European hinges have gained so much in popularity that it’s unusual to see anything else on a new cabinet. The reason for this near-takeover is that they have many advantages over nearly every other type of hinge: they offer superior adjustability, they’re completely concealed when the cabinet is closed, they’re extremely durable, and the installation process is a snap. Add to that the “clip on” feature of many European hinges, which makes tool-free door mounting and dismounting possible, and its hard to see why anyone would use anything else.
A recent innovation adds yet another reason to favor European hinges: an invisible, integrated soft-close mechanism. This pneumatic system cures the unnerving ”door slam” that you have to endure after equipping cabinet doors with free-swinging hinges or standard self-closing hinges. How’s it work? A hidden actuator takes over when the door is positioned at 80 degrees or less and automatically closes the door in a soft, smooth motion that protects the finish on your cabinet fronts and your sanity while simultaneously eliminating the need for door bumpers and auxiliary soft close devices.
Pneumatic Soft-Close Hinges offer all of the other features and characteristics of other European hinges. They open the the typical 110 degrees, a maximum opening angle that best reduces door opening conflicts between adjacent cabinets while still allowing easy, comfortable cabinet access. They’re the “clip on” variety of hinge, meaning that once you have the hinge bracket installed in the cabinet, you can use the hinge body’s clip mechanism to attach and remove the door without needing so much as a screwdriver. And if you happen have one of Rockler’s famous JIG-IT for Concealed Hinges on hand, you can install a pair in under ten minutes.