Heavy toy chest lids can be a hazard to children if the right hardware isn’t used to prevent slamming. Which is why most woodworkers use soft close hinges for toy box lids that prevent suddens closings.
But should you use a soft close hinge or a soft close support damper?
While the choice isn’t always obvious, most woodworkers choose a support damper with heavy duty hinges. In this guide learn which solution is best for your project.
Key features to look for:
- Matching the weight of your lid to the number of supports
- Adjustable soft closing
- Finish quality of soft closing hinges and arms if intended to be left open
- And of course, ease of installation
In this guide learn what the best slow close solutions are and the tools required to install them.
Soft Close Solutions For Toy Chests
› RUYUFE Soft Close Support at Amazon ($22.99)
› Apexstone Gas Struts at Amazon ($17.99)
› Morinbo Lid Support at Amazon ($15.98)
Best non-mortise toy lid hinge:
› Rockler Hinge at Amazon ($11.05)
Heavy duty toy chest hinge:
› Tulead Heavy Duty Hinge at Amazon ($9.99)
Installation must have:
› Self Center Hinge Bit Drills at Amazon ($16.29)
How Soft Closing Works
Surprising to some, a soft closing hinge uses a hydraulic damper that uses fluid dynamics to easily open in one direction. But, during closing creates a resistance that prevents fast closing.
The trick to a high quality damper? Quick recovery. Lower quality systems cannot be opened fast and then released. However, high quality soft close dampers can be quickly opened and closed with full effect of the slow closing.
Best Hinges for Toy Boxes
When it comes to a hinge for a toy box the surprise for many is that the hinge itself isn’t soft closing.
Well, on cabinets the door is mounted vertically and the hinge is only supporting the vertical shear weight of the door. But on a toy box, a 20-30+ pound door is fully compressing on the hinge. Which makes the angle and weight too heavy for any hinge to have incorporated slow closing.
The solution? A larger angle provided by soft close support arms enable a larger damper which can slowly stop heavier lids.
Making, of course, the choice in hinges easier and woodworkers will opt for:
Best Slow Closing Solutions For Toy Box Lids
Best Overall: RUYUFE Soft Close Toy Box Support
- Easy to install
- Adjustable via a simple Allen wrench
- Can be set as top-opening or upward-opening
- Nickle plated finish
- Mounted as pairs for larger lids or individually
The simple fact is no lid or toy box is built the same. And that means a soft close support must adapt to varying widths, lengths and weight of the lid it is supporting.
And, this simply designed slow close support has an ingenious adjustable arm hinge that allows it to be adjusted after installed.
- Adjustable slow closing action
- High quality finish
- Can be mounted singly or in pairs
- Top weight of 40-pounds
Budget Pick: Apexstone Gas Strut
- Simple installation
- Hydraulic dampers
Similar to an “elbow hinge” style, a strut will open easily and then use in-built resistance to prevent the toy lid from slamming shut.
The disadvantage this style and grade of soft close support? Well, unlike other solutions these supports are adjustable only by deciding to install one or two of them.
- Smooth operation
- Time-tested design
- Easy to install
- Lacks adjustment
- Best for lighter-weight toy chest lids
Best Looks: Morinbo Lid Support
- Mounts on left or right
- Sturdy design
- Opens to 105-degrees
From toy boxes to overhead cabinet doors a higher quality support with clean design is often the #2 priority behind soft closing. And with a simple arm design, reversing installation and clean gray appearance this support checks the box for most.
- Soft close
- Reversible installation
- Low weight rating
- Cost – does not come in pairs
Installation Tips and Tricks
When it comes to installing hardware there are always a few common issues DIY’ers and even woodworkers face.
First, installing hinges requires installing small screws EXACTLY in the center of the provided hinge holes. Fortunately there’s a solution to this problem through use of self centering drill bits. Even on small projects, these vix bits are worth the extra cost to ensure properly installed hardware.
Second, following the instructions is a must. Because soft close supports require proper installation distances from the chest top, back and lid its a must to take your time.
Lastly, be sure to start with a high quality hinge and proper screws. Since a toy chest lid will be subjected to rough use by small children it’s best to avoid future issues by installing more hinges than you might think is needed.
Of course, pay attention to the all of the hardware after a period of use. If screws are coming loose be sure to tighten them – or look at heavy duty options if it happens consistently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there soft close hinges for toy box lids?
Soft closing on toy box lids can be achieved by combining standard hinges with a separate soft close hinge support arm. This arm uses a damper that prevents the lid from slamming shut.
What is a soft close support arm?
A support arm is designed to be fit into any new or existing toy box and slows the closing of the lid. These support arms are attached to the bottom of the lid and the side of the cabinet.
After learning that soft close hinges for toy box lids are actually a combination of hinges and a support arm your project is ready for final assembly.
Our final tip? Be sure to follow directions on installation to avoid drilling un-necessary holes in your toy chest sides.
- GENTLE SLOW CLOSE DESIGN - Lids will lower slowly...
- HOLDS LID OPEN - Never worry again about having to...
- SMALL COMPACT DESIGN - The compact design allows...
- EASY INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS - Easy to follow...
- 100% MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE - If for whatever reason...
- STURDY LID STAY WITH SOFT CLOSE 🌟 Excellent...
- EASY TO INSTALL 🌟 Comes with an exclusive...
- 2-WAY INSTALLATION 🌟 MORINBO hinges can be...
- COMPACT DESIGN OF LID STAY HINGE 🌟 The compact...
- KNOW BEFORE PURCHASING 🌟 Updated manual can be...
- Lids lower gently,Ideal for SOFT CLOSING lid to...
- Length (Center-to-Center): 8.7 Inch(220...
- SOFT DOWN the door/lid which the SIDE LENGTH is...
- HOW TO INSTALL&ADJUST IT:Just install it as the...
- We offer 1 YEAR 100% SATISFACTORY WARRANTY, if...
- KEEP LID STAY OPEN — The lid support hinge holds...
- DURABLE MATERIAL — Heavy lid hinge, max weight...
- EASY TO INSTALL【 Important：Refer to our...
- ADJUSTABLE TENSION — Adjust the toy box hinges...
- CONDITIONED SOFT CLOSING — Only with this chest...
- DURABLE LID SUPPORT HINGE--Made of Zinc ally in...
- SOFT CLOSE LID STAY---Every Lid support can be...
- MAX WEIGHT LID HINGE--Support 40lbs when use 2 pcs...
- WIDE APPLICATION--Perfect as toy box hinges, Lid...
- EASY TO INSTALL LID SUPPORT --The lid hinge is...
Last update on 2022-11-22 at 19:02 / Images from Amazon
- About the Author
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Eric has been a professional woodworker for over thirty years and has worked in small cabinet shops making everything from kitchen cabinets to hand-made furniture. Now working from a home woodworking shop Eric is sharing his passion for woodworking, tool advice and how-to knowledge from his Minnesota-based woodshop.