Industry Ed with Richard: Functional Hardware Series – Hinges and Drawer Slides


When it comes to choosing cabinet hinges for their homes, most people stick to one of two options: the “scissor type” hinge or the “pin type” hinge. 

Scissor Type Hinges

The industry recently has come to rely on soft-close scissor hinges because they are not visible from the outside and can close automatically. These hinges are fully concealed and work with reveal overlays, full overlays and inset applications. 

A standard scissor hinge

Nowadays, people prefer a soft close mechanism to prevent their cabinets from slamming shut. Lots of manufacturers sell clip-on attachments, but we are seeing more and more cabinets with soft close mechanisms built in to the hinge itself. Installing soft close hardware is more expensive and time-consuming, but most families decide it’s worth it in the long run.  Pin Type Hinges

Since Pin Hinges can be seen from the outside of the cabinet, their purpose is mainly cosmetic. However, this makes them harder to install.  The advantage of a Pin Type is its range of motion. Most Scissor Types only open to around 115 degrees. Some Scissor Types open up to 175 degrees, but those hinges are very large and very expensive. Pin Types, on the other hand, open the full 180 degrees. The catch here is you need some type of “catch,” whether friction-based or magnetic, to keep the cabinet door closed in the absence of a spring-loaded mechanism found in Scissor Types.

A standard pin hinge

Drawer Slides

The drawer/cabinet industry is moving towards all under-mounted, ball-bearing, fully extendable drawer slides. These are extremely user-friendly and easy to install. They are also more consistent and reliable than your average side-mounted slides. Pretty much all drawer manufacturers are using these under-mounts.

Similar to your hinged cabinets, we are also seeing more and more soft close mechanisms with drawer slides. Once again, soft close mechanisms come with a heftier price tag, but most everyone decides it’s worth it in the long run.

We are also seeing adjustable pullout strips. With these, you can easily adjust the height of your drawers.

An illustration of an adjustable pullout strip

They are a new trend and are just catching on. Expect to see more of them in 2018!

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