Hinges for Eyeglasses: What Are the Different Types?
Navigating the terminology specific to eyeglasses can sometimes be confusing. One of the most important parts of your new glasses are the hinges. Certain brands create unique terminology for their hinges, and others require made to measure tools to repair them. Learn the pros and cons of the different types of hinges, and what they mean for your glasses-buying experience.
The most common type of hinges you will encounter are Standard Hinges (or barrel hinges). These hinges work similarly to door hinges and are one of the oldest types of hinges found on glasses. Standard hinges are made up of barrels that fit into each other like a zipper with a small screw that slides into the middle to keep the barrels in place. This allows the arms (or temples) to move in and out while still keeping them firmly attached to the frame front. These simple hinges are found on a wide range of frames. In general, the more barrels, the more durable your frames will be. An average pair of glasses may have 3 barrels however, some manufacturers manufacture five and six barrel hinges. An example of these types of hinges can be seen in Ray Ban’s New WayFarer’s frames.
Standard hinges are easy to repair. You can even do it yourself with a YouTube video and a small “eyeglasses repair kit”. The parts for standard hinges are easily available to buy at your local pharmacy or to find at your optician.
Standard hinges are durable. These hinges have been around almost as long as eyeglasses have been and they have a reputation for being easy to repair.
Adjustment may require a visit to the optician. Sometimes standard hinge frames need more adjustments than other types of hinges due to their lack of flexibility. These adjustments are best done by your optician.
Frames with standard hinges can fall off during intense physical activity. They may not be the best glasses for your morning jog until you are sure that they fit you correctly. This also means being careful when you bend over or when attempting a hair flip.
The second most common type of hinges that you will encounter are Spring Hinges (or “flex hinges”). These hinges are equipped with a small spring that affords the arms a greater range of movement and does not limit them to the traditional, 90 degree angle. These hinges provide greater comfort for the wearer and are more able to withstand everyday use. Most Spring Hinges are constructed with 3 barrels. These RayBan RX5268’s are a good example of the spring hinge.
Spring Hinges require less adjustments. While it is still a good idea to go see your optician if these frames are falling off your face, the likelihood of this happening right out of the package is low. Unlike Standard Hinge frames, Spring Hinge frames have give and take to them. This gives the customer a comforting “squeeze” (or, as we like to say, “glasses hug”) that let’s the wearer know their glasses are always there.
Spring Hinges are better for physical activity. Due to their snug fit, Spring Hinge frames are more likely to stay on while running or jogging, which makes them a good choice for people with an active lifestyle or for children’s glasses.
These hinges are significantly more difficult to repair. Not for the DIY’er.These frames must be taken to an optician and sometimes must be shipped to the manufacturer for special repairs. Some manufacturers have their own version of the spring hinge which requires specialty tools to maneuver.
The newest type of frames, are frames without hinges or “Hingeless” frames. These frames have no screws, no barrels, and no hinge! Most of these frames are sculpted to fit the shape of the wearer’s head. The temples are rounded, imitating the shape of the skull. These frames are normally made of strong materials like titanium and are predominantly rimless frames. Hingeless frames are often used for sports or high activity glasses. A perfect example of Hingeless frames are the Silhouette Brand Eyeglasses that boast their innovative, hingeless glasses as being sleek and efficient while still being durable and fashionable.
Sharp, innovative and sleek design.Hingeless frames go hand and hand with “high tech”. They have a sleek design that is tailored to fit correctly. These are the minimalists of the glasses world
Hingeless frames are made for you. Hingeless frames are bent to fit your face. They can be snug like Spring Hinges, or loose, depending on what suits you. They are also made of durable materials like titanium, so they can stand up to normal wear and tear, and lots of physical activity.
Hard to repair. Because hingeless frames are “hingeless”, they are made of durable materials in order to compensate. However, this makes them extremely difficult to repair. Once again, this is not a DIY job. These frames must be sent to your opticians and possibly sent to the manufacturer for repair.
If you have concerns about ordering glasses online, be assured FramesDirect.com have plenty of resources to make the process easy. Buying glasses online can be less expensive and simpler than visiting your local optician.
Contact one of our experienced opticians if you have any questions about glasses hinges.
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