Trying to determine what length pulls or handles to use on your cabinets can feel daunting! Luckily, I’m going to share the exact options you can use for each common size cabinet drawer or door.
Cabinet hardware is a major passion of mine right next to paint. It’s also an area I have expertise in, after working for the major hardware brand Amerock and launching 200 new products!
Having to determine what sizes to develop for new product lines and then use in our cabinet hardware product photography / catalog was a major part of my job.
What I can tell you is, there is no “standard” length pull you SHOULD use.
I’m serious! Instead, I’m going to show you the variety of pull/handle lengths with guidance on what fits on common cabinet drawers and doors.
Understanding Cabinet Hardware Pull Lengths
Most importantly, when choosing cabinet hardware pulls you MUST look at the overall length. Here is some basic lingo to get yourself familiar to what to pay attention to, when reading the product specifications online:
- Center-to-Center– the distance from the CENTER of one screw hole to the CENTER of the other screw hole. This is the standard industry measurement for sizing cabinet handles.
- Overall Length– the distance from one end of the pull to the other end. This measurement is always greater than the “center to center” measurement.
- Projection – measures how far the pull or knob sticks out from the surface of the cabinet door or drawer after it is installed.
- Diameter– self-explanatory in a round knob, but the diameter of a pull or handle, if given, refers to the width or thickness of the bar portion of the pull (the part you grab).
You can see here the length is much longer than the center to center measurement – even though they are the same!
The overall length typically will not be more than 2 inches greater than the center to center measurement.
The BEST way to test the length quickly and easily?
If you currently have holes drilled in your cabinets, obviously for pulls that will dictate the length you must buy.
TIP: To determine current pull length:
- Take the pull off the cabinet and run painter’s tape between both holes
- Record the measurement in inches (if you are in the US). Use an online calculated to convert to metric.
Common Sizes of Cabinet Hardware
Now that you know the lingo around cabinet hardware measurements, let’s review the most common sizes of hardware.
Knobs typically have one hole for installation and can be round, square, rectangular or a t-bar.
- 1 1/2 inch is a regular sized knob
- 1 3/4 inch and larger is an oversized knob
Pulls / Handles
Pulls also come in common sizes and as I mentioned earlier you need to pay attention to 3 measurements: center to center, overall length, and projection.
You order pulls based on these common center-to-center measurements (the industry goes metric the longer the pull – no idea why!).
- 3 inches
- 96mm (about 3 3/4 inches)
- 128mm (about 5 inches)
- 160mm (about 6 1/4 inches)
- 256mm (about 10 inches)
Cup Pulls are another options that are typically 3 inches or 4 inches.
Shop the Ashby Collection
Shop the Blackrock Collection
Bar Pulls, as shown below, come in WAY more lengths and also come very long. So if that is what you need, start with a bar pull.
They are the most common pulls you see due to their simple styling, narrow diameter, and affordable price.
Shop Bar Pulls
Common Cabinet and Drawer Sizes
So you have a real life example kitchen, I’ll use my own!
My kitchen is in a spec home and has some custom options, so there is a wide variety represented.
Shop the Sea Grass Collection
Cabinet Drawer Width
For this exercise and because I had the drawings, the widths of drawers found in my kitchen are as follows:
- 9 inches
- 16 inches
- 18 inches
- 24 inches
- 30 inches
- 36 inches
Cabinet Door Height
Again using my kitchen as an example, here are the variety of heights of cabinets:
- 24 inches
- 30 inches
- 42 inches
What Length Pull by Cabinet Drawer and Door Size
This is where you may be surprised by what I’ll say: do what you want! There is no “correct” recommendation of pull by drawer or door length are height.
However, there are limiting factors. You can’t put a pull on a drawer that is wider than the drawer 🙂
Purely common sense.
Shop the Davenport Collection
Shop Oberon Collection
In some instances, if the drawer is really small you will only have the option of a knob or a 3 inch cup pull. Easy!
The picture with the espresso stain is my son’s bathroom – lucky kid.
Common Cabinet Hardware Pull Installation by Size
The graphic below shows is a nice visual of approximately how each common size of pull will look on a cabinet drawer or door.
All of the sizes I mentioned above, so if you need to review that again.
When you get to the 36 inch drawer widths, it gets a little tricker. Due to the long length and the limited pull lengths for sale outside of bar pulls, I’m recommending 2 pulls per drawer.
Here is a great picture of what I mean:
Shop the Blythe Collection
When you take everything into account, it all comes down to personal preference of the look you would like to create.
Deciding on what length pull to use comes down to just a few questions:
- Do you want the cabinet hardware to be the most prominent feature on the cabinet drawers or doors?
- Are you going for a more stream line modern look?
- Is your style more traditional and you want the hardware to be more functional than decorative?
My advice, since I can’t design your hardware layout for you, is this:
- Mix up knobs and different lengths of pulls to provide visual interest.
- If you want a more modern look, doing all bar pulls is a nice option because there are so many finishes and lengths.
- To modify a kitchen that currently has all knobs, install pulls in some of those locations – that’s what I’ve done.
If you would like more information on choosing cabinet hardware in general, read this post.
Here are more beautiful pictures of different cabinet hardware options to inspire you!
Shop the Highland Ridge Collection
Shop the St. Vincent Collection
Blending Traditional and Modern for a Transitional Feel
Shop the Cyprus Collection
Shop the Glacio Collection
Shop the Esquire Collection
My hope is to have instilled confidence in you that you don’t need a kitchen designer and can choose plus layout hardware yourself!
Plus now you have a graphic that SHOWS you how different lengths of pulls will look on your cabinet doors and drawers.
You can easily refer to it as you plan and shop.
You are now armed with the lingo. It’s time to go shopping for cabinet hardware you love!
The collections I’ve feature have more sizes and finishes. The catalog is linked below.
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Cabinet Hardware Installation
Are you a DIYer? All of the hardware in my home I’ve installed myself. You just need a simple template, a power drill, and the hardware!
This was the FIRST video I ever recorded, so when I say level it means “plumb” which is the vertical on the level.
I didn’t have all my tools ready, but hey you’ll get the idea of how to do this yourself!
As you will see, I do my best work in my slippers 🙂Do you recognize the bathroom from the images above – yep, I am proud of my handy work that ended up in the Amerock catalog!
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Until next time…