While it might seem like a simple enough job, removing a door’s hinge pin can get tricky – especially if you’re dealing with an old hinge that’s had the chance to corrode over time. These hinge pins can still be removed, they just require a little more effort and elbow grease than a new hinge pin would require.
The basic idea for how to remove a door hinge pin is the same for every standard hinge. Keep in mind there are also specialized hinges that are designed so the pins can’t be removed easily for better security with outward-facing hinges, but we won’t get into this with this article.
I’ll break down how to remove a door hinge pin using several different techniques, including some for stubborn hinge pins that just don’t want to budge.
Tools & Materials
- Hammer or mallet
- Old nail (approx. size 8D)
- Flathead screwdriver
- WD40 or 3-in-1 lubricant
Removing a Door Hinge Pin – Guide
Removing a door hinge pin can be quite simple or a major pain depending on how stubbornly the pin is wedged in place. Older doors, doors with hinges exposed to the elements, and hinges that have been painted over tend to be the most troublesome ones to deal with.
Step 1: Brace the Door
Before you start popping the hinges loose from your door, you want to make sure it will stay put as you complete the process. Removing the hinge pins without bracing the door can cause damage to the hinges and door.
Slide a scrap piece of wood or something similar underneath the bottom of the door as shim. You can also have someone else assist you with holding onto the door as you remove the hinges.
Step 2: Lever the Hinge Cap
The first step to removing a hinge pin is to position your flathead screwdriver between the hinge pin cap and the hinge and try to pry it free. If it doesn’t want to come free you can apply some pressure by tapping the screwdriver base with a hammer or mallet.
Once the pin pops free from the hinge, you can continue levering and tapping with the hammer until the pin comes completely loose.
The pin should pop up free from the hinge, but if it doesn’t want to budge then it’s time to move on to a more persuasive method.
Step 3: Use a Nail
This method works really well for just about every hinge pin, even stubborn ones that don’t want to budge.
Take an old nail and position it at the bottom of the hinge pin. An 8D nail is a good size if you have it as it’s strong enough not to bend when you wack it a few times.
Tap on the nail head lightly until you see the top of the hinge pin start to come loose. Usually, once it loosens it’s easy to remove by tapping away with your hammer.
Don’t get discouraged if it seems like it’s taking forever and you’re not making any progress. In my own experience, it can take a while for the hinge pin to move a small amount – but once it reaches a certain point it will just loosen completely and you’ll be able to slide it out by hand.
Step 4: Apply Lubricant
For heavily corroded and stubborn hinge pins, you may need to progress to this next step. Spray WD40 or other similar lubricant sprays onto the hinge pine and give the lubricant 10 mins to penetrate into the hinge.
Then, repeat the hammer and nail technique described above until the hinge pin comes loose.
Tips for Door Removal
When you’re removing a door, you generally want to take off the bottom hinge first, followed by the top hinge, and then the middle hinge last if there is one.
If you run into a situation where you can’t remove the hinge pin no matter what you try, you can always remove the entire hinge from the door. You may need to do this for hinges that are designed not be removed.
Some security hinges that are designed for outward opening doors will have a special nut that can only be accessed when the door is open. Loosening this nut will release the hinge pin and allow you to remove and replace it.
If you’re removing the hinge pin because it’s squeaky – check out my post on how to fix squeaky door hinges without WD40.