Types of Cabinet Hinges and How to Choose


Cabinet hinges are one of the most important functional and aesthetic elements of cabinetry. They connect cabinet doors and facilitate opening and closing. With the wide variety of cabinet hinges available, it can be daunting to select the right type for your needs. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the different types of cabinet hinges, their features, and how to choose the ideal hinges for your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. We’ll cover factors like style, functionality, durability, ease of installation, and pricing to help you make the perfect choice for your next cabinetry project.

Overview of Cabinet Hinges

Cabinet hinges, also called Euro hinges, are composed of three main parts – the hinge cup, the hinge arm, and the mounting plate. The hinge cup is inset into the cabinet door, while the mounting plate is screwed onto the cabinet frame. The hinge arm joins the two together, allowing the door to open and close.

There are several key variables that differentiate the types of cabinet hinges:

  • Opening range – 90°, 110°, and 170° opening capability
  • Adjustability – Vertical, horizontal, and depth adjustment features
  • Mounting – Face frame or frameless cabinetry
  • Style – Decorative finishes and designs
  • Durability – Strength and weight capacity
  • Ease of installation – Pre-aligned vs adjustable hinges

By assessing these factors, you can zero in on the ideal hinge type for your specific kitchen or bathroom design.

Types of Cabinet Hinges

There are five main categories of cabinet hinges:

Standard Cabinet Hinges

Standard cabinet hinges have a limited 90° opening range. They offer little or no adjustability options beyond depth tweaking. Most standard hinges have a simple design with limited decorative finishes available. They can be used on both face frame and frameless cabinets.


  • Inexpensive
  • Simple installation
  • Sleek, minimalist look


  • Only 90° opening range
  • No adjustment capabilities
  • Prone to sagging over time

Concealed Cabinet Hinges

Concealed cabinet hinges feature a hinge cup that is completely hidden from view when the cabinet is closed. Only a thin sliver of the hinge arm is visible. They are used to create a clean, seamless look for modern cabinetry. Most models have at least some adjustability built in.


  • Streamlined, concealed appearance
  • Allows for 105° – 170° degree opening
  • Durable and strong


  • Visible gap may appear when door is open
  • Difficult to install and adjust
  • Limited finish options

Partial Wrap Cabinet Hinges

Partial wrap hinges combine the aesthetics of concealed hinges with easier installation and adjustment. The hinge wraps partially around the sides of the cabinet door. Models with 120° – 170° opening capability are available.


  • Partially concealed look
  • Easier to install than full wrap models
  • Greater adjustability than concealed hinges


  • Still prone to installation gaps
  • Pricier than standard hinges
  • Very limited finish options

Full Wrap Cabinet Hinges

Full wrap hinges fully encase the sides and top of the door, creating a truly seamless look when closed. The full wrap design facilitates smooth, wide angle opening. Most models open up to 170°.


  • Fully concealed hinge for seamless cabinet appearance
  • Permits very wide door opening up to 170°
  • Facilitates smooth motion and consistent gaps


  • Challenging installation and adjustment
  • Expensive price point
  • Minimal adjustment range

Specialty Cabinet Hinges

Beyond the major categories above, there are specialty cabinet hinges designed for particular uses:

  • Corner cabinet hinges – Allow opening of cabinet doors installed at corners
  • Gate hinges – Provide 180° opening for cabinets with pass-through doors
  • Lift-up cabinet hinges – Support opening cabinet doors from below
  • Self-closing hinges – Close doors softly and automatically
  • Inset cabinet hinges – Designed for flush inset cabinet doors

These hinges cater to specific cabinet configurations and uses. They offer customized function outside the capabilities of standard cabinet hinge models.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Hinges

With so many hinge options on the market, it’s essential to keep a few key factors in mind while selecting the best type for your kitchen or bathroom:

Cabinet Door Style and Construction

The style and build of your cabinet doors significantly impacts the kind of hinge required. Will you have inset or overlay doors? What is the door made of – lightweight or solid hardwood? Is the design full inset without an exposed frame, or will the cabinet frame be visible? All these factors determine which hinge types can be accommodated.

Available Cabinet Frame Space

The width of the cabinet frame or face frame determines the physical dimensions of the hinge that can be installed. So-called “overlay” hinges are designed to work with wider face frames, while “inset” hinges require minimal frame space.

Functionality and Range of Motion Needs

Consider how widely you would like the cabinets to open. Standard 90° opening, or wider angles up to 170°? Limited function or maximum versatility? Speciality hinges for corners and pass-through cabinets also provide expanded utility.

Adjustability Requirements

Basic hinge types offer minimal adjustments, while more advanced models provide up to 5 directions of tweaking. Assess if adjustment capability for perfect door alignment is a priority for your installation.

Durability and Weight Considerations

The longevity and strength of the hinges should align with the weight of your cabinet doors. Bulkier solid wood doors require more heavy-duty hinges than lighter doors. Larger hinges are also more durable over the long term.

Decorative Style and Finish

Hinges are available in a spectrum of decorative finishes. If style is important, choose hinges that coordinate well with your cabinet hardware and handles. Concealed hinge types have minimal finish options.

Installation Factors

Standard hinges are relatively easy for DIY installation, while concealed hinges can be tricky. Look for precision engineered or pre-aligned hinges if your carpentry skills are limited. The time investment in installing various hinge types also ranges significantly.

Cost Considerations

Cabinet hinge pricing spans from budget-friendly to premium. Assess factors like construction quality, materials, opening range, and special features to determine if spending more will be worthwhile long-term.

By carefully weighing all these criteria, you can zero in on the ideal cabinet hinge choice for your upcoming project.

