Evaluating a shower door hinge

There are a few steps to help evaluate a shower door hinge as below.

1.      Break and open pressure
Grasp the hinge in hand and twist it over to the right side. It is not good if the hinge flip over to that side easily, because it is better the hinge is indexed in a strong manner.
2.      Slop: 90 degree bounce back
Flick the hinge to the right side to judge whether it can bounce back in a perfect 90 degree position or not, because it is important for a door’s closing position.
3.      Gakset grip
The thickness of rubber gasket is important. If it is too thick, it will be compressed under the pressure of plate. It will also lose some of the grip under this pressure. The thinner the gasket is the better.
4.      Cover plate
For a too thin cover plate, when the screw holes are toren down, it will casue a slight deflection and make it loose some grip in the process.
5.      Surface finish
Juding from the finish, the quality of hinge can be assumed. If it is a nickel surface, it is good to have a clear coat on it. If it is polished brass, is it done with PVD or very durable surface? If it is oil rubbed bronze, it is good to have a clear coat or protective covering on it.
6.      Wall plate
There are short back and full back wall plates. Make sure the factory has all the options for you though what matters is preference. For a short back as exmaple, you can get the glass to go closer to the wall. Some manufacturers make H shape wall plate which the scarfed area allows the glass get in closer to the wall.
7.      Mickey mosue ears
There are mickey mouse ear and non-mickey mouse ear. Mickey mouse ear should be detachable. The advantage is that they do make glass cut out rightly very large from the hinge. The disavantage of it is loosing some surface contact area when you have mickeys, because the surface contact area is important to fill the grip of the glass.
8.      What’s inside
Taking the hinge apart, you can see the pin that goes through the hinge have set screws to hold it from being moved. It is critical for the pin to have precious screws to keep the pin in place. If the precious screws loose, and that is where you get the clicking sound in hinge. As the hinge moves, the pin rocks back and cause clicking.
9.      Plungers
The plungers should fit tightly inside the ball. It is ideal to have metal plungers than plastic ones. How they fit inside is also important. It is good to have it fitted very snugly inside the shelf.
10. Spring
Spring queues should not be too tightly rounded and it should not be too much of a short hinge, because it is critical for a hinge to have travel which stops it from compressing too frequently.
11. Drop forged or die cast
Look at the hinge body. Most factories make drop forged ones which are better. Some very inexpensive offshore hinges are die casting ones.If you take the die casting hinge and hit it lightly with a hammer, you could break a part of it.
12. Screw types
There are Allen screws and Philips screw for choosing. Allen screws are more popular, but some prefer Philips screws if they have the right tool. The size of the screw head is important, because it helps put more pressure on plate.
13. Tram crease
The crease happens when the hinge is opened too fast and so it dents the tram. A good hinge will have a white bumper gasket to prevent this kind of dent.