Choosing the Right Cabinet Hardware Pull Size

Sean Ahern | Kitchen Designer | Dean Cabinetry

By: Sebastian Nagpal

Details are what bring life to every kitchen. The conglomeration of these elements create the personality of the space; this is what truly makes it yours! A design component that will help bring your kitchen style from dreams to fruition is hardware that fits your vision.  

After choosing the style of hardware you love, it is crucial to purchase the appropriate size for your drawer fronts and doors.

How do you decide what size hardware works best for your cabinets? 

The image below is a great way to visualize particular hardware sizes on various door and drawer heights and lengths respectively.  Each color on the diagram represents a particular size pull described below:

kitchen hardware size chart
Dean Cabinetry Hardware Size Chart

Green – 3 inches

Purple ~ 3 ¾ inches

Blue ~ 5 inches

Pink ~ 6 ¼ inches

Brown ~ 10 inches 

Let’s break the diagram into two parts: cabinet doors (section 1) and drawer fronts (section 2).

The first section of the diagram shows 3 different cabinet door heights of 24 inches, 30 inches, and 42 inches.  The first row of doors are 42 inches tall. The second row of doors are 30 inches tall, while the third set of doors are 42 inches tall.  The five columns of door cabinets are broken down into hardware size. The first column of doors have 3-inch-long pulls. The second column of doors have ~3 ¾ inch long pulls, and so on. 

The second portion of the diagram shows six varying drawer front: 9 inches, 16 inches, 18 inches, 24 inches, 30 inches, and 36 inches.  The first column of drawer fronts are 9 inches wide, the second column drawer fronts are 16 inches wide, etc. Each of the five rows in this portion of the diagram represent the five pull sizes previously described.  The sixth row depicts a more traditional style pull called “cup pulls.” 

white cabinets with built in oven
Custom Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Pulls

Hardware size can greatly impact the look of the cabinetry. 

As the size of the hardware increases, the more the design style shifts from modern to contemporary.  For example, if we compare the image of the 24-inch tall cabinet with 3 inch hardware to the 24-inch tall cabinet with 10-inch pulls, the focus of the 3-inch piece of hardware was chosen in regard to form and function. These are two major characteristics of modern design.  On the other hand, the 10-inch-long pull, which is more contemporary, sharply contrasts the visual balance between the hardware and the cabinet door we are accustomed to seeing. 

In the last column of the bottom half of the diagram, you may notice that some drawer fronts have two pieces of hardware. When working with a 36” base cabinet or larger, having two pieces of hardware is a design choice you may want to consider, especially if the hardware is a knob. However, because most hardware pulls come in various lengths, it is common to see one pull on the drawer front. This decision ultimately comes down to the overall design concept of your kitchen. 

gold kitchen pulls
Custom Kitchen Island Hardware Pulls

Once you have ordered the sizes of hardware, you are all set for the most gratifying part of this process: hardware installation!  A good installer will always ask you where exactly you would like your hardware on the cabinetry. This is crucial in avoiding unnecessary and unwanted drill holes in your cabinet doors and drawer fronts.  It’s most common to have the drawer pulls installed in the center panel of the drawer front. The door pulls are installed on the door styles (vertical pieces of the door border) of the cabinet. Finally, with the installation of the hardware, you are ready to use your cabinets!