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What is a Piano Hinge?

While it’s clear that butt hinges and common door hinges allow you to easily open and close a door, there are also several other types of hinges that make it possible for you to easily open and close chests, toy boxes or even pianos. One type of hinge is a piano hinge.

Also known as continuous hinges, piano hinges are long and typically offer support for the entire length of a cabinet, chest or toy box door. Obviously, piano hinges are also commonly used on the lids of upright pianos, hence the name.

The great thing about a piano hinge is that it can be used as a concealed hinge or an exposed hinge mounted on the surface, similar to a strap door hinge. You can simply mortise the piano hinge to the frame and lid of a furniture chest so it is hidden when the lid is closed for a concealed look.

Piano Hinges: The Advantages and Disadvantages

If you’re trying to determine if a piano hinge is the best choice, consider these advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of a Piano Hinge

  • Ability to Customize the Length: During piano hinge installation, you can cut the piano hinge to the length you need or want. This is advantageous when you want to match the piano hinge to the length of the lid or door.
  • Even Load Distribution: Door assemblers often choose piano hinges because there is even load distribution over the length of the door opening. Because of this, it’s often easier to determine how and where to place piano door hinges.
  • Piano hinges can be screwed on or welded on.  Piano hinges are available without the screw holes making it convenience to weld on for your specialty applications.

Disadvantages of a Piano Hinge:

  • Potential of Degradation: Because piano hinges are metal-based, it is common for the door hinges to become contaminated with rust, leading to corrosion. This is most prominent when your piano door hinges are exposed to moisture that finds its ways to the door hinge leaves and knuckles. To offset, this, it’s recommended that you regularly lubricate your piano hinges.
  • Smaller Screws: Piano door hinges are equipped with smaller screws when compared to other door hinges such as butt hinges and strap hinges. Therefore, it can be easier for the piano hinge to rip from the door assembly.
  • Piano Hinge Installation: While it’s not terribly difficult to install piano hinges, it can require more than one person. One person needs to hold the piano hinge components together, while the second person involved in piano hinge installation will need to screw the door hinges.
  • Piano hinges can bend very easily.  Since they are long and narrow, they have a tendency to bend.  However, you can bend that back into place if they arrive bent.

When making the choice to use a piano hinge or another common type of door hinge, know that you have choices when working with Hinge Outlet. We make it easy to find the exact hinges you’ve been looking for. From door hinges to cabinet hinges, we feature a wide variety of hinges that are easy-to install, visually appealing and durable. Check out our door hinges and door hardware in a variety of finishes to choose the one that meets your needs and satisfies your wants. If you need help with choosing hinges, be sure to check out our hinge guide now!

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