KITCHEN KNOBS & HANDLE PULLS - HOW TO CHOOSE A STYLE & COLLECTION

We at Top Knobs have put together this helpful guide to choosing one of our styles and collections, based on what you’re looking for:

If you are replacing kitchen knobs and/or pull handles on existing cabinets
Choose a topic below or scroll down to read all topics:

Match or replace the hinges
If your cabinets have hinges that show from the outside, you will probably want to select knobs and pulls that match the color and style of the hinges. It’s also possible that your hinges have tarnished over time. Many of our knobs are available in finishes that may match these tarnished hinges. Or you can replace the hinges as well (hinges are usually available at hardware stores – take one of yours into the store to get an exact match on the size).

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For pull handles, measure the center-to-center distance between the two screw holes
If you are replacing a pull handle with a 3 inch center-to-center measurement between the screw holes, you will probably want to select new handles that are also 3 inch center-to-center (not the overall length of the pull -measure from screw hole to screw hole).

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Double-check the clearance
If you have cabinet doors that open from the center, with the knobs from each cabinet right next to the other, measure the distance between the knobs. If you choose too large a knob, they may either touch or be very close together, which may not be the look you want.

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Choose the quality you want
The old adage “You get what you pay for” applies to cabinet knobs and drawer pulls as well. A knob that is $2, $3, $4 is likely to have some characteristics that make that knob less expensive to manufacture, and perhaps a lesser quality that you want. What corners were cut to get the price to $3? Here are some of those characteristics to consider:

  • Lower quality kitchen knobs and handle pulls often have open backs to reduce the amount of metal used. This may make them susceptible to denting and bending. Feel the back of the knob or pull.
  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls often have less clearance. This saves metal, but can cause a cramped feel when opening the drawer or cabinet door.
  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls may feel sharp on the back where your fingers grab it.
  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls may have thinner metal. This may make them susceptible to denting and bending. Look at the edges to check the metal thickness.
  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls may have a rougher finish due to less finishing time. Put your hand under the knob or pull to feel what it will be like using that product.
  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls are hollow and light. Higher quality knobs are solid and heavy – solid brass, steel, iron, bronze, zinc, etc. – and being solid prevents dents and bending.
  • Lower quality pulls may have inconsistencies in their distance between the screw holes. Hold several up next to each other to make sure they are consistent. If they are not, then they may not all fit your pre-drilled cabinets.
  • Lower quality knobs won’t have an anti-twist pin on knobs that have to be oriented a particular way. The anti-twist pin on higher quality knobs prevents the knob from spinning. Spinning is no problem on a round knob. It’s a problem on a knob that has an oblong shape.
  • Lower quality knobs may have thinner plating on the finish. This is difficult to determine by looking, but becomes more obvious in the kitchen after a year or two of use, when the finish pits or wears or oxidizes. The warranty on lower quality knobs either is non-existent, or is a year or less. Look for a Lifetime Warranty as your assurance of an enduring finish.
  • Lower quality knobs don’t look and feel the same as higher quality knobs. Hold a $4 knob and a $8 knob and feel the difference.
    • The $8 knob is likely solid, not hollow.
    • The $8 knob has a richer looking finish.
    • The $8 knob feels smoother – no rough spots.
    • The $8 knob has more detail or a more consistent finish.
    • The $8 knob, if oblong, has a pin to prevent spinning
    • The $8 knob is packaged individually and is free of scratches, dents, and imperfections
The old adage that “You get what you pay for” is certainly true with kitchen cabinet knobs and handle pulls. Look for a Lifetime Warranty as one guarantee that your kitchen’s knobs and pulls will give you years of service without deterioration.
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Choose a style
Designers classify kitchen cabinet hardware into three broad categories:

Traditional Often known as “Old World” these are classic designs, often inspired by historical architectural and design features. Traditional style is the most popular category of cabinet knobs and pulls, because most kitchen designs are traditional.

Traditional collections from Top Knobs are:
Normandy, Tuscany, Edwardian, Aspen, Britannia, Bronze (oil rubbed), Appliance Pulls

Contemporary Contemporary designs feature sleek lines, sharp angles, minimalist features, and modern finishes such as brushed satin nickel, polished chrome, and stainless steel. The look of the kitchen is modern, sleek, and elegant.

Contemporary collections from Top Knobs are:
Nouveau, Nouveau II, Nouveau III, Bar Pulls, Appliance Pulls

Transitional Transitional knobs and handle pulls are a blend of Traditional & Contemporary styles. These can be Traditional designs with Contemporary finishes, or Contemporary designs with Traditional finishes. The look can be striking.

