Everything to Know About the Heavy-Duty Hinge

Because an entry door can be quite heavy (as can a gate), you’ll likely need heavy-duty hinges to hang it. So what are your options? Read on!

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When you’re contemplating installing a new front door, don’t skimp on the hinges you choose. Because an entry door can be quite heavy (as can a gate), you’ll likely need heavy-duty hinges to hang it. So what are your options? Read on!

What Is a Heavy-Duty Hinge?

Heavy-duty hinges are designed to provide support and stability for heavy doors (or gates or furniture lids) that have frequent use. You can find heavy-duty versions of some of the more popular hinge styles. They’re typically made of thicker steel (for interior use) or stainless steel (for exterior applications). And they’re designed for smoother operation with a heavier door than their standard counterparts.

If you have a squeaking hinge, here’s how to silence it!

How Do You Know if You Need a Heavy-Duty Hinge?

Your hinge choice depends on the door’s weight and use. Use a heavy-duty hinge:

  • If you’re installing a solid-core, heavy door or gate, and/or
  • If the door will get used frequently

Check a hinge’s specifications to find out how much weight it’s designed to support.

Types of Heavy-Duty Hinges

These are some of the most common hinge styles you’ll find for a heavy-duty application:

  • Ball bearing butt: Two plates have interlocking knuckles, a central pin, and ball bearings that reduce friction to provide smooth operation and long life.
  • Invisible hinges: These aren’t visible when the door is closed. They can’t be tampered with, so are considered secure. Choose the heavy-duty versions for heavy, frequently used doors.
  • Piano hinges: These can run the full length of a door. Ball bearings reduce friction for smooth operation.
  • Spring: Some of these self-closing hinges are designed for heavy-duty use.
  • Strap: A surface-mounted hinge, used often on gates or large decorative doors. One or both of the hinge’s leaf plates are long.
  • T: A surface-mounted hinge that has one short piece attached to the jamb and a long piece attached to the door.
  • Weld-on: Similar to butt hinges, these are designed to be welded to a metal door.
  • Wide throw: The width of the hinge is greater than the height, which puts the hinge’s pivot point away from the door. This allows more clearance behind the door when it’s open 180 degrees.

How Should a Heavy-Duty Hinge Be Installed?

It depends on the hinge style. Strap and T hinges are designed to be surface mounted. But, most other styles work best if mortised. Once it’s installed, here’s how to get the hinge squeaky clean.

Because they’re made to be more durable, heavy-duty hinges are more expensive than standard ones. That said, prices range widely depending on the style you choose—from about $13 for a ball-bearing butt hinge to $400 for an exterior-grade invisible hinge for a standard-size entry door. If budget is a concern, you can revive rather than replace your heavy-duty hinges in three easy steps.

Learn more about hinge styles and applications in this guide from Stanley.

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Kathleen Childers
Kathleen Childers, a Minnesota-based writer, covers topics about home and life for a variety of clients.