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How Can I Tell Which Hinge I Have In My Kitchen Cabinet?

Selecting the right hinge for a project can be tricky if you are unfamiliar with the various types out there. In some cases you may wish to identify a hinge that has already been installed on a cabinet in your home. This guide will help you determine what type of hinges are in your kitchen cabinet.

Categorizing Kitchen Cabinet Hinges

Kitchen cabinet hinges can be difficult to identify because they are rarely referred to as “kitchen hinges”. Instead, specific hinge types are chosen for kitchen cabinets due to their special characteristics. This includes:

  • Overlay type
  • Opening Angle
  • Mounting Plate Connection
  • Hinge Hole Size
  • Cabinet frame and door thickness

Overlay Type

Overlay cabinet hinges are a popular choice for kitchen cabinets.


The vast majority of hinges used in kitchen cabinets are concealed hinges. These are hinges that are hidden from view when the cabinet is in its closed position. Concealed hinges can be broken down into three types:

Full Overlay

Full overlay hinges allow the kitchen cabinet door to sit flush with the rest of the unit when it is in its closed position. Such hinges feature a straight arm that enables the cabinet door edge to line up with the cabinet’s edge.

Half Overlay

Half overlay hinges are similar to full overlay hinges. However, these hinges are suited for cabinets where the door side edge isn’t flush with the cabinet’s outer edge. This means the cabinet outer edge hangs out slightly and creates a small corner space when the door is in its closed position.

Inset Overlay

Inset overlay hinges are used for cabinets where the door’s side sits flat against the cabinet side’s interior, hence the term “inset”. Cabinets with inset hinges tend to have a cleaner appearance as their corners are concealed, and are therefore less likely to be nicked or damaged.

Opening angle

Kitchen cabinet doors that open into a corner require small angles.Opening angle is also vital when identifying or choosing kitchen cabinet hinges. A hinge’s opening angle refers to the angle measured when the cabinet door has swung out fully in relation to the cabinet.

It is important to understand hinge opening angles because different angles are suited for different purposes. However, most kitchen cabinet opening angles are typically between 95o and 110o. However, they may be larger or small for special applications.

  • 95oto 110o: This angle is suited for most kitchen cabinet doors where the door swings out a little more than 90o.
  • 170o: This large angle is best suited for corner kitchen cabinets where the door has the freedom to swing out past the cabinet sides.
  • 40oto 60o: These smaller angles are best for kitchen cabinets located in corners. The doors on these cabinets may not have the freedom to swing outward by much due to a kitchen counter or adjacent corner cabinet getting in the way.

Mounting Plate Connection

Slide on hinges require more effort to remove because they are secured in place using screws.Different types of hinges are connected to the cabinet frame in different ways. The main two connection styles are clip-on and slide-on.

Clip-On Hinges

Clip-on hinges are a special type of concealed hinge that can be attached and removed easily. These hinges simply “clip” onto the mounting plate, which makes it easy to remove the door for special situations. If your cabinet door and hinge can be removed from the cabinet frame this way, it is likely a clip-on hinge

Slide On Hinges

Slide-on hinges are used less frequently than clip-on hinges in kitchen cabinets. As their name suggests, these hinges “slide” into place on their mounting plate. However, such hinges cannot be removed easily because they are screw-fixed into place. If your cabinet hinge and door requires a screwdriver to remove, it is likely a slide on hinge.

Hinge Hole Size

Kitchen cabinet hinges usually sit in a hole in the frame. These holes can vary in size from 26mm to 40mm in diameter. However, the most common hinge hole size is 35mm.

Door and Cabinet Frame Thickness

The thickness of the cabinet door and frame will also impact the type of hinge that can be installed. This thickness determines the size of the mounting plate to be used. The most common mounting plate sizes are 15/16mm and 18/19mm. However, you may require larger or smaller plate sizes for specialized applications.

Where to Find High-Quality Hinges?

If you are seeking reliable high-quality hinges for your kitchen cabinet, check out Hinge Outlet. We offer a wide variety of concealed hinges for your kitchen, this includes full overlay, half overlay, and inset overlay hinge types.

If you require further assistance with identifying the hinges in your kitchen cabinet, check out this other great article. One of our experts will be glad to help you with the identification process and can assist you with choosing replacement kitchen cabinet hinges. How can you tell if a hinge fits your kitchen cabinets? Check out our comprehensive Cabinet Hinge Guide today!