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Knobs VS Pulls

Posted by kem92 (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 10, 12 at 18:39

I'm am the process of finalizing my kitchen remodeling. One of my last decisions is the hardware for the cabinets. I'm thinking of putting cup pulls on my mission style quarter sawn oak cabinets with an amaretto stain. My DH wants pulls for the upper cabinets and I'm thinking of knobs. Any pros or cons about either of these would be appreciated! Also thinking about doing the finish in a satin nickel. My decision has to be made soon.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

We did a mix of knobs and pulls....


Pulls on drawers and cabinets, knobs on upper decorative cabinets and doors.

I like the cup pulls, but GF didn't like them...afraid of what could be hiding in there....skeeved her out.


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

I had planned on all pulls for my shaker cabs, but then I decided I like the simpler look of knobs on cabinets and pulls on the drawers. Combining pulls and cup pulls seems like hardware overkill.

Aren't knobs more in keeping with the mission style?


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

Pulls vs knobs on uppers is just personal preference. Some of us don't like knobs on lowers because they can catch on clothing, but that doesn't bother everyone. Many people have posted lovely kitchens with cup pulls, but I prefer open pulls so I can grab them either from above or below. Satin nickel would not be the first thing I'd think with mission-style QS oak -- not that it isn't a nice enough finish, but it reads contemporary to my eyes. Dark-stained QS oak harks back to the early part of the 20th century (and I love it by the way).

I didn't realize until our pulls had been installed that they are almost exactly the same as the ones on our very old Mission/Craftsman style QS oak filing cabinet. The old pulls are some kind of dark gold-toned metal -- I am guessing brass or bronze. The antique brass (not ORB) that you can find now is similar though ours is more muted. It's very handsome with the dark oak.

I don't have a picture of the old pulls but this is what our new kitchen ones look like. Very, very similar but the color is different.

p.s. We did knobs on our uppers but it really could have gone either way. Since our cabs are white and the hardware is dark, knobs are less of a Statement than pulls would have been.


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

I think cup pull on the uppers would be difficult to open since you can't grip them from the top (unless you mount them upside down which would be kinda strange). If you're short, you'd also be looking into the cup rather than at the decorative outer portion too..which would bug me. I vote for knobs or open pulls. We did a mixture of knobs and open pulls on ours. I'm not fond of the cup pulls...something about putting fingers into a cavelike interior...I've always been told not to stick my finger into a place I can't see...haha..might be spiders lurking in the dark.....


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

we did knobs on upper cabs and a mix of pulls and knobs on lower.

DH did not like cup pulls and they really didn't go with our kitchen.

agree with annie on skeeve factor and northcrlna with option to pull on top or bottom regarding cup pulls.

not loving satin nickel on QS oak..would go with dark hardware...IMHO

good luck!!


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

Ha! Guilty of Hardware Overkill: Knobs on uppers and a mix of cups and pulls on lowers.

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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

No, you've got knobs! Hardware overkill is all pulls on uppers and cup pulls on lowers. ;)

Where are more photos of your gorgeous kitchen?? I love the little drawers under the cabinets.


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

Thanks for all the new insights about my questions. Annie, what a beautiful kitchen and the stain darkness is similar to what I ordered. I had the same feeling as GH about the cup pulls but thought it was just me!!Northcarolina, I like your pull that was pictured. Could you give me some info about it? Claybake, your kitchen is beautiful also. Please post more photos. I'm going to look at dark hardware on the Amerock site. Kitchen remodel is suppose to begin on Friday and I can't wait!


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

We went with a mix of pulls, knobs and icebox type hardware. We found a great assortment on houseofantiquehardware.com. It ended up being real quality hardware.

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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

This is the kitchen in our old house, a 1916 Arts/Crafts Bungalow. We renovated the kitchen in 2001. Hardware was from Van Dykes Restorers. I loved the bin pulls because they were wider than most (4+ inches), and the upper cabinet hardware was from the same collection, just in a pull style. I believe they were satin nickel, or pewter. Can't remember for sure. I'm not a fan of knobs, just a personal thing.

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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

We are planning on aging in place--so we will be doing pulls. Pulls are easier for arthritic hands/fingers than knobs.


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

kem92, my hardware is Amerock Westerly in graphite. We used pulls on all the lowers and T-knobs on the uppers. msjee's point about hardware being easy to grasp is one we thought about too -- the T-knobs can be managed very well with one finger.

For me it is hard to know what hardware will look best until everything else is in place. We are lucky to have a store nearby that stocks a large selection of cabinet hardware, so I was able to wait till the last minute to decide and also to test it out in person before I committed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amerock Westerly


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

One thing I noticed about knobs in particular was many had very little room behind the knob to slide your fingers, so you HAD to pinch them to pull on them. I tend to slide a couple of fingers behind the knob and pull, so I tested (for hours) all the possible candidates. I ordered some online as well, as samples to try.

And the finish on the backsides of many knobs, pulls and cups is rough, another thing that irritated me. Finally, the space inside the pull or cup is quite variable and there were definitely some that were easier/more comfortable, and would be easier on your cabs (less likely to wear behind the pull) than others. Really worth trying out all your contenders.


