How To Choose The Right Size Hardware For Kitchen Cabinets (Hardware Sizing Guide)

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Last updated on March 15th, 2024 at 12:26 pm

Wondering what size hardware you should choose for your kitchen cabinets? Well, look no further because I have your answer!

Cabinet pulls look best when they are 1/4 to 1/3 the size of a cabinet door and 1/2 the size of a drawer face. Choosing hardware in these size ranges makes the cabinet pulls look proportional and more custom on cabinet doors and drawers.

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s break into the details further so you can easily purchase the right-sized cabinet hardware.

Let’s dive in!

Quick Navigation: Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Sizing Guide

  1. Decide Whether You Want Pulls, Knobs, Or A Mixture
  2. Measure Your Cabinet Doors
  3. Measure Your Cabinet Drawer Faces
  4. Other FAQs About Choosing Cabinet Hardware
  5. Final Thoughts

Step One: Decide Whether You Want Pulls, Knobs, Or A Mixture

The first step to sizing cabinet hardware is to choose whether you want only pulls, only knobs, or a mixture of both.

If you want only knobs in your kitchen, then your choice is pretty simple. Most knobs are a similar size, so just choose the style that speaks to you the most and use them on all of the cabinet doors and drawers.

Check out my tutorial on where to put cabinet pulls and knobs on cabinet doors and drawers if you aren’t sure what the best placement is.

Now, if you want only pulls or a mixture of pulls and knobs, then there’s a little more calculating that needs to be done. (Which we will discuss in the next step.)

Step Two: Measure Your Cabinet Doors

The next step to sizing cabinet hardware is to measure your cabinet doors.

The doors on upper cabinets typically come in two standard sizes: 30 or 40 inches tall, and the doors on lower cabinets are typically 24 inches (if there is a drawer above it) or 30 inches (if the door takes the up full front of the cabinet).

The general rule of thumb for cabinet pull sizing is to either have all pulls be:

  1. A custom size (based on a consistent ratio) on each cabinet door and drawer or
  2. The same size throughout the entire kitchen

Customizing The Cabinet Pulls To The Size Of Your Cabinets

For cabinet doors, it’s best to choose cabinet pulls that are 1/4 to 1/3 the size of the cabinet door. For example:

  • 24-inch cabinet doors –
    • 24 x ¼ = 6 inches full length* (or closest size)
    • 24 x ⅓ = 8 inches full length (or closest size)
  • 30-inch cabinet doors –
    • 30 x ¼ = 7-½ inches full length (or closest size)
    • 30 x ⅓ = 10 inches full length (or closest size)
  • 40-inch cabinet doors –
    • 40 x ¼ = 10 inches full length (or closest size)
    • 40 x ⅓ = 13-⅓ inches full length (or closest size)
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Keeping the ratios the same will make your kitchen look high-end and custom because each handle will look like it was custom-made for the cabinet door it is on!

This image shows a cabinet door pull size chart for 24, 30, and 40-inch tall cabinet doors.
These large pulls on the cabinet doors look grand and decadent.

*Note: I’m using the measurement for the full length of the pull (NOT the center-on-center measurement). If you choose pulls that the center-on-center measurement is the full length of the pull, then these are your measurements to use (or as close as you can get).

However, if your pull extends past the center-on-center measurement (such as these pretty cabinet pulls we found at Amazon and used on our cabinets), then you can get a smaller center-on-center measurement handle where the total length of it equals the larger measurement listed above. (This will save you some money.)

Our cabinet pulls are only 5-1/6 inch center-on-center however, their total length is closer to 7-1/2 inches so we get the appearance of a larger, more expensive pull that takes up 1/4 of the cabinet door for a lower price.

Using The Same Size Cabinet Pulls For All Of Your Cabinets

Choosing different pull sizes for each cabinet can be tedious and expensive. Instead, you can choose one larger cabinet pull size and just use it on all of your cabinets.

If you go this route, then choose a pull size that is at least 5 inches center-on-center. This size pull looks great on all cabinet doors and drawers, is more comfortable for your hand to fit in, and is still pretty low-cost for a pull that looks high-end.

We used the same 5-1/16 inches center-on-center (7-1/2 inches total length) on all of our cabinet doors and drawers to keep it simple and cost-efficient. We love the look of our cabinet hardware!

Step Three: Measure Your Cabinet Drawer Faces

The final step to sizing cabinet hardware is to measure your cabinet drawer faces.

Just like the cabinet doors, you can either choose to customize the size of each drawer or opt to use the same size pull throughout your whole kitchen.

Drawers can range from 12 inches wide to 36 inches wide. If you want to customize the pulls to the drawers, then you want to choose pulls that are 1/2 the size of the drawer face.

