A case hinge allows the lid of a case to bend, rotating around a pin located in the middle of the hinge. The high visibility of some case hinges leads many manufacturers to add decorations to make them more visually interesting, so they don’t create a jarring appearance in contrast with the rest of the case. On more utilitarian cases, like those used to hold scientific equipment, this may not be a significant concern for the designers.
The design includes a set of screw holes for attachment. Some case hinges are designed to lie flush, which can allow the manufacturer to conceal them behind the lining or papering of a case. In a guitar case, for example, the hinges may be placed inside, so they will not be visible behind the felt or other materials used to line the case. Multiple hinges are placed along the rotating side of the case to stabilize it and reinforce each other.
If decorative hinges are needed for a specific project, several options may be available. The case hinge could have a shape beyond the basic rectangle or square, or might include engraving on the surface to make it more interesting to look at. Some are made from treated or distressed metal to create a specific look, such as bronzed or very old hinges. Others may be painted or enameled with designs.
Some designs include a pullout pin or allow the user to unlatch one side of the case hinge from the pin. This can be common with hinges used on equipment cases. Technicians can leave the equipment inside, protected by foam and packing material, and pull out the pins to remove the side, back, or front. Access to the front or the back of the equipment can be provided with removable pins or case hinges designed to rotate off. The ability to quickly set up and break down equipment can be useful in settings like musical venues, where bands may want to keep load in and load out time to a minimum.
If it is necessary to remove a case hinge as part of servicing or repair, it can be helpful to have a small bag or container handy. The screws are often small and may be of an unusual size, especially on smaller cases. They can be dropped into the waiting receptacle, along with the hinge, to reduce the risk that they will be lost before the case hinge is replaced.