Transitional collections from Top Knobs are:
Dakota, Asbury, Somerset I, Somerset2, Appliance Pulls

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Choose a collection
Your first decision is to choose between a Traditional, Contemporary, or Transitional style. Within each style Top Knobs has a number of collections. Each collection has 45-65 pieces, available in multiple finishes.

The best way to choose a collection is to visit a Top Knobs dealer showroom. Each collection has its own display board showing the pieces available and the finishes available. It can be helpful to bring one of your cabinet doors into the showroom. You will get a much better idea of how the knobs and pulls will look on your cabinets. The showroom design staff can suggest several options to choose from.

[ top ]

Choose a finish
Every collection has multiple finishes for the knobs and handle pulls. Options for choosing a finish include matching the cabinet finish, choosing a finish that is compatible with that finish, matching the kitchen faucet finish, matching the finish on the appliances, etc. If your cabinets have visible hinges, then you may want to choose a finish for your knobs and pulls that match the hinges.

[ top ]

Choose the product
Every collection has 45 – 65 pieces, all with designs that fit the collection. This allows you to pick and choose any piece in the collection and it will be compatible with all the other pieces in the collection. It’s easy to mix and match within the collection. You can use one knob from the collection on drawers, and another style of knob from the collection on the cabinets. You can use one style of handle pull from the collection on drawers, and another style of cabinet pull from the collection on the cabinets. Or, use the same knob or pull on all cabinets and drawers.

[ top ]

Consider a matching Appliance Pull
Top Knobs makes Appliance Pulls – large pull handles – from 6” to 30” in length. These are ideal for refrigerators, dishwashers, and large drawers. Appliance pulls come in a variety of styles and finishes to match our knob and pull collections. They give a beautiful and coordinated look to your kitchen. Check out the Appliance Pull section of this website or see our Appliance Pull collection at your local Top Knobs showroom.

[ top ]

Hold and try a sample
To make the selection process easier, all Top Knobs dealer showrooms are required to have display boards of our collections. The display board makes it easy to view at a glance all the products and finish options in a collection. The showroom design staff can take a knob or handle off the display board for you to hold and feel. The real advantage in buying a Top Knobs product is the quality and finish. Nothing beats holding the actual product in your hand.

Want to take a sample home? Top Knobs has a special sample program for our dealers.

  • A FREE sample of any knob and/or any pull handle that is shorter than 7” ($5 shipping and handling fee per sample)
  • For pull handles 7” and longer the dealer can buy the sample, pay freight both ways, and we will credit 100% of the purchase price upon return of the sample to our stock within 30 days
  • The showroom may agree to loan you a couple samples off their display board if you leave a deposit and promise to return the samples in a few days.
See your local participating Top Knobs showroom dealer. Showroom design staff are experts at helping their customers choose decorative hardware for your kitchen.


[ top ]     [ Main Section ]


If you are buying kitchen knobs and/or pull handles for existing cabinets with no hardware

Choose a knob or a handle pull for your drawers and cabinets
You can use either a knob or a handle pull for your drawers and cabinets. Both are functional, so the decision to use a knob or pull is an aesthetic decision, not a use decision.

A recent trend is to use larger knobs on drawers. Handle pulls are great on wider drawers. Another recent trend is using longer pull handles on tall cabinets. The longer line of the pull looks great with the longer line of the cabinet edge.

The “universal design” concept for aging in place is to use knobs and pulls that will also be appropriate as the homeowners age. In general, a larger knob will be easier for the elderly to use than a small knob. A handle pull will be easier to use than a knob, particularly one large enough to get the back side of your hand through, so that gripping and pulling with fingers is not required.

[ top ]

Match or replace the hinges
If your cabinets have hinges that show from the outside, you will probably want to select knobs and pulls that match the color and style of the hinges. It’s also possible that your hinges have tarnished over time. Many of our knobs are available in finishes that may match these tarnished hinges. Or you can replace the hinges as well (hinges are usually available at hardware stores – take one of yours into the store to get an exact match on the size).


