Do I Need to Mortise a Piano Hinge?

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As a hinge manufacturer who loves to get my hands dirty, I can’t help but think about the different ways hinges are installed. We’re talking about piano hinges today, aren’t we? It’s a fascinating topic, and the question that keeps popping up is, do I need to mortise a piano hinge?

Yes, mortising a piano hinge can provide several advantages, such as providing a cleaner, more professional appearance and improving the hinge’s overall functionality.

However, it’s a technique that should be employed carefully, as it can be a complex process that requires precision and expertise.

Piano Hinge Thickness_01


What Does It Mean To Mortise a Hinge?

To put it simply, mortising a hinge means recessing it into the material so that the hinge flap is flush with the surface. This is a common practice in the installation of many types of hinges, including piano hinges, and is widely used in both the industrial and the domestic spheres.

In the case of piano hinges, a mortise is not always necessary, as they can also be surface mounted. This is a simpler and quicker installation method, but it may not provide the same level of aesthetics or durability that a mortised hinge would.


How Do I Mortise a Piano Hinge?

Mortising a piano hinge can be a precise and laborious process. It typically involves measuring the hinge and cutting out a matching recess in the material using a chisel or router. But trust me, the effort is usually worth it!

Size of a Piano Hinge


Here at IHINGES, we manufacture industrial hinges, including piano hinges, which are commonly used in a wide variety of applications. They find use in industrial ovens, large sheet metal boxes, environmental test chambers, climate test chambers, network cabinets, electrical boxes, railroad equipment, medical equipment, military equipment, etc.


Can I Use Piano Hinges Without Mortising?

Yes, indeed. Piano hinges can also be installed using the surface mount method, which doesn’t require a mortise. It’s simpler and quicker but may lack the clean appearance and enhanced durability offered by a mortised installation. It’s all about the trade-off between time, aesthetics, and long-term functionality.


What Are The Advantages of Mortising a Piano Hinge?

There are several reasons why you might want to mortise a piano hinge:

  1. Aesthetics: A mortised hinge looks clean and professional, with no parts sticking out. It provides an unobtrusive, sleek look that is often preferable in many industrial settings.
  2. Durability: Mortising can help to distribute the weight of the door across the hinge and the frame, which can enhance the durability and longevity of the hinge.
  3. Security: In some cases, mortising a hinge can also provide a slight increase in security, as the hinge pin is less accessible when the hinge is recessed into the material.
Piano hinges for airline cases
Piano hinges for airline cases



So, back to our original question: Do you need to mortise a piano hinge? As with many things in life, it depends. If aesthetics, durability, and security are paramount, then yes, mortising can certainly enhance these aspects of your hinge installation. However, if speed and simplicity are more important, then a surface-mounted piano hinge could be a better choice.

Regardless, always remember that at IHINGES, we are here to support your industrial hinge needs. Let us know how we can help you make the best choice for your applications. And as I like to say, keep those hinges swinging smoothly!

Picture of John
Hey, I'm John Liu, founder of and industrial hinge expert. Over the past 22 years, we have helped 65 countries and more than 3,000 customers. We customize and manufacture industrial hinges for them for various equipment doors. We grow with our customers and continue to create value for them. Helping them to become the head company in their field, while we grow. This article refers to sharing knowledge about Industrial Hinges.
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