Want to know what the secret to beautiful doors is? Ok, so the choice of materials and craft that goes into making the door are all important. But do you want to know what else? Concealed hinges. There, we said it. Why? Well, let’s turn that question around. If you have a beautiful, attractive, lovingly made door, why would you want to take anything away from it with visible hinges?


We’re not just talking cabinet hinges here, either. 30 years ago, Sugatsune introduced a genuine game-changer in hinge technology. The HES3D was the first concealed hinge developed to be able to hold the weight of full-length interior doors. The most heavy-duty hinge in the range can handle doors up to 125kg in weight. To achieve that, we reimagined the concealed hinge concept altogether. The pivot-arm mechanisms that are standard issue on most concealed cabinet hinges don’t lend themselves well to high loads.

So we went back to the drawing board completely, reengineering the classic butt hinge so the central barrel tucks away in recesses within the footprint of the hinge itself. This means the hinge mechanism is concealed completely between the stile and jamb when the door is closed. But the sturdy load-bearing capabilities of the classic barrel hinge are retained.

Over time, we have extended the HES3D range to include options for everything from small cabinets to those heavy-duty interior doors we have already mentioned. That makes it the only end-to-end concealed hinge solution for every architectural purpose. And now we’ve taken the concept another step forward, casting our eye to mounting options for slim-framed and frameless doors. Introducing the HES1 and HES2

Award-winning The HES1 is already an award winner. In Japan, it was named in the Good Design Award Best 100 2022. Out of more than 1,500 products that received awards overall, the top 100 are singled out on the basis of earning “a particularly high reputation as a design that suggests the future.” Similarly, the HES1 was also recognised with a Kids Design Award, a programme backed by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry that rewards products with “designs that contribute to the safety and security of children.” So what’s the story with this future-facing, kid-friendly hinge?

The HES1 was developed for flush-to-wall doors and slim frames as little as 8mm wide. By providing flawless integration between door and wall, the HES1 is perfect for achieving slick minimalist designs for interior doors, builtin cupboards and wardrobes, partitions and more. Unlike the HES3D, the HES1 is not completely concealed when closed – but its profile is so small that it is all but invisible.

And that is down to the ultra-snug fit the HES1 achieves between door and wall or frame – a quality which also explains its nomination for a Kids Design Award. With only the narrowest gap (less than 5mm) between stile and jamb on the hinge side, the risk of little fingers getting trapped is removed.

Simple installation The HES2, meanwhile, combines the advantages of a fully concealed hinge with the simplicity of surface mounting. With the HES3D, you have to mortise both the door and the frame to fit the hinge. When the door is closed, the hinge mechanism is hidden in the mortised space. The HES2 works on the same principle, but you only have to mortise the door. The frame-side plate can simply be screwed on.

This significantly reduces the time and effort it takes to hang a door. And it also means the HES2 can be installed on both slim-framed and frameless doors. Like the original HES3D, both the HES1 and HES2 can be split into two parts to be installed separately on the door and frame to make life easier.

Once the door is hung, the hinges can be adjusted vertically, horizontally and by depth for a precise finish. And all hinges in the HES range are built to be supremely durable, having successfully passed 300,000-plus open/close cycles in testing. Easier to install in a broader range of locations and with enhanced safety – there’s just no concealing the benefits of the extended HES range. Now the secret is out, make sure you don’t miss out.

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