Are Hinge Pins Interchangeable?

Person installing a hinge

A pin is a common part of most hinges. With the exception of living hinges, most hinges have a pin. It’s a small rod-like part that’s designed to hold the two leafs together while simultaneously locking the knuckle.

You might be wondering whether hinge pins are interchangeable. Maybe the existing pin in a hinge has failed, or perhaps you want to switch to a different type of pin. Hinge pins can be interchangeable, but there are several things you’ll need to consider.

Pins Must Be Appropriately Sized

You can’t swap out an existing pin for a new pin in a different size. Pins must be appropriately sized for the hinges with which they are used. Hinges consist of a two knuckles that, when pressed together, form a knuckle. The knuckle has a hollow center that supports a pin.

If you switch to a small pin, the knuckle will become loose and the hinge will become weaker. If you switch to a large pin, you probably won’t be able to insert it in the hollow center of the knuckle.

Pins Are Made of Different Materials

Not all pins are made of the same material. You can find pins in different materials. Some of them are made of stainless steel, whereas others are made of carbon steel. You can also find pins made of aluminum and brass.

Different materials have different properties. Carbon steel offers a superior level of strength, for instance. Stainless steel, in comparison, is resistant to rust and corrosion. When swapping out a hinge’s pin, you’ll have to consider the material from which it’s made. Some materials may trigger a reaction known as dielectric interference. If left unchecked, dielectric interference can promote oxidative stress.

Some Pins Are Permanent

While most hinges feature a removable pin, others feature a permanent pin. Removable pins are interchangeable. As long as you have a hammer and a small flat-head screwdriver, you can remove them. Just place the tip of the flat-head screwdriver against the pin, and then lightly tap the screwdriver’s handle with the hammer.

Other hinges feature a permanent pin. Permanent pins are integrated into the hinge’s knuckle. They aren’t separate parts. Rather, permanent pins are part of the whole knuckle. If a hinge has a permanent pin, you won’t be able to remove it, nor will you be able to replace it with a different pin. Only removeable pins are interchangeable.

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