How To: Cabinet Knob And Pull Installation

waukee kitchen cabinets

Cabinet hardware installation is a fairly simple procedure in the whole scheme of things, but even the simplest of tasks can become a major headache without the proper approach. It’s one of the last steps in the completion of a beautiful new kitchen remodel or a custom furniture build, so a mistake during this phase is heartbreaking (but it does happen…even to the pros). Over the years, we’ve been able to streamlined our process and developed a few tricks you might find useful in the installation of your new cabinet hardware.


Suggested Materials:

  • The cabinet knob(s)/pull(s) to be installed
  • Hardware screw(s) (standard cabinet hardware screw size is #8/32 in whatever length is needed to span your drawer/door thickness with a little extra to spare)
  • An electric or cordless drill
  • A block of scrap wood (4” x 4” or a bit larger)
  • A 3/16″ drill bit (or whatever size is needed if the hardware screw is not standard)
  • A phillips screwdriver
  • A measuring tape, pencil, and a roll of masking tape (preferably light colored)



  1. Figure out the desired cabinet knob/pull placement. Aside from trying to get the cabinet pull/knob to balance visually and function efficiently, there really isn’t an industry standard for proper hardware placement. It is very common to see drawer fronts with the hardware centered, and door fronts with the hardware located on the inside corner allowing for easiest access for an individual who might use the cabinet (e.g. top inside corner for base cabinet doors and bottom inside corner for upper cabinet doors), but ultimately the placement is up to you. If you have multiple knobs/pulls to install in the same area, just remember to adhere to whatever standard you set.
  2. Mark hole location(s). If you plan to install just a few pulls/knobs, it’s probably easiest to measure each one by hand. However, if you’re looking at tackling a large project or you know you’ll have many more units of the same hardware to install sometime in the near future, a hole template can really save you time and headaches (see image below). Because most DIY projects are on a smaller scale, we’ll just focus on that here. To begin with, you’ll want to place a strip of masking tape over the area on which you plan to make marks. This protects the surface of your drawer/door and gives you an easy-to-mark surface. In the case of a centered drawer pull, find the middle point of your drawer face and make marks on either side of the midline at half the total distance between your hardware’s two screw holes. For other configurations of hardware, you’ll want to follow whatever standard you adopted and make sure to double check your measurements. Next, set your hardware up to the marks and visually verify that the hardware holes will match up with the cabinet holes you’re about to drill. There is nothing worse than realizing you were an inch off on one of your measurements after you drill the holes, so it’s worth a little extra time to check things over.

    cabinet pull install
    Check marking placement before drilling.
  3. Drill the holes. Use a 3/16″ drill bit. One trick we’ve adopted over the years is to press a block of wood against the back of the drawer/drawer directly inline with the hole you’re about to drill. This will minimize chipping and fraying around the exit hole made by your drill bit inside the cabinet which makes for a cleaner result. Of course, take care not to stab yourself with the drill bit when doing this.

    drilling cabinet hardware holesMake sure to keep your drill parallel while drilling holes.
  4. Attach the hardware to the cabinet drawer/door. Using the attachment screw supplied with most cabinet knobs/pulls and a phillips screwdriver, fix the hardware to the drawer/door and hand tighten.
    cabinet drawer back with screwsView from the back side of the drawer face.

That’s all there is to it! Following these steps should help you achieve a clean, professional resolution to your cabinet hardware installation project. However, if you run into something we did not cover in this tutorial, please don’t hesitate to email us, and we’ll do what we can to address your problem. Happy crafting!

cabinet desk build in progress

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