Residential Door Hinge Selection- How to Order Door Hinges Online

Residential Door Hinge Selection- How to Order Door Hinges Online

Door hinges are a critical part of your door hardware selection. Selecting the appropriate door hinges for your project will ensure a seamless fit and decades of reliable performance.  There are a few factors to consider when choosing between different types of hinges which we will lay out below.  This guide will focus primarily on residential door hardware and what will be found in the majority of homes across the US. 

As always we are here to help.  This article will serve as a helpful guide to make a purchase decision, but if you are still in need of help please reach out to us.  Your call or email will be answered by a knowledgeable associate who will get you on the right track!

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Door Hinge Anatomy


Door Hinge Anatomy

Door hinges are composed of 3 main parts.  The Hinge Leaf, Knuckle, and Hinge Pin.  The hinge leafs are the two sides that mount to the door and door jamb respectively, they are joined via the knuckle and are held together with a hinge pin that runs the length of the knuckles.


Residential Door Hinge Types


Butt hinges are the most common hinge type for residential applications, they are cost effective and fit a broad range of applications.  They are installed on doors which have been mortised on both the frame and the door.  Mortised just simply means that a groove has been cut for the hinge to rest flush within the mounting surface.  Butt hinges consist of two rectangular halves that are joined in the middle via interlocking knuckle as shown above in the hinge anatomy example

  • Plain Bearing- Standard as shown above no additional components to reduce friction.  Hinge simply opens and closes by pivoting around the hinge pin

3 1/2

Houseguard Hardware 3.5" Satin Nickel Hinge with 5/8" Radius

  • Ball Bearing-  Ball bearing hinges will have small ball bearings between the knuckles of the hinge.  This allows for smoother operation and is often used on heavy doors for easier opening and closure.

4" x 4" Ball Bearing Hinge 5/8" Radius - Satin Nickel - Schillings

Schillings 4"x4" Ball Bearing Hinge 5/8" Radius

  • Spring Hinge-  Spring hinges utilize a spring loaded knuckle which allows for automatic door closure.  Most spring hinges allow you to adjust the spring tension to set closure rates for your doors or to account for heavier doors.  These are a great option for garage doors if your pesky little ones are always leaving the doors open!

 Houseguard Hardware 4"x4" with 5/8" Radius Self Closing Spring Hinge


Hinge Sizing

Now that we understand the anatomy of the door hinge and the most common hinge type for residential use, we need to understand how to measure door hinges. There are dozens of different sizes and variations of hinges, but for the simplicity of this post we will discuss the most common residential door hinge sizes. 

The most common size is 3.5" by 3.5" for interior doors and 4" by 4" for exterior doors.

There are three measurements we need to look at when deciding what door hinge is needed. The length, the width, and the radius.

  • To measure the length and width, lay the hinge flat and measure from the edge of one leaf to the edge of the other.  Most residential door hinges will have and equal length and width.  


  • The next size we need to find is the door hinge radius.  The radius is a measurement of the corner of the door hinge.  There are 3 different radius types. Square, 1/4" Radius, and 5/8" Radius.  The radius can be measured using a tape measure, but we are going to keep this super simple.  All you will need is a dime and a quarter.... 


Square Corner Door Hinge- Pretty obvious here, the corner of the hinge is squared off.

Straight Corner Door Hinge

1/4" Radius Door Hinge-  The 1/4" radius hinge can be identified by placing a dime at the corner of the hinge, if the dime matches the curve of the corner it is safe to say it is a 1/4" Radius.

1/4" Radius Door Hinge

5/8" Radius Door Hinge- The 5/8" radius hinge can be identified by placing a quarter at the corner of the hinge, if the quarter matches the curve of the corner it will be a 5/8" radius hinge.


5/8" Radius Door Hinges

Half Square Half 5/8" Radius Door Hinge-  This is a hybrid of the 5/8" radius hinge and the Square corner hinge.  These are often found on exterior doors in a 4"x4" size. 


Houseguard Hardware 4"x4" with SQ and 5/8" Radius


Final Thoughts

Armed with the information above you can confidently order door hinges for your entire home.  All door hinges sold at eBuilderDirect come with the adequate number of mounting screws to easily install your hinges in minutes.  Whether buying hinges to match new door handles or replacing damaged ones we have what you need to get the job done.  You can click the link below to shop our catalog.  We carry several variations in all of the popular finishes!