Blum Hinge Preference 38N vs Compact 33


Long time lurker.
I am building kitchen cabinets with face frames and frame and panel doors (3/4" northern white (i.e. hard) maple , no stain, waterlox finish, prefinished maple plywood cases). The doors will have a 1/2" overlay. I intend to use Blum hinges and have narrowed my choices to the model 38N or Compact 33. My question is whether there is any good reason to prefer one over the other. My review of the Blum catalog discloses that the main differences are: 38N is 1 piece - Compact 33 is 2 pieces 38N has 3 way adjustment - Compact 33 has 2 way adjustment 38N has 7/16" cup depth - Compact 33 has 1/2" cup depth I don't care about the difference (105 degrees vs. 110 degrees) in opening angles. I know (Google archive search) that Leon uses 38N (by the hundreds!) and I am tempted to use the 38N just because he uses them and he seems to know what he's doing. However, I am curious as to whether the 38N or the Compact 33 is preferable in a given situation. Is the 3 way adjustment more of a benefit than the 2 piece hinge? Is the cup depth difference significant?
Thank you in advance for any replies to this post and thank you to everyone who regularly posts to this newsgroup for the invaluable advice I have received via Google archive searches of this newsgroup over the past few years. The frequent humorous posts are also appreciated.
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"Les Andersen" wrote in message

hundreds!)
In a word, yes.

Normally, no.
Really six of one, half dozen of the other, but the adjustability of the 38N is a plus for those little tweaks after things settle in, which is probably why Leon likes them so much ... and knowing Leon, the price and not having to buy the mounting plates separately. ;)
That said, I prefer the Compact 33's because they are what I started with, they seem to be used by more commercial cabinet makers so there always seems to be one or two extra hanging around when you need it the most, I like the way the mounting plate looks when attached to a 3/4" face frame, they do open further, and I haven't found the lack of being able to tweak the fit like on the 38N to be a problem in actual practice.
But that's just my preference.
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My review of the Blum catalog

Yeah I like the 38N's and originally 17 years ago I started with the 33's. The reasons that I prefer the 38N's is that they attach to the inside edge of the face frame as do they 33's. However that was not always the case. Additionally I used the 33's on my present kitchen and I find that they loosen up between the 2 pieces over time and I have to go back and tighten the connection "occasionally". With the 38N's this is not a problem. Like you have noticed the extra adjustment is nice to have. Basically the 38N's will initially adjust up and down during installation, they will adjust left and right on the top and bottom and they will adjust in and out from the face frame. Like Swingman indicated it makes for a quick tweak during the install when the job is simply doors that have to matched up with existing cabinets. As of yet I have not had any instances that I have had to go back to a customers house and readjust. That said I show the customer how easy it is to adjust the hinges when I finish the job. Also like Swingman said the 33's are a bit more attractive when the door is open. The 38N's are about $1. each cheaper in lots of 50. than the 2 piece set up. You can take Swingman's word that the 33's are a great hinge also.
This is about the cheapest place that I have found for buying either.
http://wwhardware.com/catalog.cfm/GroupID/Cabinet%20Hinges/CatID/Cabinet%20Hinges%2C%20Blum%26%23174%3B%20Concealed
Keep in mind I usually buy in larger quantities. If you buy at the 50 price at $1.30 each for the 38N's the 51st hinge will be at the single hinge price. You have to buy in even stated increments to get the bigger discount.
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Thanks to both of you for the info.
I think I'll go with the 38N simply for the adjustability, but I'm still not sure. I looked again at the Blum catalog and the 33 mounting plate does have a nicer appearance. On the other hand, you can only see it when the cabinet is open. I guess the bottom line is I can't go wrong no matter which I choose. I just have to make a decision. Thanks again.

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