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February 02, 2022 5 min read

Our ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CHOOSING CABINET PULLS FOR YOUR KITCHEN DRAWERS

If you are in the market for pulls for your kitchen, you probably already know that selecting the proper size pull for your kitchen drawers can be tricky.

That's where we come in!

Over the years of selling cabinet hardware, we have compiled a list of common questions about cabinet pull sizes for drawers.

In this, our ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CHOOSING CABINET PULLS FOR YOUR KITCHEN DRAWERS; we are going to tackle some of your burning questions about cabinet pulls and drawers.

 

First, WHAT ARE CABINET DRAWERS?

A cabinet drawer is a box shaped sliding compartment that slides in and out of the cabinets. The box has a front face frame - or the drawer front - and that is where the pull is attached.

The width of this part of the cabinet is very important part of cabinet hardware selection, because that is where the measuring is done.

The width of this part of the cabinet is very important part of cabinet hardware selection, because that is where the measuring is done.

 

ARE ALL KITCHEN DRAWERS THE SAME SIZE?

No, not all drawer sizes are going to be the same width.

Kitchen drawers may vary in size in the same kitchen. You might have small drawers beside appliances like the range or dishwasher, while longer base cabinets may have a bank (stack) of large pots and pan drawers.

Here are some common drawer size widths.

Kitchen drawers may vary in size in the same kitchen. Here are some common drawer size widths.

 

Do Kitchen cabinet Drawers always get a pull?

Generally, yes. Drawers are easier to use when you use a pull handle to open them.

WHAT SIZE PULL SHOULD I USE ON MY DRAWER?

This is the question we get all the time.

How do I know what size pull will look good on my drawer?

While there is no set "rule" to determine the size of your cabinet pull for your kitchen drawers, we generally recommend starting out with the 1/3 guideline.

What is the 1/3 guideline?

The guideline is an easy measuring guide used in cabinet hardware selecting.

WHY USE THE 1/3 GUIDELINE FOR CHOOSING DRAWER PULLS?

Cabinet hardware sizing is all about PROPORTION, BALANCE, and SCALE. And the easy 1/3 guideline is a great jumping-off point.


HOW DOES THE 1/3 guideline work?

The 1/3 guideline means that the pull's overall length is approximately 1/3 of the length of the cabinet drawer.

The 1/3 guideline means that the pull's overall length is approximately 1/3 of the length of the cabinet drawer.

To figure out what a third of your drawer size is, all you have to do is divide the width of your drawer by 3. 

 

DOES THE 1/3 guideline work all the time for every size drawer?

The one third guideline is a general guideline and it is an approximate. Yes the guideline is handy, and yes it works, but don't get too hung up on the math. Remember you are going for proportion and scale!

 

Should I always use different size pulls for different size drawers?

The quick answer is no.

Kitchen cabinet pull placement comes down to a personal choice, and when deciding what size pulls you should use on your cabinet drawers,  there are generally two, equally attractive options.

  • ALL THE PULLS THE SAME SIZE
  • ADJUST THE PULLS TO THE SIZE OF THE DRAWER

      Option One: All pulls the same size:

        All the pulls on every drawer will be the same size no matter of the drawer width.

        For common drawer sizes we find that cabinet pulls in the 3-7-1/2" (hole spacing) are a good fit. 

        For more information on cabinet pull measuring, you can check out this article.

        In this kitchen pictured below, you can see that all the pulls are the same size. Notice how the same size pulls are mounted on drawers of varying widths? It is a really balance cohesive design that works well.
        In this kitchen all the pulls are the same size and mounted on drawers of varying widths.

        OPTION Two: Pull Size Varies with drawer width

        Modify the size of the pull to suit the size of the drawer.

        That means wider drawers would have longer pulls, and smaller drawers would have shorter pulls.

        The 1/3 guide comes in really handy when choosing pulls for this design option.

        The picture below illustrates how different size pulls look on drawers with different widths. Using the one-third guideline to find the proper size of pull creates a balanced, proportional look.
        The picture below illustrates how different size pulls look on drawers with different widths. Using the one-third guideline to find the proper size of pull creates a balanced, proportional look.

        What size pulls should I use on oversized kitchen drawers or drawers that are 36 inches or wider?

        For choosing pull sizes on oversized drawers you have three basic options.
        • One long pull - using the 1/3 proportion
        • Two smaller pulls
        • One pull - any size - not using the 1/3 proportion

         

        Option one: Wide drawers and one long pull

        Long drawers and one long pull

        For this look you would use the 1/3 guideline to find a pull that is proportionally scaled to the size of the drawer. Generally the pulls would be at least 10 inches long.

        If  you are going for one long pull on the wide drawers, then you may want to consider choosing European bar pulls for your kitchen. These pulls typically come in longer lengths, like 10 inches overall and are gorgeous!

         Brushed brass bar pull for kitchen cabinets

        This picture features a kitchen with a long cabinet pull placed on wide drawers. The bank of drawers on either side of the range are not only functional, but beautiful too!
         This picture features a kitchen with a long cabinet pull placed on wide drawers. The bank of drawers on either side of the range are not only functional, but beautiful too!

         

        Option two: Wide drawers and two pulls

         For oversized drawers, having two pulls mounted on one drawer is an excellent option not only for design but for function as well

        For oversized drawers, having two pulls mounted on one drawer is an excellent option not only for design but also for function. Wide drawers are often deep and hold a lot of stuff, and sometimes they can get heavy. Consider what you will use the drawer for, and it may help you decide pull placement.

        To get your  approximate size of each pull, just divide the length of the drawer by two, which will give you the 1/2 size of the drawer, and then refer back to your 1/3 guideline and go from there.

         

        These gorgeous white shaker drawers sport a pair of 5-inch cabinet pulls in the brushed gold finish. The two-pulls-to-one drawer look is both attractive and practical. 
         
        These gorgeous white shaker drawers are sporting two 5 inch cabinet pulls in the brushed gold finish.

         

        Option three: Wide drawers and one smaller pull:

         

        For this look, don't fret about the 1/3 rule, and keep all your cabinet pulls the same size - and it will look fantastic!
         

        As we mentioned, it is not uncommon to keep all drawer pulls the same size throughout the kitchen. This balanced, cohesive look is popular and looks great and yes, they still look great on the wide drawers. 

        For this look, don't fret about the 1/3 rule, and keep all your cabinet pulls the same size - and it will look fantastic!

        The cabinet pulls in this cheery kitchen are all the same size and strike a balanced look on long drawers and shorter drawers alike. 
        The cabinet pulls in this cheery kitchen are all the same size and strike a balanced look on long drawers and shorter drawers alike.

         

        WRAP UP

        How to choose the right size pull for your kitchen cabinet drawer is all about the proportion. We hope that this guide about cabinet pull handles helped to answer some questions about cabinet pull placement and sizing.

         

        Black 5 inch kitchen handle


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