Kitchen Cabinet Hardware – Should You Choose Knobs or Pulls?

RTA Wood CabinetsReady to put the finishing touch on your kitchen cabinet design? It’s time to choose the hardware you prefer for your kitchen cabinet doors, and there’s basically two directions you could go: Knobs or Pulls.

As you’ve been doing your research and seeking out kitchen design inspiration, you’ve undoubtedly seen all kinds of variations of knobs and pulls used both together and separately. Maybe you already have a favorite preference for your hardware, or maybe this is your first time realizing you need to make a deliberate decision to complete your kitchen cabinet design.

In this article, our team here at RTA Wood Cabinets has compiled some of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing your kitchen hardware. Depending on your kitchen design, there are some common problems you may need to solve. In the end, however, the choice will be yours as to which approach to kitchen cabinet hardware will be best for your needs and desires.


1. Choosing All Knobs or All Pulls

If you want a cohesive look for your kitchen, you should consider choosing all knobs or all pulls.

Knobs are often a preferred choice for a traditional kitchen design, especially if the cabinets are beaded or curved. If you like a vintage kitchen style, you will want to choose all knobs, since this would be consistent with what was available back in the day.

Pulls generally work best on cabinets that have a squared-off cut, like most flat-panel cabinets or even Shaker style doors. It’s common to see pulls placed vertically on cabinet doors and horizontally on cabinet drawers.

Even if you choose all knobs or all pulls, you could still vary the kinds of knobs or pulls you’re using. For example, you could use a dark-stained curve pull for your cabinet doors with cup pull in the same stain for your drawers.


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2. Choosing a Mix of Both Knobs and Pulls

Another option is to mix and match both knobs and pulls in your kitchen design.

For example, one common design approach is to use knobs on all the cabinet doors with pulls on all the drawers and lower cabinets.

When you’re mixing and matching, it’s generally smart to use the same finish and overall design feel for all the hardware. Often you want to make sure to choose stains and textures that will complement your kitchen faucet. For example, a stainless-steel faucet generally works well with hardware that is black matte, oil-rubbed bronze, or antique style. If you have a chrome faucet, try hardware with a chrome or glossy stained finish.


3. Kitchen Hardware Installation – Functional Considerations

Although both knobs and pulls are designed to allow you to open your kitchen cabinets (ideally without getting food stains all over the cabinet finish!) – there are ergonomic and functional differences between the two.

Kitchen cabinet knobs are generally design to be opened with just a couple fingers, typically requiring a minimal use of force from your hand or arms. Many homeowners love the classy look of vintage knobs, but sometimes these can loosen with extensive use and thus lose their functionality over time – one solution is to use quality modern knobs in a vintage design.

Kitchen cabinet pulls generally require multiple fingers if not your whole hand in order to open the cabinet door. Typically, you want to get underneath the pull and exert more force. If you’re looking for a handle for a larger cabinet, a pull is often the ideal choice because it can cover a wider area and enable a greater use of force. While many pulls are associated with a modern kitchen design, there are also vintage cabinet styles you could choose if that’s your preference.

Find out more about the kitchen cabinet hardware options that will work best for your kitchen by speaking to one of our RTA Wood Cabinets team members at: 800-788-7575.