Best Cabinet Pulls

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
17 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
152 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best cabinet pulls

Last Updated December 2019

The right choice of cabinet pull adds the perfect finishing touch to a new kitchen or bathroom. It's also a relatively low-cost way to quickly transform the look of existing cabinet doors, drawers, and stand-alone furniture. The variety of styles, sizes, and colors gives you literally thousands of different looks, from timeless classics to contemporary chic.

At BestReviews, it's usually our job to compare price and performance and come up with some recommendations. The challenge here is twofold. First, style is very personal. Second, once you get beyond shape and color, a cabinet pull is a basic device, fitted with one or two screws, so what is there to investigate and compare?

Instead, we're focusing on making sure you don't miss important details that might make all the difference. We've provided a few product recommendations and answered a wide range of questions in the following buying guide to cabinet pulls.

Cabinet pulls aren't just for kitchen makeovers. You can make radical changes to all kinds of wardrobes and cupboards with a couple coats of chalk paint and a different set of pulls.

Key considerations

Style

Style is very much a matter of personal taste. However, there might be a few designs you haven't considered, so we’ve provided a brief run-through to help stimulate your creativity.

  • Traditional elongated loops, where the screws fit into the ends, are known as “arch” or “appliance” handles. While we say “traditional,” there's a huge choice, from contemporary square section to classic twists to “bird cage” styles.

  • Bar-type cabinet pulls in which the ends extend beyond the screw fixing points are perhaps the most popular. They're commonly round or square in cross section, but there are a number of interesting extensions to the basic design that are worth looking at. One advantage with this style is the range of sizes available – anywhere from about three inches long to over two feet.

  • Bin or cup handle pulls are the classic library or wooden file cabinet look, though they work equally well in some styles of kitchen and bathroom. They're almost invariably mounted horizontally, which doesn't always work on some doors.

  • Edge or finger pulls are a sleek, modern L-shaped design that, as the name suggests, fits the edge of doors and cupboards. As such, they have a less cluttered appearance.

  • T-bars are a short bar that fix with a single screw. They can be used horizontally or vertically. Some people consider them too short for cabinet doors, but they do bring another interesting element to the mix.

  • Pendant and drop handles are hinged pulls that lift up for opening. These fall into the cabinet category, though they're very much a drawer fitting and not really suited to doors.

  • Recessed pulls are available, too. Most cabinet pulls screw onto the surface of the door or drawer, but recessed models require that a hole to be cut in the surface with a chisel or router and hence are much more difficult to fit. However, they can look very smart, particularly on a desk.

Quality and versatility

Satin nickel is one of the most popular cabinet pull finishes because it suits so many different looks. This contemporary set has four-inch centers, and they look good on their own or paired with knobs from the company’s extensive range. These superbly made pulls come with a lifetime warranty, too. An excellent value.

Color

The choice of finish is equally personal. Common options are chrome, brushed nickel, oiled bronze, brass, gold, black, and pewter. Each adds a particular character to your décor.

When looking online, be aware that both photography and screen technology can alter the color of an image. For most metal finishes – chrome and nickel, for example – the effect is negligible, but strong colors like gold and bronze are more susceptible. It's usually possible to return items if they don't turn out to be what you expected, but not all online retailers allow it, so it's worth checking.

Size

Size would seem to be a simple thing, but there are up to four dimensions you need to think about: length, width, projection, and center-to-center.

  • Length and width are fairly basic decisions. If you're not sure of the impact on your cabinetry, you could cut a piece of card to size to use as a guide.

  • Projection is how far out from the door or drawer surface the pull extends, and it’s important for two reasons: if pulls stick out too far they can look ungainly, and if they don't project far enough, it can be difficult to comfortably grab hold of them. Unfortunately, it's a dimension that's not often provided, so if you're ordering online, it's worth checking if the items are returnable.

  • Center-to-center means how far apart the screw holes are and is usually only important if you're replacing existing handles. It's worth checking customer comments because sometimes measurements aren't as precise as they could be. If screw holes are one-quarter of an inch off, it can make a big difference to alignment. Center-to-center measurement might also be a consideration if you have fancy moldings or if you're adding decorative paint effects.
DID YOU KNOW?

