How to cut door hinges without a router? Step by Step Guide

Each person, the owner of their apartment or house, can benefit from skills such as the installation of interior doors. In this case, it is necessary to competently carry out the installation of the hinges during the installation of the doors; the subsequent operation of the entire interior design will depend on this. Therefore, the role of the door hinges is highly important in everyday for every person around the whole world. Consequently, it is highly important to know how to cut door hinges without a router. These hinges support the external doors, by providing the first line of security for the household inside. Moreover, they offer protection against other components.

Inside, it will provide privacy to every member of the house. Fixing new hinges or replacing old ones is a natural ability to master. It can be beneficial for everyone in their houses. That is why in this article, we show you ways about cut door hinges without a router. This can be very useful, particularly for those who enjoy doing D.I.Y. developments.

What are hinges for?

Hinges are essential for our doors, windows, and cabinets to rotate. To do this, it uses a straightforward mechanism consisting of two pieces; one of the parts is attached to the blade while the other rotates on an axis, thus allowing a circular motion. Those hinges can be cut in different ways. Some of these ways are: cut door hinges with drill, and cut door hinges with chisel.

Cut the door hinges

In order to install a new door for any reason you might have, it is essential to know cut door hinges without a router. The idea to undertake this little or hard project can be a slight frustrated if you do not know the right steps to do it.

Luckily, we have some tips for you to find a more natural method to change the door hinges. Do not worry about it! You will only need a small number of tools and the knowledge we will provide you. At the moment you read these surprising ways, you will never have problems with that again. Here, we are going to show you easy methods for you to take advantage of different tools rather than a router.

METHOD #1: Using a chisel

The purpose of this is to follow step by step. It is intending to show you an overall picture and to give you a better idea of how to do it in a faster way.


  • Hinges
  • Pencil
  • Mortise Chisel
  • Mallet

1.Create a guideline by measuring the door hinges

First, you must take all the necessary time for you to draw a line around the hinge. To point it out, it is better if you do it around all the three of the hinge’s edges.

You can use a pencil, and if it is needed, remark the lines several times until those lines are thick and easy to differentiate from the door. Remember that this step is critical because those lines are your guide and must indicate where you want to put them all.

3. Now, the chisel must be used

In this step, you will have the possibility to take a knife and then, score the entire mortise cut area. You need to do this step several times until you see a solid hinge outline.

However, you can use the chisel to create diverse cutting series in the outlines. You can create different cuts across the mortise’s grain.

4. Make the corresponding cut

You must be aware of quickly dig out a small hole by using the hammer to drive the chisel to the outlines created before.

To eliminate the wood, it essential to follow the same process several times. Remember to be careful not to cut a lot. The purpose is to fit the hinge in the best possible manner.

4. Take away the wood

It would be best if you pulled the chisel used over the grooves. This is intending to get rid of all of them. In order words, using your hammer, you must pull the tool backward. Then, try to scrape all the wood out. The stage stated above about eliminating the wood is necessary to repeat it, trying to eliminate the more significant part of the grooves.

In any case you follow each step accordingly, it will be super easy to cut them, and you will master the technique. You need to be sure that the door hinge stays in the exact place.

METHOD #2: Chisel

Another super vital method to cut the hinge is through a drill. This form is as simple as the previous one, but first, you must make sure you have the necessary materials to be able to undertake this path. After you read all the steps to follow, you will realize that it is not difficult.

1. Use tape to measure and create the mark on the door

The first step and that must be with total precision, is to measure where the hinge will be located. For this, we can use a tape measure to transfer these measurements to the door.

Make sure that the measures are accurate and that both are aligned to avoid future problems.

It would be best if you marked the hinge measurements and then rest on the sawhorses, and put the hinge outline up.

2. Drill where you draw the measurements

The next step is simple; you must establish a desired depth in the door so that it fits with the shroud you have. You must ensure that the thickness is not exaggerated since it must be of the same depth as the piece.

When using the drill, it is crucial that you concentrate and start the drilling process slowly and steadily so that the depth does not get out of your hands next to the cut. The least you want is damage!

Therefore, using small, superficial cuts, clean the boxes. It is preferable to have to make several small cuts and perform the work with great accuracy than to make large cuts and that the depth is not the same.

Just to point out, it is necessary that you start at the edges of the whole contour and then move to the center.

3. You will need to clean the edges

To avoid future damage, it is advisable to clean the edges that are rough with a chisel. This will give you more control in the cleaning of the sides, and you will have a less chance than doing it with a drill.

Make the holes with the drill to fix the hinge. Moreover, you will need to check if the blade is flush with the edge of the door. If you have gone deep, something prevalent in beginners, level it by introducing pieces of cardboard. Once all this has been done, it only remains to screw the two hinges and, after removing the wedges, check that the door turns correctly.

4.Cutting Door Hinges With Multi Tool


A utility knife can work to cut the hinges, but it is a more difficult process. It is possible to use a hinge jig and a wood blade to get clean cuts and avoid damaging the door or frame.


