How To Easily Swap Out Doors Using Removable Pin Hinges

Installing and removing interior doors can be a real headache when you have to deal with wrestling off those stubborn hinge screws. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With removable pin hinges, you can swap doors in and out with ease by simply popping out a few pins.

Keep reading to learn all about how removable pin hinges make door installation and removal a breeze. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right hinges to proper installation and maintenance tips. By the end, you’ll be able to tackle door projects with confidence and take the frustration out of dealing with regular hinges.

door hinges with removable pins

What Are Removable Pin Hinges?

Removable pin hinges, also sometimes called knock down hinges, are a special type of door hinge that has a removable pin in the barrel. This allows the door to be lifted off the hinge quickly without unscrewing anything. The pin keeps the two halves of the hinge connected to the door and frame separately.

With standard hinges, you have to fully unscrew the hinge leaves from both the door and the frame to remove the door. This takes time and effort when dealing with stuck or stripped screws. Removable pin hinges eliminate the need for any unscrewing since you just pop out the pins to detach the door.

The Benefits of Using Removable Pin Hinges

Installing doors with removable pin hinges offers several advantages over ordinary hinges:

  • Much faster and easier installation of new doors. Just hang the hinged side, insert the pins, and you’re done.
  • Ability to quickly remove doors without unscrewing for maintenance, repairs, or painting.
  • Doors can be swapped out individually without altering the whole frame.
  • Pins allow slight adjustments during installation for the perfect door fit.
  • Ideal for situations where quick door removal is needed like closets and pantries.

In addition to the ease of door removal mentioned earlier, removable pin hinges also offer increased versatility in door installation and maintenance. For example, if a door becomes damaged or needs to be replaced, only the affected door and its hinges need to be removed and replaced, rather than the entire door frame. This can save time and money in the long run.

Where Are Removable Pin Hinges Used?

Removable pin hinges are a popular choice for residential interior doors. They are commonly used in:

Basically, they work for any standard interior door where you want to simplify installation or need to remove the door occasionally. The quick pin removal makes them handy for situations like moving furniture in and out or pulling doors off for painting.

While removable pin hinges are commonly used in residential and commercial doors, they also have specific applications in certain industries. For example, in the healthcare industry, removable pin hinges are often used in hospital room doors to allow for easy cleaning and maintenance. In the automotive industry, they are used in car door hinges to allow for easier installation and removal of doors during manufacturing and repair processes.

Choosing the Right Removable Pin Hinges

When shopping for removable pin hinges, there are a few specifications to keep in mind:

  • Hinge size – Standard interior door hinge sizes include 3-1/2″, 4″, and 5″. Match the size to your existing hinges.
  • Hinge gauge – This refers to the thickness/strength. Heavier doors require a thicker gauge.
  • Hinge design – Consider decorative finishes and shapes to match your door style.
  • Number of hinges – Most standard doors use two or three hinges. Larger/heavier doors may need more.

You’ll also find options like self-closing hinges and security hinges with removable pins. Take some time to choose the right hinge style and specifications for your particular doors.

While many removable pin hinges are made of stainless steel, other materials such as brass, zinc, and aluminum are also used. The choice of material will depend on factors such as the intended use of the hinge, cost, and desired appearance. Stainless steel offers durability for high traffic doors, while brass provides an elegant, decorative look.

How to Install Removable Pin Hinges

Installing removable pin hinges takes a bit more upfront preparation than ordinary hinges but the long-term payoff is worth it. Here are the steps:

  1. Remove existing hinges from door and frame if present.
  2. Position hinge mortises in door and frame per the manufacturer’s instructions. Mortising kits allow flush installation.
  3. Test fit hinge in mortises to ensure proper depth and alignment.
  4. Mark and drill pilot holes for screws in door and frame.
  5. Attach hinge leaf to door first, then frame side. Use shims if needed for adjustment.
  6. Insert pins fully into barrel and ensure they are seated firmly.
  7. Check door operation and make any adjustments needed to pins or shims.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s specific instructions since components and installation procedures can vary. Taking the time to mortise the hinges and install them properly will result in smooth operation and long-term durability.

