Door Hinge Hardware: Tools You'll Need

Lead Image

To install door hinge hardware, you will largely make use of some simple tools. However, additional specialty tools can make installation of door hinge hardware quicker, easier and more professional looking.

Measuring and Marking Tools

In order to install hinges correctly, you will need a flexible tape measure and pencils or chalk for marking.

Although you may be tempted to forego the measuring, the finished product will look unattractive and may have functional problems if you ignore it.


The basic tool for installing door hinge hardware is the screwdriver. The standard for wood screws is the Phillips head, although the flathead is sometimes called for. You’ll definitely want a flathead screwdriver on hand when working with door hinge hardware, even if none of the screws require it.

You’ll often need a flathead screwdriver for other tasks, such as prying a hinge pin out of the hinge sockets for adjustment, replacement, or to install a hinge pin door stop. You may also use the flathead screwdriver to touch up or expand a mortise for a hinge.

Electric Drill or Screwdriver

You’ll often need an electric drill to make pilot holes for larger wood screws. Sometimes screwing directly into the wood, especially when using larger screws, causes the wood to crack and split.

Drilling a pilot hole with a drill bit several steps smaller than the screw you will be using allows you to place screws without splitting wood.

Pilot holes also allow you to pinpoint the exact location for a screw before you try to hold the screw, door hinge, and tools at the same time. It will also prevent the screw from “dancing” all over the wood and door as you try to screw it in the wood.

Power drills or screwdrivers are also important for installing screws into the door hinge hardware. Screws on the hinges need to be long and secure, making it very difficult to install them by hand.

A power screwdriver or drill with a screwdriver bit can help greatly in this process.

Wood Chisel and Hammer

Door hinge software often needs to be cut in, or mortised into, the door. To create a mortise by hand, you’ll need to measure and mark the space for the hinge. Use a hand chisel, tapping on the end with a hammer, to create the mortise.

Power Router

While door hinge hardware looks smoother and more professional if it is mortised into the door and the frame, creating mortises by hand is tedious. To easily create a mortise, use a ¼ collet router and a mortise bit. This tool allows you to create a mortise of uniform depth easily and quickly.

Door Hinge Template

Creating mortises with a router is faster and easier if you use a template created for that purpose. These templates come in either plastic, fiberglass or metal and range from $26 to $100. If you're installing one door, then a template may not be a useful investment. For multiple doors, you’ll be glad you made the purchase. These adjustable tools fasten to the door and give an outline for the hinge mortise, eliminating the need for measuring and marking.