First, remove the screws from the hinges with a Phillips head screwdriver. Place the hinge jig on the edge of the doorframe where you will be cutting. Make sure that it is properly aligned before tightening down the clamps. Cut along each side of the hinge using a wood blade in your multi-tool. If done correctly, there will be little or no damage done to either the door or frame. Reattach the hinges using new screws and enjoy your newly trimmed doors!


5. Cut Door Hinges With A Dremel


To cut the door hinges with a Dremel, you will need to know the hinge thickness, and the middle hinge, and make a pencil mark on each side of where you want to cut. Once you have made the marks, outline them with a pencil.


Next, take your Dremel and set it to its lowest speed. Cut along the outline of each hinge using a saw blade attachment. Make sure that you are careful not to cut into the door itself. Finally, remove any remaining metal from the hinges using a grinding bit.


6. Cut Door Hinges with a Drill


To cut door hinges with a drill, you’ll need a router bit, a drilling pilot hole, and a drill bit. First, use the router bit to cut a groove in the hinge that will accommodate the drill bit. Next, use the drilling pilot hole to drill into the doorjamb around where the old hinge is located. Finally, use the drill bit to bore out the old hinges. Be sure to take care while drilling so as not to damage the door or surrounding wood.


7. Take Measurements & Set Drill Depth


To set the depth of your drill bit, you’ll need to take a few measurements. First, measure the width of your hinge mortise. This is the slot in your door where the hinge will go. Then, measure the thickness of your wood shaving. This is the amount of wood that you’ll remove from each side of the mortise to create enough space for the hinge. Finally, measure the width of your pencil outline. This is how wide your door should be once it’s been trimmed to fit the hinges.

FAQs: How to cut door hinges without a router?

Why should I draw lines?

Remember that the lines that were drawn are created to guide what you should cut and what must be avoided. Also, try not to cut deep and outside the line, they need to be in perfect condition to match.

By what method do I know that my cut is done correctly?

At any time that the cut was implemented in a correct way, the mortise must be precisely flush against the edge you have on the door. Something for you to take into account is that your hinge should not be more than 1 millimeter.

Why my mortise should not be more than 1 millimeter?

If your mortise is more than one millimeter, your door is likely to get too tight. Therefore, it cannot open as it usually would.

In addition, also if it is not the correct measure, it is likely to lose the easy way to close it.

What can I do if the mortise is too deep or less than 1 millimeter?

One of the simplest things you can do is to glue small wooden cribs to cover the spaces.

How do you use a door hinge jig?

There are different types of door hinge jigs, so it’s important to know the type of hinge you’re installing before you purchase a jig. In general, you use a door hinge jig by clamping it to the edge of the door and then using a sharp utility knife to cut the mortise in the doorjamb.

Some jigs come with a drill guide that helps you drill the pilot hole for the screws. Others come with a template that helps you mark where to cut on the doorjamb. Read the instructions that come with your jig carefully so that you understand how it works.

What do I need to cut door hinges by hand?

To cut door hinges by hand, you’ll need a few tools like a drill, chisel, hammer, and forstner bit.

Where should I start when cutting door hinges?

When cutting door hinges, you’ll want to start by marking the hinge’s placement on the door and the door frame.

How do I create the mortise for the hinge using a drill?

To create the mortise for the hinge using a drill, you’ll need to attach a forstner bit to your drill and carefully drill out the marked area.

How do I cut out the door hinge without a router?

To cut out the door hinge without a router, you can use a combination of a drill, chisel, and hammer. First, drill holes along the marked area, then use the chisel and hammer to remove the excess material.

How can I ensure a perfect fit for the door hinge?

To ensure a perfect fit for the door hinge, you can use a door hinge template. This will help guide your drilling and ensure the mortise is the correct size and shape.

What should I do after cutting the door hinge?

After cutting the door hinge, it’s time to clean up the mortise. Use a chisel and sandpaper to remove any rough edges and ensure a smooth surface for the hinge.

Can I cut door hinges by hand if I don’t have a router template?

Yes, you can still cut door hinges by hand even if you don’t have a router template. Simply use a combination of a drill and chisel to create the mortise for the hinge.

Do I need any special tools to cut door hinges without a router?

While a router is usually the preferred tool for cutting door hinges, you can cut them by hand using a drill, chisel, hammer, and forstner bit.

Are there any important tips to keep in mind when cutting door hinges?

When cutting door hinges, it’s important to take your time and work carefully. Measure and mark the hinge placement accurately, and use the appropriate tools for each step of the process.


How can I work safely?

You need to wear heavy-duty gloves, long-sleeved clothing, and safety goggles.


It is crucial, you must know that there are many ways to cut a hinge, but in this article, we provide you with relevant information so you can follow and do it on your own.

If you want to know the ways to transmit out this process without using a router, this will be a place where your doubts can be resolved. You will know and understand how to cut door hinges without a router.

Remember that you can do it with a chisel or with a drill. The primary point is that you must always create the dimensions with a pencil on the door and that the depth of the cut should remain exactly the same.

You will have to eradicate the excess of wood and thus carry out tests so that it is not too loose that it cannot be closed, nor so undercut to make the procedure more complicated.


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