Everything you need to know about double action hinges

Everything you need to know about double action hinges

Posted by Amanda On 2nd Feb 2023

Everything you need to know about double action hinges

Double action hinges are also known as saloon door hinges, café door hinges, double acting hinges, and double swing hinges. No matter the name use the hinges will all achieve the same thing- allowing the doors to swing in both directions and automatically return the doors to the resting position (the center). Let's discuss the differences and similarities between double action hinges.

A double-action hinge, also known as a double-acting hinge, is a type of hinge that allows a door or gate to open in either direction, both inward and outward. This type of hinge is often used for doors or gates that need to be able to open in both directions, such as in a high-traffic area or in a location where it is not practical to have a door that opens in only one direction.

Double-action hinges work by having two sets of knuckles, one on each leaf of the hinge. Each set of knuckles allows the hinge to pivot in one direction, and when combined, allows for movement in both directions. This unique design allows for the hinge to open both inward and outward, providing convenience and flexibility in the movement of the door or gate.

One of the most common applications of double-action hinges is in commercial settings, such as retail stores, restaurants, and other public buildings. These types of buildings often have high foot traffic and need doors that can open in both directions to accommodate the flow of people. Double-action hinges are also commonly used in industrial settings, where heavy equipment and machinery need to be moved in and out of a building.

Double-action hinges are also commonly used in residential settings, such as homes, apartments, and condos. They are often used on doors that lead to a patio or balcony, as they provide easy access to the outside while also allowing for privacy and security.

Double-action hinges are available in a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, and stainless steel, and come in a variety of finishes, such as satin chrome, polished brass, and oil-rubbed bronze. They are also available in different sizes, depending on the weight and size of the door or gate that they will be used on.

It's important to note that double-action hinges are not suitable for use with fire doors, as they do not provide the same level of fire resistance as a single-action hinge. Single-action hinge, also known as a single-acting hinge, is designed to open in one direction, typically outward, and are intended to be used with fire-rated doors. This is because double-action hinges allow for the door to open in both directions, which could potentially compromise the fire resistance of the door.

All double action hinges have some similar traits. Double action hinges will return the doors to the center automatically. These hinges will allow the door to be pushed with no handle needed. Double action hinges can be pushed open by an arm, hip, or hand. Once the doors are pushed open, they will swing back and forth, until they stop at the closed position of the center. Double action hinges use either spring or gravity to pull the doors back to the center.

Quick Reference of Pro and Con regarding the three most popular double action hinges. Here are the best double action hinges in use today. 

Double Action Spring Hinges 

  • Adjustable Spring Tension
  • Great for Commercial Applications
  • Non-Hold Open
  • Mounts to the Sides of the Doors
  • Wide Variety of Finish Options

Double action spring hinges use a spring (located inside the barrels) to pull the doors to the center. The spring hinges can be adjusted, using less or more spring tension can be applied to the hinges. These hinges do NOT offer a hold-open feature. These hinges are normally used in commercial applications. The spring hinges allow you to have a “full height” door (minimum gapping is required). The spring hinges do have a faster swing but there is some noise associated with these hinges. The design of the spring hinges includes barrels and mounts to each side of the door. The door will fit into the flange between the barrels. Double action hinges are available in a wide range of sizes including 3"4"5"6", and 7"


  • Adjustable tension
  • Allows for full length doors- small gap necessary for the doors to swing.


  • Some noise with hinge action
  • Wide barrel mounted to the side of the doors. (Only hinge design)
  • Non-hold open

Double Action Gravity Pivot Hinges

  • Mounts to the top and bottom of the doors
  • Wide variety of hinge designs/ finishes
  • Hold Open Feature
  • Great for Residential and Commercial Applications
  • Soft Gravity Swing

Double action gravity hinges are the most popular hinges that people select with saloon doors. These hinges offer many features including a hold-open feature that makes their operation perfect for a commercial or residential application. These hinges use gravity to pull the doors back to the center. The swing with these hinges is slower than the spring hinges. There is no noise with the operation of the gravity hinges. These hinges do mount to the top and bottom of the doors, requiring some gap at the top and bottom of the doors. There are several different styles and brands of gravity hinges. The Bommer 7512 can be recessed into the bottom of the doors allowing for less gap requirement. These hinges are a pivot hinges, the bottom hinge will do the work and the top hinge acts as a pivot point.


  • No noise with hinge operation
  • Hold Open/ Non-Hold Open Option
  • Several different hinge style
  • Seamless Operation
  • Some hinges can be integrated into the door (bottom hinge only)


  • Height Clearance necessary for some gravity hinges
  • No adjustment available for faster/slower swing
  • Mount to the top and bottom of the door(s)

Double Action Horizontal Spring Pivot Hinges

  • Mounts to the top and bottom of the doors
  • Wide variety of hinge designs/ finishes
  • Hold Open Feature
  • Hinge is recessed into the doors

The horizontal spring action pivot hinge is a great hinge for both residential and commercial applications. The horizontal spring pivot hinge is incorporated into the bottom of the door(s) and allows for a hold-open feature at 75-90 degrees. The hinge offers an easy swing with the ability to adjust the tension. These hinges operate with minimal noise. The hinge does need to be recessed into the top and bottom of the doors. The hinge is available in a wide variety of finishes.


  • No noise with hinge operation
  • Hold Open Option
  • Beautifully integrated hinge
  • Seamless operation
  • Adjustable spring tension
  • Horizontal Spring pivot allows for the tallest doors with gravity hinges (minimal gaps needed)


  • Doors need to be recessed to accommodate top and bottom hinge
  • Double Action Spring Hinges

If you have additional questions on double action hinges, contact us at 1-855-343-6677. Each hinge offers pros and cons, we can help you to choose the best double action hinge for your application.