When used for commercial and residential furniture applications, butt hinges are typically constructed from steel, though butt hinges for exterior doors may also be made of brass or stainless steel for high corrosion resistance.
For residential cabinetry, butt hinges can be made of more aesthetically-pleasing materials such as satin nickel, antique brass, polished nickel and satin brass. For industrial applications, heavy duty butt hinges are required and are most often constructed from materials such as steel, stainless steel and brass. Aluminum butt hinges are mainly used for light-weight applications.
Butt hinges consist of two metal leaves that are bent at their edges into barrels. The barrels are known as knuckles, and a pin is inserted into the barrels and runs along the entire length of the hinge. One leaf of the hinge is connected to an object such as the door while the other leaf is connected to, and recessed into as well, the parallel part that needs to be connected such as a jamb or door frame.
There are two main types of pins that are used in butt hinges: fixed-pin and loose-pin. Fixed-pin butt hinges are rigid and the pin cannot be removed from the butt hinge. Loose-joint butt hinges allow the pin to be easily removed from the butt hinge by tapping it with a screwdriver. Loose-joint butt hinges have an advantage over fixed-pin butt hinges in that doors can be removed without having to unscrew the hinges. Besides the common butt hinge, there is one other type of butt hinge that is commonly used, known as a rising-butt hinge.
Rising-butt hinges are self-closing and are used on doors in areas where there is a discrepancy between the height of the flooring, such as a cement floor and a carpeted floor. When the door is opened, the rising-butt hinge causes the door to rise high enough that it clears the higher flooring. Materials for butt hinges are typically extruded for additional tensile strength and then drilled and cut to shape.