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Date posted May 11, 2024
Updated on May 18, 2024

Kitchen cabinet hardware – pulls, knobs and how they affect the kitchen functionality

Any kitchen update involves decision-making processes, particularly regarding design and aesthetics. Amidst the larger considerations, it is easy to overlook seemingly small details, such as hardware for kitchen cabinets that are often deferred for later. But the right kitchen cabinet handle can make an immediate visual impact, elevating the space in a simplest way.

In fact, if you think about how many times you use kitchen hardware, like handles, in your everyday life, the value that comes with quality pieces is well worth the money. Investing in high-end kitchen hardware is a great way to elevate your kitchen design and cabinet performance. Trendstyle puts together a comprehensive guide that will help you to choose the best kitchen cabinet hardware for you, no matter if you are renovating your kitchen completely or working on an affordable update.

Essential hardware components

When renovating a kitchen and shopping for drawer and cupboard kitchen hardware in Australia, you will come across a variety of options. And understanding how this works can help you add functionality to your kitchen. The term kitchen cupboard hardware includes all the pieces you need to make units work. These are everything from knobs you use to open kitchen cabinets to latches that keep them closed, as well as drawer hardware parts, such as slides that allow you to open or close the drawers, soft-close systems etc.

Cabinet door hinges hardware

To attach a cabinet door to its unit you need kitchen cabinet hinges hardware. Hinges are the kind of joints that move to allow doors to swing open or close. Meanwhile, they are the backbone of cabinetry. Although kitchen cabinet hardware hinges are not the center of attention, that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Kitchen cabinet door hinges often come with unique features which include soft-close mechanisms that prevent cabinet drawers from being slammed shut.

Bi-fold kitchen cabinet hinges enable cabinet doors to fold in the middle. Bi-fold hinges include two sets. They are interconnected with a pivot located at the midpoint. Bi-fold kitchen cabinet door hardware allows a door that folds inwards on both sides to meet at the centre when closed. The wide door can be folded in half to fit into a small space or kitchen corner cabinets.

Sliding cabinet doors are opened horizontally by sliding them away. A kitchen cabinet sliding door hardware also known as the running gear is at the bottom edge of each sliding cabinet door. You can use it in single or double-door configurations. Sliding kitchen cabinet door hardware is particularly useful if you are working with a small space.

Cabinet latches

Latches or catches are what keep cabinets closed. Cabinets that have catches usually require a handle to be opened. There are a few types of latch cabinet hardware:

  • Magnetic catches are equipped with two or three magnets that will pull together the cabinet doors when they are nearly closed.
  • Roller catches have two rollers which interlock when a U-shaped plate is placed on the cabinet.
  • Touch catches have magnets with a spring and do not need exterior hardware. When you press down on the cabinet’s door above the catch the spring partially opens the door.

Kitchen drawer slide hardware

Slides are components used to facilitate the smooth opening and closing of drawers. Choosing the right kitchen cabinet slides hardware is essential to creating an efficient kitchen. Two main types are side mount and undermount slides for drawers. Side mount slides are common, mounted on the side of the drawer and inside the cabinet. Undermount slides are more complex and hidden beneath the drawer for a cleaner look.

Their extension of the drawer (how far out they slide when pulled out) is a feature which you should pay attention to. It varies, with simple kitchen cabinet hardware drawer slides typically offering about 75% extension while more complex ones offer full extension for greater access.

Consideration of weight capacity when selecting kitchen cabinet drawer slides hardware is of utmost importance. Light-duty models typically support 30-35 kg loads, making them suitable for small kitchen drawers. Medium-duty ones can handle larger kitchen drawers with a weight load up to 45 kg. Heavy-duty slides are commonly used for industrial purposes.

Soft-close hardware

One of the greatest ways to add luxury and high-end feeling to your kitchen is applying cabinet soft-close hardware. It used to ensure that cabinet doors and drawers are closed smoothly and with control. Soft-close hardware for kitchen cabinets is usually hinges or drawer slides equipped with dampers or mechanisms to slow down the closing process, preventing noise and slamming. Kitchen cabinet slides hardware increases safety by preventing finger pinching and prolongs the life of joinery by reducing wear.

Kitchen handles and pulls

Handles for kitchen cabinets are fixtures attached to the exterior surface of cabinet doors and drawers. They have a finger-friendly space behind them to grab them and pull the door open. Functionally, kitchen pull handles allow for easy opening and closing of cabinet doors and drawers. Additionally, door handles in the kitchen protect cabinet surfaces from fingerprints and spots that may accumulate with frequent use. Ultimately there are two groups of kitchen cabinet door handles:

Knobs for kitchen cabinets come in small sizes, cost less, and are suitable for drawers as well as cabinets. The knobs are slightly easier than the pulls to install, as they only require one screw.

Pulls for kitchen cabinets have a larger size. They are easier to hold. Usually they’re more expensive than knobs, but come in different styles. The linear shape of these pulls tends to compliment drawers or cabinets in larger sizes.

There are also many alternatives to the traditional kitchen handles and knobs. Some of these options offer unique functionality as well as style for cabinetry. Recessed or flush kitchen cupboard door handles are embedded into the cabinet surface and are able to create a minimalist and sleek appearance. J-pulls or lip pull kitchen handles have a slight edge on the top or bottom, which allows for easy gripping while maintaining a sleek aesthetic. These alternative kitchen cupboard handles in Australia not only facilitate cabinet access, but also add to the visual interest to your kitchen.

Types of kitchen cabinet hardware

If you are choosing kitchen hardware for cabinets, you need to decide whether you prefer knobs, pulls or other types of handles. Think about what would feel most functional to you when selecting kitchen cabinet door hardware.

Cabinet and drawer handles are available in various styles. Straight bars, arches, cup-style handles and many others are available. Here are some of the most common knobs and pulls for kitchen cabinets:

  1. T-bar knobs for the kitchen are cylindrical-shape hardware that is easy-to-grip from any angle. T-bars are suitable for cabinets or drawers and users of all abilities.
  2. Kitchen door knobs with backplates – A cabinet backplate is a decorative element that sits behind a knob or cabinet pull. It is usually flush with the surface of the cabinet.
  3. Kitchen press knobs with a push-to-open kitchen mechanism are the only kitchen cabinetry hardware without exterior parts. The knobs are mounted to cabinet doors or drawers, and require that you push them in order to release the lock and open the cabinets.
  4. Kitchen cup pulls come in a unique cup-shaped design with a top that is open for fingers. They offer a comfortable, easy-to-grip pulling motion. Although cup pulls kitchen cabinets may be less intuitive than kitchen knobs and handles with a traditional form, they are still a good choice.
  5. Half-moon handles kitchen have a semicircular shape and offer a large and comfy gripping surface. They are usually used for large cabinet doors and drawers. Half-moon kitchen handles look stunning when applied symmetrically in double-door cupboards.
  6. Kitchen cabinets with finger pulls (also known as J-pulls, lip pulls or edge pulls) are low-profile hardware pieces that create a ledge at the top of cabinets or drawers. To open, you grip the kitchen finger pulls beneath.

Overall, every type of kitchen door handle in Australia has its own strengths when it comes to functionality and ease of usage. The factors you should take into consideration is their suitability and practicality for your particular kitchen. Remember to prioritize kitchen joinery hardware function over style, especially when it comes to areas that are frequently used.

How to choose kitchen door handles

With all the diversity of styles and designs of hardware for kitchen cupboards, its main purpose remains to open and shut joinery by hand. You will want to choose kitchen pulls and knobs that are easy to grip. Ensure you can easily fit your hand around or into the handles. The edges shouldn’t be uncomfortable or sharp. Investing in ergonomic and high-quality kitchen door pulls will pay off. Impractical handles for kitchen cupboards are annoying, no matter how attractive they may be.

Your hardware on kitchen cabinets must withstand the daily grind in your household. It is crucial to consider your location, especially if it’s near water or in a humid climate. Kitchen cabinet hardware that is cheap can quickly turn run-down. It is important to determine the material along with the finish for kitchen cabinet handles in Australia.

Sizes of kitchen cupboard pulls

As drawers and cabinet sizes vary, and it can be challenging to determine the kitchen drawer pull sizes that you require for them. Generally, it is recommended that the length of the pull is about 1/3 the width of the cabinet. Although there aren’t any hard and fast rules to follow.

Drawer size Handle size Description
30 – 45 cm drawers and doors kitchen handle pulls of 7 -10 cm or knobs 2,5 – 3 cm in diameter A small drawer works best with compact handles to not overwhelm the joinery.
60 cm doors or drawers 10 – 20 cm pulls or 4 cm kitchen drawer knobs Standard doors look good with medium knobs; standard-width drawers benefit from long pulls in the centre.
75 – 80 cm wide drawers 20 cm or longer pulls;

Two smaller kitchen pulls or knobs

The handles on large drawers should be long or massive. However, two knobs or pulls will work as well.

Kitchen cupboard door knobs are compact and ideal for minimalist designs. The smaller size and reduced obtrusiveness can make them more difficult for you to grasp, so this may be something that you want to consider. However, small knobs are the best choice for narrow cabinets. They add a lot more visual appeal than long kitchen cabinet pulls.

Cabinet pulls for the kitchen come in many different lengths. The kitchen cabinet hardware pulls with elongated design makes them an excellent choice for tall pantry cabinets and wide drawers. It is not recommended to use kitchen drawer and cabinet pulls that have bars that extend beyond the supports in a small area with lots of traffic. These can catch on clothing, wires etc.

The size of your kitchen also matters. It’s best to limit your knobs and pulls for the kitchen to no more than two styles if you have fewer than 20 drawers and doors. And if your kitchen has less than 12 drawers and doors, you should choose only one type of kitchen pulls for cabinets.

Designing a large kitchen, it may be better to use a combination of door knobs and handles for kitchen cabinets and drawers. In terms of style, mixing hardware will give a room a sense of personality and interest. If you consider mixing kitchen cabinet pulls and knobs, it is usually easier to open cupboards with knobs and apply pulls for drawers. For an even more complicated design, you can choose knobs for swing doors, cup pulls for drawers, arch handles for the row of flip-up doors, and large bar pulls installed vertically to fit tall pantry cabinets.

While it is possible to coordinate hardware in various finishes, it is much safer and easier to use kitchen knobs and pulls sets that correspond to the same style. Not only should you consider the material, but also its texture. With kitchen hardware sets it is easier to match the shape of kitchen cabinet door handles.

Kitchen cabinet hardware placement

Before installing hardware on kitchen cabinets, it’s important to think over and mark positions. You can’t change the hole shapes in your cabinet after they are drilled, but you can choose to use kitchen cabinet hardware handles that work for you today and tomorrow. To visualize the final look, it’s a good idea to create a model using temporary adhesive or tape.
Here is a simple kitchen hardware placement guide that will help you not to make any mistakes.

Handles and knobs for wall kitchen cabinets should be about 6 – 7 cm away from the door’s bottom edge and symmetrically 6 – 7 cm away from the side edge. Hardware for lower cabinets is also placed in the same manner, about 6-7 cm above the top edge. It is more ergonomic to install modern kitchen cabinet pulls vertically, on the edge of an opening door, whether the cabinet is above or beneath the bench.

Kitchen cabinet drawer hardware should be horizontally oriented and centred from left to right. If you are arranging a few drawers in a row, think about whether the kitchen drawer handles should be centered top to bottom as well. If the bottom drawer is deeper, keep the same distance from the top edge as the others. This will make it easier to reach the handle.
Two posts are used when mounting kitchen cabinet hardware. Cabinet centers are the measurements from the center screw hole on one post to the center screw hole on the next. Cabinet centres vary from 5 to 25 cm depending on the pull design.

You may feel free installing kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls of any size if there are no pre-drilled hardware holes in your units. If you’re replacing hardware on kitchen cabinets that are already equipped with hardware, measure from one drilled-out hole to the next. In this case, you’ll need to find new kitchen hardware with the exact same distance between posts as on your old kitchen cabinet hardware.

However, if you find yourself in a situation where the hole placements are not as intended, you can avoid refinishing or replacing the doors. Choose new kitchen hardware knobs with matching backplates, which will cover unused holes while adding a sparkling accent.


Where to put knobs and handles on kitchen cabinets?

When installing pulls and knobs for kitchen cabinets, aim to position them 6-7 cm from the bottom edge on upper units and 6-7 cm above their top edges for bottom cabinets. Put them symmetrically in 6-7 cm from either side edge. For kitchen drawer pulls and knobs adhere with each handle centered from left to right and from top to bottom.

How to paint kitchen cabinet hardware?

Painting kitchen cabinet hardware is the kind of restoration that can add new life and flair to your cabinets. Start by carefully uninstalling and cleaning each piece before lightly sanding its surface for better paint adhesion. Next, apply primer designed specifically for metal surfaces before painting on your desired color coats – allow each coat of paint to dry completely before adding another. When completed, reassemble the hardware on your cabinets.

What is the best kitchen hardware for drawers?

Finding the ideal kitchen drawers hardware depends on your personal tastes, needs and budget. Knobs are cost-effective solutions ideal for both cabinets and drawers that are easier to install using only one screw, while pulls can provide larger gripping surfaces and come in various styles. When making this decision consider the functionality of drawer pulls and knobs for the kitchen as they are much more important to be convenient and durable than just beautiful.

Can I mix pulls and knobs for kitchen cabinets?

Combining pulls and knobs for kitchen cupboards can add both visual interest and functionality. A common approach is to use knobs on upper cabinets and pulls on lower cabinets or drawers. This is an ergonomic approach that looks balanced and provides visual interest. When mixing hardware, try to choose pieces that complement each other in terms of style and finish to maintain a cohesive design.

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