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Are There Wheels in Door Hinges? How Are They Made?

Close up photo of a stainless steel door hinges in a wooden door.

So, what’s the verdict? Do hinges have wheel bearings? You bet they do! Heavy-duty hinges have four sets of ball bearings, whereas standard-weight hinges typically have two. 

The reason why door hinges have ball bearings is to help them move more smoothly. Depending on the weight of the door, different numbers of ball bearings are used.

For example, a heavy-duty hinge might have four sets of ball bearings, whereas a standard hinge might have two. This is why it’s important to check the weight limit of the hinge before installation.

The most common type of hinge is the two-wheeled hinge. As the name suggests, this hinge has two wheels stacked on top of each other that rotate around the same center of gravity.

Another interesting thing is that while a wheel-like hinge might look more like a wheel, in reality, it’s an instrument for sliding the doorway open. This type of hinge is often used in barn doors or other doorways that are wider than a standard door.

Types of hinges for residential use

Close up photo of a two door hinges in different sizes.

There are a few things to consider when purchasing door hinges for residential use. The first is the size of the hinge. Hinges come in a variety of sizes, so it is important to measure the door before purchasing the hinges. This is in addition to making sure that the hinges are for indoor or outdoor use depending on your needs. 

Most residential hinges for exterior doors  will come in one of the following sizes and have a zig-zag hole pattern:

– 4×4″

– 4×4″ with a  1/4 inch radius corner

– 4×4″ square with a 5-inch radius corner

– 4×4 square corner

There’s also something called a template hole pattern which has a crescent half moon shape. Very rarely but on occasion a residential exterior door will have a template hole hinge installed on it. These have a crescent moon hole pattern.

Most residential hinges for interior doors will come in the following sizes and have an arch hole pattern:

– 3.5″ x 3.5″ with 5/8″ radius

– 3.5″ x3.5″ with 1/4″ radius

– 3 x 3″ square

Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor door hinges, remember to shop around and find a supplier that offers a wide range of door hinges that are both functional and decorative.

Ball bearing hinges types

A stainless steel nall bearing hinges isolated in a white background.

Ball bearing hinges have two ball bearings in the knuckles of the hinge. The standard plain bearing hinge has no ball bearings. In general, the ball bearing hinges are of higher quality and prevent squeaking of the hinges better than the plain bearing hinges. What’s more, ball-bearing hinges are great for most residential settings.

Spring hinges, also known as self-closing hinges, are typically recommended for the door leading into your garage. The adjustable tension spring in the hinge automatically closes the door, helping to minimize any harmful gas fumes from getting into your home.

How hinges are manufactured

How are door hinges made? Door hinges are usually made of metal, although there are some that are made of wood or plastic. The most common type is the butt hinge, which consists of two plates with screw holes that are held together by a pin or rod. 

When it comes to metal hinges, the simple forming of sheet metal in a punch press has been around for many years. But, complex forms such as hinges can be processed using modern machine technology, specifically punch presses with stroke control. Hinges are no longer a headache to produce thanks to these machines.

Forming a hinge in a punch press is typically a 3-step process that uses the knuckle tool. After the tabs have been punched into the sheet to be formed, the knuckle is used to make the first two forming strokes.

The first stroke produces the leading edge of the tab that slides around the interior of the second tool, during the final operation. The second forming stroke bends the tabs up to a designed angle, typically between 75 and 88 degrees.

The third and final forming stroke lowers the knuckle tool down to the sheet metal tab while the raised tab enters the upper tool m to make contact on the upper front edge. as the tool continues to descend, the tab is forced to slide around the perimeter of the upper tool, curling it around to form a hinge.

This is the magic of the punch press. It allows manufacturers to create hinges directly on the parts that use them while eliminating secondary operations such as riveting in place. This also ensures accuracy over the secondary operation and eliminates the cost of specialized press break or stamping tooling to create hinge forms.

How the debate started

Hinges in different types and sizes isolated in a white background.

If you have been following the doors vs wheel debate on Twitter, you will know that it is a hot topic. People are passionate about their choice and are not afraid to voice their opinion. It all started with a poll that showed that most people prefer hinges with wheels to ones without.

This is likely because hinges with wheels allow for smoother movement and are less likely to get stuck. This is a pretty big change from the traditional hinge that we are all used to seeing. It will be interesting to see how this trend develops over time. But, I wager that we’ll continue to see hinges with wheels evolve and rise in popularity.