How To Cut Out Door Hinges With Chisel (6 Steps)

How To Cut Out Door Hinges With Chisel (6 Steps)

Just like every installation process, there are some procedures you must observe. Part of installing a door involves cutting hinges with a chisel. This process can become a nightmare if you do not have the technical know-how. The cut we make on the door for hinges is called a mortise or door notch, and we will explain how to cut out door hinges with chisel. 

You can cut out door hinges with chisel by marking the hinge measurement and cutting shallow notches at the position where the hinges will lie on the door. You will need a hammer, mallet, and chisel to make the notches. 

Cutting out door hinges with a chisel is gruesome work because it requires an ample workforce to weld the hammer with the chisel. It is essential to be careful and take the proper measures to avoid a wrongly positioned door or dirty work. This article will focus on explaining how to cut out door hinges with chisel. 


What Tools Do I Need To Cut Out Door Hinges With Chisel

To cut out door hinges, you need some tools to make your work easier. These tools include the following:

  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Screws
  • Chisel
  • Safety gloves 
  • Safety glasses
  • Hammer
  • Router 

You must ensure that your chisel is very sharp. A sharp chisel makes for fine carpentry and easy cutting. It has to be flat to shave just the amount of wood you want to chip off. You can sharpen your chisel at any sharpening store or hardware shop. 

The hammer is for knocking on the chisel to peel the wood off. While using your hammer, be careful not to hit too hard and crack the door wood or chip off more significant chunks than you should. The measuring tape is for getting the correct measurement, and safety glasses and gloves are for your protection. 

Steps To Cut Out Door Hinges With Chisel 

Installing a new door can change the whole look of your house. Hence, you need to ensure that the change is of a positive kind by making sure your door hinges are well-cut. Cutting door hinges the wrong way can change the position and look of your new door. It can also prevent your door from closing correctly.  

Some people prefer to leave the work to a professional. But you can cut them yourself using the right tools and technical know-how. You will need a mortise chisel, a utility knife, a tape measure, a pencil, and a hammer or mallet to cut correctly. Follow these steps to cut out door hinges with chisel:


  • Mark Hinge’s Position 

Marking the hinge position is the first step when cutting out door hinges. Position the door on the doorframe and determine the places where the hinges will settle. Count eleven inches from the bottom of the door and mark it with your pencil. 

Mark another seven inches from the top of the door with your pencil for the top hinge. It is important to note that some doors only have two hinges, while others have three or four. The middle hinges should be of equal measure in between. You will need help holding the door in position for the next step. 

  • Draw The Hinge Outline

Place the door upright, mark your hinge positions, and trace its outline with a pencil. The edges of the hinges must press firmly on the door to get the correct shape. The outline will guide you to getting the right hole measurement for your door hinges

Draw the same outline for all the hinges you will be using. Ensure that your pencil marks are thick and visible enough for when you cut. Remember, a slight difference in measurement is all it takes to ruin all your hard work. 

  • Determine And Mark The Mortise Depth

A hinge’s mortise depth is the side of the hinge that bends outward and stays on the top of the hinge’s fourth edge. It has a depth that helps the door move. After drawing the hinge outline, make a mark showing the mortise depth. This depth is usually towards the door side and only a few inches in size. 

It is essential to get the depth of the mortise correct. That is the critical aspect of your hinge-cutting measurements. If you cut the door hinge more slowly than it should, your door will not be able to close, and if you miss it more profoundly, it might not close properly. Precision is critical at this point. 

  • Create Grooves 

The next step is to create grooves inside the outline you drew. Use your knife to cut a groove, which will serve as your chiseling track. The grooves will be along the hinge outline you drew earlier. Please review the groove numerous times to make it deep and easy to identify. 

Grooving is crucial. With a concrete path, you should not go right into chiseling off the notch. Grooving the hinge outline helps you maintain a lane and not deviate. Remember to keep to the measurements you made with your pencil. 


How To Cut Out Door Hinges With Chisel


  • Start Cutting 

With the grove ready and very visible, you can start cutting. Place your chisel on the outline you made and tap gently with a hammer. Gently tap because you only want to go as deep as necessary. As you cut, remove the debris to ensure you see how deep you are going. 

The cutting process is why we hammered on a sharp chisel. When your chisel is quick, you will have no difficulty cutting just the chunk size you need. Continue cutting till you get to the depth measurement you made. Repeat the same procedure for all the hinge positions. 

  • Finish Up 

After chiseling all hinge notch positions, ensure you have the proper measurements. You can fit the hinges into the cut to determine if they fit perfectly. Suppose it lies very flat on the hole. Then you have done an excellent job. If it does not, you must chisel the high areas to get a flat surface. 

To smooth the rough areas, you can shim your door hinge mortise with sandpaper. Use smooth sandpaper to prevent excessive scratching that might damage the door. 

Can I Use Another Method To Cut Out Door Hinges 

The chisel-cutting method is one of many ways to cut your door hinges. It is a more rigid and manual method. You can use a router to cut door hinges. Routers make your work easier and reduce the tendency to make mistakes. However, getting a router for the sole purpose of hanging one door is foolhardy. 

The router method uses a jig tool. A jig tool helps the router maintain its position while cutting. The router allows you to adjust the depth and length of your cutting area. All you need to do is secure the jig and router in position, adjust the gauge to the correct measurement, and cut away. 

Although using a router to cut a door hinge might seem like the best option, doing so professionally is more effective. A chisel and hammer do the trick perfectly. It only requires more attention and precision.

Wrap Up 

Cutting out your door hinges with chisel seems complex but manageable. It requires a bit of energy exertion, but with determination, you can cut your door hinge with minimal help. The only help you need is to position the door to get the correct measurement. 

Now that you know how to cut out door hinges with chisel, you do not require a professional to install that door, but if you feel you need more confidence in your abilities. Please call a professional to give you a clean and proper door installation.

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