Choose the quality you want
The old adage “You get what you pay for” applies to cabinet knobs and pulls as well. A knob that is $2, $3, $4 is likely to have some characteristics that make that knob less expensive to manufacture, and perhaps a lesser quality that you want. Here are some of those characteristics to consider:

  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls often have open backs to reduce the amount of metal used. This may make them susceptible to denting and bending. Feel the back of the knob or pull.
  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls may have thinner metal. This may make them susceptible to denting and bending. Look at the edges to check the metal thickness.
  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls may have a rougher finish due to less finishing time. Put your hand under the knob or pull to feel what it will be like using that product.
  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls are hollow and light. Higher quality knobs are solid and heavy – solid brass, steel, iron, bronze, zinc, etc. – and being solid prevents dents and bending.
  • Lower quality pulls may have inconsistencies in their distance between the screw holes. Hold several up next to each other to make sure they are consistent. If they are not, then they may not all fit your pre-drilled cabinets.
  • Lower quality knobs won’t have an anti-twist pin on knobs that have to be oriented a particular way. The anti-twist pin on higher quality knobs prevents the knob from spinning. Spinning is no problem on a round knob. It’s a problem on a knob that has an oblong shape.
  • Lower quality knobs may have thinner plating on the finish. This is difficult to determine by looking, but becomes more obvious in the kitchen after a year or two of use, when the finish pits or wears or oxidizes. The warranty on lower quality knobs either is non-existent, or is a year or less. Look for a Lifetime Warranty as your assurance of an enduring finish.
  • Lower quality knobs don’t look and feel the same as higher quality knobs. Hold a $4 knob and a $8 knob and feel the difference.
    • The $8 knob is likely solid, not hollow.
    • The $8 knob has a richer looking finish.
    • The $8 knob feels smoother – no rough spots.
    • The $8 knob has more detail or a more consistent finish.
    • The $8 knob, if oblong, has a pin to prevent spinning
    • The $8 knob is packaged individually and is free of scratches, dents, and imperfections

The old adage that “You get what you pay for” is certainly true with cabinet knobs and handle pulls. Look for a Lifetime Warranty as one guarantee that your kitchen’s knobs and pulls will give you years of service without deterioration.


Choose a style
Designers classify kitchen cabinet hardware into three broad categories:

Traditional Often known as “Old World” these are classic designs, often inspired by historical architectural and design features. Traditional style is the most popular category of cabinet knobs and pulls, because most kitchen designs are traditional.

Traditional collections from Top Knobs are:
Normandy, Tuscany, Edwardian, Aspen, Britannia, Bronze (oil rubbed), Appliance Pulls

Contemporary Contemporary designs feature sleek lines, sharp angles, minimalist features, and modern finishes such as brushed satin nickel, polished chrome, and stainless steel. The look of the kitchen is modern, sleek, and elegant.

Contemporary collections from Top Knobs are:
Nouveau, Nouveau II, Nouveau III, Bar Pulls, Appliance Pulls

Transitional Transitional knobs and handle pulls are a blend of Traditional & Contemporary styles. These can be Traditional designs with Contemporary finishes, or Contemporary designs with Traditional finishes. The look can be striking.

Transitional collections from Top Knobs are:
Dakota, Asbury, Somerset I, Somerset2, Appliance Pulls

[ top ]

Choose a collection
Your first decision is to choose between a Traditional, Contemporary, or Transitional style. Within each style Top Knobs has a number of collections. Each collection has 45-65 pieces, available in multiple finishes.

The best way to choose a collection is to visit a Top Knobs dealer showroom. Each collection has its own display board showing the pieces available and the finishes available. It can be helpful to bring one of your cabinet doors into the showroom. You will get a much better idea of how the knobs and pulls will look on your cabinets. The showroom design staff can suggest several options to choose from.

[ top ]

Choose a finish
Every collection has multiple finishes for the knobs and handle pulls. Options for choosing a finish include matching the cabinet finish, choosing a finish that is compatible with that finish, matching the kitchen faucet finish, matching the finish on the appliances, etc. If your cabinets have visible hinges, then you may want to choose a finish for your knobs and pulls that match the hinges.

[ top ]

Choose the product
Every collection has 45 – 65 pieces, all with designs that fit the collection. This allows you to pick and choose any piece in the collection and it will be compatible with all the other pieces in the collection. It’s easy to mix and match within the collection. You can use one knob from the collection on drawers, and another style of knob from the collection on the cabinets. You can use one style of handle pull from the collection on drawers, and another style of cabinet pull from the collection on the cabinets. Or, use the same knob or pull on all cabinets and drawers.

[ top ]

Consider a matching Appliance Pull
Top Knobs makes Appliance Pulls – large pull handles – from 6” to 30” in length. These are ideal for refrigerators, dishwashers, and large drawers. Appliance pulls come in a variety of styles and finishes to match our knob and pull collections. They give a beautiful and coordinated look to your kitchen. Check out the Appliance Pull section of this website or see our Appliance Pull collection at your local Top Knobs showroom.

