• Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

how to cut door hinges without a router

Alejandra Reynoso

ByAlejandra Reynoso

Oct 5, 2023

Sure, here’s an in-depth article on how to cut door hinges without a router, including step-by-step instructions, tools needed, and more.

Table of Contents

  1. Why You Might Need to Cut Door Hinges
  2. Tools Needed
  3. Step-by-Step Guide
  4. Tips and Tricks
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

You might be wondering why you’d need to cut door hinges. The answer is simple: not every door frame is built the same. Sometimes you may need to install a door hinge that doesn’t fit the existing recess, or perhaps you’re installing a door where there hasn’t been one before. In such cases, you need to know how to cut door hinges without a router.

Why You Might Need to Cut Door Hinges

In a perfect world, all door frames would be the same size, and every door hinge would fit perfectly. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. You might find yourself needing to cut door hinges to make them fit. Additionally, while using a router is the conventional way to cut door hinges, not everyone has access to one. Hence, it’s important to know how to do this manually.

Tools Needed

Before you start, you’ll need to gather the appropriate tools. This includes a chisel, a hammer, a utility knife, a pencil, and a square. Make sure these tools are in good condition to ensure a clean and accurate cut.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Mark the Hinge Position: Start by marking the position of the hinge on the door frame using your pencil. Make sure the line is straight by using the square.

  2. Score the Outline: Use the utility knife to score the outline of the hinge. This will make it easier to chisel out the wood later.

  3. Chisel Out the Hinge Recess: Start at the corners and work your way towards the center. Be sure to chisel along the grain of the wood to prevent splitting. This step requires patience and precision.

  4. Fit the Hinge: After you’ve chiseled out the recess, fit the hinge into it. If it doesn’t fit properly, you may need to make adjustments with your chisel.

  5. Secure the Hinge: Once the hinge fits properly, secure it with screws.

This method, while more time-consuming than using a router, is just as effective if done correctly. For a more visual guide, you can check out this video tutorial.

Tips and Tricks

  • Always wear safety gear when working with tools.
  • Practice on a scrap piece of wood first to get the hang of it.
  • Don’t rush the process. Take your time for a better result.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use a drill instead of a chisel? Yes, you can use a drill to remove the bulk of the wood, but you will still need a chisel for precision.

  2. What if the hinge still doesn’t fit? You might have to adjust the depth of the recess. Keep in mind that it’s better to chisel too little than too much. You can always remove more wood, but you can’t add it back.

For additional resources on DIY projects, check out these articles on how to replace a door, types of door hinges, and how to fix a squeaky door. These should provide you with more insights and guidance on handling doors and their components.


Learning how to cut door hinges without a router can be a handy skill, especially for those who enjoy DIY projects. It may require some patience and practice, but with the right tools and guidance, anyone can do it. Happy DIY-ing!

Alejandra Reynoso

By Alejandra Reynoso

Alejandra Reynoso is a passionate writer with a gift for creating engaging and informative website articles. With a background in journalism and business with a flair for storytelling, she has mastered the art of captivating readers with her words. Alejandra's writing covers a diverse range of topics, from business and money to news and politics.