From handles and hinges to latches and catches, here’s what you need to know about the different kinds of cabinet hardware on the market.

They say that design is in the details, and when it comes to the hardware on drawers, cabinets, and other storage millwork, we’d have to agree. You may have noticed how swapping out the knobs on a piece of furniture gives it a whole new look, or how using a specific type of hinge on a cabinet door can transform a kitchen. It can be hard to get a handle on the different options for cabinet hardware out there—especially when some are hidden—so read on as we demystify the different types of cabinet hardware for kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of the home. 

Part I: Handles

Cabinetmaker Ben Wilborn carefully matched the grain of the cabinets, which hold everything from dishes to a television, while a steel niche for the dining table leaf doubles as a display space.

Cabinetmaker Ben Wilborn carefully matched the grain of the cabinets, which hold everything from dishes to a television, while a steel niche for the dining table leaf doubles as a display space.

Photo: Kat Alves

There are just as many types of cabinet handles out there as there are types of cabinets, but the most common ones you’ll see are knobs, pulls, cut-outs, and “invisible” spring hardware.

Knobs



Bar in the dining room with a patterned tile from the Modern line at Ann Sacks.

Bar in the dining room with a patterned tile from the Modern line at Ann Sacks.

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann

Knobs, which are attached with a single screw, are most frequently used on cabinets, and are available with a built-in screw, known as a one-piece knob, or with a separate top and fastener, known as a two-piece design. Knobs are made in a variety of materials including brass, zinc, stainless steel (sometimes found in kitchens), bronze, glass, crystal, plastic, wood, and other natural and man-made materials. They also come in a range of shapes and sizes, but are often designed for comfort and ergonomics, so there are rarely sharp edges that could potentially hurt someone pulling on it.

Pulls

Havart designed the open shelving, which is coated with the same black finish as the cabinets. The lowest, walnut shelf matches the adjacent kitchen table.

Havart designed the open shelving, which is coated with the same black finish as the cabinets. The lowest, walnut shelf matches the adjacent kitchen table.

Photo: Alexi Hobbs

See the full story on Dwell.com: Get a Grip: A Practical Guide to Cabinet Hardware

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