How to Cut Door Hinges

[Cover] How to Cut Door Hinges

There’s no way that anyone would be able to install a new door without cutting out its hinges first. The issue is that most people are simply intimidated by the fact of going through the process which makes the whole thing a whole lot difficult for them.

The good news is that it’s way easier than what it’s been made to be. All you need is basic knowledge on the matter and a set of common tools.

All you have to do for now is read along what we’ve got for you in this article. At the end of it, you’ll end up with the needed confidence to undertake the task that’s been itching at the back of your mind. Hopefully, by the end of this quick read, you’ll know enough to take care of it once and for all.

Without further ado, here’s how to cut door hinges via three different methods:

Here’s What You Will Need

Depending on the method you’re going to adopt, the tools you’ll require will vary.

1st Method: Chisel

2nd Method: Router

  • Straight Bit
  • Plunge Router

3rd Method: Drill

  • Forstner Bit
  • Drill Press

You’ll also need these tools:

  • Sawhorses
  • Woodworking Clamps
  • Carpenter’s Pencil
  • Measuring Tape
  • Utility Knife

Since I would personally recommend the chisel method, it’ll be the one that I’ll focus on first.

And now, here’s how to cut door hinges:

How to Cut Door Hinges Step by Step

1st Method: Chisel

What makes this method my most favorite for cutting out door hinges is the fact that the chisel method is just cheap and simple.

Making Marks and Taking Measurements

  • First of all, you’ll have to take the necessary measurements for the placement of the door hinges.
  • Take these measurements to the door and mark the positions of each hinge with a pencil.
  • Put the door on the saw horses. Make sure that the cut area for the mortise is facing upwards.

Scoring the Mortise

  • For scoring the mortise, you’ll only need a simple utility knife.
  • Make sure that the cut is clear and visible enough. For that, you might have to run the knife a few times to be sure.
  • This outline will allow you to visualize the process better as you move on to the next step of the cutting.

It’s Time to Cut

  • With the help of a mallet, you can now drive the chisel into the outline you’ve made.
  • You’ll have to do this a number of times as you’ll need to take out the thin wood shavings each time you use the mallet and chisel. It won’t be long until you’ve made a small hole that’s going to hold the hinge in.
  • I’d recommend you try out the hinge every once in a while as you use the chisel to create the hole, just to make sure that you’re not taking out too much wood. Continue the process until you get a perfect fit.

2nd Method: How to Cut Door Hinges Using a Router

Take Measures and Make the Marks

Bring the tape measure and the carpenter’s pencil to get the measurements for the hinges’ locations. Put marks in the selected areas.

Mortising Template

To be more accurate while cutting, you should get a mortising template and use it on the designated areas for the cuts. Mark the places of the cuts.

To the Cutting!

  • Use the router to set the measurement of the depth.
  • Plunge the router until you reach the required depth. Once you do, dig everything out. To make the necessary space.
  • Try out the hinge and adjust the hole accordingly. We prefer using the chisel instead of the router to make the adjustments

3rd Method: Drill

One other way to take care of the door hinge problem is with the drill. Before you do anything, you must first equip your drill with a Forstner bit.

Make the Marks and Take the Measurements

  • As we’ve mentioned in the other methods earlier. A correct cut starts first with accurate measurements.
  • The tape measurement will help you measure out the position of the hinges. Do the same to the door jamb to get them to line up properly.
  • After marking the location of the hinges, place your door on saw horses (again, the hinge outlines must be facing upwards)

Drilling the Mortise

  • Make sure that the depth is set so that you don’t dig deeper than needed.
  • The drilling must be done in a slow and steady manner to avoid any damage and to maintain control over the depth you’re at.
  • Drill towards the center starting from the edges of the drill outline. It will only take you mere seconds to make a mortise cut.

Cleaning the Edges

  • You should use a chisel to clean the rough edges instead of going all the way through with the drilling.
  • The benefit of the chisel is that you get more accuracy and control over the process which minimizes the chances of making a mistake.
  • Frequently try out the hinges until you reach a perfect fit.

How to Cut Door HiNges: Final Thoughts

The task may seem a bit daunting when you first consider it. But give this article a good read and fully grasp the tips and instructions and you’ll be cutting out door hinges in no time. Don’t forget to report back in the comments!

How to Cut Perfect Door Hinges

PS: if you want to take your skills to the next level, check our buying guides and reviews, where we cover everything you may ever need in your tool box, be it a Tile Saw, Cordless Circular Saw, Circular Saw Blade, Random Orbital Sander, Sliding Compound Miter Saw, Chainsaw Mill, Cordless Tool Set, Table Saw, bucks, or even Chainsaw Chaps. We also like to compare power tool brands, such as DeWalt and Milwaukee.


Jeffrey Alfaro

Jeffrey is a craftsman and writer who specializes in testing tools and covering the tool industry for construction and woodworking professionals.

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