How Brass Hardware is Manufactured

There’s nothing quite like the look and texture of true brass. It’s not only a lovely aesthetic choice for interior design, but a durable and corrosion-resistant base metal for high quality hardware.


As a blend of copper and zinc, the color of the final alloy can vary from dark brown to light silvery yellow, depending on how much zinc is added. Brass is harder than pure copper, but not as hard as steel. Like any metal, it will tarnish over time, just not in the same green or black hues that are common to the tarnishing of pure copper.


It’s important to be mindful of the quality of brass being manufactured.  The US standards allow a bass manufacturer to claim the term “solid brass” for a variety of metal mixtures.  It could mean a small amount of brass mixed with an alloy of some sort, in which case the finish may not hold up as well.  If you’re using an unlacquered finish, you want to have pure brass so that it tarnishes in a beautiful way, rather than in an unattractive way.  We always advise our clients to look for a guarantee that it’s 100% solid brass from someone like Water Street Brass, a company known for its high quality brass.


How Brass Hardware is Made

The most common production option is to turn a solid brass rod on a lathe to evenly shape a round piece of cabinet hardware. This method produces an extremely strong end product because it starts with a brass rod that has already been extruded. Lathe-turned brass hardware is solid, it meets exacting specifications, and can be produced to very tight tolerances.


Brass hardware shapes other than round cabinet hardware can be produced via drop forging, a process in which hot, molten brass is forced into a mold that shapes the final hardware piece. Drop forged hardware can also be produced to very tight tolerances and with superior strength, as the molding process aligns the molten metal’s grain structure along stress lines that strengthen the piece. Drop forging is significantly more expensive than lathe turning, however, it yields significantly more creative and beautiful molds.


Brass hardware can also be produced via extrusion methods, in which hot metal is forced through molds. Hardware pieces are cut off and finished as they exit the mold. As with drop forging, extrusion aligns the metal grain along fault lines to produce an end product with superior strength and durability. Extrusion is an ideal manufacturing method for brass hinges and similar products that have simpler shapes.


Some brass hardware is produced with a punch or stamping method that cuts and shapes a final product from a flat sheet of brass. Other hardware might be cast-molded, in which molten brass is poured into a mold and allowed to cool. Punched and cast-molded brass hardware is durable, but not as durable as lathed, drop-forged, or extruded brass hardware.


High-end architectural brass door hardware and cabinetry will generally be manufactured via a technique that produces the strongest and most durable end product. Brass hardware from one of those techniques will last for decades.


Premium Hardware displays and distributes a broad range of solid and durable brass interior hardware at its 2,800 square foot showroom in Columbus, Ohio. We are Columbus’ best source for designer home hardware. Please contact us by email to info@premium-hardware.com, or call us at 614-755-4419 for more information about how solid brass hardware is manufactured, and for answers to your home hardware questions.