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How To Mount Door Pulls & Drawer Knobs

You have just installed new cabinets and drawers in your kitchen or bathroom and now it is time to mount the door pulls and drawer knobs, as shown in Figure 1. Sounds like a simple project, but if you want the finished job to look professional than we have some suggestions that will make the job easier.

door pull and drawer knob
Figure 1 - Door pull and drawer knob

If you can, I recommend that you cut a scrap piece of plywood, the same size as one of the cabinet doors and mount it to the cabinet as if it was a door. Then mount one of your door pulls on the piece of plywood, invite the wife in and make sure it is in the position that she and you are both happy with!

Additional information on positioning cabinet pulls and drawer knobs.

There are five things you should pay attention too before you start drilling holes in those new cabinet doors and drawer fronts:

  1. If your doors sit on top of the frame, either with face frame cabinets or Euro style frameless cabinets you want to make sure that the screw heads for the door pulls do not end up resting on the frame, as this will prevent the doors from closing properly.
  2. Measure the position of the door knobs and pulls, then measure again and then measure a third time! Fixing a hole in a cabinet door or drawer front that was drilled in the wrong spot is not an easy project and sometimes literally impossible. You can purchase relatively inexpensive drawer knob and door pull holes and positioning templates, as shown in Figure 2 and 3. You may want to consider investing in one if you have a lot of holes to drill.
door pull template
Figure 2 - Door pull template
drawer knob template
Figure 3 - Drawer knob template
  1. Always drill the hole from the front of the door or drawer to the back of the door or drawer. If any wood should split when you are drilling the hole, you want the damage to be on the backside of the door or drawer.
  2. It is wise to clamp a block of wood to the back side of the door or drawer when drilling. This will help to protect the door or drawer wood from splintering as the drill bit exits the back of the wood.

  3. The hole size should allow the screw to easily move through the hole. Do not drill a hole size that requires you to thread the screw through the hole. A slightly larger hole will allow for some adjustment to the door pull should you need to make a slight correction to the alignment.
  4. One of the most difficult things to do is to drill a straight hole in a vertical surface. It is important that your drill be level and true to the cabinet door and/or drawer front when drilling. If the screw hole is at an angle, either up or down or side to side you will have a difficult time threading the screws into the door pulls or drawer knobs.

If you have a drill press or a drill press attachment for an electric hand drill, as shown in Figure 4, I would recommend that you use it. As an alternative you can use a drill guide for a hand power drill, as shown in Figure 5. This style of hand electric drill attachment helps to maintain straight drilling on a vertical or horizontal surface.

drill press attachment for electric hand drill
Figure 4 - Drill press attachment for an electric hand drill
drill guide attachment for electric hand drill
Figure 5 - Drill guide attachment for electric hand drill

Additional information on cabinet hardware.