Door Hinge Jig
By using a door hinge jig, you can easily—and most importantly accurately—mark, cut, and install a hinge on any door.
The neat thing is that the door hinge jig and router approach is less error-prone compared to using a chisel.
And, let’s not forget, the way the hinges are placed is one of the most critical aspects during any door installation.
The right tool will give you peace of mind, especially if you have a large volume of doors that you need to install.
The whole process of mortising the door will take literally seconds in some instances. But not all hinges are the same, and not all jigs are of equal quality.
Easy to use: A concealed hinge jig like this one makes the whole process as easy as it can be.
It will allow you to determine the most critical aspect of the installation of a concealed hinge—the placement. Or, in other words, how far the cut needs to sit from the top, bottom, and side of the door.
This jig comes with a bit already installed on it, which you can use to cut the hinged bed. The bit is fitted into a guide which ensures that you will be getting clean and straight cuts every time.
The stop collar on top will prevent you from drilling through the door as it will stop the drill at a certain depth.
Durable: Although it is made from plastic, the built quality is excellent.
Versatile: When you place the jig and lock it on to the door, you can adjust the width of the hinge by using one of the several different predetermined options ranging from 3 to 5 inches.
The neat thing is that on the side, there are two markers that you can use to adjust the depth of the bit.
Durable and Secure: This jig is made from plastic, but the built quality is sturdy and solid.
The clamp will keep the jig tightly secured on to the door’s frame, allowing you to safely make the cuts.
Extra Accessories: There are additional plastic bumpers that can be used for cutting rounded edges, but you can also reverse them if you want to cut rectangle edges
In addition, there is a smaller guide bar, which you can use as an extra surface to keep smaller routers from falling through. This extra attention to detail is something that makes this door hinge jig suitable for almost any size of router.
And let’s not forget that this excellent door hinge jig comes with a router bit, too.
Durable: This kit is made from aluminum, which is very durable and long-lasting. The two parts of this kit can be safely secured together without having to worry about them coming undone.
Versatile: It can be used on 6′ 5″ to 6′ 10″ doors, including fire doors. The sliding blocks can be easily adjusted in just a few seconds.
The length of the leaf can be regulated by using the edge guide sets, which can be adjusted between 12.7 and 35mm.
The design of this kit also allows it to be easily used on door frames too.
Easy to install and use: The two-piece design is quick to set up and takes little space.
This kit comes with several bradawls, which in combination with the swivel endplates, are used to secure the kit to the door while you are working.
Durable: The jig is not made from metal; it is plastic, but the build quality and the plastic itself is sturdy and long-lasting.
Versatile: It can be used for cutting eight different hinge sizes, starting from 2 1/2 inches and going up to 6 inches. It can also be fitted on five different door sizes, starting at 1 3/8 inches and going up to 2 1/2 inches.
Easy to use: It is super easy to use and install on the door. This is a small and lightweight jig that you will have no trouble bringing with you anywhere you go.
It comes with pins that are used for securing the jig in place, while the double-headed nails will lock the template to the door for extra security.
The neat thing about this template is that it also comes with a router bit.
Durable: This hinge template kit is built to last as it is made from metal
Versatile: It can be used for setting up a wide variety of different doors. It can be used even for 3 or 4 hinged doors. The three-hinged setup can be used on doors between 6 and 7 feet, while the four hinge setup can be used on 7 to 8 feet doors.
It can be used with a number of different hinge sizes starting from 3 inches and going up to 6 inches in 1/2 inch increments.
Easy to use: This kit is very easy to use, but the instructions may not be easy to understand at first. However, once you get the hang of it, the whole process of the installation of the kit takes just a few minutes.
This kit is perfect for replacing a large number of doors in as little time as possible.
Overall it is an expensive door hinge kit, but if you have to deal with a large volume of doors on a daily basis, it is a life savior.
Easy to use: In every kit, you will find a layout sheet for an easier setup.
Depending on your needs, just place the appropriate hinge template into the frame and secure it onto the door or door frame using the provided screws.
This will allow you to cut just enough for the hinge to fit nicely and tightly. You are not cutting the whole width of the door, so a tiny part of the door will remain, and the hinge will be able to set up against it. That way, the door will not go out of adjustment later.
Versatile: This kit can be used for cutting out hinges between 2.5 and 4.5 inches. However, the neat thing is that you can also use it for marking latch plates and strike plates.
And best of all, it comes with a router bit.
But the only thing lacking is a corner chisel.
Durable and inexpensive: This hinge installment kit is inexpensive and built to last. It is made from durable plastic, and the template frame is metal.
