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The Difference Between Soft-Close and Self-Close Hinges

Posted by Melissa Hollobaugh on Aug 4th 2023

Since hinges are a lesser-seen component of the cabinet and do not contribute much to the aesthetic of a cabinet, they are often an afterthought in the design process. However, even though most  cabinet door hinges function the same way, not all perform to the same quality. Many people put little thought into which hinges they should choose for their cabinets, but there are several benefits to spending time choosing a quality hinge.

Poor-quality or worn-out hinges can cause doors to bang shut, leading your doors to sit askew or wear out after a few years of consistent use. The best hinges do just the opposite – upgrading the performance of your cabinets from the minute you install the doors and for years afterward. Both self-close and soft-close hinges provide excellent options that can transform your space and improve the functionality of your kitchen, each offering their own advantages.

What Are Soft-Close Cabinet Hinges?

Soft-close cabinet hinges “catch” a cabinet door about 2 inches away from closing, allowing it to then close slowly and softly against the frame of the cabinet. With worn or poor-quality hinges, the slightest amount of pressure applied to the doors causes them to crash against the cabinet frame, causing an abrasive sound and, even worse, potentially damaging the door. This repeated impact can damage the door by causing it to warp or sustain damage around the edges, emphasizing the importance of choosing a quality hinge. Soft-close cabinet hinges provide a remarkably simple solution.

Even if you try to slam a door shut, the soft-close hinge would absorb the excess force and leave only enough energy to bring the door into contact with the frame. Small sound dampers between the door and frame make the contact even more gentle, preserving peace and quiet in the kitchen while extending the look and lifespan of your doors.

compact soft close hinge

What Are Self-Close Cabinet Hinges?

If you have noticed that your cabinet doors are hard to close or often left open, self-closing cabinet hinges can be a great option. Doors that are hard to close are usually a sign of worn-out hinges, but even with new hinges, you (or your kids) may leave doors open without realizing it. Self-close hinges are designed to pull the cabinet door closed using only a small amount of force, providing an easy solution.

Self-closing cabinet hinges contain a small spring that pulls the door back into contact with the cabinet frame on its own. Once the door is within 2″ of closing, the hinge will pull it completely closed. Even if your hands are full, you don’t have to use much force to get the cabinets closed.

What Are Blum Soft-Close Hinges?

Blum soft-close hinges combine the best features of self-close and soft close hinges for cabinets. These hinges use a hydraulic mechanism to gently guide the door through the arc of the swing and into contact with the cabinet frame. They make little to no sound, and thanks to precision engineering, it takes little to no pressure to get the door shut. After you apply a minimal amount of pressure, the doors close themselves using a smooth, gliding motion, offering the same benefits as a self-close hinge.

Interior designers and kitchen contractors both consider Blum soft-close hinges to be the finest option on the market, and it’s easy to see why. They are long-lasting, stylish and chosen by many experts. At CabinetDoors.com, we trust Blum soft-close hinges more than any other option, as it's the only one we offer.

soft-close blum hinge

Soft-Close vs. Self-Close Cabinet Hinges

There are several factors that may influence your decision between soft-close and self-close cabinet hinges, depending on what is best for your home. For example, because soft-close hinges are designed to absorb force and prevent doors from slamming, some may take extra force to close them completely, which could create a challenge for some members of a household.

On the other hand, self-close cabinet hinges do not have the same noise dampening features as soft-close hinges, which may be inconvenient in a busy household. Ultimately, the decision comes down to which option is best for your home and family members, or you can choose a hinge that will give you the best of both options.

Installation and Maintenance:

The installation process for soft-close and self-close hinges is straightforward and easy to do on your own. Both cabinet hinges can be installed at home with minimal hardware, tools, or additional assistance.

To install a self-close hinge, you'll need to do the following:

  • Position the hinge on the cabinet door
  • Mark where the screws will need to be placed on the door
  • Use a screwdriver to screw the hinge into place
  • Adjust the self-close mechanism to your liking
  • Tighten the hinge into place

At CabinetDoors.com, we have two different types of soft-close hinges.

Our Insert Clip Top has an easy installation and requires no tools.

  • Remove the old hinge from the cabinet door
  • Insert the hinge through the pre-drilled holes
  • Push the hinge all the way in and then clip it down all the way to lock the hinge in place

Our Mounted Soft Close Hinge has a one-piece screen that attaches to the hinge. It's designed to be mounted inside the cabinet door. It also comes with a switch, allowing you to turn the soft close mechanism on and off as you please.

  • Remove the old hinge from the current cabinet door
  • Position the new hinge on the door
  • Drill the three screws needed to attach the hinge to the cabinet frame
  • Make sure the hinge is secure before moving on to the next

The Cost Comparison

Soft-close hinges are considered premium cabinet hardware and are slightly more expensive than self-close hinges. However, some soft-close and self-close options will require additional installation, which can feed into the overall cost.

Before investing in new cabinet hardware, you'll want to read the installation directions carefully and ensure you have the tools and hardware you need to install the hinges on your cabinets. This will help you cut costs and save money in the long run.

Soft-Close Hinges Vs. Self-Close Hinges: Which is best?

When finding a door hinge for your cabinet doors - soft-close and self-close are both great options. It really comes down to personal preference and what option you think will complement your lifestyle. Many prefer soft-close hinges because they eliminate banging and slamming in the kitchen. While self-close hinges are still relatively silent, you'll still get that "thump" sound when someone opens and closes the cabinets.

Soft-close hinges can also extend the life of your cabinets and increase your home value. This is something to keep in mind if you plan on selling your home in the near future or you're simply looking to add high-end features to your space.

Get Setup With High-Quality Cabinet Door Hinges From CabinetDoors.com

At CabinetDoors.com, we offer a variety of high-quality cabinet hardware and hinges. We also have high-end knobs and door pulls to complete your project. When exploring soft-close hinges for your upcoming project, you can feel confident that we'll always have affordable, easy-to-install options.

CabinetDoors.com has spent decades building customized cabinet doors in a variety of styles, ranging from classic to contemporary. Every door is custom-built to your specifications so they will fit your existing cabinets perfectly. We also offer cabinet door hardware and can bore the holes into each door for you (at a modest additional cost per door).

Let us know if you have any questions about hinge features and benefits. We're here to help you find the best cabinet door hinges for your upcoming project.

Explore our extensive and exciting cabinet door selection today.

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