What's the best hinge

When making small boxes, what is the best hinge you have found? Something simple? Like this?

Something similar, where you keep the “circle” that was cut out, but put a slot in it so the lid tab fits?

An interlocking series of “loops”?

Trying to balance out appearance, obtrusiveness, and strength. My granddaughters are really good at testing that last part.


For simplicity and appearance, I love the Cuttle hinged box. I have only made it with 1/8" material.


Leather. Dead simple and cooler than a weird laser cut assembly (says me).


I generally use external hinges that slot into the box, like these.

The ends are fixed, and the interior pieces pivot around the axle. They’re a bit more complex, and you need to ensure that there’s a strong fit/bond between the hinge pegs and the box. This particular example uses a single axle than spans the width of the box, but you can easily break that into two small segments instead.


I’m curious to hear people’s experiences.

The one we made for the Hinged Lid Box is certainly the least obtrusive design we could come up with. For small boxes made of wood, the strength is pretty good. But for very large boxes or brittle materials like acrylic, strength is an issue with this design.

Another option might be to buy small metal hinges.


I last used a design similar to the Cuttle one in your post, but instead of having ugly loops sticking up, I cut rings that fit inside the sides that are not visible when the lid is closed. The back of the box needed to be taller than the sides, by the thickness of the lid material plus the thickness of the top of the ring, and the lid needs to be a hair shorter so it misses the back and can swing up.

I don’t have a pic showing the inside of the finished box, but this is the corner of the design and I’ve highlighted the ring that I mentioned. They are just glued in-place. Black is the lid closed and at 45º. Orange is the side and back panels.


So there is a lip all the way around the edge above a recessed lid? Interesting, and probably a bit more stable than just having the same thing outside the box.

You could have the sides just rise up around the “ring” at the back, but the entire back panel would need to be a little taller.

I haven’t made enough boxes for it to matter, but I dislike most other designs. Or, perhaps I just like the challenge of coming up with my own ideas… :rofl:


Yours made me think of a double layer box that kind of combines a couple of the designs. So, just a basic box with the “ring” portion as part of the sides that rises up above the sides by the thickness of the lid. Then, put that box into another box that was as tall as the side + ring. That way, no hinge is visible outside the box, the lid is flush with the outer walls, and it has the added stability of being contained. I like it.


Can’t do that, because the tabs that run in the rings will need to be retained from above…


But if it is a double layer lid as well, then the bottom layer would be the part in the ring and the top layer would be flush with the top of the ring and the sides.

That would work but you’d need a much larger gap between the back of the lid and the back panel.


How small is small?

I laser cut one based on a traditional pin and leaf design. But the “pin” has to be 3 times the material thickness. I thought I posted it, but I guess not.


I really like that idea. I need to try that on my next box. I usually do the heavy hinges that Doppler mentioned, but I don’t like how bulky they are or how far they have to stick out.

I really like the inset lid idea, if it is strong enough for the use case I would need.


Exactly. I’m not going to present something as a gift with such inelegant hinges.

One that I’ve wanted to try are these barrels:

4PCS Hidden Invisible Concealed Copper Barrel Hinge 12mm for DIY Wooden Door (12mm) Amazon.com

But I haven’t made a gift box in a while.


I’ve used those, but not since I’ve had the GF. They are quite elegant.


Seems like they’d work easily with a layered construction, the sockets would be pretty trivial to cut and line up…


I think it was @dwardio that first brought these to my attention. I completely forgot about them.

I really would like to try to make a box with these barrel hinges!


Yes - I’ve used them for years for gift and presentation boxes, including this one published in the Catalog a few months ago:


These hinges work exceptionally well, but they need the strength of plywood. One thing that might work well with acrylic is a matched set of these…