How to Use a Door Hinge Jig
Door hinge jigs can be used on their own as a template for marking down where the cuts for the hinges should go. In that case, you will need to use a regular chisel. Overall this is the cheaper—but not necessarily the better—alternative.
However, most door hinge jigs are built with a different purpose in mind—to be used in combination with a router.
This means that you will need to have a router too.
Routers are more expensive than chisels but provide for the highest quality cuts.
Below I will go with you over the steps of using a door hinge jig.
- Whenever you are working with tools, you can get injured in the process. This is why you need to make sure you are following the necessary safety procedures and guidelines. If you are using a power tool, give yourself some time to get fully familiarized with the manufacturer’s recommended use.
- To start, mark where the door hinges should go.
- Then you need to put the jig on the side of the door and adjust it. Make sure it is placed in the right place.
- Adjust the width of the area you will be cutting. Make sure you know what kind of hinges you will be using. The standard interior door hinges are 3 1/2 inches long, while the exterior door hinges are 4 inches long.
- Similar to how a vise works, you need to tighten the jig onto the door. This will prevent any movements while cutting the door. Before you continue, make sure the jig is indeed tightly secured to the door.
- If you are using a router, you will also need to adjust the depth of the cut. Longer hinges are used for heavier doors and are, in general, thicker, which means you will need to make a deeper cut.
- When ready, place the router on top of the jig.
- Start the router and follow the outline which you have set up with the jig. With gentle and firm movements, cut out the outlined area.
- When ready, stop the router and examine the cut. If needed, use the router again to remove any imperfections.
- Finally, remove the jig and place the hinge. Make sure it is a tight fit. If it doesn’t fit for some reason, redo the steps above if any adjustment cuts need to be done.
What Are the Different Types of Door Hinges?
Of course, there are going to be so many different types of door hinges. However, to keep things simple, below, I will go through the most commonly used ones.
The butt hinge is the most basic and commonly used type of hinge today. These are rectangular or slightly rounded hinges that are mortised into the surface of the door.
The best butt hinge jig you can get is the Ryobi A99HT2 Door Hinge Installation Kit, which offers a high level of adjustability and can be used with almost any type of router.
The spring hinge is a variation of the butt hinge. The main difference is that it is loaded with a spring, which will make the hinge close on its own under pressure caused by the spring mechanism.
These are simple and very useful hinges that can be mounted on a variety of different cabinet doors.
Spring hinges can also be very long, or alternatively, several spring hinges may need to be installed together to provide the necessary closing force.
Concealed Door Hinges
Concealed hinges are very popular because they remain hidden. The neat thing is that you can show off the design of your door with them and keep the overall design clean and unaffected by the hinges. They are mostly used on kitchen cabinets and wardrobes.
To install these, you can use a special concealed hinge jig that will speed up and facilitate the process of determining the right spot for each hinge.
The jig used for installing the concealed door hinges is a little different, and an example of one is the SOSS Invisible Hinge Jig.
Kitchen Door Hinges
Kitchen door hinges come in two standard sizes (26 and 35 mm). Usually, you do not need to worry about replacing or installing new hinges.
Interestingly enough, they may frequently be referred to as hidden or concealed hinges as well, but they are not truly hidden.
The best kitchen door hinge jig is the Kreg Tool Company KHI-HINGE Concealed Hinge Jig. It is super easy to use, and it features some neat extras like a cutting bit, which is installed in such a way as to provide the cleanest cuts possible.
What Is the Best Router for a Door Hinge Jig?
Although you can install the hinges with the use of a door hinge jig alone, a router is almost a must-have.
However, you need to make sure you are using the right type of router.
Generally speaking, there are two main types of routers you can choose from:
- A fixed base router; and
- A plunger router.
Both can have their depth adjusted according to your preferences, but they are not equally good when it comes to cutting the bed of the hinge.
Fixed base routers are exactly what the name suggests. They have a fixed base that will cut the wood at a predetermined depth, which cannot be changed during the work. The bit will be protruding during the whole time, and starting the cut may prove to be very difficult—even dangerous.
Plunger routers, like the Makita RP1800, allow for better adjustability, versatility, and safety.
You can guide the depth of the bit as you cut. All you need to do is adjust the upper and the lower depth of the cut before you start. The router bit will be tucked away safely, and you can position the router on top of the jig without having to worry.
This makes plunger routers better for making center cuts.
By using a door hinge jig, you can make the installation of a door a breeze—it just takes almost all the guess-work out of the way, with the end result being excellent, flush cuts.
A hinge jig can be extremely valuable, especially to people that are working with doors and cabinets on a daily basis.
This is why there is all the more reason to make sure you are buying the right tool for the right application.