Knobs, Pulls and Cup Pulls: Kitchen Puzzle 101

May 26, 2022

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych:

Knobs or pulls? Cup pulls, what are those? Confused? Here’s help.

A knob is usually considered a single-posted cabinet hardware piece used to open cabinet doors, drawers and slide-outs. They are easy to install because you need only one hole and they have one screw to put in.

Sea Life Cabinet Knob Small

Knobs may be the most versatile of the three because they come in such a large variety of choices and materials, and they can be used on any cabinet because they are easy to open with just your fingertips. For the upper cabinets you can use a grabber tool if you need to look into the cabinet and it is easy with a knob (but getting something down with a grabber may not be advisable if it’s too high and/or too heavy).

A pull is usually a double-posted cabinet hardware piece used for the same purpose, but it’s something you can put your hand into and has two mounting posts.

Sea Life Cabinet Knobs Sand Dollar Horizontal Large

A pull can be used on doors, drawers and slide-outs, but it doesn’t always have to go to one side, at the top, or even be vertically oriented. You can put pulls all horizontally, centered at the top of  the cabinet door or drawer if you desire a very high-end, modern vibe. You may not think that it would be comfortable or easy to open a door with the pull that way, but it actually works just fine.

Pulls can be easy to use for many people, children to elderly, and they come in handy to put a dish towel through (if they’re big enough), to hang a sticky note from, to put childproofing locks through. Consider this option if you have small children in the home or soon to be there.

A cup pull is a pull that has three closed sides and you can’t put your hand through it, just into it. If you have a high cabinet that can’t be reached without a step stool, a knob or regular pull may be best for that cabinet. A cup pull may not be easy to open if you have to stretch to reach it and it may create a safety hazard, especially for the elderly, so consider using those on lower cabinets.

Brainerd Davidson Cabinet Pull

The variety of knobs, pulls and cup pulls seems endless. You can find them at big box hardware stores, Mom and Pop places, the local blue with yellow flower store, or individually made by artists on Etsy and eBay, and many other places online and locally. There is an option for you somewhere out there for you to be able to express your personal style with the jewelry of your kitchen.

Whichever you decide to use, be sure to make life easier by purchasing a template to help you get the installation correct on all of the knobs, pulls and cup pulls you wish to use.

Lowe's Amerock Installation Template

Just remember, although there are plenty of suggestions about which you should use, it’s your home. You make the rules. Express yourself in your cabinet jewelry and show a little more of you.

Here at Sea Life Cabinet Knobs we have the perfect knob or pull to express your love of the ocean, shore life, coastal feel. Check out all of our collections!

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