Kitchen Cabinet Handles: How to Choose your Kitchen Hardware

Selecting kitchen cabinet handles may seem like a trivial task however, it is an all important element of the kitchen design process and one that should not be overlooked. The type of kitchen cabinet handle you select plays a part in the overall style of the design as well as your comfort in the space so it is always important to take the time to weigh up your options and select the handle that will best suit you design style and your needs.

The best place to start is to speak with your Kitchen Designer to arrange samples or visit your local hardware store to both view and test the ranges available. Our handy guide will make sure you’ve covered all the bases when selecting the best kitchen cabinet handles for your new design!

Determine your Kitchen Design Style

The first thing to consider is the overall kitchen design style you want to achieve in this space: are you going for a traditional, classic design or keeping the space super sleek and modern?

This will determine the styles of kitchen cabinet handles you should be looking at in order to keep your design scheme consistent. Determining your kitchen design style will also help narrow down your choices, making the task seem a little less overwhelming!

Types of Kitchen Cabinet Handles

Based on your kitchen design style, you can narrow down your options to cabinetry handles that will tie in well with your creative vision. For example, a handle-less option will suit a sleek and minimal kitchen design scheme very well whereas a more traditional kitchen may call for antique or brass finished handles.

Types of handles include:

  • Antique or Vintage Styled Handles: These are usually more ornate and feature patterns, carvings and shapes. There are several different finishes to consider ranging from bright gold, matt black, stainless steel, chrome or brass to name a few.
  • Minimalist Handles: Minimalist handles refer to designs that are simple and functional such as stainless steel or chrome bar handles with minimal detailing or pattern. These options tend to blend in well with more modern or contemporary kitchen design schemes.
  • Touch Catches: Installing touch catches (such as Blum’s Tip-On) means you do not require handles but rather, you would give your cabinet door or drawer face a slight nudge or poke and the door will open. As you will be touching the surface of your cabinetry, it is important to consider the type of cabinet finish you choose: A high gloss cabinet finish will show up fingerprints whereas a textured surface for example, will not.
  • Electronic Systems: Electronic opening systems such as Blum’s Servo Drive products, are similar to the touch catches but are powered electronically to automatically open and close your drawers or cupboards. Once again, you will be touching the surface of your cabinetry so do consider your cabinetry finish carefully. You will find more information on cabinetry finish options in our guide.
  • Other Handle-Less Designs: Other handle-less designs include finger grips or aluminium finger pulls installed onto either the top or bottom of each kitchen cupboard or drawer face. There are several different styles available; some have the added benefit of being manufactured in a way that will not encroach into your cabinet’s space whereas other styles do take up a lot of valuable storage space within your kitchen cupboards. This type of handle may not be appropriate for those who have difficulties with movement/strength in their hands so it is important to test out all options prior to making a final decision.
Kitchen Cabinet Handles_Modern Kitchen Design
This modern kitchen design scheme uses finger pulls to create a stylish shadow effect across the tops of each individual cupboard or drawer – An excellent choice for a modern look! Image: Pexels

Ease of Use

As noted above, each different handle poses different styles of use. Ensure your handle selection is easy for you to use: it may look amazing but it may just be a little too uncomfortable to get used to! Ensure your handles have enough space for you to grasp onto and comfortably suit your needs. As mentioned previously, it pays to visit your local hardware store or handle shop to actually see and test out your selected handles prior to making a commitment.


An often overlooked factor when selecting kitchen cupboard handles, it is important to take hygiene into consideration during your selection. Kitchen cabinet handles that feature ornate patterns can get a little grimy; polished chrome handles will show up fingerprints; handle-less designs can lead to fingerprints and marks on your kitchen cabinetry. The patterning, colour and finish of your handles will determine just how much effort they will need to keep clean and tidy so this is an important factor that should be taken into consideration when making your selections.

Sizes of Kitchen Cabinet Handles

Once you’ve settled on your handle have a look at what sizes they are available in and choose a size that will not only be comfortable for you to use properly but also be in proportion with the size of your cabinetry. Most kitchen cupboard handles are available in a range of different sizes so you have the option of using the smallest version of your selected handle on your narrow kitchen cabinets and the larger size for wider cabinets (such as wide, heavy pot drawers for example) to keep the style uniform and in proportion to the overall kitchen design and style.

Colours & Finishes

Each handle is usually available in a variety of different colours and finishes such as black, white, polished chrome, brushed chrome, stainless steel, bright gold and even timber handles. Consider which colour and finish is suitable for your selected kitchen design style while also tying in well with your metallic finishes in the space such as your appliances and tapware for example, and finalise your selection, adding that perfect finishing touch to your new kitchen!

Black kitchen cabinet handles
Matte black kitchen cupboard handles are the perfect complement to black features in your kitchen design scheme, effectively tying the whole look together. Image: Pexels

Your kitchen cupboard handles should not only complement the overall kitchen design style but also be simple and comfortable to operate; after all, they will be used almost every single day so ensuring the perfect selection will ensure a kitchen design you will enjoy for many years to come!