Our old house has a lot of doors. Our old house has no doorstops. Hence, our old house has several locations with banged-up walls and trim, along with a few decimated DVDs (more on that below). Why don’t we have any doorstops? Mostly, it’s because I think they’re ugly. (I’m sure they feel the same way about me). Unfortunately, banged-up walls and trim aren’t all that attractive, either. When Perfect Products recently sent us samples of their new DoorSaver II to evaluate, I thought, “Wow—this could be the end of my doorstop-related sleepless nights!”
Rather than screwing into the baseboard or wall like a traditional doorstop, the DoorSaver II replaces one of the door’s hinge pins. This is a great concept – there’s no ugly springy thing or bumper-tipped rod sticking out of your baseboard or wall.
One of the doors that needed taming is our back door. Just to the right of it, inside the house, is our entertainment center, with a big rack of DVDs next to it. There’s nothing to stop the door from slamming into said big rack of DVDs except caution, which is something that kids and dogs (and an adult or two – not ME, of course) are generally lacking. Therefore, the DVD rack takes its share of hits. I figured that would be the perfect location to try out the DoorSaver II.
To prepare the unit for installation, I just unscrewed the knurled knob from the top, and pulled the top cam off. The unit is easy to install; I just popped out one of the hinge pins, and dropped the DoorSaver II in to replace it. HomeFixated special tip: hinge pins frequently are lubed with grease, which will get onto your fingers, and possibly your wall, when removed. I smeared some on the woodwork in one of my pictures to illustrate this for you.
There’s a demo video on the DoorSaver website with the official version (and no grease!).
Anatomy Of The DoorSaver II
The top part of the DoorSaver II has splines that interlock with splines on the pin, and rotates to adjust the degree of opening. This is done mostly by experimentation; drop the unit into the hinge, see how far the door opens, remove, adjust, repeat. It only takes a minute, and when you have it set where you want, just twist the little finishing thumbscrew into the top to keep it together and give it a more finished look.
The DoorSaver II works by having the adjustable cams bear on the hinge surface. No pressure is put on the door material, which prevents damage to the door. The manufacturer is so confident their product won’t harm your door, they guarantee that if it does, they’ll replace the door! After getting the DoorSaver II adjusted, it held the door open about 3” from the DVD rack. No more dents in my Sponge Bob collection! The hinge has a little give to it; it will go slightly past the stop point if pushed, then returns to the set point.
So is the DoorSaver II the answer to your door-stopping dilemma? Well, maybe. The sample I received didn’t fit the hinge properly; the diameter of the DoorSaver II pin is about 3/16”, and the original hinge pin is about ¼” (both by my measurement). The DoorSaver II fits into the hinge, but there’s some play there. The door I put it on has three hinges, and the other two will keep the door in alignment, but it’s not an ideal setup.
I thought the issue might have been because I tried it on an exterior door; maybe the hinge pins were beefier. I pulled a pin out of my two-hinge bathroom door, though, and it was the same, a ¼” pin, as were all the rest of our doors. There is no option on the website to order a different diameter pin. I contacted the company, and within a few hours, heard back from both the company’s national sales manager and their president. The following is part of the response from Jack Smith, the company’s president:
[The DoorSaver II] comes in a standard (what you have) and a commercial version. Regretfully there is no “standard” on residential hinge pins. Residential hinge pins vary from 5.8 MM to 6.1 MM, a variance of .3 MM, which is very minor although I realize when your talking about inserting metal pieces together a minor difference is very noticeable, especially if the one you’re trying to insert is the larger of the two….it simply will not go, which is why we made our pin the 5.8 MM. Our engineer and testing determined that although the pin would feel a little “loose” it would NOT have an impact on the function of the product or of the door, even on two hinge doors.
Regarding the last statement, I’d have to say maybe. With a two-hinge door, your door will become very slightly out of alignment due to hinge play (and who likes a playful hinge). I tried it on the bathroom door; admittedly, a very limited test. The DoorSaver II worked fine in stopping the door where I wanted it. However, If you grab the latch side of the door and jiggle it, the loose fit caused there to be definite play in the hinge. Looking at the two leaves of the hinge, they were out of alignment by about 1/16”. The door still opened and closed fine, and probably would for most other users. If you have a door with very close tolerances, though, this might cause it to rub, and if you’re a perfectionist, it might drive you crazy (although if you’re an owner of an old home, you’re used to WAY higher levels of imperfection than THIS!)
One other minor issue I ran into is that the DoorSaver II pin is about 1/8” longer than the original pin on my 4” hinge. In a hinge with an open bottom that wouldn’t be an issue, but my hinge has a cap on the bottom, so it held the pin up slightly. That can be easily resolved by either unscrewing or knocking out the bottom hinge cap, or by breaking off the bottom of the DoorSaver II pin (it has a split near the bottom to make that easy). After doing that, the unit seated itself nicely.
Bottom line? If your hinges take a 3/16” pin, or you can live with a not-quite-perfect but still functional fit, I think the DoorSaver II would be a great alternative to a traditional doorstop (or the lack of a traditional doorstop, in my case). The one I got seemed well made (they’re constructed of carbon steel), with a good-looking finish, and it worked well. It’s unobtrusive, reasonably priced, simple to install, and does what it’s supposed to do.
The DoorSaver II is available in seven flavors: Chrome, Antique Brass, Oil-Rubbed Bronze, Antique Nickel, Pewter, Bright Brass and Black. The price is $5.99, except for the Oil-Rubbed Bronze, which is $6.49.