Buying Considerations for Cabinet Hinges

Equipped with knowledge of the different hinge types and factors that influence selection, you’re ready to buy. Here are some final tips for purchasing high quality cabinet hinges:

  • Buy hinges from reputable brands like Blum, Amerock, Liberty, and Salice known for consistent quality.
  • Select hinges certified to meet ANSI durability standards for cycle testing.
  • For concealed hinges, opt for models with durable, lubricated steel-on-steel rotation.
  • Match metal finishes on hinges to cabinet knobs and pulls for a cohesive look.
  • For specialty hinges, ensure compliant motion range and load capacity.
  • Buy a few extra hinges to account for potential installation errors or replacements needed down the road.
  • Don’t forget screws! Confirm screws included match your cabinet construction.
  • Consult manufacturer size charts and use a caliper to measure existing hinges if replacing or matching existing.

By following these tips and assessing the hinge types covered in this guide, you can make a well-informed cabinet hinge buying decision. Careful selection of the right hinges will result in optimal function, lasting durability, and seamlessly stylish cabinetry for your kitchen or bath.

Installation Tips by Hinge Type

Proper hinge installation is just as important as choosing the right hinge. Follow this advice for smooth installation of any hinge type.

Butt Hinges

Use pilot holes for screws to prevent splitting wood.

Ensure hinges are set back from cabinet edges so doors can open fully.

Concealed Hinges

Check that the hinge cup size matches the drilling required for your cabinet.

Use manufacturers’ jigs to drill cup holes at precise angles and locations.

Partial Overlay Hinges

Accurately measure to position hinge plates for even gaps and perfect alignment.

Use shims and spacers to dial-in the exact door overlay.

Full Overlay Hinges

Confirm side cabinet walls are thick enough to accommodate hinge plates.

Carefully level and locate hinge plates for seamless closure.

Specialty Hinges

Follow specific manufacturer guidelines for unique hinge installation.

Use professional help if unfamiliar with any specialty hinge hardware.

With good measuring, proper drilling, and attention to detail, you can install any hinge smoothly. Taking time to get it right results in perfectly aligned doors that operate flawlessly.

Choosing Hinges Strategically

Apply these tips for choosing optimal hinges in your kitchen, bathroom, mudroom, or any cabinet project:

  • Select durable, heavy duty hinges for cabinets that get heavy use like kitchens.
  • Prioritize adjustable hinges for older homes where cabinets may settle and shift over time.
  • Use wide opening angle hinges in corner cabinets and other tight spaces.
  • Look for hinges to match existing holes when replacing doors or cabinets.
  • Consider self-closing functionality for cabinets housing loose items that could spill.
  • Choose soft-close hinges when a quiet closing action is preferred.
  • Match finishes on hinges, knobs, and pulls for a coordinated look.
  • Test hinge function on a sample before purchasing large quantities.

By thoughtfully evaluating your cabinet specifications, planning hinge placement meticulously, and selecting the ideal hinge types for your specific needs, you’ll achieve cabinetry that functions flawlessly and looks fantastic.

Types of Cabinet Hinges and How to Choose

With all of the cabinet hinge options and factors to consider, choosing the right hinges for your project can be challenging. But understanding the pros and cons of each hinge variety along with proper installation techniques will lead you to the best choice. Analyze the type of overlay, door weights, adjustment requirements, and specialty features needed. Thorough planning and research allows you to strategically select cabinet hinges tailored to your cabinets and household needs. Investing the time upfront results in beautiful, functional cabinetry you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cabinet Hinges

Many common questions arise for homeowners and designers when selecting cabinet hinges. Here are answers to some of the key topics:

What are the different types of cabinet hinges?

The main categories include standard, concealed, partial wrap, full wrap, and specialty hinges. They vary in closing range, adjustability, mounting type, visibility, and design.

How do I choose the right cabinet hinges?

Consider cabinet door style, frame dimensions, opening range needed, adjustment requirements, durability, hardware style, ease of install, and budget. Choose hinges that align with these factors.

What is the most durable cabinet hinge?

Full wrap hinges are exceptionally durable because the full encased design stabilizes and reinforces the door. High quality steel concealed hinges also test very well in cycle testing.

What is the most heavy duty cabinet hinge?

Look for hinges rated up to 200lb door capacity. Partial and full wrap models distribute weight most efficiently. Sturdy steel construction also adds strength.

Can you change cabinet hinges?

Yes, existing hinges can be replaced, but the new hinges must align with the cabinet box and door dimensions. Fully concealed hinges allow a style update without altering the cabinet structure.

Do all new cabinets come with hinges?

Generally no; hinges are purchased separately so the homeowner can customize based on their needs. Corner cabinets may come with pre-installed specialty hinges.

How much do cabinet hinges cost?

Basic hinges cost $2-$7 per pair, while heavy duty concealed hinges run $7-$25 per pair from leading brands. Specialty hinges are at the higher end of the range.

What screw size do I need for cabinet hinges?

6 or #7 screws that are 1″ or 1-1/4″ in length are standard for most cabinet hinge installations. Always check manufacturer specifications.

Should cabinet hinges match cabinet hardware?

Matching metal finishes provides a cohesive, high-end look. However, mixing metals like brushed nickel hinges with bronze pulls is also popular. It showcases each element.

Can I adjust concealed cabinet hinges?

Yes, most quality concealed hinges offer adjustments for height, depth, side-to-side, and vertical door angle. Cheaper models may only allow depth tweaks.


The selection of the ideal cabinet hinges involves the assessment of numerous factors ranging from functionality and durability to style preferences and cost considerations. By understanding the differences between the many available hinge types and the benefits of each, you can make the perfect choice for your unique kitchen or bathroom needs. Investing in high quality, versatile hardware ensures long-lasting performance and flawlessly aligned cabinetry. With the guides and tips provided above, you’re now equipped to choose the perfect cabinet hinges to bring your vision to life.