Just moved into a new apartment and one of the doors is mounted with these fasteners I’ve never seen. I’d like to take this door out, but I’m struggling to figure out how to remove these without breaking them.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Photo of hinge

  • 5
    You may be able to knock the pins out of the hinges and remove the door that way. The half of the hinge on the frame will still be there though unless you drill the rivets out.
    – brhans
    Dec 6, 2017 at 15:19
  • 1
    Yeah, pull the pins if at all possible. You'd want to do this before drilling out the rivets in any case, or it would be a nasty job to take out the last two. Probably there's a hole in the center of the bottom "cap" that you can put a nail through to push out the pin.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 6, 2017 at 23:20
  • 3
    It's possible that the landlord did this to prevent tenants from removing doors? Might check with them Dec 6, 2017 at 23:49
  • I appreciate the caution, MicroMachine, thanks. He will charge me for the removal upon leaving the apartment, but I’m thinking I just put the door back when I leave and see if it passes inspection. Intend to live here for a long time and this door is such a 10-yo eyesore in an otherwise completely new kitchen. Dec 7, 2017 at 7:07
  • @HotLicks : Thanks for the suggestion, I might try that as a first attempt. Dec 7, 2017 at 7:20

4 Answers 4


Looks like they used rivets. The only way to remove them, is to destroy them (drill them out).

  • I agree they are rivets. A drill is used to remove them, after whatever is done that required there removal new ones can be installed. Google pop rivet gun, lots of them come with a selection of different sizes and many are under 20$ a handy tool for sheet metal work.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 6, 2017 at 17:28
  • 7
    I can honestly say I've never seen hinges installed like this. They didn't even bother to cut the trim on the frame so the hinge could sit flush. Nor did they countersink the hinges on the door or the frame. That would leave too big an air gap in most areas of the world, for insulation purposes. Dec 6, 2017 at 19:07
  • @computercarguy could be a thin metal door, connected to a thin metal frame. The air leakage is likely handled by the weatherstripping visible on the frame.
    – Tester101
    Dec 6, 2017 at 23:30
  • 2
    In case it matters, there are many types of rivets and these are blind rivets. The part that is deformed in order to fasten during the rivet process is hidden on the other side of the rivet, hence the “blind” part, since you can’t see it. The hole in the middle of the finish side of the rivet is where a metal tube protrudes before the rivet is installed. The tool pulls on the tube to deform the other side and fasten the rivet, then the tube breaks off leaving the hole. Blind rivet guns and rivets are affordable and easy to use, and they are not hard to drill out. Dec 7, 2017 at 7:07
  • @computercarguy : Welcome to Thailand! 😄 Dec 7, 2017 at 7:22

Those look like rivets to me. You can simply drill the rivets out to release the hinge, however reinstalling the door could be complicated. A simple solution is to drive out the swivel pin from the center of the hinge. Look under the bottom of the center swivel joint. There you should find a hole into which you can insert a 16 penny nail or equivalent. The pin will drive up and out.

  • 4
    If they riveted these to the door, it's also possible that they have unpullable pins as well. Can't tell from the photo but I've seen that before in temporary dwellings
    – Machavity
    Dec 6, 2017 at 17:07
  • 2
    Yeah, those hinges look like you can't remove the pins. Dec 6, 2017 at 19:01

Called 'pop' rivets in the UK, also 'blind' rivets, since you don't have to have access to the other side on the part receiving the rivet. Be careful drilling out, as the centre pin is steel, and the rivet is aluminium. If you drill out too large, and wish to use the same holes, you can have problems finding a suitable replacement. 1/8" is a common size, but these look larger.

  • Thanks for the caution. Any idea if there is any way to determine the minimum viable diameter for the drill? Perhaps rivets have a common head:pin diameter ratio or something? Dec 7, 2017 at 7:03
  • @RobdeJonge Start with a bit just a little larger than the hole in the rivet, like .5 to 1 mm larger in diameter. You shouldn’t have to drill in very far. The “top” of the rivet (the ring you can see) is pretty thin and you only need to get through that for the rivet to pop off. If you’ve drilled in 1/8” or 2-3mm, and it hasn’t popped off, you’ll need the next larger size bit. The ring will often stick to the bit and may be hot, so be careful pulling it from the bit. You may hear the rivet shaft fall down inside the cavity in the jamb when you have drilled far enough. Dec 7, 2017 at 7:13

A (usually) reversible way to remove a door is to drive out the hinge pins. Pry off the bottom caps and then from below insert a "drift" or a large nail and tap with a hammer. Before prying off the bottom caps try inserting a thin drift into the hole in the bottom and pushing the hinge pin up far enough that you can get screwdriver on the underside of the top of the pin.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.