[ top ]

Hold and try a sample
To make the selection process easier, all Top Knobs dealer showrooms are required to have display boards of our collections. The display board makes it easy to view at a glance all the products and finish options in a collection. The showroom design staff can take a knob or handle off the display board for you to hold and feel. The real advantage in buying a Top Knobs product is the quality and finish. Nothing beats holding the actual product in your hand.

Want to take a sample home? Top Knobs has a special sample program for our dealers.

  • A FREE sample of any knob and/or any pull handle that is shorter than 7” ($5 shipping and handling fee per sample)
  • For pull handles 7” and longer the dealer can buy the sample, pay freight both ways, and we will credit 100% of the purchase price upon return of the sample to our stock within 30 days
  • The showroom may agree to loan you a couple samples off their display board if you leave a deposit and promise to return the samples in a few days.
See your local participating Top Knobs showroom dealer. Showroom design staff are experts at helping their customers choose decorative hardware for your kitchen.
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Measure twice, drill once
If you are installing the knobs and cabinet pulls yourself, you will understandably be a little concerned about getting it right, and not making a mistake. Here are some of the things to watch for:

  • Check for clearance with cabinet doors and drawers – you can often raise or lower the height of the knob or pull to avoid a clearance problem.
  • If the cabinet doors open together, make sure the knobs are sufficiently spaced from the edge so that the knobs do not hit, overlap the edge, or look too close together.
  • If the knobs are oblong and have a pin to stop the knob from turning, then when first tightening down the knob to the drawer or cabinet have the knob in the correct position. The pin will sink into the wood to hold the knob in the proper orientation. If you do not do this, and try to align it correctly after tightening the knob, you will scratch the wood if you force-turn the knob after tightening it.
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If you are buying knobs and/or pull handles for new cabinets

Work in advance with your kitchen cabinet designer
Working with your kitchen cabinet designer you can select not only the style of cabinet, but also the style of the cabinet doors and the finish. Your designer will be very helpful in suggesting options for knobs and pulls to match the cabinets you select.

[ top ]

Match the hinges
Most new cabinet designs don’t have visible hinges. If your new cabinets will have hinges that show from the outside when the cabinet doors are closed, you will probably want to select knobs and pulls that match the color and style of the hinges. It’s highly likely that your kitchen cabinet designer can get hinges that match your knob selection rather than having to match your knobs to the hinges.

[ top ]

Choose a knob or a handle pull for your drawers and cabinets
You can use either a knob or a handle pull for your drawers and cabinets. Both are functional, so the decision to use a knob or pull is an aesthetic decision, not a use decision.

A recent trend is to use larger knobs on drawers. Handle pulls are great on wider drawers. Another recent trend is using longer pull handles on tall cabinets. The longer line of the pull looks great with the longer line of the cabinet edge.

The “universal design” concept for aging in place is to use knobs and pulls that will also be appropriate as the homeowners age. In general, a larger knob will be easier for the elderly to use than a small knob. A handle pull will be easier to use than a knob, particularly one large enough to get the back side of your hand through, so that gripping and pulling with fingers is not required.

[ top ]

Choose the quality you want
The old adage “You get what you pay for” applies to cabinet knobs and pulls as well. A knob that is $2, $3, $4 is likely to have some characteristics that make that knob less expensive to manufacture, and perhaps a lesser quality that you want. Here are some of those characteristics to consider:

    Lower quality knobs and handle pulls often have open backs to reduce the amount of metal used. This may make them susceptible to denting and bending. Feel the back of the knob or pull.
  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls may have thinner metal. This may make them susceptible to denting and bending. Look at the edges to check the metal thickness.
  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls may have a rougher finish due to less finishing time. Put your hand under the knob or pull to feel what it will be like using that product.
  • Lower quality knobs and handle pulls are hollow and light. Higher quality knobs are solid and heavy – solid brass, steel, iron, bronze, zinc, etc. – and being solid prevents dents and bending.
  • Lower quality pulls may have inconsistencies in their distance between the screw holes. Hold several up next to each other to make sure they are consistent. If they are not, then they may not all fit your pre-drilled cabinets.
  • Lower quality knobs won’t have an anti-twist pin on knobs that have to be oriented a particular way. The anti-twist pin on higher quality knobs prevents the knob from spinning. Spinning is no problem on a round knob. It’s a problem on a knob that has an oblong shape.
  • Lower quality knobs may have thinner plating on the finish. This is difficult to determine by looking, but becomes more obvious in the kitchen after a year or two of use, when the finish pits or wears or oxidizes. The warranty on lower quality knobs either is non-existent, or is a year or less. Look for a Lifetime Warranty as your assurance of an enduring finish.
  • Lower quality knobs don’t look and feel the same as higher quality knobs. Hold a $4 knob and a $8 knob and feel the difference.
    • The $8 knob is likely solid, not hollow.
    • The $8 knob has a richer looking finish.
    • The $8 knob feels smoother – no rough spots.
    • The $8 knob has more detail or a more consistent finish.
    • The $8 knob, if oblong, has a pin to prevent spinning
    • The $8 knob is packaged individually and is free of scratches, dents, and imperfections

