Understanding the Different Types of Cabinet Hinges

All cupboards and doors in your home require a hinge to work correctly. So, you want to ensure you pick the right kind. This means you have to understand the various types and what they do.

You always want to refer to a trusted supplier to ensure you get quality hinges. Plus, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a professional for advice on which type to get and have them install it.

H; HL Hinges

H and HL cabinet hinges come from their name. They resemble these letters of the alphabet. They install on the cabinet’s surface and aren’t adjustable but come in many finishes and materials.

Full Wrap Cabinet Hinges

Cabinet hinges wrap around with screws that go into the frame’s edge and encompass all three sides. These are good for flush, Overlay, or insert overlay cabinet doors.

Partial Wrap Cabinet Hinges

Partial Wrap hinges are similar to Full Wrap, but they screw into the side of the frame rather than on the edge.  These wrap around on two of the frame’s sides and work well with insert overlay or flush cabinet doors.

Face Frame Hinges

Face Frames are partly concealed hinges. The portion attached to the frame is visible, while the door part is only visible when open. Some models are available as self-closing. There are four basic types of Face Frame cabinet hinges:

  • H-Style: named for the shape of an H, these are traditional and visible
  • Insert: offered as a hidden or surface mount; the cabinet hinge sits on the inside edge or outside of the door and frame
  • Partial Wraparound: these offer superior stability since they wrap around the edge or inside of the frame on two to three sides
  • Variable Overlay: these offer the most flexibility because they don’t have to overlap the frame by a set dimension

Surface Mounts

Surface Mount cabinet hinges install inside the cabinet frame and are entirely hidden. Also called Invisible or Concealed cabinet hinges, they don’t require mortise installation, and some are adjustable.

Soft Close Hinges

Another type of Surface Mount is Soft Close cabinet hinges. These hinges close gently no matter how much force is behind them. Such hinges can reduce noise, injuries, and damage to the cabinet while being precision adjustable.

Self-Closing Cabinet Hinges

The name of these cabinet hinges indicates precisely what they do; they close on their own. Self-closing hinges stay open until a gentle nudge forces them to close. Once the door reaches a certain point, the built-in spring then pulls the door closed the rest of the way.

Demountable Hinges

Available in single or double format, Demountable hinges let you take off the cabinet door. These are useful for cleaning and painting.

  • Single: these install onto the cabinet’s frame while the hinge fits into a slot on the edge of the door
  • Double: there are two slots in these hinges; one for the face of the cabinet frame and another on the door’s edge.

Non-Mortise Hinges

Cabinet hinges that are non-mortise are very sturdy yet stylish fixtures that don’t need mortises. They are suitable for insert cabinet doors and adding decorative detail. The only issue with these is if the screws protrude in any way, they won’t close right.


Deciding which type of hinge to get isn’t tricky, but it’s good to familiarize yourself with the various styles. Then, ensure you source hinges from a trusted supplier and hire a professional to install them to ensure they’re done correctly.

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