The “hand” of a hinge is a little more dynamic than which way the door opens, to the left or to the right.
A common hinge is designed so that when used as intended it can be used to open either a left or right handed door. The mounting consideration, usually a pattern of holes, are exactly the same on both sides of the hinge. Most butt hinges are common between left and right.
The next consideration is when a hinge is made either left or right handed because the hinges are “symmetrically opposite”. Car door hinges are a good example of symmetrically opposite hinges. They are identical in all respects, except they are a mirror image of each other.
Mounting considerations are the next most frequent drivers as to whether a hinge is left or right handed. Mortise style hinges for doors are a good example. One side of the hinge is offset so it mounts in a pocket either in the door or in the frame. Whether the door opens to the left or right means the offset will be on one side or the other. Since you’re opening one door in one direction, the hinge must be either right or left. To mount a door you would use 3 identical left hand mortise hinges.
Our illustration to the right, demonstrates what we consider a left hand door open vs a right hand door open. Each application is unique, so Monroe staff are experts in identifying the best hinge for you. Understanding terms like common, identical, mirror opposites, and symmetrically opposite will help us help you.
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