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February 13, 2020 3 min read

Some of the most frequent questions that we get concern the dimensions of cabinet pulls, how to know what size to buy, or how to measure your existing hole spacing.

Let's start by explaining the most common dimensions of cabinet and drawer pulls. As a visual aid, please refer to the diagram of the Cosmas 4390SN Satin Nickel Cabinet Pull:


Sketch of a Cosmas cabinet pull indicating the hole spacing and overall length


  • Length: Sometimes referred to as "overall length" or "total length", this dimension is the most obvious. Length refers to the distance from one end of the cabinet pull to the other. In the diagram above, the length is 4".


  • Width: The width refers to the vertical distance across the face of the pull, of the pull were installed on a horizontal plane. Because some cabinet pulls do not have a consistent dimension across the face, this dimension usually refers to the widest point on the face. In the diagram above, the width is 1/2".


  • Projection: This is usually the dimension that confuses people the most. Projection is the amount that the drawer pull projects, or "sticks out" from the drawer or cabinet face. It is measured from the bottom of the base of the pull to the outermost point. On the pull above, the projection is 1-1/16".


  • Hole Spacing: The hole spacing of a pull is sometime referred to as "hole centers", or "CTC" (center-to-center). As the latter two references imply, it is the distance between the center-points of the two screw holes, whether you are measuring the existing holes in your drawers or cabinets or between the two holes on the backside of a cabinet pull. Hole spacing does not refer to the distance between the two screw holes, which is why we added emphasis on center-points.


It is worth noting that the dimensions of cabinet hardware are often provided in metric measurements. The United States is one of only three countries in the entire world that has not adopted the metric system as it's official system of weights and measures. For this reason, cabinet hardware is usually manufactured to metric dimensions. These dimensions are then converted into the closest approximation using customary units (USCS), the system used by the United States.

Why does this matter? The term "approximation" is the key term to focus on. Although the conversions between the metric measurements that the cabinet pulls actually use, and the customary unit measurements that are provided are very close, they are not exact.

For example, a cabinet pull that is listed as have 3-3/4" hole spacing is most likely 96mm, and 96mm is exactly 3.78 inches in reality, not 3-3/4".

For this reason, we have a few tips to offer when measuring hole spacing for cabinet hardware:

  1. Measure metrically. Millimeters are smaller and more accurate than the smallest unit found on most tape measures, which is 1/16".
  2. Make sure the hole-spacing listed on the pulls that you are interested in are given in metric units (see chart below)
Metric Dimension Customary Unit Approximate Conversion
















We hope that this article has helped explain how to measure your cabinet pulls, and understand the different dimensions that are used. Now all you have to do is decide on the style and finish that best suits your project!


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