Drawer fronts are often thicker than doors. Some cabinet pulls come with two lengths of screw to account for this, but some don't, so double-check before you buy.

DID YOU KNOW?

Always drill from the front (outside) of the door or drawer, so any break-out is on the inside. Use strips of masking tape to keep the drill from marking the surface.

DID YOU KNOW?

Even long cabinet pulls can look lost on extra-wide drawers (pot drawers, for example). Two shorter pulls can look more balanced.

Cabinet pull prices

We always research a wide range of products, which usually allows us to give guidance on low, medium, and high price alternatives. With so many cabinet pulls available, it's not easy to make comparisons.

Budget-friendly

You can often save money by buying larger quantities. Quality cabinet pulls can cost less than $3 each when purchased in packs of ten. Buying packs containing four or five times that number can bring the price down to a little over $1 each, depending on size and style, of course.

Expensive

If you're in search of something unusual, you can pay considerably more. It's not difficult to pay $10 to $30 per cabinet pull, and the most expensive of the hundreds we looked at were over $120 each!

Classic, classy, and cheap!

This satin nickel-finished set features the classic, gently tapering curve that's long been popular for use with numerous cabinet styles and colors. These measure three inches center to center. This is an affordable pack of ten popular and functional cabinet handles.

Other products we considered

Cup or bin pulls are a popular alternative that lend a different flavor to your décor. The oil-rubbed bronze Lizavo Cabinet Handles offer good quality in packs of 10 or 20 at a very competitive price. Conveniently, they come with two screw sizes, so you won't struggle when fitting them to thicker doors or drawers. The Reliable Hardware Company Chest Handles are an example of just how diverse your choices are. The powder-coated black finish gives excellent durability. Top Knobs makes some very high-quality hardware, and its Mercer Collection Europa Tab Pull is contemporary and subtle. And while its Edwardian Pewter Pull is among the more expensive options, it is superbly made and adds a certain timeless elegance to your cabinets.

You don't have to have the same handle throughout the room. Try cabinet pulls on the drawers and knobs on the doors.

FAQ

Q. Is there a standard position for cabinet pulls on doors and drawers?

A. To an extent. On doors, they’re usually placed on the upper corner of base units and the bottom corner of overhead units, on the side opposite the hinges. This makes them easiest to open. If you're replacing existing pulls, you'll have little choice, but if you're fitting them to new doors, you have a little flexibility depending on the style. However, position the pulls too far up or down and they will both look and feel wrong. This is when it's a good idea to have a helper who can hold the pull in place so you can step back and look.

For drawers that are all the same depth, it's usually recommended that you position pulls in the center, both horizontally and vertically. If drawers get deeper toward the floor, it sometimes looks more balanced if you position the first one as normal, then measure the same distance down from the top of the drawer for the remainder.

Q. Can't I just paint my existing cabinet pulls a different color?

A. You could, but you'll need to be patient. It always looks much quicker and easier on TV makeover shows than it really is!

First, you need to remove the pulls and degrease them thoroughly. If this isn't done well, the new finish won't adhere properly.

Next, apply a suitable undercoat, one recommended for the material your pulls are made of. Follow the instructions to the letter because any faults will almost certainly show on the finished item. Don't rush, and make sure you allow ample drying time.

Make sure the product you're using for the finishing coat is compatible with your primer. It sounds obvious, but a common mistake is to use a water-based overcoat on an oil-based primer, or vice versa. They often don’t work together, so you’d have to start over.

Repainting gives you the opportunity to create unique cabinet pulls. However, it will take you at least several days, and the materials are often not cheap. With the enormous choice available, many people find it more convenient to buy new pulls.

Q. Should drawer and cupboard pulls be the same size?

A. There isn't a simple answer because it's very much a decision for the individual. Many cabinet pulls are sold to do both jobs, providing a simple solution. However, you might want long, thin pulls for your doors that may not suit drawers. The opposite is also true, where a perfectly acceptable drawer pull looks insignificant on a door. Fortunately, many styles come in different lengths, giving you the opportunity to find exactly the right match.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bob
    Bob
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer

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