How to Choose the Perfect Cabinet Hardware Size

Cabinet Hardware Size

Remodeling and customizing your kitchen can be a big project. After planning and designing on the large scale it might be tempting to coast through choosing the cabinet hardware, but high-traffic rooms such as kitchens deserve detailed attention. Choosing the right hardware size requires a balance of style and function. Sacrifice one for the other, and you probably won’t be happy. You’ll be frustrated every time you try to pull open a drawer, or you’ll be disappointed every time you walk into the room.

Don’t fret; finding the perfect cabinet hardware to integrate into your kitchen style can be easy with a little direction. Follow the 5 steps below to learn how to choose cabinet hardware size and you’ll be well on your way to the perfect cabinet accessories!


1. Identify hardware that complements your kitchen style

Kitchen Cabinet Hardware StyleBy the time you are at the point of choosing your cabinet hardware, more often than not you have determined your kitchen design style. In determining what type of hardware you want, make sure it will compliment your overall kitchen design theme.


2. Hardware types: Knobs, pulls or both?

Each option has its own benefits and will give you a unique look.

Knobs only: The benefit of cabinet knobs is that they are typically less expensive than bar and T-pulls, and they only require one hole to be drilled into your cabinetry. A single cabinet knob can be installed on cabinet doors, but you may want to consider placing two knobs on larger drawers. Cabinet drawers are heavier than doors, therefore you may need that extra knob for ease of use. The minimalistic style of using knobs only for your cabinetry can give a very appealing look to your new kitchen.

Pulls only: Cabinets that only feature pulls tend to present a more modern look. Stainless steel bar pulls tend to be more functional on heavy drawers, and are ideal for aging hands that have limited flexibility and strength.

Pulls and Knobs: It is most common to have both pulls and knobs featured in the kitchen. Knobs are most typically placed on doors, and pulls are placed on drawers. Each kitchen is unique to the owner, and you should mix and match to best meet your own style.


3. Choose a hardware finish that will add contrast to your cabinetry

For white or light cabinet colors, use a darker hardware finish with less lustre, like brushed stainless steel. For darker cabinet colors, consider a lighter hardware finish such as mirror stainless steel. Keep in mind it is common for cabinet hardware to match or complement hinges as well as faucets or other appliances in the design space.


4. Choosing the right hardware size for your cabinetry

Cabinet hardware sizes can vary depending on your own personal design preferences, but you’ll want to choose a size that is both stylish and functional. Bar pull sizes are generally determined by the “center-to-center” measurement (the distance between the two screw holes). If you have pre-drilled cabinetry, you’ll need to buy hardware that fits the existing center-to-center measurement. Otherwise, you’re left to your own devices in choosing the size of your cabinet hardware. Here are a few general guidelines to follow:

  • For oversized cabinetry (dimensions of 36″ or larger) such as drawers for built in appliances you may want to consider longer length pulls (6”, 8”, 10” or 12” center to center) or oversized knobs (diameter of 1-1/2” or larger).
  • For standard size cabinetry (dimensions of 12″ – 36″) the most common pull sizes are 3”,  4”, 96mm, and 128mm center to center (from one screw hole to another). Standard knob sizes are 1 1/4″ or 1 3/8″.
  • For small specialized cabinetry (narrow drawers or dimensions under 12″) like built-in spice racks, use smaller knobs under 1″ in diameter or T-pulls rather than bar pulls.


5. Finding your budget

At this point, you will have narrowed down your hardware choices to a specific style, type, size and finish. Next thing to incorporate is your budget. A good starting point is to count how many knobs and pulls you will need for your cabinetry and determine a price range that is comfortable for you. Many hardware manufacturers have multiple lines of varying quality and price, so be sure to find a manufacturer that uses high-quality materials. Buying cheap can seem like a good idea in the short run, but cheaper metals will degrade faster down the road and face a much higher risk of breaking or bending. Stainless steel hardware, for example, should be solid (not hollow) with a durable but even finish.

Create Custom Cabinet Hardware

Although the choices are many and may be overwhelming at first, a little planning and organization will help you find the perfect hardware to match your kitchen and personal style. By following these guidelines for finding the perfect cabinet hardware size, your dream kitchen is that much closer to becoming a reality!

8 Responses to “How to Choose the Perfect Cabinet Hardware Size”

  1. Tim

    Thank you for your guidance. It seems most but not all associates in the big box stores do NOT know what they are doing and have no guidance at all.We, as homeowners like doing things ourselves, ie remodeling. I know in the end it is about our taste. In the few paragraphs I just read you have helped me more in the direction we need to go than all the people we have asked for help in the stores.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH. Have a great weekend!!!

    • Arthur Harris


      So glad we could be of service! Best of luck to you in all of your future remodeling projects.

  2. Ann

    I plan on repainting the kitchen cabinets white. I want the walls a light grey. Do u think that glass/crystal cabinet pulls would look good?? What kind of drawer pulls would work? I live in a very small rural town, so ordering must be right the first time. Thanks for all your help.

    • Arthur Harris

      Hi Ann,

      While those wall colors won’t conflict with crystal, a good rule of thumb is that your cabinet hardware should generally match your faucet finish. Crystal or glass has a delicate aesthetic that is often more suitable for a bathroom; kitchen hardware will see a lot of use and will need to be durable, which is why stainless steel is such a popular choice. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference and lifestyle, so there’s nothing “wrong” with going glass or crystal.

      Hope that helps and best of luck with your kitchen project!

  3. Karen Mundy

    I am looking for 3″ and 3 & 3 3/4 copper color finish. I have different sized on my existing kitchen drawers and cabinets. I don’t want to have to putty in existing holes. These are solid oak my husband made. Can you help? I’d go with brushed nickel if I had to, but now what I’d like.

    • Arthur Harris


      We understand why you would want to preserve those special cabinets! Please reach out to us online ( or give us a call at (312) 666-6832. One of our sales experts will be glad to let you know what we currently have available and can help you with a custom hardware request.

  4. Tom

    While you mentioned pull length for drawers what about wall cabinets. 18 & 36 inch

    • Arthur Harris

      Hi Tom,

      The same guidelines would apply for wall cabinets; we’d recommend 3″ if mounted horizontally or 4″ if mounted vertically for standard size cabinets. Keep in mind these are just guidelines and almost any size combination can be used depending on personal style preference.

      Best of luck!


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