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Hinge Guide

The correct specification of hinges is an essential element in a door hardware package. Excessive hinge wear, as a result of under-specification in terms of load-bearing ability and / or frequency of use capacity, will affect the performance of the rest of the hardware on the door. If the door does not hang perfectly within its frame or swing freely, a door closer may fail to close the door, the lock may not engage in the strike plate, & fire / smoke seals may be rendered ineffective. A minimum of three hinges should be fitted on any fire and escape route doors.

When specifying hinges, it is important to take into account the presence of any door closing devices, as these increase the loading on the hinges and therefore generate higher rates of wear. To compensate for the effect of a standard door closer (i.e. without backcheck or hold-open functions), an effective door mass of 20% greater than the actual door mass should be used. Closers with a backcheck function exert an even greater loading on the hinges, and therefore an effective door mass 75% greater than the actual door mass needs to be assumed. Door closers with hold-open devices also increase the forces experienced by hinges. Consequently, we strongly recommend the use of three (or more) OPTIMUS BS EN 1935:2002 Grade 13 ball bearing hinges on any dor fitted with a door closing device. For doors wider than 1100mm, please contact our sales team for further advice.

The BS EN 1935:2002 hinge grading system is fully explained, in European Ironmongery Standards; however, the table below summarises the most useful categories, and is based on three hinges per door leaf:

Summary of common BS EN 1935:2002 hinge grading categories.

BS EN 1935:2002 Hinge Grade

Maximum Door Mass

Number of Test Operations (Cycles)

Typical Door Example




Domestic Internal




Domestic External




Office or Classroom
(Non Fire Rated)




(30 minutes Fire Rated)




Commercial & Public Buildings
(60 minutes Fire Rated)