How to Cut Door Hinges Without a Router


The door hinges are the element that allows us to open and close doors. Normally consist of a metal bar, screws, and two or more pieces with which it will be fixed to the door frame. Hinges are usually placed in pairs on both sides of a door, but they may have different numbers and forms depending on their use.

How to Cut Door Hinges Without a Router

These hinges work by allowing the hanging edge (the one exposed when closed) to rotate around a pin. Thus, the space between the stems determines how far you can open your door. In some cases where there is not enough depth, these elements may also be fitted in several rows as an alternative option. Today I will be discussing how to cut door hinges without a router.

How Are They Made?

They vary by material (zinc alloy, iron, brass), but a hinge is essentially an L-shaped piece of metal that connects two parts.

Doors and cabinets are designed with the hinges attached before installation. Still, it’s common for enthusiasts to remove them to sand or paint the door without covering up existing hardware.

To get such a large piece of metal into position in a way that lets it rotate around an axis, hinge manufacturers must come up with precise processes for bending and cutting the material. These methods vary by manufacturer; as you’ll see below, some hinges have cutouts precisely where they need to be, while others are left with “ears” at the bottom. The choice can affect both product durability and

Step-wise Guide on How to Cut Door Hinges Without a Router

Hammer and Chisel Method:

A home improvement tip that few know of. Using a hammer and chisel to remove or replace hinges on your door is quick, clean, quiet, and leaves little mess for a do-it-yourselfer to deal with.

These Hinges Are Available in Various Sizes

The most common hinge found in modern homes is the one that uses flat head screws to hold parts of the hinge together. These hinges can be identified as they have a lip (or ears) around the perimeter of each part of the hinge, allowing it to slip into a hole drilled into the wood around the edge of your door frame (called stile).

This type of hinge has been used since about 1950. Because these hinges are available in various sizes and materials, there is no easy way to give you measurements for cutting the hinge apart without a little test fitting. You’ll have to use some trial and error, and the good news is that it’s simple enough to perform that you can get it right on your first try!

Here Are the Steps for Cutting Hinges Using a Hammer and Chisel:

  • Turn the door upside down on a worktable or other flat surface. Note which part of the hinge is in contact with the wood around your door frame (called stile). With this information, you can make sure that you hold each part of the hinge away from where they will be inserted into other parts of the hinge when you cut them apart.
  • Determine how much material needs to be removed from each part of the hinge; use masking tape to mark the amount of material needed to be removed on one of the parts. Remember, you want a hinge that will allow proper movement and not interfere with the door frame if installed upside-down. So let’s say in our example, we need to remove about 1/8th inch of material from each part of the hinge.
  • Using your hammer and chisel, carefully work along the edge of where material needs to be removed. Start at an inside corner with your hammer striking away from any structure around or within the next, wiggleNext, wiggle the chisel so that you are cutting a groove (not just chipping off pieces). If you twist your wrist while striking, then repeat this process using diagonal blows down into the material. You should be able to cut cleanly without busting or bending any part of the hinge. After a couple of minutes, stop and measure your progress with a tape measure, continue until you have removed enough material from each part of the hinge.
  • Once both parts are cut apart, test fit them onto your door frame to ensure that they will allow proper movement before inserting into other parts of the thing. Then, if Then, if needed, repeat step 3 until you get it right!  
  • Use your polish of choice to clean the parts and apply a finish that you like.
Using Chisel to Cut Door Hinge Surface


This method is fast, quiet (no power tools), leaves little mess for a do-it-yourselfer to deal with, and works every time. There’s no need to buy abrasives or saw blades. Just use what you have in the garage or toolbox! It’s also effortless to cut these hinges without any practice or experience; I was able to do it on my first attempt ever! Have fun using this home improvement tip!

Drill Method:

It is an easy step-wise method to cut door hinges without a router. In this process, the edge of the hole is made straight by chiseling it. After this, the hinge pin holes are drilled at appropriate places. Finally, the guarding Jig for cutting hinges is built.

You will require:

A piece of wood that can be used as a base material Another piece of wood which can be used as a guard A drill bit Hacksaw or another kind of sawing tool Sandpaper Some marking tools (tape measure and pencil) Some sanding tools such as sandpaper and sanding block

Step 1: Drilling Pin Holes in Cover Plate:

The first step is to measure the length for each hinge and then drill pinholes with a drill bit in an appropriate place. After this, remove the cover plate from the hinges by removing screws.

