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As one of the more highly utilized recessed hinges, a butt hinge is typically manufactured to be about 6 inches or shorter. They have multiple uses and are installed for a variety of different applications. Generally, a butt hinge is used to mount and operate doors on commercial properties and residential homes.

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A butt hinge is usually comprised of two leaves that match. One is usually attached to a fixed component (such as a door jamb) and the other is attached to a moving component (such as a door). In the closed position, the butt hinge leaves will remain flush with each other where only the curled barrel, often referred to as the knuckle, is exposed.

They are manufactured in a variety of finishes and materials including aluminum, galvanized steel, galvanealed, hot & cold steel, and stainless steel. There are specific applications for a butt hinge in a variety of industries. Many are constructed from stainless steel materials to be able to withstand many types of harsh environmental conditions. Butt hinges can be viewed in many applications including on fire doors, box lids, cabinets, interior & exterior doors, etc.

Butt Hinges vs. Flush Hinges

Understanding the difference between a butt hinge and flush hinge can help ensure that the project is done correctly. Both types of hinges have their advantages and disadvantages.

This includes:

  • A Butt Hinge – One of the significant advantages is their ability to sustain heavy weight. They can be constructed with ball bearings instead of the central pin. Additionally, a butt hinge can be constructed for security where the pin cannot be removed when exposed to the outside. Other types of secured butt hinges can be designed so that no part of the hinge is accessible from the outside. Additionally, these types of hinges can be manufactured to raise the door as it opens. Many of these types of hinges are designed to be self-closing as the weight of the door will automatically drop itself back into the resting area of the butt hinge. A rising hinge is an ideal solution when the door needs to clear a carpet when opened or closed.

A butt hinge has a disadvantage in some applications. To function properly, they require that a recess is cut into the jam and the door for a flush          installation. This requires an additional amount of work to the installer. However, to avoid this type of installation, a flush hinge is available.

  • A Flush Hinge – A flush hinge is designed in such a way that one leaf will nestle into the other leaf, reducing the amount of space it requires. They are constructed to not require a recess to be cut in the jam or the door. Many of these types of hinges are used in cupboards. A significant disadvantage to a flush hinge over a butt hinge is its inability to hold heavy weight.

Another type of manufactured butt hinge uses a “loose-joint” hinge that makes it extremely easy to remove the door from the jamb. These work well in applications where the door needs to be replaced or removed frequently.

Many cabinet makers use butt hinges to enhance the beauty of its overall design. The simple construction of a butt hinge can ensure that it will function properly and smoothly for years. They are manufactured in a variety of finishes and styles, and most are highly durable.

Every type of hinge has its own unique application, but none are more widely utilized than the different varieties of butt hinges. This time-tested hinge is effective because of its simplicity, and has been used in one fashion or another since the time of the Romans.