I'd like to replace my cabinet hinges with soft-close hinges. I've read about overlay measurements, cup-depth, etc. I purchased a couple hinges to test and discovered that the new hinges have much smaller holes for the screws which attach the hinges to the inside of the cabinet.

Original hinge on left, cabinet-side screw in middle, soft-close hinge on right

The two holes at the top are the cabinet-side holes. The screw goes with the original hinge on the left - the soft-close hinges have much smaller diameter holes and the original screws won't fit.

Close-up of screw holes

This is a problem because the holes that are already in the cabinets from the original screws are larger than the screws that came with the new, soft-close hinges. So I can't use the new screws, they're too small and won't secure the door. The holes align perfectly so I can't screw in the hinge somewhere else or the door won't line up. I've searched for a long time looking for other soft-close hinges with larger holes but, for some reason, they all have the same narrow ovals or smaller screws.

I'm at a loss trying to think of a solution besides using a drill bit to open up the hole on the new hinges, but I know there might be a better solution than that. Thanks for your help!

2 Answers 2


Well, I have used two solutions in this situation:

  1. open up the holes in the metal hinge as you suggest - quick and easy,

  2. I have, with time available and planning, filled the larger holes in the wood with pegs or matchsticks that are glued in. Once dry re-drill the pilot holes and works well.

  • Hmm okay I'll research more about filling the holes while doing a test with the hinges to see if they hold securely after the holes are drilled out. I just wasn't sure if my idea was too "DI-Why?" when something simpler may have existed. Thanks!
    – Mara Jade
    Jan 27, 2021 at 6:52
  • 1
    @MaraJade A piece of hard wood dowel (purchased at your local home improvement center for a couple of bucks), glued into the existing screw holes (in the, most likely, particle board doors) with standard yellow carpenter's glue will hold your hinge screws far better than any screw threaded into the particle board could ever hope to. It's probably safer and easier than trying to hold the small hinge while trying to drill out the screw holes (drill bit grabs the edges of the hole, rips the hinge out of your hand, cutting your hand in the process).
    – FreeMan
    Jan 27, 2021 at 13:56

The problem is that the screws you want to use are meant for press board cabinet case (as seen by the course thread size). These screws are hard to substitute because they require a larger pilot hole (1/4 inch or there about).

The only solution since you are limited in using the new screws, is to fill in the existing holes in the cabinet. This requires finding an appropriate sized wooden dowel and gluing it in the original screw holes.

They don't have to be a flush fit and when the glue dries can be trimmed flush with the cabinet walls with a utility knife and/or sandpaper.

Next drill an a pilot hole for the new screws.

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