Measure the entire drawer face (including the decorative edges if it’s shaker-style) to get your measurement. Examples of custom pull sizes for each drawer size include:

  • 12-inch wide drawers –
    • 12 x ½ = 6 inches full length (or closest size)
  • 15-inch wide drawers –
    • 15 x ½ = 7.5 inches full length (or closest size)
  • 18-inch wide drawers –
    • 18 x ½ = 9 inches full length (or closest size)
  • 21-inch wide drawers –
    • 21 x ½ = 10.5 inches full length (or closest size)
  • 24-inch wide drawers –
    • 24 x ½ = 12 inches full length (or closest size)
  • 27-inch wide drawers –
    • 27 x ½ = 13.5 inches full length (or closest size)
  • 30-inch wide drawers –
    • 30 x ½ = 15 inches full length (or closest size)
  • 33-inch wide drawers –
    • 33 x ½ = 16.5 inches full length (or closest size)
  • 36-inch wide drawers –
    • 36 x ½ = 18 inches full length (or closest size)
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Keeping the ratios the same across the drawers will make your cabinets look upscale and custom, although this is a much more expensive way to install cabinet handles. (Anything over 7.5 inches center-on-center tends to get pricey fast.)

This image shows a cabinet drawer pull size chart for 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, and 36-inch wide cabinet drawers.

Again, if you opt to keep all of the handles the same size, choose handles that are at least 5 inches center-on-center (preferably 7 inches full length). These pulls will be cheaper overall, but will still give a little bit more upscale vibe for a fraction of the price

Refrain from just choosing the cheapest 3-inch center-on-center pulls because they will look too small on the cabinets (plus they are not that comfortable to use because the average hand is wider than 3 inches).

Other FAQs About Choosing Cabinet Hardware

Here are some other frequently asked questions about cabinet hardware to help you narrow down your choices.

What Is The Most Popular Cabinet Hardware?

The most popular cabinet hardware are cabinet pulls because they look sleek and modern, come in a variety of colors and styles, are the most comfortable to use, and can be used on both cabinets and drawers.

What Is The Most Popular Finish For Kitchen Cabinet Hardware?

The most popular finish for kitchen cabinet hardware is brushed nickel. Brushed nickel hides fingerprints well, easily matches with appliance and fixture colors, looks great on all cabinet colors, and is a timeless color for cabinet hardware.

Do Pulls Go On Doors Or Drawers?

Cabinet pulls can be installed on both cabinet doors and cabinet drawers. Many homeowners choose to use pulls on both doors and drawers because they are more stylish and more comfortable to use than knobs.

What Is The Most Common Cabinet Pull Size?

The most common cabinet pull size is 5 inches center-on-center. This size can fit the average hand comfortably, looks more upscale, and can still be budget-friendly compared to larger-sized cabinet pulls.

Final Thoughts On Cabinet Hardware Sizing

There you have it!

Kitchen cabinets can have the same size hardware throughout or the hardware can be customized to perfectly fit each cabinet door and drawer size for a more upscale look.

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Hopefully, this guide gave you some ideas so you can choose which size hardware you want on your cabinets.

Catch you in my next post!

The Best Kitchen Tools & Products I’ve Used

Ravinte Cabinet Handle Installation Template (For Doors & Drawers)

This is my all-time favorite handle installation template because it has two templates (one for drawers and one for doors) with multiple pull sizes & knob placements! These templates make installing cabinet handles a breeze because you always know your handles will be installed in the same spot on all of your drawers and doors. The kit also comes with a drill bit so you can guarantee you’re using the correct size. I used this template on my entire kitchen and both bathrooms to cut the installation time in half. You can find this hardware template here on Amazon.

Franklin Brass 5-1/16 Inch (128mm) Center Bar Pull (Stainless Steel)

If you want to immediately modernize your kitchen island, then these cabinet pulls are a must. They are heavy-duty feeling, durable, easy to install, and are a large size for a great price. We put these pulls on all of our kitchen and island doors and drawers along with our bathroom doors and drawers. You can find these gorgeous cabinet pulls here on Amazon.

P.S. Use the hardware installation template I mentioned above to install these new pulls in record time!

Love this post? Share it with others so they can easily measure for the correct size cabinet handles as well!

By Christine

Christine is a blogger and DIYer who tackles home renovation and decorating projects alongside her husband, Adam, for their personal residence and rental properties. Although she successfully tackles large renovation projects to avoid expensive contractor fees and bring her vision to life now, her path to success was not easy.

Go here to read her story,  From a Clueless First-Time Homebuyer To A Confident DIYer Creating Her Dream Home One Project At A Time.

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