What Is a Butt Hinge?

Hinges are not that new – you’ve probably seen them on different doors, from your home’s entry to medicine cabinets and your gate. But with the mention of butt hinges, it becomes hard to resist some chuckle. However, butt hinges are critical installations on your doors, and here’s some insightful information about them.

A butt hinge is a special type of hinge attached to a door and a door jamb’s adjoining surfaces. Usually mortised or recessed into these surfaces, they comprise two matching leaves – one attached to the door jamb while the other to the door. These hinges make it easier to operate doors.

Read on for more information on the types of butt hinges, their pros and cons compared to flush hinges, and what to look for when choosing these hinges.

What Are the Different Types of Butt Hinges?

Butt hinges come in different types, depending on their applications and their constructions. In the former category, there are butt hinges for either residential or commercial use.

Notably, commercial-grade butt hinges are designed for use in doors greater than 1.75 in. (4.445 cm) thick. Contrastingly, residential hinges are built for doors that are 1.25 in. (3.175 cm) – 1.75 in. (4.445 cm) thick.  

In terms of construction, butt hinges can be plain bearing, ball bearing, or spring-loaded types.

Here’s a brief description of each of these types of hinges:

  • Plain bearing butt hinges: These are the standard choice if you fit a door that is neither too heavy nor used that much. For example, you could use them on interior doors.
  • Ball-bearing butt hinges: These are the recommended hinges for doors used more frequently, such as entry doors. You can operate doors more smoothly with these hinges than with plain bearing hinges. They are also the ideal choice if you want durable hinges.
  • Spring-loaded butt hinges: Have you ever noticed that some types of doors automatically shut when you leave them open? That is because these doors have spring-loaded hinges. You can use these hinges on cabinets or screen doors.
  • Rising butt hinges: These are particular types of hinges – they look like standard hinges when closed, but as the door opens, they lift it by about 0.5 in. You can use them when you need your door to quickly clear uneven or thick flooring materials as you open it.

Are the Pins Removable?

Most hinges come with removable pins. However, some have fixed pins for security purposes. If you intend to fix a hinge outside of a door in a less secure place, such as your building’s entry, we’d recommend that you use a non-removable pin. This is because it would be difficult for intruders to open the door by removing the pin.  

Butt Hinges vs. Flush Hinges

Now that you’re aware of what butt hinges are, their different types, and the significance of non-removable pins on hinges. Let’s take a closer look at their most common alternative – flush hinges.

Just like butt hinges, flush hinges are used to hang doors. However, flush hinges are made to fit within pockets cut into the door and frame, allowing the hinge plates’ surfaces to sit flush with the door and frame’s surface. Because of that, the door sits completely flushed against the frame instead of remaining in an offset position.

It’s critical to hang your doors correctly. Doing that makes it easier to operate them smoothly and for a long time. Therefore, it’s essential to distinguish between the different types of hinges and select the one that suits your needs best.

Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of butt and flush hinges.

Pros of Butt Hinges

  • They can sustain heavyweight: Butt hinges are more suitable for thicker, heavier doors.
  • More secure: Butt hinges, especially the ones with non-removable pins, are designed for security. You can choose hinges that are fixed on the inside to prevent unauthorized entry.
  • Better clearance of uneven floors: You can use rising hinges to reduce wear and tear of flooring materials, such as carpets, as you open doors.
  • Automatic closing: Self-closing hinges are more convenient to use – you won’t have to shut doors each time you open them.
  • Aesthetic appeal: You can make your cabinets more beautiful to look at by using butt hinges – these hinges come in various finishes and styles.
  • Durable: Butt hinges are designed to function properly for years. Besides, their ability to handle heavier doors makes them a more practical option if you want hinges you can use smoothly for years.

Cons of Butt Hinges

The main disadvantage of these types of hinges is that they require you to cut a recess into the jam and the door. This means more work during installation.

Pros of Flush Hinges

  • Require less space: Once installed, one leaf of a flush hinge usually nestles into another one, reducing the amount of space needed.
  • Less work: Unlike when installing butt hinges, you won’t need to cut a recess in the jam or door, making installation quick and easy.

Cons of Flush Hinges

My main gripe with flush hinges is that they cannot hold heavy weight. Because of that, they may wear out quickly if installed on thicker doors.

