I saw a gadget somewhere before, but can't find it anymore. One end should be attached to the wall and the other to the door (of a cupboard). It prevents door from moving freely in both directions, it had a teeth, like on a gear, there was like semi-gear. It's not a door closer. You should be able to move it (open wider, close it) without blocking/unlocking the device, it just moves. The point is that the door shouldn't be moved by itself (by momentum).

  • 1
    Are you looking for a (life)hack, or just the gadget?
    – Lawrence
    Jan 2, 2020 at 16:22
  • @Lawrence Gadget would be better. Lifehack when there's no such or pricey.
    – R S
    Jan 2, 2020 at 16:24
  • Do you mean that it is some sort of lock or stop that can hold a door open at any angle and prevent it from moving when engaged but allows the door to move normally when disengaged, or do you mean that it is a damping device that causes the door to move slowly thereby achieving a soft close/fly open prevention (eg in a windy location)?
    – Caius Jard
    Jan 3, 2020 at 18:29
  • What kind of cupboard do you refer to? In a kitchen fitted cabinet or a furniture item made similarly (chipboard carcass, hinges that are complex mechanical arms)? Or a basic wardrobe style item with sheet wooden doors and regular butt hinges (open and close like a book)?
    – Caius Jard
    Jan 3, 2020 at 18:32
  • 1
    It's called a "door closer" at the hardware store: menards.com/main/… - It has a piston to slow the door so it closes gently. Jan 4, 2020 at 15:24

3 Answers 3


There is a device referred to as a "door swing damper" which resists the ability of a door to swing freely. It does not close the door nor does it only hold the door in an open position. It works for doors swinging inward or outward, right or left handed.

Sometimes, a difference in air pressure from an open window will cause a door into a lower pressure room to slam shut. This device will stop the door from moving easily.

One such device is "ActiveStop" manufactured and sold by GEZE in Stuttgart, Germany. You can verify that such a device is what you want from the GEZE website: GEZE WITH EASE

enter image description here

  • 2
    Finding this device by description on the Internet was a challenge; but, enjoyable. Many thanx for the research exercise. Failing this, you could use a counterweight and pulley system.
    – Stan
    Jan 5, 2020 at 16:36

You can take advantage of the eddy currents generated by magnetic fields to build a dashpot. Simply attach a strong neodymium magnet to a rod and then place the contraption inside a conductive metal tube.

Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BeFoz3Ypo4

When the door closes the magnet will induce an eddy current inside the metal tube and slow down the door. The faster the door moves, the more the magnet will resist. This is similar to how free fall rides at amusement parks like the "tower of terror" are made to stop suddenly, without the risk of brake failure.

From Wikipedia:

The braking force of an eddy current brake is exactly proportional to the velocity V, so it acts similar to viscous friction in a liquid. The braking force decreases as the velocity decreases. When the conductive sheet is stationary, the magnetic field through each part of it is constant, not changing with time, so no eddy currents are induced, and there is no force between the magnet and the conductor. Thus an eddy current brake has no holding force.

Alternatively you can just buy a prebuilt combination dashpot/spring device called a "door closer" and remove the spring to just keep the dashpot.

  • Could you clarify this with a handmade picture may be (how to attach tube with a magnet to the door)?
    – R S
    Jan 5, 2020 at 23:43
  • 1
    Attach the tube with a hinge to the door frame and attach the rod with a hinge to the door itself. You can use a pipe clamp to hold the tube onto the hinge. Jan 6, 2020 at 1:27

You can easily make a dashpot. A piece of string or wire attached to the top corner furthest from the hinge through a hoop or hook near the frame so that the remaining string shortens when the door opens. This goes to a can of beans or some equally heavy object which is suspended in a long tube of oil or water on a shelf nearby.

  • Is it a door closer? That one of things that I don't want to happen. I don't need the door moving by itself - that's the point.
    – R S
    Jan 4, 2020 at 17:11
  • @RS You could try disassembling a door closer to remove the spring so it doesn't close automatically anymore. Then you would have just the dashpot. Jan 4, 2020 at 19:00
  • @SurpriseDog there is no spring.
    – R S
    Jan 4, 2020 at 19:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.