Comprehensive Guide to Cabinet Hardware: Size & Placement

What size cabinet handles should I choose? is a common question. as well as "Where should I put them?"

There are a few methods and ideas to assist you determine what cupboard handles will work for your cabinets, but there are no strict guidelines for cabinet pull location or size.

Let's go through a few terminology you could run into while trying to install cabinet hardware before we get into the specifics:

The term "Center-to-Center" refers to the distance between the centers of each screw hole. The most frequent dimension to look for when purchasing new cabinet hardware is this one.

Cabinet pull handle dimension

Overall Length: the separation between the pull's ends. When examining the length of your cabinets, keep in mind that this dimension will always be longer than center to center.

The distance between your door and the handle is referred to as the "projection." This is crucial to remember to make sure that your knobs do not obstruct the movement of your kitchen's doors.

cabinet knob height sizing

It's important to strike a balance between usefulness and style when selecting decorative hardware for your cabinets. When harmonized with the relative scale of your cabinet doors and drawers, the knobs and pulls you choose will simply bind your room together. –

Cabinet Knobs or Cabinet Pulls? Maybe both!

Choosing your cabinet hardware begins with deciding whether you'll use pulls, knobs, or a mix of the three.

"Form, function, and beauty are the three pillars of a handle. Make sure you choose handles that feel cozy and fit your cabinets' scale, especially if you're picking them for a kitchen. –

You can vary it up to suit your style, or you can stick to a few standard variations. There are no restrictions on the kind of hardware you can use.

All Handles

This style is popular in modern kitchens, but it can be seen in other types as well. For hands with arthritis, pulls are an excellent alternative to knobs because they are easier to grasp. Kitchen cabinet pulls typically come in a wider variety, providing you a few more options when deciding on your hardware design.

All Knobs

Looking for a more understated hardware option to highlight your kitchen's cabinetry or another accent item. For basic hardware that lets the rest of your kitchen's features shine, knobs can be a terrific option. Now, the issue of where to put knobs on cabinet doors can come up. The knob can be positioned lower on the door for a more modern appearance as opposed to normally higher on the frame.

Knobs on Upper Cabinets, Handles on Lowers

Where should knobs and handles go on kitchen cabinets if you decide to utilize both types of hardware? When placing knobs in the kitchen, this is one of the most popular applications. A handle might be the greatest choice for placement on the larger cabinet fronts because the base cabinets frequently have huge drawers and doors. A knob may be the best option for simple hardware that complements the larger pulls below if your upper cabinetry has smaller doors and you don't want to overwhelm it with a handle.

Kitchen diagram showing cabinet knobs on upper cabinets and handles on lower cabinets.

Kitchen diagram showing cabinet knobs on upper cabinets and handles on lower cabinets.

Edge Pulls

Edge pulls are an excellent alternative to hide your hardware while still having all the utility of a handle if you want to install cabinet handles on all of your cabinetry but still want the minimalist aesthetic.

How to Choose Cabinet Hardware Size and Determine Handle Placement

Now that you've decided on your hardware arrangement, how should your cabinet pulls be sized? There are some guidelines to bear in mind so that you may limit your options and choose hardware for your cabinet doors and drawers that is appropriate.

"There really isn't a golden rule, and I find that when people try to fit any aspect of the home—hardware in particular—into a rule box, they lose the wow effect... Don't be matchy matchy, scale things up, change up the hardware in your kitchen, and treat hardware more like jewels. It may be distinctive. Most importantly, it is not required to match the finishes on your plumbing or lighting. Let it shine all by itself. 

Consistent Handle Sizing

Making all of your kitchen's handles the same size might give it a more classic appearance. The most typical size for this style would be 128 mm handles. This dimension has the length for the larger drawers while yet being compact enough for the upper cabinet doors. A frequent alternative is to add two handles to the wider drawers if you choose consistent dimensions but are concerned about your larger drawers.

Longer Lengths on Longer Drawers

Use a single, longer cabinet handle for those slightly larger drawers if you're concerned that your handles will get misplaced on the larger ones. These wider drawer pulls give your kitchen a more modern feel and a contemporary feel. 192 mm or 224 mm center to center are two typical longer lengths of handles for these drawer fronts.

Kitchen diagram showing cabinet handle sizing


The rule of threes is a principle to keep in mind when selecting a larger size. For even spacing and handle placement, look for a cabinet handle that is approximately 1/3 the length of the drawer. Keep the total length in mind while applying this criterion, particularly when a handle, like a bar pull, extends past the center-to-center measurement by a small amount. We normally advise keeping to roughly 3 different sizes if you choose to use multiple size pulls on your drawers and doors. This provides you with the size variety without overburdening your cabinetry.

It's important to remember that there are no set guidelines for any sizing or hardware placement during this procedure. It ultimately boils down to your preferences and what facilitates the optimum flow around your space. Try our sample program and a few possibilities at home if you're unsure about your decision. We're here to make sure your hardware selections have satisfied you 100 percent.

Ready to get started planning your project? Let’s explore our cabinet pull handle  options!

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