Motion Control Engineering & Manufacturing Resources

Where to Use Different Types of Hinges

Posted by Weber Knapp on Dec 22, 2020 12:30:00 PM

where to use different types of hinges - door hinge


Today’s hinges make life much easier and more comfortable. We have progressed so far from just a plain old door hinge to advanced solutions for kinematic motion, mechanical spring counterbalance, and spring assist technologies. 

Let’s look at different types of hinges, and detail what kind of hinges work best where.

Different Types of Hinges

As we mentioned briefly, there are a variety of hinges out on the market. In this post, we’ll talk about:

  • Counterbalance hinges
  • Spring-assisted hinges
  • Lift Gate Assistant
  • Concealed hinges
  • Pivot hinges with spring assist
  • Adjustable hinges

Counterbalance Hinges

If you have problems opening or closing a heavy lid, you will appreciate the benefits of counterbalance hinges. These mechanical hinges balance the weight of the lid against gravity’s downward forces, reducing strain and improving functionality. 

Counterbalance hinges give users precise control for effortless opening and closing, or holding lids in a particular position. Typical uses for counterbalance hinges include:

  • Medical centrifuges
  • Slide preparation devices
  • Medical devices
  • Industrial equipment
  • Hatches for submarines or armored vehicles
  • Boats
  • Grain silos
  • Vacuum chambers

Spring-Assisted Hinges

Spring assist hinges use a mechanical spring mechanism to open or close lids with less force needed. These are used in applications such as:

  • Drum smokers and light lid applications
  • Large industrial toolboxes

A spring loaded hinge is used to automatically open or close a door. The spring loaded continuous hinge (or piano hinge) is a longer hinge. 

Spring loaded piano hinge applications include instrument panels, lockers, or security doors, and are also reliably used to meet the rigorous needs of the aerospace industry.

Spring-assisted hinges are cheaper than full counterbalances, so they’re often used for products that are trying to stay within a certain price range without sacrificing functionality.

Lift Gate Assistant

A lift gate assistant is uniquely counterbalanced to provide a user-friendly open/close feature to easily lift a countertop pass-through with one finger. And users can rest assured that the gate won’t fall back down.

 These ergonomic and space-saving gems are great for busy restaurant and bar pass-through applications, as well as countertops in workplaces and hospital environments, and can even make more economical use of space in RVs.

Interested in what goes into designing the LiftGate Assistant? Check out our new lid calculator!

Lift gate assistant lid calculator

Concealed Hinges

When your focus is on appearance or security, a concealed hinge is your best bet. While an exposed hinge is fully visible on the outside, a concealed hinge lays flush. Concealed hinges can be used on interior or security doors as well as high end appliances including hidden refrigerators.

Compact concealed hinges have a smaller profile, making them appropriate for just about any face frame application.

Pivot Hinges with Spring Assist

Pivot hinges allow an item to pivot from a single point, and are usually seen in heavy traffic or heavy duty applications because they can carry more weight. This makes them perfect for Murphy Bed applications in the hospitality industry, as well as standard cabinet hinges in home applications.

Adjustable Hinges

Adjustable hinges provide the ability to make small changes to the angle or height of the lid or door without removing the hinge. Simple pivot hinges for some cryogenic freezers have adjustments built into them. Custom offset hinges provide motion control , to move the pivot point and allow additional clearance.


There is No One Hinge to Rule it All

As nice as it would be to have one hinge that works wonders with every application, that’s not quite possible. However, there are certainly hinge solutions for every application, it just takes a bit of design expertise with a dash of creativity!

That’s why partnering with an innovative hinge manufacturer will not only improve your product’s safety and functionality, but you can install the hinge knowing it was made with care.

If you want to learn more about custom hinge solutions for every application, check out our free ebook about motion control and counterbalancing!

motion control and counterbalancing for product design

Topics: Applications, Ergonomics, Motion Control, Design, Appliance, Counterbalance, Counterbalance Hinge, Engineering, High End Grill, Hinge, Hinges, Lid, Lid Support, Smoker, Smoker Grill, Testing & Prototyping, Manufacturing