Knobs & Pulls: How to Choose the Right Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

You complete the perfect outfit with coordinating accessories—jewelry, a belt, and shoes. Pick the wrong accessories, and your outfit doesn’t look right—classy clothing appears awkward, the colour combination doesn’t jive, or the outfit just doesn’t feel “finished”. 

Kitchen cabinet hardware is the accessory that can make or break your kitchen style. The knobs and pulls you choose can either perfectly complete your kitchen design, or disrupt the flow and create style confusion.

Select the Right Kitchen Hardware

How do you choose the right hardware for your kitchen cabinets? It’s more than looking at a catalogue and picking out the one you like best. Selecting the right hardware for your kitchen involves considering several factors:

  1. Knobs vs. pulls
  2. Style
  3. Finish
  4. Feel
  5. Cost

Let’s look at these factors more closely.  

Knobs vs Pulls

You can use a combination of knobs and pulls in your kitchen. It’s common to use one type of hardware for your kitchen drawers and another type for the cabinets. 

Knobs work best for small drawers and high cabinets. Pulls are best for large or heavy drawers, and drawers that are low and require you to bend down to open them. 

How to Choose Your Kitchen Hardware Style

Kitchen hardware comes in many styles, shapes, and colours. There’s a knob and pull for any kitchen design style, from traditional to extremely eclectic. Your kitchen hardware should complement your kitchen design style. See How to Choose the Perfect Kitchen Design Style for You

Would curved lines complement your kitchen style better than straight (or square) lines? Would your kitchen look best with brass, bronze, brushed nickel, chrome, or black hardware? Does sleek and simple complement your kitchen style, or would something more ornate and intricate tie everything together best?


A classic or traditional kitchen design incorporates painted or stained cabinets with glass-front doors, white tiles, and elaborate details. Ornate and fancy knobs and pulls work well here. For a more vintage traditional kitchen, hardware with a porcelain overlay completes the look. 

Classic or Traditional Kitchen Design from Marathon Hardware
Contemporary Kitchen Hardware from Marathon Hardware


Contemporary kitchen design pushes boundaries and evolves with trends. Smooth lines mixed with playful finishes, minimalism with an emphasis on structure, and lots of open space characterize most contemporary kitchens. Simple and streamlined hardware usually complements this style best, such as bar handles or curved barrel handles.

Contemporary Kitchen Hardware from Marathon Hardware


A transitional kitchen works well when you like elements of both traditional and contemporary styling. It’s the perfect blend of the simplicity of minimalism with the warmth of tradition. For example, traditional wood cabinets with contemporary glass tiles and industrial light fixtures. 

Transitional Kitchen Hardware from Marathon Hardware
Transitional Style Kitchen Hardware from Marathon Hardware
Farmhouse Style Kitchen Hardware from Marathon Hardware

Farmhouse or Rustic

Farmhouse or rustic kitchens are warm, inviting, homey spaces, reminiscent of days gone by. At the same time, this style employs modern design and practical elements. Hardware is simple with a brushed bronze, copper, or black finish.

Rustic Style Kitchen Hardware from Marathon Hardware


An eclectic kitchen design style allows you to put your personality on display. Unique hardware selections add spice. If you love colour, choose painted knobs. 

Eclectic Style Kitchen Hardware from Marathon Hardware

Kitchen Hardware Finish, Feel & Function

You don’t have to match your kitchen hardware to your sink and faucet, but many people do. Whatever you decide, the finishes of your fixtures, cabinet hinges, and kitchen hardware should complement each other. For example, you might match brushed stainless steel with:

  • Black matte,
  • Antique pewter, or
  • Bronze (light, dark, or oil-rubbed). 
Kitchen Hardware Finishes from Marathon Hardware

Or if your faucet is chrome, you might choose kitchen hardware in:

  • Pewter,
  • White,
  • Black, or
  • Clear glass.
Kitchen Hardware Options from Marathon Hardware
Clear Kitchen Hardware Options from Marathon Hardware

The feel of a knob or pull matters, too. Try it out before you make your selection. Do the edges feel sharp? Does it feel too small for your fingers? Are the ridges uncomfortable? 

The functionality of your kitchen hardware might determine some of your selections. Large drawers that hold pots and pans are heavy and require sturdy pulls, for example. Choose higher quality hardware if your kitchen demands durability—for example, if you have multiple family members who frequently use the kitchen throughout the day. 

The Cost of Kitchen Hardware

The quality of your kitchen hardware is reflected in the price. Lower cost knobs and pulls tend to look cheap, and the finishes can wear off over time. Higher quality hardware costs more, but the finishes look nicer and last the lifetime of your kitchen. 

The hardware material will also affect the price. Solid bronze will cost more than nickel, for example. Size makes a difference, too. Naturally, a 20 cm pull will cost more than a 10 cm pull. And any special order hardware will be more expensive. 

Changing Your Kitchen Hardware

Your kitchen hardware is crucial to the look and functionality of your kitchen. But keep in mind that it’s easy to change your knobs and pulls. In fact, changing your kitchen hardware is one of the simplest, most inexpensive ways to update your kitchen and give it a fresh look. 

So you want to choose your kitchen hardware carefully, but remember that your selection doesn’t have to be permanent. 

The Perfect Knobs & Pulls for Your Kitchen

The experienced kitchen designers at Riverstone Kitchens & Renovations can help you choose the right knobs and pulls for your kitchen. We can help you determine your kitchen design style and narrow down your options to fit your budget and meet your needs. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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