What is a door check?
A soft closing door mechanism, or door check, is used to prevent doors or drawers from slamming when they're closed. For larger doors, the device normally consists of a roller at the end of a spring loaded short arm which is attached to the door, and a coupling link which is attached to the door frame. Depending on the weight of the door and the frequency of use, the device may be more solid and heavy duty to compensate for additional wear and tear.
For cabinet doors and drawers, pneumatic gas spring technology is normally preferred these days. Drawer mechanisms use the same technology, albeit in a slide rather than a hinge.
How does a door check work?
When the door is being closed, the roller comes into contact with the coupling link first, stopping the door from slamming. The roller then slides up and into the link to close the door softly and securely. When the door is opened, the roller decouples and the spring in the arm extends until the arm is locked down again.
Where are soft closing mechanisms used?
Door checks and other soft closing mechanisms can be used on any interior or exterior hinged door to stop them from being slammed and creating unwanted noise. For this reason, they may be more effective on doors that are prone to slamming in the wind when the windows are open and a breeze is blowing through. They can also be used in tandem with self-closing door mechanisms to prevent them from slamming the door when closing automatically.
In modern kitchens, pneumatic soft-closing mechanisms are becoming very popular, and because of their improving affordability they're often included as a value-added extra.
Are there any variations on door checks?
Depending on largely on the weight of the door, but also partly the frequency of use, the coupling link may have a simple open loop or a more heavy duty receptacle for the roller. The device has to be able to cope with the repeated pressure of the backswing of the door so this is an important consideration when thinking about the longevity of the mechanism.