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What Size Bar Pulls for Kitchen Cabinets?

The kitchen is the most expensive place to customize both in terms of labor and financial cost. 

A significant amount of hardware fixtures go in the kitchen and each piece needs to be carefully considered since these fixtures are likely to last as long as you have the kitchen or for many years at least.

Kitchens are more commonly the domain of women and by and large, women tend to be concerned with the minutia and specifics of detail. 

If the kitchen is strictly functional, it will feel too much like work to cook in it and if style and beauty are considered over function, then the task of preparing and cooking meals will always be interrupted by the use of implements that keep breaking down.

The best fixtures should take into consideration both function and style to make your kitchen as friendly and inviting as possible. 

Kitchen cabinets form a significant portion of the kitchen. Storage is key for a functional kitchen to run without a hitch and cabinets help to keep everything organized, neat and accessible.

Your cabinets can have bar pulls, t-bars, or knobs. The choice is yours and since you have chosen to have bar pulls, the size of the pulls is critical to achieving both function and style optimally.

What size bar pulls should you choose for your kitchen cabinets?

There is no hard and fast rule that governs what size of bar pulls you should use. In fact, it is entirely up to you what size you would like to install provided they please you and function swimmingly.

Standard size cabinets and drawers

Storage space in the kitchen is organized into drawers and cabinets. Most cabinets are approximately 34 inches long while most drawers will be 30 inches wide. 

If these are the measurements you are working with then the most common bar pull that goes with these is a 5-inch pull measured center to center. This is the distance between the screw holes as the handle can be longer or the same size.

Of course, you can go for some longer pulls but anything more than 7 inches may not grip as well as the 5-inch pull specifically on a drawer since it may force you to look when gripping so as to grip the pull at the center. 

A pull longer than 7 inches may offer too much clearance to either the left or the right making you pull the drawer towards the right or left. This will mess with its functionality. This does not mean that you cannot have a visually long bar pull. 

By all means, let the handle be lengthier but retain the optimal 5 inches center to center measurement.

Larger sizes of cabinets and drawers

As aforementioned, there is no rule that dictates the best size for your cabinet pulls, and rightly so because a larger drawer or a larger cabinet door does not equal a proportional increase in the size of bar pull. 

In fact, unless the cabinet or drawer is twice the standard size then the bar pull does not need to change in size. However, consideration can be made since cabinets and drawers have a key difference.

  • Cabinets

A larger cabinet size may not call for a larger bar pull or may need just a slightly larger bar pull. 

This is because the bar pulls on a cabinet door do not carry the weight of the cabinet door or the contents of the cabinet and the pull still functions well despite being the same size as the pulls on standard size cabinets; approximately five inches. 

The length of the handle can go up to match the larger size of the cabinet door and accommodate the aesthetics of proportionality.

  • Drawers

The bar pull on a drawer bears the weight of the drawer itself as well as the contents of the drawer every time the drawer is pulled in or out. 

If the size of the drawer is large, then it means it is meant to hold fairly weighty contents such as crockery or food items in bulk. 

Naturally, the standard five-inch bar pulls will not suffice and the size may not be the only thing that changes. The bar pull may have to be thicker and heavier as well. 

A longer bar pull of up to seven inches of heavier denser material is needed to carry the weight of the larger drawers.

The drawer could be longer and not just deeper. Though rare in the kitchen, larger kitchens could have wide drawers of over 60 inches. 

Again, the bar pull should be able to accommodate the extra length to avoid drawers that open easily on one side than on the other. 

In such a case you may consider having two bar pulls on either side to facilitate the opening and closing of exceptionally wide drawers smoothly.

This however forces you to have both hands free to open and close drawers which is almost annoying. 

A better alternative could be to install an appliance bar pull which is a loose name for a bar pull that is only inches shorter than the drawer from either side.

The bar pull will appear to be the same size as the drawer. This large bar pull is best since it distributes the weight of the large drawer along its length and can comfortably be pulled in and out using one hand. 

The perfect middle of the handle will be indicated using decorative features such as a hand imprint or an aesthetic curvature or design where your hand should go in order to open the drawer. 

You will barely notice the weight of the drawer if you install this kind of bar pull. 

You are free to close the drawer with your leg if you so wish.

Finally…

When choosing bar pulls, size is an important consideration but so is material, design, color, how they gel with other fixtures in the kitchen, and the installation. 

Kitchen fixtures make up a significant portion of the aesthetic quality of kitchens so be sure to select carefully your bar pulls.