Does the lid of that grill, smoker, or barbecue pit you designed fly backward or slam shut unexpectedly? Blame the cheap hinges!
Heavy-duty hinges do more than just open and close something. They also mitigate the weight of a heavy lid, meaning they're much easier to lift and less likely to slam shut. The last thing you want is a weak hinge that allows the wind or an inadvertent bump to slam a lid shut on someone's hand!
Motion control and counterbalance hinges can prevent that. They'll also make that heavy lid feel exponentially lighter. Not only does that improve the customer experience; it's also better for them ergonomically. The proper hinges can make grilling easier, no matter a person's height or strength.
Keep reading to learn the three levels of motion control your heavy-duty grill hinge can provide, based on your needs and budget.
3 Ranges of Heavy-Duty Grill Hinges
Let's break down the three types of heavy-duty grill hinges you should consider for your design, from "good" to "better" and "best." We'll also point out some pros and cons of each type of heavy-duty hinge.
- Spring-assisted hinges
- Spring-assisted hinges with a Vectis pivot
- Counterbalanced hinges
Spring-Assist Hinges Are Good
Spring-assist technology is a budget-friendly option that can still give your grill a higher-end feel.
With lighter-weight lids, a spring-assisted hinge acts almost like a counterbalance. As the weight of the lid increases, spring-assist hinges become less effective.
True spring-assist hinges are a more cost-effective option than counterbalance hinges but still provide better motion control than a run-of-the-mill tension spring design. Many hinge manufacturers primarily use tension springs in their spring assists; the experience and expertise of the manufacturer will determine how far that design takes you.
Spring-Assists With a Vectis Pivot Are Better
Adding a Vectis pivot to a spring-assist hinge adds controlled, constant friction to further refine the smoothness and quality "feel" of the motion. It also helps mask any mismatches in lid torque and spring torque that may arise due to manufacturing tolerances.
If you already have spring-assisted hinges on your grill or smoker lid, adding a Vectis pivot will help lessen that annoying (and dangerous) slamming down. It will also add a little of that high-end, counterbalance-like feel.
There are a few factors to consider before choosing a Vectis pivot:
- To accommodate the Vectis pivot, you may have to alter the design of the lid where it attaches to the grill (the pivot point).
- The Vectis Pivot requires a square opening of a specific size (as diameters are used for round features).
Despite these possible design challenges, a Vectis pivot is a great, moderately-priced option for a quality grill or smoker hinge.
Counterbalanced Hinges Are Best
The safest and most customer-friendly option is using true counterbalance technology on your grill, smoker, or barbecue pit hinges. They may cost a bit more, but they're certainly worth it in terms of:
- Improved safety
- Better functionality
- A more luxurious "feel"
These motion control hinges allow you to specify exactly how softly the lid will open or close, even specifying at what degrees of motion it'll happen. You can choose the exact spot where that lid will stay when you choose counterbalance hinges.
Your smoker will function more efficiently because you can specify exactly how much pressure you need to create a proper seal. No more customer complaints about smoke or heat escaping! With counterbalanced hinges on your grill, customers will have the option of leaving the lid partially open to create the perfect cooking environment.
After the first 5° of rise, that 80-lb. lid starts to feel like a mere 2 lbs. (or whatever level of “assist” you choose)-- all thanks to counterbalance hinges
Which Heavy-Duty Grill Hinge Should You Choose?
All three of these grill lid hinge options will improve customer safety. From there, your hinge design comes down to your desired balance of budget and performance.
To help you decide on the right hinge for your grill or smoker lid/door, consult with a motion control engineer via the button below: