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Positioning Cabinet Pulls & Knobs

If you are installing new kitchen cabinets or just refurbishing older units, your choice of cabinet pulls and knobs is easily in the tens of thousands. And, with the choice of knob and pull comes the daunting task of determining where and how you are going to place them.

Cabinet pulls mounted in a horizontal direction on drawers and cabinets
Figure 1 - Cabinet pulls mounted in a horizontal direction on drawers and cabinets

There is no right and wrong way to place the knobs and pulls on your kitchen cabinets. There are some basic guidelines, but this is an area where the homeowners creativity can really shine. Figure 1 shows some creativity as the pulls are mounted in the horizontal position on both drawers, which would be the common method and on the doors, which is definitely creative.

The most common locations for knobs and pulls are identified in Figures 2, 3, 4 and 5. You could call this positioning, the cabinet makers standard, which definitely doesn't mean that it is the way it should be done.

Knob mounted on base cabinet door
Figure 2 - Knob mounted on base cabinet door
Pull mounted on base cabinet door
Figure 3 - Pull mounted on base cabinet door

For base cabinets, Figures 2 and 3, the common position is 2 1/2″ to 4″ down from the top corner on the opposite side to the hinges.

Knob mounted on wall cabinet
Figure 4 - Knob mounted on wall cabinet
Pull mounted on wall cabinet
Figure 5 - Pull mounted on wall cabinet

For wall cabinets, Figure 4 and 5 the common position is 2 1/2″ to 4″ up from the bottom corner of the opposite side to the hinges.

Another common method is to mount either a knob or a pull in the center of the edge opposite the hinges, as shown in Figure 6.

Drawers usually have the pull or knob centered between sides and top and bottom, as shown in Figures 7 and 8.

Knob on cabinet drawer
Figure 7 - Knob on cabinet drawer
Pull on cabinet drawer
Figure 8 - Pull on cabinet drawer
Drawer knob & cabinet door pull template
Figure 11 - Drawer knob & cabinet door pull template

There are numerous templates and jigs, as shown in Figure 11, that will make the duplication of the positioning of the knobs and/or pulls much easier than attempting to use a tape measure or ruler.

Selection of drawer knob and cabinet door pull jigs and templates.

All that being said, with the variety of knobs and pulls that are now available the guidelines have little if any meaning. Figures 9 and 10 show the installation techniques used by others.

Pulls used on cabinet drawers, knobs used on doors
Figure 9 - Pulls used on cabinet drawers, knobs used on doors
Long cabinet door pulls work well with the door handle on the microwave.
Figure 10 - Long cabinet door pulls work well with the door handle on the microwave.

More than 50 kitchen cabinet pictures.

Additional information on cabinet hardware.