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Access Hardware Friction Hinges

People use access hardware hinges, like friction or torque hinges, daily without ever giving it a thought. Friction hinges are excellent components for holding laptop screens, shop cabinets, and commercial doors open and at the desired angle. If a traditional hinge were used, lids, doors, and equipment panels wouldn’t stay open or upright, but would slam shut because no friction or resistance would be present. While regular hinges have been used for hundreds of years, the innovation of access hardware friction hinges have become a popular and widely preferred hinge type.

Manufacturers and parts engineers are figuring out new uses for these clever hinges every day. On boats or ships, a common application for access hardware friction hinges is to hold open a hatch or a radio box. Gas shocks or hatch springs can be replaced with friction hinges in some instances. Generally, if something opens, closes, tilts or rotates, and you'd like to be able to adjust it and have it remain in the chosen position, a friction hinge is what you're looking for.


Friction hinges are actually high-tech pieces of hardware. There are different sizes, shapes, and mounting types. For some applications, multiple friction hinges might be used to achieve the desired goal. The friction is built into the hinge's barrel and cannot be adjusted.
When determining which hinge type to use for an application, knowing the panel or door's weight and the length from the pivot point is essential. The mounting type is chosen and then the hinge style or size. It may even be possible to remove standard industrial hinges and replace them with friction hinges using the same mounting holes.

Mounting styles include:

  • Top mount
  • Flush mount
  • Swaged down
  • Swaged up

A few of the many possible applications for access hardware friction hinges include:

  • Adjustable shields or operator's screens on machinery
  • Doors that need to remain open and not close accidentally for safety or convenience such as emergency exits, air locks, or during loading and unloading
  • Cabinets, lockers, electrical boxes, or control panels
  • Windows, doors, or hatches that need to remain partially open for ventilation

Today's friction hinges have better resistance, a higher degree of functionality, and a wider range of torque values than earlier designs. They are manufactured from various materials, including high quality steel and stainless steel for long, trouble-free working lives.

Reid Supply carries an enormous selection of industrial supplies from the most trusted name brands, in latches catches & hinges