Cabinet Knobs Vs Pulls: Which Is Better For Your Cabinets?

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Choosing kitchen cabinet hardware is a crucial step of the kitchen design process. However, because there are so many choices, knowing where to begin might be difficult. Even when picking basic kitchen cabinet hardware, choosing between cabinet knobs vs pull is tricky.

Although this hardware seems like a small detail, it is essential in well-designed kitchens. Not only can the hardware you choose influence the aesthetic of your kitchen, but one option can be more ergonomic than the other. Find out about the differences between these 2 cabinet details now.

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Overview Of Cabinet Knobs Vs Pulls

What is a knob?

Classic cabinet knobs are usually small, spherical, and are the only mounting point on the cabinet. Theoretically, these knobs are designed to improve functionality, allowing you to open and close your cabinets more effortlessly.

Although their available sizes are not too different, there are various shapes, materials, and finishes. Some common types of knobs are as follows:

  • Round
  • Square
  • Oval / Football
  • Pull Knob / T-knob
  • Novelty
  • Ornate

In particular, the round and square types are the two popular types and are suitable for most cabinet designs. However, you can also choose the less-used type to create a unique design.

What is a pull?

Pulls are pieces of cabinet hardware that are installed at two points on the cabinetry. Pulls are considerably broader than knobs and are more form-oriented, allowing the user to wrap their fingers around the piece of hardware easily.

The majority of contemporary pulls are rectangular or cylinder prisms. However, just like knobs, many design possibilities deviate from these two shapes. Moreover, traditional drawer pulls may be quite elaborate and beautiful.

Today’s most popular pull finishes are polished matte black, chrome, Verona bronze, and aged brass.

3 Main Differences Between Cabinet Knobs Vs Pulls


While it is essential to place the knobs in an easy position to use (place the top, middle, or bottom corner of the door), the installation of pulls is more complicated. 

This is because they have another factor that you should consider: whether to position it vertically or horizontally. Usually, positioning the cabinet pulls vertically for large cabinet doors makes it easier to open the doors. Besides, the vertical ones are often used for drawers. 


Compared to cabinet pulls, knobs are harder to clean. Indeed, if the cabinets have unique or highly embellished knobs, cleaning them will be a problem. 

Moreover, messy hands, grease splatters, and spills are unavoidable in kitchens. Thus, if you cannot keep these embellished knobs clean, you may need to replace them sooner rather than later. 

Furthermore, a knob is also more challenging to grab and pull than a cabinet pull, which could be a problem for those with handicaps or arthritis.


Conventional cabinet knobs are usually a little cheaper than pulls yet, high-end knobs will cost a little more. 

The price of knobs and pulls vary greatly depending on the material used and the complexity of the design. In detail, the reasonably priced knobs range from $6 to $10, while pulls are $7 to $12 and higher. 

However, solid stainless steel or bronze will be significantly more expensive. Longer pulls will likewise cost more since more materials are needed.

Still, no matter which one you prefer, always buy some more extras in case a screw breaks or the finish begins to rub off.

Cabinet Knobs Vs Pulls: Which Is Better?

Honestly, there isn’t a definitive solution. It is determined by your preferences as well as the components of your design.

However, when selecting between knobs and pulls, you need to consider more than just the design and the desired style. The placement of the cabinets is also a vital factor you shouldn’t overlook. In many cases, knobs make it easier to open higher cabinets. On the other hand, pulls make lower cabinets easier to operate.

Combining knobs and pulls is a fantastic way to add another detail layer to your design style. Indeed, using two types of hardware is also streamlined with a transitional design by blending the curve form of knobs with the clean pull lines.

Bonus Tips: How To Position Knobs And Pulls On The Cabinets

Cabinet knobs

Where you position cabinet hardware is vital for practicality, and the space from the sides of the door makes it simplest for users to grip the handles to open and close the doors. 

For example, for wall cabinets (the upper cabinetry hung over the counter space), people often place the hardware on the bottom corner of the door to easily reach them. On the other hand, the ones used for the base cabinets are set in the upper corner of the door. 

Here are several options for you to decide where to place the knobs:

  • The knobs can be placed above or below the cabinet door frame’s corner. Nonetheless, knobs are commonly set 2” to 3” from the lower corner of the door panel to bring the most authentic traditional appearance. This simple positioning modification will take your conventional cabinet appearance to the next notch.
  • For taller cabinets, people often place it 2.5” to 3” from the bottom corner of the cabinet door. Yet, remember that the knobs will be relocated higher up, so make sure you are tall enough to reach them.
  • Meanwhile, base cabinet doors (those located beneath counters) have knobs set 2” or 3” from the upper corner of the door panel, depending on your preference.

Cabinet pulls

The key to positioning cabinet pulls is whether to place them vertically or horizontally when it comes to pulls. Pulls look fantastic when placed directly in the corner of doors, whether modern or classic. 

Furthermore, remember that the 1″ to 4″ range (depending on your personal preference) from the top or bottom edge of the cabinet is the best placement.

Check this video to install your cabinet pulls on your cabinet:


If you are renovating or building a new kitchen, choose cabinet hardware last. Because after you have all of your materials chosen, you will know whether knobs or pulls are more suitable for your cabinets. 

Especially after reading our article about cabinet knobs vs pulls, you can distinguish these two types to decide the final choice. If you find it helpful, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends!