How do I Choose the Best Kitchen Cabinet Knobs?

Sheri Cyprus

Kitchen cabinet knobs can really change the look of your cabinets. The best knobs and handles not only suit the cabinet style, but also add to the theme or mood of your kitchen. For example, the warm appeal of hammered copper cupboard handles blends well with rustic kitchens, while the cool sparkle of crystal knobs looks elegant against dark wood cabinets.

Kitchen cabinet knobs may be painted to achieve a new look.
Kitchen cabinet knobs may be painted to achieve a new look.

If you’re on a budget, painting old cabinet knobs and kitchen drawer pulls can add a new look to cabinets. This idea works if the cabinets need refinishing as the knobs can then be painted to suit the new look. Metallic paints can add the look of nickel or brass.

Kitchen with round cabinet knobs.
Kitchen with round cabinet knobs.

The other option for changing kitchen cabinet knobs is to purchase new ones. The two main types of cabinet fixtures for kitchens are circular pulls and metal bars. The round pulls tend to be old-fashioned, while the metal bar handles are often more contemporary. Cabinet pulls can be made more modern by painting them metallic silver. Metal bar cabinet door handles are usually silver-colored and narrow; this style is often seen with darker wood toned cabinets.

Silver colored cabinet knobs work in some kitchens with stainless steel sinks and appliances.
Silver colored cabinet knobs work in some kitchens with stainless steel sinks and appliances.

Some styles of kitchen cabinets are designed to open at the side of the door, so they don’t have outer knobs. When re-facing cupboard doors as part of a remodeling project, new knobs can still be added to these self-opening styles. Consider adding knobs or handles that create visual interest. Careful planning is needed as holes will need to be drilled in the cabinet doors to add the new knobs.

It’s easy to find interesting kitchen cabinet knobs for theme kitchens due to the wide selection available today. For example, there are colorful fish shaped ceramic knobs for tropical or beach themed kitchens and animal shaped cupboard pulls for a country kitchen theme. Gold colored cabinet knobs work in some kitchens although silver colored handles coordinate better with stainless steel sinks and appliances.

Although kitchen cabinet knobs are small objects, keep in mind that one on each cupboard door creates an overall design impact. Further impact can be created by choosing cabinet knobs that contrast in color and texture with the cabinets. If less impact is desired, cabinet knobs may be made of the same material and in the same color as the kitchen cabinets. The most important thing to remember when choosing cabinet knobs to coordinate with cabinets is to keep the kitchen’s overall tone in mind, whether it’s country, elegant, whimsical or traditional.

Some cabinets and drawers in contemporary kitchens don't have knobs or pulls.
Some cabinets and drawers in contemporary kitchens don't have knobs or pulls.

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Discussion Comments


Most of the places where I have lived had dark kitchen cabinets. I always wanted a white kitchen with white cabinets. Many people say these would be too hard to keep clean, but I love them.

I am single and don't have to worry so much about fingerprints and a lot of mess in my kitchen. I have glass kitchen cabinet knobs on the cabinets that add an elegant touch.

I really enjoy having a kitchen that is so bright and inviting. Even though I don't spend a whole lot of time here, it is a look that I really enjoy after so many years of dark kitchen cabinets.


If you have a lot of kitchen cabinets that need new knobs, the price can add up more quickly than you realize. I wanted to update the look of my kitchen and thought that buying new decorative kitchen cabinet knobs would be a cheap way to do this.

While this was much cheaper than buying new cabinets, I was surprised at how much the new knobs would cost. Once I got over the sticker shock and got them installed, I have been very happy with them.

I think it does pay to shop around. If you come across a retailer who is closing out a particular style, you can usually get these at a good discount.


I never realized there were so many different choices for kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls until I had to choose some new ones. I had a hard time narrowing it down to just one.

I knew I wanted something that was sleek and modern, but blended in well with the cabinets. I am one who always looks at the practical side of things before anything else. When it came to choosing new kitchen cabinet knobs, it was a harder decision than I thought it would be.


Something as small as kitchen cabinet door knobs really can make a big difference in the look of your kitchen. If you are wanting to change your look, and don't have a lot of money, this is one inexpensive way to do it.

One of my friends is very artistic and creative and doesn't have a lot of extra money. She has a different knob on each of her kitchen cabinets. This might sound kind of strange, but the way she has her kitchen decorated, these fit right in.

It is a very whimsical, busy look that perfectly fits her personality and decor, and she didn't spend much money to do it.

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