Everything You Need to Know About Butt Hinges

Why are butt hinges so often the go-to choice for doors? It's not just cost!

butt hinge patpitchaya/Getty Images

With a name like butt hinges, it’s hard to resist a little grade-school humor. When you’re done chuckling, consider this: Butt hinges are the workhorses of the hinge world, opening and closing doors everywhere over and over and over again. Whether you’re replacing worn hinges or using them on a new door, here’s everything you need to know about butt hinges.

If that new door is a replacement for an interior door, watch this video for tips and tricks for a successful installation.

What Is a Butt Hinge?

A butt hinge has two rectangular leaves with knuckles in the middle, joined together by a pin. It’s the most common hinge used on doors, whether full-sized or cabinet.

Are There Different Types of Butt Hinges?

There are several:

  • Plain bearing butt hinges are the standard choice for interior doors. They’re good for doors that aren’t too heavy and aren’t used that much.
  • Ball bearing butt hinges are more durable and last longer. The bearings make doors operate more smoothly than plain bearing butt hinges, so they’re the best choice for entry doors and doors that are used a lot.
  • Spring-loaded butt hinges (also called self-closing butt hinges) contain a spring that automatically closes a door. Use them on screen doors or cabinets.
  • Rising butt hinges are a specialty style. They look like a standard butt hinge when closed, but as the door opens the hinge lifts the door about 1/2 in. Use them when a door can’t easily clear a thick or uneven flooring material as it’s opened.

Are the Pins Removable?

You can buy butt hinges with removable or fixed pins. In entries where the hinge is on the outside of the door, a fixed pin makes it more secure because the door can’t be opened by removing the pin.

How Much Do Butt Hinges Cost?

Prices vary with the style, size and finish. Steel hinges are most common. Prices start at about $2 for a pair. Cabinet hinges tend to be more expensive. You can find butt hinges at home centers like The Home Depot and specialty woodworking stores like Rockler.

Here is everything you’d ever need to know about concealed hinges.

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