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Swing Clear Hinges or Wide Throw Hinges: What’s the Difference?

Every building, whether a home, office, or commercial establishment, relies on doors for access andsecurity. While the door's design and material are often the primary focus, the hinges that anchor doors are pivotal to their performance and functionality.

Twotypes of hinges stand out for their unique functionality features:swing clear hinges andwide throw hinges. But what sets them apart? Let's find out.

What are Swing Clear Hinges?


A steel full mortise swing clear hinge with a satin chrome finish


Swing clear hinges, often called "offset door hinges," are specially designed hinges that allow a door to swing completely clear of the door opening. Common uses of swing clear hinges include:

1. Medical Facilities

In hospitals and clinics, where large equipment, beds, or wheelchairs frequently move from room to room, swing clear hinges are invaluable. They ensure that doorways are fully accessible, reducing the risk of equipment damage or patient discomfort.

2. Accessibility Adaptations

Homes or buildings modified for individuals with mobility challenges often utilize swing clear hinges. They are particularly beneficial for wheelchair users, ensuring they can navigate doorways without obstructions.

3. High-Traffic Commercial Spaces

Incommercial environments where goods, equipment, or large numbers of people move through doorways, swing clear hinges can enhance flow and efficiency.

What are Wide Throw Hinges?



Wide throw hinges are specially crafted hinges that offer a broader swing radius than standard hinges. Common uses of wide throw hinges include:

1. Historical and Architectural Significance

Buildings with historical or architectural significance often have thicker walls or unique design elements. Wide throw hinges allow doors in such structures to operate smoothly without damaging the walls or the door itself.

2. Modern Design Elements

Contemporary homes with deep door casings or unique design features can benefit from wide throw hinges. They ensure that doors can swing clear of any decorative or structural elements, preserving the integrity of the door and the design feature.

3. Commercial and Storage Spaces

In commercial settings, where shelving, displays, or other fixtures might be close to doorways, wide throw hinges ensure doors can open fully without causing damage or obstruction.

Swing Clear Hinges and Wide Throw Hinges: Key Differences

While both swing clear hinges and wide throw hinges are designed to enhance door functionality, they cater to different needs and architectural challenges. Here's a breakdown of their primary differences:

1. Design

Swing Clear Hinges

These hinges are crafted to move the door entirely out of the doorway when open. They often have an offset design, which shifts the pivot point away from the traditional location, allowing the door to move further away from the doorway when opened.

Wide Throw Hinges

The main objective of these hinges is to provide a broader swing radius. Their design features extended leaves, increasing the distance between the door and any adjacent wall or obstruction when it is open.

2. Primary Use Cases

Swing Clear Hinges

Ideal for spacesprioritizing full accessibility, such as medical facilities or homes adapted for those with mobility challenges.

Wide Throw Hinges

Perfect for doors that need to swing around deep casings, thick walls, or other architectural elements.

3. Aesthetic Appeal

Swing Clear Hinges

They offer a seamless look, especially when the door is open, as it completely clears the frame.

Wide Throw Hinges

A solid steel wide throw hinge with an oil rubbed bronze finish

While functional, they can also be a design statement, especially in spaces where the extended swing radius is necessary and a design feature.

How to Choose the Right Hinge for Your Project

Consider the door's weight when choosing between swing clear hinges and wide throw hinges

1. Assess Your Needs

  • Functionality: Determine the primary function of the door. Is it to provide unobstructed access, or is it to swing clear of specific architectural features?
  • Aesthetics: Consider the visual appeal of the hinge with the door and the surrounding space. Some hinges can be more conspicuous than others.

2. Consider Door Specifications

  • Size and Weight: Ensure the hinge adequately supports the door's weight and dimensions. A heavier door might require a more robust hinge.
  • Material: The material of the door (wood, metal, glass) can influence the type of hinge suitable for it.

3. Evaluate the Surrounding Architecture

  • Wall Thickness and Protrusions: A wide throw hinge might be more appropriate if the door is adjacent to a thick wall or has nearby obstructions.
  • Doorway Width: For narrower doorways where maximum clearance is essential, swing clear hinges can be the better choice.

Final Thoughts

Swing clear hinges and wide throw hinges offer unique advantages, depending on the specific needs of a space.Contact Hinge Outlet today for further guidance on which hinge type is best for you.