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

I used cup pulls on my drawers and knobs on my uppers. I like the way it functions but you should also consider the size of your drawers and how the pull looks on that size drawer. Sometimes a non cup pull can look out of scale unless you do two.

P.S. nothing hides in my cup pulls. I open them with clean hands and they stay clean except for collecting a little dust on the top (exterior)


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

Call me a wackadoodle. I prefer pulls so I even did them on my uppers. I only used knobs on my dish hutch (just out of frame on the right). I considered cup pulls, but not being able to grab one from all sides to open would have really irritated me.

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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

breezygirl, I like the horizontal placement of the upper pulls. I'm a visual person and your picture helped alot!


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

northcarolina--I've bookmarked the hardware site you've linked. Some nice stuff there!


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

We were feeling pretty anti-knob when we did our kitchen - probably because of what Claybabe mentions - so many of the knobs that I've used don't have an ergonomic shape and one has to pinch them use.

We did cup pulls on drawers and pulls on doors - ones with simple lines that went with the transitional look we wanted and I don't feel that it's overkill.

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For our family room cabinets, we decided we wanted the furniture look of knobs. We looked at quite a few and decided that we wanted wood knobs but weren't happy with the ones we could buy so my husband turned them out of walnut from our neighborhood. I saw a shape in a magazine (Fine Woodworking) that looked comfortable and, starting from there, he made a number of test knobs tweaking the shape until we were happy with it. We ended up with something similar to Claybabe's knobs - something that stands out from the cabinet enough to have plenty of finger room behind it and with a taper to the back that fits the curve of fingers well. They are as easy to use as a pull.

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I guess we are tactile people because the feel of the hardware was very important to us. There is good and bad hardware of every kind as far as finish and ergonomics. Some cup pulls seem to be made of stamped sheet metal instead of cast and they have a thin edge isn't comfortable. Some pulls have a taper that can pinch fingers a bit under the end of the pull as your hand moves.

The pulls and cup pulls we chose were wider than the standard 3" so they have room for all fingers and they have a nice smooth comfortable finish.

With 5 adults and 3 children using our kitchen, we haven't run into any issues of gunk under the cup pulls. If people are using pulls with dirty hands, they're going to get the stuff in the drawers or cabinets messy.


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

We did both.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

We did both.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

Dont you hate it when you walk up to a commercial establishment and they have a handle to pull the exterior door open, only to require a "PUSH"? They should have a flat plate to push on the outside, not a pull handle!

My logic for knob vs pull is that the device should communicate the movement of the door. i.e, a drawer/slide out motion deserves a PULL. A hinged door deserves a KNOB. These shapes tell the user how the door panel will open when manipulated, without having to try to use it to find out what happens.


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

Hi Breezygirl, I looked at your photos-what a gorgeous kitchen. I am planning on doing my dish and cutlery storage in a similar type of cabinet. What type of pulls did you use for that cabinet-I couldn't tell. I am loving pulls right now. We have had knobs for the past 18 years and we need a change.

And I loved seeing your "helpers" in the DW! Too cute!


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

Dont you hate it when you walk up to a commercial establishment and they have a handle to pull the exterior door open, only to require a "PUSH"? They should have a flat plate to push on the outside, not a pull handle!

My logic for knob vs pull is that the device should communicate the movement of the door. i.e, a drawer/slide out motion deserves a PULL. A hinged door deserves a KNOB. These shapes tell the user how the door panel will open when manipulated, without having to try to use it to find out what happens.


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

Charlie horse, I don't follow your logic at all. Pulls work at least as well as knobs for doors. To some extent they work slightly better because the pull can rotate in your grasp as you swing the door open. Your hand angle doesn't have to change while for a knob the hand has to rotate position a bit to follow the knob angle as the door swings. Not that that is a big deal, but a very tiny advantage to pull.

In our kitchen, there are cup pulls for drawers and regular pulls for doors but our family room cabinets have knobs for both. It is still easy to look at the handle and tell which you have because the knobs are at the edge of the doors and centered in the drawers. (And the drawers have slab fronts vs. 5-piece doors.)

And what I hate at one mall is they have the letters PULL on the outside of the glass doors. But since the letters are equally visible from the inside side of the door and I'm dyslexic, I walk up to the door from the inside, read "PULL" and it doesn't register that it's backwards and I pull.


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

Chicgeek--I just saw your comments. I'll get back to answer your question later. Probably in a separate thread though so as not to hijack the OP. :)


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

I vote for knobs too.. i have 1-3/4" knobs on all my cabs and drawers.


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

cloud_swift, I agree pulls can also work well for doors, when mounted vertically. When horizontal to me this does not communicate to the user how the door will move when pulled -- i.e, which side the hinges are on, unless you shift it off-center. My point of using knobs on doors and pulls on drawers is that it is one way to consistently communicate the motion/action differences between the mechanisms of slides vs. hinges..


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

All knobs, all the time.


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

We used cup pulls on all drawers and knobs on all cabinet doors. I am happy with the look and ease of use and plan on doing it again in my new house!


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RE: Knobs VS Pulls

I think a mix combination will be a plus. You can consider having the knobs for your cabinet doors and pulls for the drawers.


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