How to Add a Soft Close Adapter for Cabinet Doors in Minutes

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One of the easiest upgrades to a kitchen is to add a soft close adapter for cabinet doors to prevent the doors from slamming shut.

Due to the incredibly simple design of slow close adapters, or dampers in technical speak, anyone can install these on just about any hinge and cabinet type. In this article we’ll review what types of adapters are available and how to install them.

Best Soft Close Cabinet Hinge Adapters

List of soft close adapters for cabinet doors
ImageProductStyleBuy Now
Blum Soft Close AdapterEditor Choice installs easily and adjusts with the turn of a screwCheck Price and Reviews
Rok Hardware DamperEconomy slow close from an industry leaderCheck Price and Reviews
Blum Clip Top AdapterClip Top add on adapter for Blum hingesCheck Price and Reviews

Soft Close Adapters for Most Door Styles

Soft close adapters, also known as slow close dampers, are made to fit just about every type of cabinet door.

As these are typically installed as an upgrade, they come in many forms and from multiple manufacturers. While a few attach directly to the existing hinge, most are separate and screw directly into the cabinet frame and operate independent of the hinge.

And best of all, these adapters generally run $2-4 per door so an upgrade to your kitchen is inexpensive. Also, unless your doors are excessively tall, thick or wide only one adapter is needed per door.

Following is a list of available adapters for your project with the first adapter one I have used and would use again.

1. Blum Soft Close Adapter

The Blum slow close adapter installs easily on both face frame and frameless cabinets with just one screw. And it adjusts easily with a turn of a phillips screw.

I’ve had these adapters in my kitchen for the last 7 years. Unfortunately, when I built my cherry wood kitchen in 2005 I used Blum’s 38-compact series hinge but I didn’t invest in soft close hinges at the time.

And these Blum’s have worked great. Due to the single screw installation they go on quickly. And using the adjustment screw they have worked for 18″ wide by 40″ tall heavy doors down to smaller 12″ wide by 20″ tall doors.

Editors Choice

Blum 971A9700.22x10 971A BLUMOTION Cabinet Soft Close Polybag Kit for Doors, Nickel Finish (Pack of 10)

2. Rok Hardware Slow Close Damper

The Rok Hardware adapter follows a similar design and works well for face frame and frameless cabinets. And they adjust with a turn of a knob found on the back of the damper.

These polished nickel adapters are easy to install, have a scratch protector and front bumper and quickly adjust.  And with a simple set, screw and adjust installation anyone can quickly install on cabinet doors to add soft close to cabinet doors.

Most Economical

Rok Hardware 10 Pack Soft Close Damper for Cabinet Doors. Compact soft close adapter with nickel hardware to match hinges.  Available in bulk: 10 pack, 15 pack, 25 pack, 50 pack

3. Blum Clip Top BLUMOTION slow close hinges

The Blum straight arm adapter fits on top of existing Blum clip-top hinges and doesn’t require screwing into the cabinet side.

With a fluid dampening system this adapter simply clips on top of existing Blum clip top hinges.

For Blum Clip Top

Blumotion Straight Arm Full Overlay Hinge for Doors, Nickel Finish (Pack of 5). For clip top hinges - no screws required. 2 pack, 8 pack, 20 pack, 50 pack

Why do I need a soft close door adapter?

Other than the annoying noise that has been known to drive apartment and townhouse disputes, there are a few reasons to install a door damper:

  1. Reduce door damage caused by the abuse a slamming door creates.
  2. Increase kitchen value with an upgrade any future owner would expect.
  3. Enhance usability by eliminating the need to carefully close the door.

Will a slow close adapter work on any type of door?

Well this all sounds great but what about my doors?  Will a door slam stopper fit? Unfortunately the simple answer is you might need to try a damper and see. Because cabinet doors come in full overlay, partial overlay, inset and many other technical terms the average homeowner doesn’t understand there isn’t a foolproof way to know.
 
But chances are if your cabinets were made in the last 10 years you should be able to use one of the universal dampers.

What can go wrong installing a stopper myself?

The most common issue will be stripping a screw or splitting the face frame of the cabinet. But this is avoidable by using a self centering pilot bit like these Werkzeug pilot bits.

Do both hinges need to be soft close?

This applies to the clip top adapters found with Blum and the answer is generally no, only one hinge will need to be soft close. However for heavy cabinet doors it is possible two slow close adapters will be needed.

How do you adjust soft close hinge adapters?

Most soft close adapters have a screw that can be used to set the tension of the fluid damper that controls it’s action. This is often required for smaller and larger doors to precisely control the speed and closing action of the door.

For soft close hinges there may be less adjustment capability due to the mechanism being more tightly integrated to the hinge.

      The Home Woodworker