Many who install brand-new cabinets in their kitchen opt to leave their cabinets without handles or knobs because they like the clean look and can function just as well without them, but still many others enjoy the convenience that comes with adding handles and knobs to cabinets. Plus, handles and knobs can add to the variety of materials and textures in your kitchen, keeping it interesting and modern looking. Here is a guide to choosing the best handles and knobs for your cabinets.

Knobs, handles, or both?

First, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to install handles or knobs on your cabinets and drawers. The key thing to remember here is consistency. If you want knobs, then be sure to install knobs on all of your cabinet doors and drawers. If you want just handles, then be sure to install handles on all of your cabinet doors and drawers. If you want to use a combination of the two, the most common way that homeowners do this is to use handles for drawers and coordinating knobs for cabinet doors.

Why would you choose knobs? Many simply like the look of having all knobs better, and there are some great decorative options to go with if you’re going with knobs.

Why would you choose handles? Still others prefer the aesthetics of having handles on both cabinets and drawers, and they can offer an added measure of functionality as well—they’re easier to grab.

Why would you choose both? Using handles for drawers and knobs for shaker and other cabinets can make it even easier to differentiate between drawers and cabinets in the kitchen, and it can add interest to the overall look of your kitchen, as well.

Which style?

Whether you go with handles, knobs, or a combination of the two, you’re going to need to make some decisions about style. Take look at our page of cabinet knobs and handles for a look at the different styles you’ll have to choose from.

Going for something modern? (This is perfect for our shaker cabinets, by the way.) Think geometric. Knobs will be perfect circles or ovals and will be free of any extra details. Handles will either be simple arches or will feature all right angles—again, without extra details.

Going for a contemporary look without being too modern? (This is perfect for either of our cabinet styles.) You’ll want something simple that doesn’t have quite the clean, crisp lines that you’ll find in modern cabinet hardware. Look for knobs and handles that feature gentle arches but that are still free of any intricate details.

Going for a traditional look? (This is perfect for our glazed and stain cabinets.) Look for knobs and handles that feature delicate arches and added intricate details.

Which color?

Ultimately, this is completely up to you. Dark grey, almost-black hardware can look stunning on white cabinets, while lighter silver hardware will have a more toned-down look. Dark hardware can have an especially rustic or traditional look on darker glazed cabinets. One great rule of thumb here is to match your hardware to what’s installed at your sink.