The old adage that “You get what you pay for” is certainly true with cabinet knobs and handle pulls. Look for a Lifetime Warranty as one guarantee that your kitchen’s knobs and pulls will give you years of service without deterioration.


Choose a style
Designers classify kitchen cabinet hardware into three broad categories:

Traditional Often known as “Old World” these are classic designs, often inspired by historical architectural and design features. Traditional style is the most popular category of cabinet knobs and pulls, because most kitchen designs are traditional.

Traditional collections from Top Knobs are:
Normandy, Tuscany, Edwardian, Aspen, Britannia, Bronze (oil rubbed), Appliance Pulls

Contemporary Contemporary designs feature sleek lines, sharp angles, minimalist features, and modern finishes such as brushed satin nickel, polished chrome, and stainless steel. The look of the kitchen is modern, sleek, and elegant.

Contemporary collections from Top Knobs are:
Nouveau, Nouveau II, Nouveau III, Bar Pulls, Appliance Pulls

Transitional Transitional knobs and handle pulls are a blend of Traditional & Contemporary styles. These can be Traditional designs with Contemporary finishes, or Contemporary designs with Traditional finishes. The look can be striking.

Transitional collections from Top Knobs are:
Dakota, Asbury, Somerset I, Somerset2, Appliance Pulls

[ top ]

Choose a collection
Your first decision is to choose between a Traditional, Contemporary, or Transitional style. Within each style Top Knobs has a number of collections. Each collection has 45-65 pieces, available in multiple finishes.

The best way to choose a collection is to visit a Top Knobs dealer showroom. Each collection has its own display board showing the pieces available and the finishes available. It can be helpful to bring one of your cabinet doors into the showroom. You will get a much better idea of how the knobs and pulls will look on your cabinets. The showroom design staff can suggest several options to choose from.

[ top ]

Choose a finish
Every collection has multiple finishes for the knobs and handle pulls. Options for choosing a finish include matching the cabinet finish, choosing a finish that is compatible with that finish, matching the kitchen faucet finish, matching the finish on the appliances, etc. If your cabinets have visible hinges, then you may want to choose a finish for your knobs and pulls that match the hinges.

[ top ]

Choose the product
Every collection has 45 – 65 pieces, all with designs that fit the collection. This allows you to pick and choose any piece in the collection and it will be compatible with all the other pieces in the collection. It’s easy to mix and match within the collection. You can use one knob from the collection on drawers, and another style of knob from the collection on the cabinets. You can use one style of handle pull from the collection on drawers, and another style of cabinet pull from the collection on the cabinets. Or, use the same knob or pull on all cabinets and drawers.

[ top ]

Consider a matching Appliance Pull
Top Knobs makes Appliance Pulls – large pull handles – from 6” to 30” in length. These are ideal for refrigerators, dishwashers, and large drawers. Appliance pulls come in a variety of styles and finishes to match our knob and pull collections. They give a beautiful and coordinated look to your kitchen. Check out the Appliance Pull section of this website or see our Appliance Pull collection at your local Top Knobs showroom.

[ top ]

Hold and try a sample
To make the selection process easier, all Top Knobs dealer showrooms are required to have display boards of our collections. The display board makes it easy to view at a glance all the products and finish options in a collection. The showroom design staff can take a knob or handle off the display board for you to hold and feel. The real advantage in buying a Top Knobs product is the quality and finish. Nothing beats holding the actual product in your hand.

Want to take a sample home? Top Knobs has a special sample program for our dealers.

  • A FREE sample of any knob and/or any pull handle that is shorter than 7” ($5 shipping and handling fee per sample)
  • For pull handles 7” and longer the dealer can buy the sample, pay freight both ways, and we will credit 100% of the purchase price upon return of the sample to our stock within 30 days
  • The showroom may agree to loan you a couple samples off their display board if you leave a deposit and promise to return the samples in a few days.
See your local participating Top Knobs showroom dealer. Showroom design staff are experts at helping their customers choose decorative hardware for your kitchen.

[ top ]     [ Main Section ]