How to Choose the Right Hinge Material

Hinge material

When you really stop and think about it, hinges get quite a workout. We bet you’ve never thought about the number of times you opened a screen door! With all the work hinges do and the weight they pull, it’s important to choose the best material for the job.  

Types of hinge materials

When you’re choosing materials for hinges, it’s important to ensure you choose a material that can hold up to the stress and wear. You also should consider the environment that your hinges will be exposed to.

Common hinge materials include:

  • 18-8 Stainless steel or 304 Stainless: The most common stainless steel (18% chromium and 8% nickel).
  • Aluminum: Lightweight and resists corrosion, even when scratched.
  • Brass: Highly resistant to corrosion.
  • Cold rolled steel: A rolling process that increases the strength of steel.
  • Copper: Strong, formable and resists corrosion.
  • Galvanized steel: An electrochemical process that protects steel from rust.
  • Hot rolled steel: A rolling process where the steel is heated to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit to produce a strong steel.
  • Steel: Strong and inexpensive.
  • Stainless 316: Highly resistant to corrosion, particularly useful in chlorine and salt water environments.
  • Stainless steel: Strong, durable, resistant to corrosion
  • Titanium: High strength-to-weight ratio, resistance to extreme temperature and corrosion. Popular in the aerospace industry

Which hinge material is right for you?

In short, deciding on the right hinge material depends on your environment and the intended use.

For a marine environment, for example, you’ll want to go with a stainless steel that can withstand being in a salty environment without breaking down or corroding beyond use. The best material choice for this situation is stainless 316. 

We currently use stainless 316 for our Coastal Series Screen Door Hardware. Our Marine Grade 316 steel applies to screen door hardware, not shutter hardware.

It’s also important to purchase your hinges from a reputable company that is upfront about the materials they use in their products. Typically, commercial kits are either low-grade stainless steel or made of “mystery metal.”

Aside from environmental factors, cost is also important factor, but it should be considered after environment. 

At iHinge, you’ll always find the best material for whatever project you’re working on!