6 Things To Consider When Choosing Hinges

Regardless of how you intend to use them, you should never rush when buying hinges. We highly advise that you consider the specific types and features of the available options to buy a product that will make operating doors more comfortable while offering the benefit of enhanced security.

In our opinion, these are the most crucial factors to consider when picking hinges:

The Environment

Where exactly do you plan to use the hinge? Is it humid outdoors? If so, we highly advise that you pick a hinge that’s made of rust-resistant material. For example, it would be better to choose one made of stainless steel due to its chemically inert nature.

1 Pair Door Hinge 4 Holes Butt Hinge+8 pcs Screws 316 Stainless Steel Casting Hinge fit for Home/Marine Boat/Yacht Door or Window/Locker/Cabinet/Deck/Tool Box 3.8cm
  • Heavy duty marine grade cast solid 316 stainless steel butt hinge.
  • With 4 holes for fixing, easy to install.Butt Hinges for Furniture Lid, Cabinet Door, Wardrobe Door, Jewelry Storage Box, etc.
  • With Perfect surface treatment, door hinges possess corrosion resistant,moisture resistant and ageing resistance feature for bathroom,kitchen or outside using.

Last update on 2023-06-12 at 05:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In this case, we recommend this Stainless Steel Butt Hinge from Amazon.com. It’s made of heavy-duty, high-grade stainless steel, making it resistant to corrosion, moisture, and aging. Besides, it’s constructed for both indoor and outdoor applications.

Hinge Size

Size is one critical aspect that you should never overlook.

What would happen if you buy a hinge only to discover that it doesn’t fit the object you intend to hang? That would be a waste of time, right?

Therefore, you should pay attention to the height, width, and knuckle lengths of the available hinges to ensure you get the perfect fit.


Conventional hinges are made of rigid materials, such as stainless steel. Although they are sturdy, they are poor at absorbing shocks and impacts.

However, with living hinges, you’ll never go wrong on flexibility. Besides, living hinges absorb shock better. If this sounds a deal, then you should try these Continuous Acrylic Piano Hinges from Amazon.com out. They have better impact resistance, a superior flex-life, and are made of high-grade materials for maximum durability.

5 x 50mm, 2", low profile flex hinges, flexible living hinges, Transparent, Continuous Acrylic Piano Hinges,
  • Superior flex-life, Slim Low profile, impact resistance
  • Height: 40mm. Width: 50mm. Depth: 3mm
  • Hinges are manufactured using high grade impact materials for maximum durability (Bonding adhesive not provided)

Last update on 2023-06-12 at 05:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Number of Fastener Holes

Standard butt hinges have four fastener holes, which work perfectly in most applications. However, if you want more secure junctions, you may choose hinges with more holes.

As a rule of thumb, the more holes, the stronger the connection created.

Hinge Strength

How heavy are the objects you intend to connect using butt hinges?

If the objects are heavy, you should pick a hinge made of sturdy material. It should be able to handle high-stress applications.

Generally, hinges made of stainless steel are stronger than those made of other materials.


Did you know that piano hinges are the ideal solution if you intend to install hinges across an object’s entire vertical length?

This is because of their elongated design. 

In this case, we recommend this 6 Inch Heavy Duty Continuous Hinge from Amazon.com. It has broad applications, is made of stainless steel, and comes with predrilled holes that make installation quick and easy.

4 PCS Stainless Steel 304 Piano Hinge, 6 Inch Heavy Duty Continuous Hinge, 0.6" Thickness Fixing Folding Continuous Piano Hinge,Black
  • 【High Quality】6 inch continuous hinge made from 304 Stainless Steel, the highest quality you cannot afford to go without
  • 【Easy to Install】All holes of 6 inch piano hinge are predrilled for quick and easy installation. 3.2mm hole diameter and set 60mm apart
  • 【Widely Use】Continuous & piano hinges are ideal for various doors, cabinet, cabinet, tool box, wooden box, gift box

Last update on 2023-06-12 at 05:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Although you couldn’t resist some grade-school humor at the introduction of this article, I’m sure you’ve now acknowledged that butt hinges are designed to make operating doors a breeze.

They come in different types and constructions, meaning you’d be spoilt for choice when picking one.

However, as you contemplate installing them on your doors, we cannot overemphasize asking yourself the following questions when picking your preferred hinges:

  • In what type of environment will I use the hinges?
  • Which hinge size do I need?
  • Do I need flexible hinges?
  • Do I need a stronger hinge?
  • Do I need elongated hinges?


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