. The biggest difference is their appearance. They have decorative designs – similar to a butterfly – that helps them stand out. They’re perfect for elegant entry doors.

Olive Knuckle Hinges

Another alternative to butt hinges, knuckle hinges have a very unique design that help them stand out. They create an “H” shape when they are opened. When the door is closed, only the knuckle is showing. The knuckle of the hinge is where the two leafs meet.

Strap Hinges

Strap hinges stand out more than butt hinges. They have long leaves or flaps that stretch across the surface of your door. Other than exterior doors, they are often used for gates as well.

Pivot Hinges

If you have a tall door, you should consider installing pivot hinges. They’re used to keep taller doors aligned. They look similar to an olive knuckle hinge but pivot hinges pivot when they’re opened – that’s how they got their name.

Types of Door Hinges for Interior Doors

installing an interior door hingeNot all of the types of door hinges mentioned above work well with interior doors. There are specific styles that work best. We have a couple popular types of door hinges for interior doors.

Swing-N-Stay Hinges

Are you interested in cafe doors or a door that swings open and closed? Then you’ll need to check out a swing-n-stay hinge. They’re made for doors that swing open in either direction.

Surface Hinges

Surface hinges are the strap hinges for interior doors. They mount to the surface of your interior door for an elegant design and make the door sturdier. There are many different designs available but don’t let that confuse you. As long as it is installed to the surface of your door, it’s a surface hinge.

Cabinets Have Doors Too

When people think of door hinges, they usually think of their interior or exterior doors. Don’t forget about your cabinet doors though. There are a few types of door hinges that will only work with cabinet doors.

installing a cabinet hinge

Flush Hinges

Flush hinges are made up of 2 leafs that fit into one another when you close your cabinet doors. This gives the hinge a far less bulky look. They’re a great alternative to butt hinges for your cabinet doors.

Ornamental Hinges

Do you want a more decorative hinge for your cabinets? Ornamental hinges will make your cabinets look more elegant. They come in many finishes and colors to fit the style of your kitchen.

Concealed Hinges

As the name implies, concealed hinges are hidden from sight. They’re often installed on the inside of the cabinet and the door. They also mask minor imperfections in your cabinets construction.

Barrel Hinges

If you’re looking for a visually unique type of door hinge, then check out barrel hinges. They are cylindrical with a break in the middle which is how it opens and closes. They’re perfect for elegant kitchen cabinets to create a distinct style.

Unique Types of Door Hinges

There are a few very unique door hinge designs that could improve the overall aesthetic and functionality of any style of door.


If you’re looking for a unique hinge, look no further than the t-hinge. They get their name from their shape – they’re shaped like a “T”. They are flush mounted hinges and are often used for garage doors and top opening lids.

Piano Hinges

Most types of door hinges are short and need to be installed to be the top and the bottom of your door. Piano hinges are different. They are the length of the entire door so you only need to install one.

Soss Hinges

Soss hinges are installed differently from every other style. While most hinges are screwed into the door and the frame, soss hinges are mortised. They’re most often used with cabinet doors and furniture.

There are Many Types of Door Hinges

Different types of door hinges are used for different styles of doors. Whether its an interior, exterior or cabinet door, you need to know which hinges are made specifically for them. Don’t let the amount of door hinge types overwhelming you. Our guide should give you an idea of what you need. So once you’ve picked your perfect replacement door, make sure sure you get the right hinges to match.

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