Tips for Easy Installation

Follow these tips to ensure flawless removable pin hinge installation:

  • Use sharp drill bits and chisels to make clean mortises.
  • Install hinges in proper alignment to avoid binding.
  • Use zinc-plated or stainless steel screws to avoid corrosion.
  • Make sure door is properly shimmed and aligned in opening.
  • Double check pins are fully seated by removing and reinserting.

Removing and Reinstalling Doors

Once your removable pin hinges are installed properly, taking doors on and off is a breeze:

  1. Open door fully to access hinge barrels.
  2. Press pin release tab and pull pins straight out of the barrels.
  3. Lift door off frame and set aside.
  4. Reinstall door in reverse order, inserting pins last.

Always grip the door securely so it does not drop or fall during removal. Have a helper assist with heavy or awkward doors. Make sure pins are fully seated after reinstalling the door.

The process takes just minutes versus the hassle and time of unscrewing hinges. Just be sure not to lose the removable pins when the door is detached.

Maintenance Tips

Removable pin hinges require just a bit of simple maintenance:

  • Check pins are firmly seated and have not vibrated loose.
  • Clean hinge barrels as needed and apply a dry lubricant like graphite powder or spray.
  • Look for loose or damaged hinge screws.
  • Monitor doors for sagging and re-align hinges if needed.
  • Replace individual hinges as they become worn or damaged.

Taking a few minutes periodically to inspect and lube the hinges will prevent problems and keep the doors swinging smoothly.

Troubleshooting Removable Pin Hinges

While removable pin hinges are generally durable, occasional issues can arise. Here are some common problems and solutions:

Loose or sticking pins

Over time, opening and closing the door can cause the pins to loosen. Sticking pins may indicate dirt or debris in the barrel. Try lubricating with powdered graphite and ensure pins are fully reinserted.

Door sagging

If the door starts to sag, the hinges may need tightening or realignment using shims. Worn hinge barrels can also allow sagging.

Security pins won’t align

Some removable pin hinges have security features that prevent removal while the door is closed. Make sure door is fully open to allow the pin channels to properly align.

Noisy operation

Squeaks or grinding noises usually indicate a lack of lubrication. Try lubricating with dry powdered graphite or spray lubricant.

Advantages Over Ordinary Hinges

We’ve covered the key benefits already, but let’s recap how removable pin hinges compare to standard hinges:

Removable Pin Hinges

  • Allow quick installation and removal without tools
  • Individual doors can be replaced as needed
  • Installation is more involved initially
  • More prone to pin loosening over time

Standard Hinges

  • Simpler installation by just screwing in place
  • Whole frame usually needs disassembly for door removal
  • Less maintenance required
  • Hinge screws can still loosen and need tightening

For most residential interior doors that require occasional removal, the extra upfront effort of installing removable pin hinges pays off down the road.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about installing and using removable pin hinges:

Are removable pin hinges secure?

Yes, they are just as secure as normal hinges when properly installed. The tightened hinge screws keep the leaves firmly in place while the pins prevent the door from detachment.

How do I remove a stuck pin?

Try spraying lubricant like WD-40 into the barrel around the stuck pin. Tap gently with a hammer if needed. Avoid prying pins out as this can damage the barrel.

What are the best brands of removable pin hinges?

Top brands include Blum, SOSS, Emtek, and Stanley. Look for hinges tested beyond residential grade for quality and durability.

How do I quiet a squeaky removable pin hinge?

Apply dry lubricant powder to the knuckles and pins. Tighten any loose screws. Adjust door alignment or shims to prevent rubbing.

Should I paint my removable pin hinges?

Most hinges have finishes that don’t require paint. Painting can cause pins to stick and hamper operation. Check manufacturer guidelines before painting.

Removable pin hinges simplify door installation and removal like no other fastener. Keep these last tips in mind:

  • Carefully follow manufacturer’s installation instructions for best results.
  • Make sure to seat pins fully during installation and after rehanging doors.
  • Check pins and lubricate hinges periodically to prevent sticking.
  • Replace any loose or damaged hinge screws right away.
  • Consider removable pin hinges anywhere you anticipate regularly accessing the door back.

You’ll be able to swap doors with total confidence with the right hinges. No more sweating those old sticky screw! Removable pin hinges take all the hassle out of door installation and removal.

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