A Guide To Choosing Kitchen Cabinet Fittings

Whether you’re building your kitchen from new, or simply giving a fresh look to your existing cabinets with a lick of paint and a hardware update, choosing the right handles can be an overwhelming task. At W&S, our philosophy has always been to seek function and beauty in equal measure, and this is especially true for cabinet furniture. For many of us, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we cook, eat, socialise and unwind, and this space should reflect our personal style so that we feel completely at ease, while also standing up to daily use and the occasional recipe disaster! Taking the time to make the right selection will leave you with fittings that stand the test of time and won’t need replacing again in a few years.
When shopping for your kitchen cabinet fittings, there are two types to choose between – knobs and pulls. Pulls can be divided into three types – hooded pulls (also called cup handles), rod pulls (also called bar pulls), and edge pulls.
All of these handles are available in a wide variety of sizes, designs, and finishes. While there are no ‘rules’ to choosing your kitchen cabinet fittings, we’re often asked by customers what we recommend, so we’ve put together some guidelines to point you in the right direction.
Distressed antique brass cabinet fittings on pale blue cabinet



  • Cabinet knobs are sold singularly, and secure with a bolt that will go all the way through your drawer/cupboard and screw into the back of the cabinet knob. The bolt won’t be visible once the cabinet knob is fitted. In our range of cabinet knobs, some designs have backplates, some don’t, and some have removable backplates.
  • Hooded pulls sit flush against the drawer/cupboard along the top and remain open at the bottom so that you can cup your fingers underneath and pull the cabinet open. These are usually screwed into the surface of the cabinet door to secure, so the screws are visible from the front (surface mounted). Some designs, such as our Regency Concealed Drawer Pulls, are secured with screws that go through the door (bolt-through), so the screws remain hidden.
  • Rod pulls are a simple bar shape that’s secured to the door with a screw at each end. These can either have bolt-through fixings so the screws aren’t visible (like these Elegance Pull Handles) or be surface-mounted (like our Reeded Pull Handles).
  • Edge pulls are fitted to the top edge of a cabinet or drawer using screws, so that none of the fittings will be visible when the cabinet is closed. These pulls have a ‘lip’ that you can hook your fingers under to pull the cabinet open.

Generally, we recommend knobs for cupboards and pulls for drawers as these tend to be the most comfortable to use, but we’ve seen plenty of gorgeous kitchens that use all knobs, or all pulls for both cupboards and drawers. Bar pull handles used vertically are also a lovely option for cupboards.
Heavier doors such as those used for bin cupboards, built in fridges or pantries will benefit from a pull which is secured with two bolts for a stronger grip, and will be more comfortable on your hand.

Brass edge and rod pulls on stone coloured cabinets  


Fittings will add the finishing touch to your space and tie the room together, so consider any themes or eras that you’d like to evoke. If you own a period property, perhaps you’d like your fittings to mimic the original, or just be in keeping with the age. Even if the basic fit out of your kitchen is fairly simple and functional, ornate cabinet knobs can help to create a more traditional look. Alternatively, an edge pull fitted discretely at the top of a cabinet will lend a sleek and stylish touch to contemporary kitchens. For Shaker style kitchens, simple Polished Brass or Polished Nickel cabinet knobs like our Cottage Bun Cabinet Knobs are a lovely option.

black ceramic cabinet knobs in a variety of sizes



A plain, polished finish (like one of our all-time favourites Polished Nickel and Polished Brass) are great ‘all-rounders’ as they work equally well in traditional settings as in contemporary kitchens. As these finishes are unlacquered they can be polished regularly to maintain their shine, or left to dull down and tarnish over time for an authentic antique appearance.
For a modern update on these classics, why not consider a satin finish, which has more of a contemporary feel than polished finishes. For kitchens that sit somewhere between classic and contemporary, an aged finish can soften the appearance of a modern cabinet knob design, like our Fusion T-Bar Cabinet Knobs in Distressed Antique Brass.
As well as appearance, consider longevity and durability when selecting the finish. Remember that we don’t recommend using any harsh cleaning chemicals or polishes on applied finishes such as Distressed Antique Brass or Aged Brass, but polished finishes can be polished as often as you like with a good brand of silver or brass polish.
TOP TIP: Check the lead time for the fittings you’re considering. While we aim to hold good stock of our products, some designs are made to order in the foundry which can take a few weeks, so check in with us before making your selections to ensure your order will be ready in time for your kitchen fitting.
Satin nickel elegance pull handle



When it comes to the size of your kitchen cabinet fittings, consider functionality as well as aesthetics. You may be looking for discrete fittings that will let your cabinet carpentry shine, or perhaps you’d like your handles to make a statement, so feel free to size up or down depending on preference.

TOP TIP: Cutting out paper templates and sticking them to your cabinets will help give you an idea of different sized fittings in proportion to your doors and drawers.

Generally, we recommend the below sizes:

  • Small Drawers (300mm wide or less) – Pull between 80-100mm length, or cabinet knob between 20-30mm diameter
  • Medium Drawers (300mm – 750mm) – Pull between 120-200mm length, or cabinet knob between 30- 40mm
  • Large Drawers (750mm + longer) – Pull between 120-200mm long, or cabinet knob between 30-40mm. For wider drawers, using two cabinet knobs or two small pulls is a great option.

The projection of cabinet knobs and pulls will vary depending on design, so be sure to check this dimension (particularly if you have a narrow galley kitchen).


Looking for further inspiration?

See our top picks below for common kitchen styles:

Shaker Style Kitchen

shaker style kitchen cabinet fittings

The classic kitchen design above shows our polished brass round ball cabinet knobs, used without their backplates, which gives them a lovely elegant feel. Other products which suit shaker cabinets (as shown above) include;

Cottage Bun Cabinet Knobs - Brass
Drum Pull Handle – Distressed Antique Brass
Polished Nickel Cabinet Knob




Farmhouse kitchen inspiration and related cabinet fittings

 Products to suit a cottage kitchen (as shown above) include;

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)



 Victorian style kitchen and related cabinet fittings

  Products to suit a Victorian style kitchen (as shown above) include;

'D' Shaped Pull Handle - Brass
Nickel Scalloped Hooded Drawer Pull
Brass Beehive Cabinet Knob

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)



Modern style kitchen inspiration and related cabinet fittings

  Products to suit a modern kitchen (as shown above) include;

Drum Cabinet Knob – Satin Nickel