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Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. And when it comes to kitchen cabinets, there’s no simpler way to make an impact than swapping out hardware, a project even a DIY beginner can tackle over a weekend. Think of it as the jewelry of your cooking space. 

Even though handles and pulls aren’t always the first thing you think of (for us, it’s paint color), they’re an upgrade you’ll admire and appreciate every time you reach to pull open a drawer or cabinet. Here we narrow down a few standout examples from a variety of sources that can help you on your way to getting a handle on your kitchen makeover.

Features to Keep in Mind

Style: While our selection of kitchen cabinet handles mostly steers contemporary, the styles available out there today are innumerable, ranging from historically ornate to sleek minimalist, alongside everything in between. Aesthetics aside, most important is to look for a handle that feels comfortable for daily use, something functionally gratifying that suits your hand size, grip strength, and even height. You don’t want to replace all your kitchen cabinet hardware only to discover its appealing looks are overshadowed by an awkward feel.

Also don’t be afraid to explore styles that aren’t obviously or traditionally complementary to your kitchen cabinetry. Sometimes adding contrasting styles, colors, or finishes can result in a surprisingly fresh take.

Material and finish: Most kitchen cabinet drawer and door hardware is made of brass, bronze, nickel, stainless steel, or iron, and occasionally marble or glass (we recommend avoiding plastic, which cracks easily). From a durability standpoint, stainless steel or brass is typically the best option; both bronze and brass are antimicrobial and will patina with age/use. Remember that highly polished finishes can be fingerprint magnets and are susceptible to peeling or flaking over time. And don’t forget to factor in how cabinet hardware looks alongside the rest of your kitchen, including surrounding kitchen appliances, switch plate covers, and the sink faucet.

Scale and size: Picking the right kitchen cabinet hardware is not all too different from choosing fashionable accessories to pair with an outfit: You want to add pieces that complement rather than eclipse the sum of the paint, flooring, tiling, and cabinetry. An easy method of picking the right size is to use a 1:3 ratio, meaning your handle pull length measures approximately one-third of the cabinet drawer width. So if you’ve got a small drawer measuring 12 inches or less, use a pull 3- to 4 inches long and scale accordingly for others.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Amerock Oil-Rubbed Bronze Cabinet Drawer Pulls

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Bar Pull by Amerock, The Home Depot ($6)

You might be surprised to hear that stylish options do exist at a big-box hardware store, and these sleek solid carbon steel handles prove the point. Available in 11 different finishes; 12 different sizes; and quantities of 1, 10, or 25 pulls, this design, in an oil-rubbed bronze finish, reveals just a hint of the warm alloy peeking from each end of the dark pull.

Best Minimalist: CB2 Cody Black Handles

Cody Black Handle, CB2 ($13)

Minimalist doesn’t have to mean boring. The ribbed detailing stretching across these entire matte black solid brass handles not only lends a handsome detail to an otherwise simple design, it adds a bit of texture for an improved grip. Available in seven different widths and four different finishes, these look especially great installed vertically to emphasize those lines.

Best Industrial Modern: Buster + Punch Pull Bars

Pull Bar in Smoked Bronze, Buster & Punch ($129)

London-based hardware brand Buster + Punch started in a motorcycle garage, so the company knows a thing or two about durability. Its diamond-cut, cross-knurl pattern looks fantastic in all four finishes, but we especially like the smoked bronze and brass options for the way they’ll patina over time.

Best Wood: Hickory Hardware Natural Woodcraft Cabinet Pulls

Natural Woodcraft Unfinished Cabinet Pull, Hickory Hardware ($5)

The warmth of genuine wood hardware has fallen by the wayside in most contemporary kitchens, but these natural oak handles by Hickory Hardware (the company has been around since 1893) exude a bit of Scandi-modern style in their simplicity. They’ll look great finished or stained, and there are even matching knobs available to complete your makeover.

Best Brass: Schoolhouse Alberta Pulls

Alberta Pull, Schoolhouse ($42)

There’s something a little off about these pulls—and we’re here for it. Schoolhouse’s asymmetrical and sophisticatedly slender numbers are made from 95 percent recycled brass and finished with a satin copper that stands out from other minimalist and modern kitchen hardware.

Best Value: Ravinte 30-Pack 5-Inch Kitchen Square Cabinet Handles

Square Cabinet Handle by Ravinte, Amazon ($7)

With clean lines and crisp edges, these highly rated, minimal profile matte black handles add sleekness to any space. The best part? The price. A 30-pack evens out to $2 per pull, and they even come with a 100-day free trial, easing any worries about how they’ll look and feel.

Best Classic: Rocky Mountain Empire Bin Cabinet Pulls

Empire Bin Cabinet Pull by Ted Boerner ($96)

These brushed bronze pulls add an attractive contrasting element to any kitchen, but especially when paired with cabinetry painted in dark, moody hues. Their tiny size and pull design make them ideal for smaller-width drawers instead of knobs. 

Best Statement Piece: Forge Hardware Studio Satin Brass Drawer Pulls

Satin Brass and Matte Black Round T-Bar “Fonce” Cabinet Knobs and Drawer Pulls, Forge Hardware Studio ($43)

These two-tone matte black and brass drawer pulls perfectly toe the line between historical and contemporary. Available in three different widths and as a knob, the elevated handle design offers a comfortable grip and is stately looking, whether installed vertically or horizontally.