Knobs Vs. Pulls On Kitchen Cabinets: Which One to Choose?

Perhaps some of the easiest to install cabinet hardware are knobs and pulls. However, knowing which one to use between knobs vs. pulls on kitchen cabinets can be daunting. After all, both hardware serves the same purpose. So, which one to choose?

Knobs Vs Pulls On Kitchen Cabinets

Pulls are more widely used on kitchen cabinets than their knobs counterparts. This is because they offer the best grip, making it effortless to open cabinet doors. Even better, pulls are easy to maintain and highly versatile since they can be installed on both cabinet doors and drawers.

So then, what are the differences between knobs vs. pulls on kitchen cabinets and which one to choose? Keep reading to find out.

Knobs Vs. Pulls on Kitchen Cabinets – What Are The Differences

One common question you will come across when searching for cabinet hardware is, should I use knobs or pulls on kitchen cabinets? To answer this question, we will examine the differences between the two.  

Where to install the hardware

Traditionally, you install knobs on cabinet doors and pull handles on cabinet drawers. Today, this rule seems to have changed. In most cases, you will notice that knobs are installed on upper cabinet doors and drawers. As for pulls, the best place to install them is on the lower cabinet drawers and doors.

Ease of installation

Another difference between these two handles is their ease of installation. Overall, knobs are pretty easy to install in minutes. Perhaps because you use only one screw to secure them to the cabinet door. This makes it easier to hide screw holes in cabinets in case you have to uninstall the knobs.

Although not difficult to install, the best kitchen cabinet pulls are not as easy to assemble as the knobs. This is because you need at least two screws to secure them. On top of that, you must take a lot of measurements before installing them to ensure they are not crooked.  

Minimalistic Design

Compared to pulls, knobs don’t take up a lot of space on your kitchen cabinets. Therefore, you can easily install them in the corner of your cabinets. Knobs’ minimalistic design also ensures they don’t overwhelm your design aesthetics. However, with pulls, you must be careful where you place them because of their large size.

Ease of opening

The other difference lies in the ease of opening these two handles. Knobs are not as easy to grab as their pull counterparts. So, you might not find them friendly to individuals living with disabilities or illnesses like arthritis.

The right quality cabinet pulls, on the other hand, offer an excellent grip because of their wide design. Therefore, you can use both your hands to grab the handle and open the cabinet door. So, they are user-friendly to the elderly or people with hand issues.


Some knob designs like the highly embellished and novelty knobs are difficult to clean. The knobs feature crevices that easily catch dirt from occasional kitchen spills. So, you have to clean them regularly. However, pulls don’t have any crevices, making maintenance easy.


Another difference to consider when buying either knob or pulls is their cost. If you compare the price of a standard knob to that of a standard pull, you will realize the knob is cheaper. So, if you’re on a budget, you will be sure to find a variety of affordable cabinet knob choices.

Contemporary Vs. Traditional look – Which is Better?

So, are knobs or pulls more modern? Well, pulls come in many functional and elegant designs, thereby providing a more modern and sleeker look. As such, they are more modern than knobs. However, you can still find pulls designed for a traditional look.

As for knobs, knobs are an excellent choice when you want to achieve a traditional or vintage look. This is because of their classical appearance. But of course, you can still find knobs to match your modern kitchen cabinets style.

How to Mix-Match Knobs and Pulls on Kitchen Cabinets

You simply install the pulls on the upper drawers and the knobs on the lower cabinets. When mix-matching your knobs and pulls, you must ensure their finish matches that of your cabinets. 

For example, if your kitchen cabinets are black in color, you could use bronze, silver, or brass-colored knobs and pulls. When it comes to what color hardware for white kitchen cabinets to use, you can go with traditional bronze. Or perhaps, timeless silver knobs, classy brass, or a bold color like black.

Knobs Vs. Pulls on Kitchen Cabinets: Which One to Choose?

Both knobs and pulls serve the same purpose. But because of their differences, you might be wondering, should I use knobs or pulls on kitchen cabinets?

Most people prefer pull handles over knobs because they are easy to maintain and offer better grip than knobs. On top of that, pulls give your kitchen cabinets a more modern and elegant look. Even so, which one to choose between the two hardware depends on your personal preference and your kitchen cabinet style.  

Final Words

If you’re considering updating the look of your kitchen cabinets, you might want to add new knobs or pulls. However, in most cases, you must decide whether to use pulls or cabinets since they are totally different.

For instance, knobs are best suited for cabinet doors and pull handles for kitchen drawers. Other differences include ease of installation and maintenance, cost, design, and ease of opening.

The good news? You can get the best of both worlds by mixing and matching your knobs and pulls. But overall, pulls seem to be a better choice for most people in terms of functionality. This is because they are easy to open.