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What Are the Different Types of Pivot Door Hinges?

There is a wide variety of door hinges available in the market today. From commercial to residential, they serve diverse purposes for doors that slide or open both ways. Pivot hinges are designed to serve as substitutes for conventional butt hinges. Different types of pivot hinges are used in modern construction projects especially in commercial spaces where doors open and close frequently.

Pivot hinges are ideal for high-usage applications as they can take the strain of constant movement. They are more durable than traditional hinges and last relatively longer. Moreover, besides the functional benefits, various types of pivot door hinges are aesthetic as well. Some are concealed within door mechanisms to provide a subtle appearance.

What Is a Pivot Hinge?

The butt hinge, which is the most common type used in construction projects for centuries, uses a simple rotating mechanism to control the door. Pivot hinges are sturdy alternatives that use a pivot system to open or close a door. These hinges can support the weight of the entire door, eliminating the need for a series of elements along the frame. Modern pivot hinges are also manufactured as spring loaded or hydraulic to provide additional functionality.

Benefits of Pivot Hinges

Pivot hinges are popular for the extent of applications they offer in terms of specifying doors for various purposes. Architects and contractors can identify which doors are to be used for movement of heavy materials or those that are large in size. Pivot hinges are also ideal for grand entrances in homes or venues. Pivot hinges are relatively uncommon in residences but they can be installed to provide frameless doors for hidden passageways, if you are interested in such a feature.

Types of Pivot Hinges

There are two main types of pivot door hinges that differ in terms of functionality, features and durability. Namely, these two types are offset and center-hung pivot hinges. These hinges are commonly found in commercial spaces since they are built for extensive use in situations that are prone to abuse. Pivot hinges are unique in their many aspects and here’s how the two types compare:

Offset Pivot Hinges

These are more frequently installed amongst the two types of pivot hinges. The set usually consists of one pivot each at the top and bottom which control the door. The pivot point is just outside the door frame. Offset pivot hinges are L-shaped which allows them to stand upright in both positions, fixing at a 90-degree angle with the door.

Offset pivot hinges can only be used with single-acting doors. However, they ensure that the door can rotate at 180 degrees when the hinges are installed properly. High quality pivot hinges like this Pivot Door Hinge Arch Style – Offset for Aluminum Doors is ideal if you are looking for long lasting mechanisms to operate commercial doors.

Offset Center Hung Pivot Hinge

Center-Hung Pivot Hinges

These types of pivot hinges are mostly used for double-acting doors. Restaurant kitchens are the most effective places to install these hinges. Much like offset ones, these pivot hinges also attach at the top and bottom of the door with the point of pivot hidden under the door. Center-hung types of pivot door hinges are straight in shape and therefore require cased openings to adequate movement.

The Rixson Center Hung Pivot Door Hinge Set is a durable choice for a variety of commercial applications. With a satin chrome finish and ability to support as much as 500 lbs., these hinges provide adequate support for heavy doors. In most extensive use cases, these hinges can work effortlessly allowing movement of labor and materials efficiently.

Center Hung Pivot Hinge

Other Types of Pivot Hinges

Besides the two main types listed above, pivot hinges are available in other styles as well. Here are some of the more common ones:

Double Action Spring Pivot Hinge

These hinges are designed to open doors effortlessly in both directions. The spring mechanism within the hinge returns the door to its original position after being opened or closed. Double action spring pivot hinges like the Horizontal Floor Mounted hinge are often used in salons, restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Horizontal Floor Mounted Pivot Hinge

Cabinet Pivot Hinges

Amongst the various types of pivot hinges are cabinet hinges that provide extensive functional ability and aesthetic appeal to cabinets within a home as well. These hinges like this Heavy Steel – Top and Bottom Set can be installed both on the upper and lower frames of the cabinet to offer ease of access and seamless operations. 

Cabinet Pivot Hinge

Gravity Pivot Hinges

Gravity Pivot hinges have no springs. They rely on the weight of the door for opening and closing. The absence of springs in these types of pivot door hinges, for instance the Surface Mount – Steel Construction – Gravity Pivot Door Hinge, makes them more durable and less susceptible to wear and tear.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can a pivot hinge hold?

There is a wide variety of qualities available in pivot door hinges. Depending on the manufacturer and material that these types of pivot hinges are made from, their load capacities can vary. On average, a pivot door hinge can support anywhere between 90 to 700 pounds. Furthermore, there are pivots that can support up to 1,750 pounds when adequately installed. The applications and use of these hinges can differ based on the space where they need to go.

How much clearance does a pivot door need?

The overall clearance of a pivot hinge depends on the size of the door. The standard size door requires about a 31.5 inch opening span. This is with a butt hinge. With a pivot hinge, the door needs at least 32.5 inches to open properly or else it can hinder overall operations. A small amount of space can also be taken by different types of pivot hinges.


Pivot door hinges are functional and aesthetic at the same time. They are concealed but can handle enormous amounts of weight for heavy use. The various types of pivot door hinges offer wide open spaces for commercial purposes where goods can be moved easily. Pivot door hinges are effortless in motion to create essential ease of access, especially if you are looking for effective hinges on your commercial doors.

If you are in the market for Pivot Door Hinges, Hinge Outlet provides an extensive collection of various styles, finishes and designs. There is a wide variety to choose from and customers can opt for the type or form that suits their home best. How many types of pivot door hinges are there? Check out this hinge guide today!