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How to Take a Door Off the Hinges: New and Old Hinges

Old or broken hinges? Take a door off the hinges safely.

Are you trying to replace your door but are intimidated by the hinge mechanism? Is the pin on your hinges stuck, or are you not even sure if it can be removed?

I’m here to help you out by showing you how to take a door off the hinges, how to remove a door hinge pin, and how to identify what type of pin you’re dealing with.

Key Takeaways

  • Secure the door and locate hinge pins.
  • Use a hammer and screwdriver or thick nail to remove pins.
  • Replace with new hinges if needed, ensuring they match the old ones.
  • Test the door’s function after hinge replacement.

How To Take a Door Off its Hinges

Hinge pins are designed to be removed quickly, and they typically disengage readily when working with newer doors.

If there is any corrosion on the hinges of older doors, they may be more difficult to deal with (especially ones that have been painted over). This is common in the case of closet doors that have had their hinges painted over. A little extra effort will allow you to quickly pop the hinge pins out when this is the case.

How to Remove Door Hinge Pins

Hinge pins are very common on interior doors. If you’re interested in the complexity of how to take a door off the hinges, know that you only need a couple of tools and a few minutes at your disposal.

What You’ll Need

  • Hammer.
  • Flat-head screwdriver.
  • Thick nail (possibly).

1. Tap the Pin Out

Wedge the screwdriver head underneath the hinge pin’s head. Tap the screwdriver’s handle using your hammer, pushing the pin out of the hinge. You should then be able to remove it using your fingers.

Take Note

For hinges with a bottom cap, pop it off with the flat head or hammer first.

2. Remove Corroded Pins

If you’re dealing with resistance when trying to tap out the pin, it could be due to rust. To solve this, position a thick nail at the bottom of the hinge pin. Use your hammer to tap it from beneath, forcing the pin out of the slot.

It’s really important to have a steady hand when tapping the screwdriver with a hammer. Otherwise, you can hurt yourself or damage the door jamb.

Safety Tip

Always make sure you remove spring-loaded hinges with the door closed to avoid slamming it shut.

How to Remove Door Hinges With Non-Removable Pins

Firstly, why would a door hinge have non-removable pins to begin with? They’re not that common. But they can be found in cases, usually with exterior doors, where the hinge is exposed on the outside.

If the pin were removable, a potential intruder could easily get inside the front door by popping it out. This goes for screen doors with exposed hinges, too.

But with non-removable pins, they can’t. So, how do you remove them?

Fun Fact

A set screw is a tiny screw found inside a (usually) hidden pinhole. You can see it on the inner side of the hinge.

What You’ll Need

  • Screwdriver.
  • Hammer.

1. Locate the Screw

Open the door and locate where the hidden screw is that keeps the pin in place. This is found on the inside. This is also called a set screw and is found discreetly hidden on the inner side of the hinge. Just look for a tiny hole.

2. Remove the Screw

Using a screwdriver, remove the screw. You will usually need either a Phillips head or flat-head screwdriver.

3. Remove the Pin

Close the door so the hinge and pin are accessible. Take your hammer and screwdriver and gently pop the pin out.

4. Remove the Hinges

Now you can proceed to remove the hinges from the door with a screwdriver.

How to Replace Door Hinges

All hardware has a lifespan during which it functions well for a period of time and then gradually degrades in performance due to a range of causes. You should replace your door hinges if:

  • The door starts hanging downwards.
  • You notice a draught coming through the hinge side of the door.
  • You are having trouble opening/closing/locking the door.
  • The door does not seal tight when locked.
  • The hinges are old and rusty.
  • The door sash is scraping against the frame.

What You’ll Need

  • Drill or screwdriver.
  • Tape measure.
  • New hinges.
  • Sturdy door stops.

1. Secure the Door

Reveal the hinge by opening the door. Place the door stops underneath to make sure it’s steady in place.

2. Remove the Old Hinges

Choose hinges that match the shape and size of your old ones. To remove the old hinges, push the pins up and remove the screws that hold the hinges in place.

3. Make Repairs

If you find that the door jamb is damaged and requires repairing before you install the new hinges, proceed with the following:

  1. Sand down the wood.
  2. If the new hinges are different in size than the old ones, adjust the mortise holes in the door and its frame using wood putty.
  3. Paint the part of the door and door frame that you just repaired.

4. Install the New Hinge

Place the new hinge where the old one used to be. Use a drill or a screwdriver to fasten it on both sides. Secure the hinge by placing the pin in its rightful location and repeat this for the second hinge.

Pro Tip

Always test the hinges before removing the tools. Remove the door stops and open and close the door a few times to see how it works.

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How Do I Know If My Hinge Pin is Removable?

Non-removable hinge pins have a small hole with a set screw which can be found on the knuckle’s side. Whenever your door is closed, the screw is concealed. If you don’t notice a hole with your set screw, then you’re dealing with pins that can be removed.

Tips to Get a Stuck Door Hinge Pin Out

Removing door hinges might not be that easy if you live in an older home. Or if you relocated to a property that had been vacant for an extended period of time. There is a possibility that your door hardware has deteriorated and requires immediate attention.

When a hinge becomes stuck, it is frequently due to the pin located within the hinge joint. Some homeowners frequently paint layers over the pin while painting the door hinge. The layers build-up and create difficulty when attempting to remove the hinge.

Another possible cause of this issue is rust build-up. Rust surrounding the steel pin secures it in place, making removal difficult. Here are some things you can do to remove stuck hinge pins:

  • Cut away the paint layers located on top of the hinge.
  • Use a lubricating spray on the moving parts of the door hinge plate, especially the pin.
  • Use a Door Hinge Pin Remover.
  • Tap the bottom of the pin using a screwdriver and hammer, as explained in the tutorial above.


If you’re still uncertain about the details of this project, here are some common questions I get.

How Do Non-Removable Pin Hinges Work?

Non-removable pin hinges have rivets on the hinge that prevent someone from popping out the pin. They are designed without a pin for security reasons, which is why they are sometimes called “security hinges.”

How Hard is it to Take a Door Off its Hinges?

It’s not complicated. You mostly have to make sure that the door is held in place, so it doesn’t just collapse as you’re removing the hinges that support it. It’s a matter of using some doorstops.

How Do You Remove a Door Hinge Pin With a Bottom Cap?

If you’re dealing with a door hinge pin with a bottom cap, you’ll need a set of vice grips. You will use these to grab the bottom cap. Then lock the grip in place, and use a hammer to tap the vice grip until it removes the bottom cap.


When learning how to remove a door from hinges, it’s always important to secure the door. Or have someone help you by holding it in place as you remove the hinge mechanism. Buying new hinges that match the shape and size of the old ones is a stress-free method for replacing them.

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About the Author

Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author and Award-Winning Interior Designer. Using her years of hands-on experience, she now writes about design and DIY. She currently resides on the rocky East Coast of Canada with her family and slobbery bulldog.