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What Are the Differences Between Cabinet Knobs and Pulls?

What Are the Differences Between Cabinet Knobs and Pulls?

You can transform your kitchen with one small change in the right places. Here's what to know about cabinet knobs and pulls.

When it comes to home renovation, the small details make a huge difference in the final product. In fact, small updates add up and can eventually increase the value of your home.

If you are looking to transform your kitchen, you might want to consider adding new cabinet knobs and pulls. Keep reading to learn more about cabinet hardware and how to replace them on your kitchen cabinets!

What Are Cabinet Knobs?

Cabinet knobs are typically much smaller than knobs. They are usually round and you open them with only one or two fingers. These knobs are often more ornate and can have many different styles.

For example, there are vintage-looking cabinet knobs that have ornate carvings and designs on them. There are also more modern cabinet knobs that you can choose from as well.

The most popular and common type of cabinet knob is simple round knobs. They are always a classy option, but not great if you want something that stands out. No matter what style you prefer, modern, traditional, country, antique, etc., you can find a type of cabinet knob that works for your tastes!

What Are Drawer Pulls?

On the other hand, drawer pulls are longer handles that allow a full hand to grasp it as you open your cabinets or drawers. Pulls are generally located in the center of a drawer's face to make opening the drawers easier. 

While cabinet pulls have fewer styles, you can still find a variety of styles and finishes to match your kitchen as well as your budget.

Some popular finishes for cabinet hardware are matte black, gold, copper, antique nickel, and more. You can even find knobs and pulls made from glass!

If you can't decide on one color, you can find options that mix well. If you have a farmhouse-style kitchen, black hardware is one of the most popular choices for hardware finishes. 

However, you want to be careful if you mix finishes so you don't create dissonance in your kitchen. 

Another thing to consider with cabinet pulls is what shape you want them to be! Often, they are either round or square. However, you can find other fun shapes on cabinet pulls, like hexagons!

Differences Between Cabinet Knobs and Pulls

One main difference between cabinet knobs and pulls is how you install them. You attach cabinet pulls to a cabinet or drawer with two screws, one on each side of the pull. However, cabinet knobs only require a single screw for installation. 

Another difference in the installation process of cabinet knobs and pulls is how much measurement they require.

Pulls need more measurement simply because they have two sides that must be screwed in. You want to make sure the pulls are level and not crooked. 

Often, you use pulls for cabinet doors while you use knobs for drawers. This is partially due to the space difference on cabinets vs drawers, but it is also easier to open a door with a pull. It requires less effort because you can use your whole hand. 

When to Use Knobs or Pulls

Regardless of whether you use knobs or pulls, cabinet hardware lets you open a cabinet or a drawer. However, the type of drawer or cabinet you are opening may help you decide on whether you should use cabinet knobs or whether you should use cabinet pulls.

If you have a drawer that is particularly heavy, a knob may not be strong enough to open it. Knobs are often used for lighter use and are better suited for easy-opening doors and drawers. If you have a draw filled with heavier kitchen items, you may want to consider using cabinet pulls.

Another thing to consider when choosing kitchen hardware is accessibility and what will be easier to open when you have dirty hands or your hands are full!

For example, if you're cooking and have cooking oil on your hands but you need to get into a drawer or cabinet, you don't want to get oil all over the hardware. In these situations, it may be better to use a cabinet pull for easier opening. 

Choosing a type of hardware also depends on what type of cabinets you have. For example, if you have a European flat-panel door, some of the most popular hardware options are ornate door pulls, flat bar pulls, and hammered round bar pulls

How to Replace Cabinet Knobs and Pulls

Cabinet knobs and pulls are parts of your kitchen that can easily be installed and replaced, making it simple to transform the look of your kitchen. You only need a screwdriver to complete this process!

Kitchen cabinets generally have pre-drilled holes in the areas where hardware is supposed to be installed. If there isn't a hole, you may need a drill to create what is called a "pilot hole."

These are holes you drill before screwing together wood or adding hardware. It prevents your wood from splitting or cracking, and it means you won't need to use so much force as you install your hardware. 

Once you have drilled your holes or you have found your pre-drilled holes in your cabinet faces, you will push the screw through the back of the cabinet to the other side where you want to install the hardware.

Simply use a screwdriver to screw it into the hole on the back side of the hardware. This is all that needs to be done to securely anchor the hardware to your cabinets. 

Find the Perfect Cabinet Knobs and Drawer Pulls Today!

Are you ready to add a beautiful finishing touch to your kitchen? If you want a small change that will make a big difference, Old West Iron can help!

We offer a variety of cabinet knobs and pulls as well as many other types of hardware for your home. Contact our team members to learn more about our services and if you have any other questions about cabinet knobs vs pulls. 


  • Posted by Trudy Perez on

    Just ordered pulls and knobs for my new custom white oak cabinets in my kitchen remodel. Can’t wait to see them! I’ve got lots more I plan to order, very cool that you guys can live in the boonies and do a business like this online.
    I do wish you made backplates for your drawer pulls for those of us with messy husbands with dirty fingers – they save on having to clean up the wood

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