Step 2: Drilling Pin Holes in Base Material:

After this, you need to draw a line on the base material, which will mark out covering up hinges over it. Then using a sawing tool (rails), cut out the material to get an exact straight piece of wood, as shown below.

Step 3: Taping Measurement:

Measurements are important while making any cutting jig or guide for cutting holes; therefore, you should be very careful about it. A tape measure is needed for measuring all dimensions such as:

Measure the distance between the pinholes. Measure the length of the base material and its width.

Step 4: Cutting Holes with Drill Bits:

In this step, you need to use drill bits to cut out holes for hinge pins. (The drill bit should be roughly half an inch to leave enough room for fitting it into the hole.) As per your measurements, mark on the wooden guards to make straight cuts for drilling sections of holes at appropriate places. After this, please remove all unnecessary pieces from the wood before using a sawing tool (chisel) or hack saw to remove them.

Cutting Hole With Drill Bits

Step 5: Cutting Guard into Portion for Drill Guides:

In this step, you will need to cut a portion of the guard to accommodate hinges over it and have sufficient room for plate removal with ease. After this, mark out appropriate areas of the guard using a tape measure. Then use sawing tool to remove the sections. Before removing them, you can also test if your drill bit fits into holes properly by putting it through a smaller hole first and then gradually decreasing its size until it is placed inside the larger hole. Step 6: Building Guard

In this final step, you shall build a guarding tool that will ensure that only pins are drilled at the right places, thereby preventing drilling anything other than pinholes. The guarding tool should be: Short enough to expose the smaller pinhole properly long enough to cover the large hole completely

After attaching its guard, you will have a final product. You can see that only the smaller holes are exposed, and hence drilling is possible with a drill bit. On the other hand, larger holes are covered up properly, eliminating the drilling inappropriate or unwanted holes by mistake.

Precautions While Learning How to Cut Door Hinges Without a Router

  • Do not use a saw with an open-spring blade to cut your door hinges. It will allow the wood shavings to fly away and get stuck in your eyes or mouth, causing serious problems such as loss of vision or choking.
  • Always wear goggles when cutting door hinges without a router machine, just in case some flying splinters slipped past your guard and hit you right in the eyes alive makes it easier for the particles to penetrate deep into your eyes. Goggles are cheap and easy to find, so buy one today!
  • Take good care of your fingers because that’s all you’re going to have left once you lose a finger (or two) during this procedure!  Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Why Not Use Router For Cutting Door Hinges?

Router bits are specifically designed to cut wood in a certain way. For example, you can use them to cut and shape the door hinges accurately, but you may not get it right every time.

The router bit is thin enough that it will only let you make shallow cuts as well, requiring multiple passes with the bit before you can actually remove any material from the hinge.

If you’re building the hardwood doors, then this shouldn’t be much of a problem because your hinges should still look good even after multiple passes with the router bit. But if your hinges are made out of soft metal like aluminum or brass (the latter being more common these days), even just one pass by the router may cause significant damage and affect the structural integrity of your hinges, making them unable to work without you having to replace them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Tool Do You Use to Cut Door Hinges?

Many tools can be used to cut door hinges. One of the most common is a hacksaw, but you could also use a reciprocating saw or an angle grinder.

Do You Put Hinges on Door First?

No, hinges are not put on the door first. Hinges are used to make a door stay open or closed and they are installed by the person who is going to be using the door.

When Should You Use Three Hinges on a Door?

Generally, you can use three hinges for doors weighing less than 60 pounds. For heavier doors, you may need to consider four or more hinges to prevent sagging and warping in the doorframe due to its weight.

How Do You Cut a Strike Plate on a Door Frame?

There are two ways to cut a strike plate on a door frame:

1) With a jigsaw and wood blade, mark where you want the plate to be located, then remove any excess material with clamps or a handheld vacuum cleaner.

2) If there is too much room between the framing and your desired location for the strike plate, use plywood spacers and screws to create some space. Then mark where you want your desired location for the strike plate, remove any excess material with clamps or a handheld vacuum cleaner.


I hope you have learned all the necessary steps on how to cut door hinges without a router. Also, ensure proper safety while performing the process. Thank you and have a nice day!

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