Select the Right Hinges for Cabinets

To determine the kind of hinges for cabinets you need, it is imperative to know what type of cabinets you have. The choice of the hinges is largely reliant on the construction and styling of the cabinets. The two basic categories of cabinets based on their construction method are Traditional (face-frame) cabinets and European (frameless) cabinets. Traditional face cabinets differ from European cabinets due to the presence of an additional frame that reinforces and adds to the aesthetic appeal of the cabinet.

Hinges for cabinets based on the Traditional (Face-frame) Styling

These cabinets use either Flush Door, Overlay Door or 3/8" Lipped door. The hinges for such cabinets are: 

  • H-shaped Hinge — used mainly among flush doors
  • Variable-overlay Hinge — for face-frame cabinets that have doors completely overlying the frame without using a rabbet on the rear edge of the door.
  • Partial-wraparound Hinge — used mainly for flush, inset and overlay doors. These are regarded as the conventional choice when searching for self-closing hinges.
  • 3/8" Inset Hinge — used when the door has a rabbet cut on its back edge. The second-most preferred form of self-closing hinges.
  • T-Style Hinges — these hinges do not self-close and are not used very often.
  • Full-inset Pin Hinge — used mainly in flush doors.
  • Butterfly Hinges — do not self-close and are recommended for flush doors.
  • 3/8" Offset Type H-Hinge — best suited for offset doors but they do not self-close.  

Hinges for cabinets based on the Frameless (European) Styling

Doors associated with European or frameless cabinets are: 

  • Full-overlay door
  • Half-overlay door
  • Inset door

 The most commonly-used hinges for these doors are: 

  • European Hinge — it is highly recommended for inset and full-overlay doors. These are among the easiest of hinges to install and self-close with ease.
  • European Overlay Hinge — these self-closing hinges are used mainly for half-overlay doors.