Lateral Opening Hinges: A Sideways Look at Saving Space

There are circumstances where doors get in the way. Or, to be more accurate, there are situations where the opening of a door causes problems due to the lack of space in front or behind.

The truth is, it isn’t really the door itself that causes the problem. It’s the hinge. Traditional door hinges are designed to allow an arcing motion, typically through anything between 90 and 180 degrees. But in tight spaces where you might have, say, other fixtures and furnishings directly in front of a door, this swinging motion will lead to issues – namely, the door striking whatever is in front of it.

This is a common issue with kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Particularly when you are installing units in small or unusually shaped areas, there may seem no other option but to accept not being able to open doors fully, and the restricted access that causes..

 At Sugatsune, we don’t believe in making do. Looking at things with engineers’ eyes, we see such problems as opportunities to find a solution. And it is that expertise in the logic and science of mechanics which has led us to reimagine the possibilities for lateral opening door systems.

With traditional swing-in, swing-out doors, the issue is not really with doors or space. Rather, it is a case of the opening and closing motion not matching the environment you are working in. The logical thing is therefore to change how the doors move. And that means looking at how the hinges are designed.

 Lateral opening systems for doors are not a new or particularly uncommon concept. Whether it is to avoid obstructions or for aesthetic or safety reasons    – keeping a door neatly and safely out of the way when it is open, for example – there are many different sideways-opening solutions available.

But what Sugatsune offers is unique in several ways. One is that our range of lateral opening hinges offers sideways motion for everything from sub-5kg cabinet doors right the way up to full-length doors weighing up to 90kg, without the need to install a track. No other manufacturer offers trackless, hinge-only lateral opening solutions for doors of that size and weight.


The Lin-X1000 is a groundbreaking product in its class, winning awards for the way we re-engineered the lateral hinge concept to make it capable of bearing loads of up to 90kg on doors up to 2.9m tall. The rotational pivot of a traditional hinge is not only more straightforward to achieve, it is also inherently stronger.
But by overcoming the load-bearing limitations of the lateral hinge, we have extended its use beyond kitchens and bathrooms, making it a viable option for walk-in wardrobes, office partitions, hidden entrances in retail fittings and much more.

In doing so, we have also extended the purpose of lateral opening doors beyond simply saving space and avoiding obstacles. Our Lin-X products offer premium quality solutions which deliver aesthetic as well as practical benefits, keeping open doors flush with any vertical surface they are adjacent to so they are neatly out of the way. We have recently further extended our Lin-X range with the addition of the Lin-X800 and Lin-X800H. These hinges are designed to accommodate loads of up to 40kg with door heights of up to 2.4m and 2.9m respectively.

Sugatsune allow a wide range of door sizes to open laterally
Sugatsune allow a wide range of door sizes to open laterally

All of our lateral opening hinges feature soft close as standard, slowing down the motion of a door as it shuts to a smooth, gentle finish. Our Lin-X hinges make use of a damper system to achieve this, while our FAD-5 and FAD-20 cabinet hinges feature a gas spring to minimise resistance as the door closes. Both the Lin-X and FAD ranges also hold the door firmly in the open position until force is applied to close it, to prevent any accidental shutting and the potential for trapped fingers.

Always conscious of the need to utilise different solutions to achieve different purposes, one of our lateral opening hinge options does still employ a track system. Where the MFU-1000 differs to the rest of our solutions is that it enables inward, rather than outward, lateral opening. Amongst other things, this makes it well suited to the hidden door concept – with an outward-opening hinge, you need some kind of handle to pull on. But with the MFU-1000, you simply push and slide, meaning you can turn any plain, flat wall panel into a door.

Close Menu