February 20, 2023

How to measure door hinges

To measure door hinges, you should have a tape measure. Measure the width, height, and thickness of the hinge for the perfect size for your hinge. The importance of accurately measuring door hinges lies in selecting the correct size and type. The size of your hinge has to match the size of your door. This article will take you through the steps of measuring your door hinge. 

Determine the type and size of hinge needed.

Choose the type and size of hinge needed based on the weight and size of the door. Calculations and charts help you choose the correct size door hinge for your application. The height of the door determines how many butts hinges you need. You may want to use one hinge for every 30 inches of door height.

The hinge size helps you adjust the weight based on additional weight factors. The door might be subject to physical abuse or high wind forces. Using the wrong type of door hinge can affect your application. If you have a high-use or special requirement door opening, match your hinge to fit that demand.

Understand the weight of your door and its usage. You also need to know the door weight and the type of traffic moving through the entryway. High-frequency doors need heavy-duty commercial steel hinges. Consult the manufacturer’s specifications or measure the existing hinges.

Gather the necessary tools and materials.


A pencil allows you to make some temporary markings on your hinges. Erase them when done using the markings. Use a pencil through the screw holes to mark hinges.

Philips screwdriver 

Consider having a flathead screwdriver for better results. Remove the hinge and use the screwdriver to indent the screws’ pencil markings.

Utility knife

To install door hinges, cut mortises in the door using the utility knife. 

Tape measure

Use a tape measure to determine the width and height of the hinge. A tape measure gives you accurate measurements for your hinge. 

Measure the door and hinges.

  1. Start by removing the hinge. Take out screws from the hinge using a Phillips screwdriver (Agrisupply.com). Start with the middle one and then unscrew the rest. Use a flathead screwdriver tip to pry off the hinge if it sticks to the wood or paint. Paint build-up on the hinges means you should pry it off with a utility knife.
  2. Measure the hinge width. It has to be on a flat surface when you open the hinge. From one side of the hinge, stretch the tape measure across the center to the other side. That is how you get the width. 
  3. Measure the hinge height by placing the tape measure parallel to the hinge’s side from top to bottom. Use the tape measure to take the hinge’s height. The hinge height has to match the width of standard hinges. Most hinges are 3 ½ inches, 4 inches, 4 ½ inches, 5 inches, or 6 inches. The thickness and width of the door determine the hinge height required. The width of the door affects the weight of the door. A wider door will need more load-bearing support for stability.
  4. For example, if the door is 1-3/8 inches thick and the width is no more than 32 inches, the hinge height is 3-1/2 inches.
  5. Measure the corner radius. Your hinge corner radius will be 1/4 inch or 5/8 inch. For correct measurements, lay your hinge flat and place a dime and a quarter on two corners. Confirm which coin fits better. If it is the dime, you will have a rounded corner of 1/4 inch. If the quarter fits better, round the corner by 5/8 inches.
  6. When buying a hinge for a new installation, use the standard guidelines for the correct sizing. 
  7. Take note of the radius, width, and height of the hinge you want. These numbers help you choose a hinge that will fit into the existing door and mortise.

Record the measurements and compare them to hinge options

Record the measurements accurately and compare them to the options available for door hinges. Select the correct size and type of hinge to avoid undersized concealed hinges. These may cause premature failure of the door and create safety issues. Your hinge has to meet the need of your door to avoid misalignment and squeaking sounds. 

Consider additional factors


When choosing material for your hinge, consider the strength of each material. If you intend to use the hinge to connect heavy objects, choose a material that can withstand the objects’ weight. Heavy-duty hinges are for high-stress applications such as this. They are made of thick stainless steel for a high level of strength compared to other hinges.

Traditional hinges are made of hard materials, such as stainless steel, whilst some are from a soft and flexible material. A living hinge can flex, absorbing some of the shocks from the connected objects as they move (Monroeengineering.com).

Fastener holes

Look at the fastener holes a hinge has and where they are located. A standard hinge may have four fastener holes, which is fine for most applications. Drive a screw through each of the four holes to secure the hinge. Other hinges may have up to a dozen fastener holes, allowing you to create a strong and more secure junction with the connected objects.


Also, consider size when choosing a hinge. Pay attention to the hinge width, hinge height, and knuckle length. If your hinge does not fit the objects you intend to use it, use a different hinge.


Consider the shape when choosing door hinges. Some door hinges are rectangular, whereas others are oval. The hinge shape will affect how it is installed. Cut out a shallow section of the wooden surface on the door and frame to install a hinge. The shape of these cutouts must match the shape of the hinge.


In summation, use a tape measure to measure door hinges. The measurements include height, width, and thickness. Accurately measure and select door hinges to ensure a smooth and functional installation. If you cannot follow instructions, consult a professional. 

David D. Hughes

Leave a Reply