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Do Cabinets Come With Handles?

Many times when you go to home improvement stores and browse through their cabinet displays they show the cabinets with various handles.  The question is, is this for show, or do those handles come with the cabinets you are choosing?  Also, if you want different handles, can you pick the ones you want?

Do Cabinets Come With Handles?

The answer is yes and no. 

When you are shopping for cabinets for your kitchen, bathroom, pantry, and more, some of them come with your standard handles. 

Most of the cabinets on display may not even show them with handles, which means you have to pick out the cabinet handles that best suit the décor of the room. 

It is best to check with the sales clerk as to whether the cabinets that you are considering come with handles or not.  If the answer is yes but they are not on the cabinets, request to see them make sure they are what you want.

What to Consider When Choosing Cabinet Handles

If the cabinets you are choosing does not have handles, here are some things you need to consider before making your choice of handles.

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  • Functionality and quality:  Because cabinets are an expensive purchase you want to make sure that the handles you choose are well-designed and of good quality.  Yes, you can change out the handles at a later date but you still want them to be well-designed.  Think about how many times you open and close the cabinet door when considering the functionality of the handles. 
  • Style:  Make sure you have in mind the overall feel and style you want to achieve.  The cabinet handles will have a big influence on that. 
  • Finish:  It is advisable to choose the style and then the finish.  Finishes range from brass, pewter, stainless steel, and even black.  You want the finish to complement the décor of the room and to show off your cabinets.
  • Size: Some cabinet handles come in various lengths while others may come in just a couple of lengths.  You can choose to have the handles of various lengths or all the same length, which can create a less busy and more consistent look.  You can also use an in-between size.  It is a personal preference.

There are even some that choose the “no-handle” cabinets. 

With these types of cabinets, there will be a recessed lip at the top of each drawer and door so you can open them without handles. 

This approach will give your room a streamlined, contemporary look. 

You can also get cabinets with a push-to-open mechanism that enables you to just push against the door and it will open for you.

Handles or Knobs

The cost for handles or knobs will vary in price. 

For one knob, the price can start at a couple of dollars. 

Handles are generally more expensive because they are larger but there are a variety of prices. 

The simple handles, also start at a few dollars but some can be as much as hundreds of dollars. 

The price depends on the style, finish, and material it is made of. 

What you choose also depends on the style of cabinets you have chosen.

  • Shaker: This style is the more common style of cabinet.  They give you flexibility with the design and will work well with either knobs or handles.  The simple design of this cabinet is known for having clean lines.  These look great with simple round knobs, which are often used.  When using handles, or pulls, the most common ones used are traditional nickel or steel.  There are also ceramic or vintage glass knobs. 
  • Flat paneled: This is the style of cabinets you would find in modern or contemporary kitchens.  They embrace minimal embellishments and focus on natural materials.  The best cabinet handles to use are stainless steel bar handles.  On some drawers or doors, you may see extended, long versions of this type of handle.  You can also choose a flat bar handle if you prefer square edges.
  • Inset:  With this type of cabinet, the flush inset doors have an edge detail.  Most of these will have exposed hinges, which you can match your handles or knobs too.  Both of these will work with this type of cabinet.
  • Distressed:  Knobs or handles will work with this type, such as rustic hardware, or bronze handles.
  • Louvered:  Again, with these types of cabinets, you can use either one but the one that is most commonly used are knobs.  This cabinet style has more details so most will choose either simple or classic handles or knobs to complement the cabinets.
  • Beadboard:  These are the cabinets that will give your room a cottage chic look that will go with knobs or cup handles.  They also have more details to look at so using simple hardware will be best.  It will be too distracting if you add elaborate handles or knobs and can take away from the character of the cabinets.


  • When choosing your cabinet handles or knobs, you should choose them based on your style, room style, and functionality.
  • When choosing knobs you have many options, they are a bit cheaper, easy to install and if you choose round knobs they will never be crooked.
  • There are also cons for choosing knobs such as they can sometimes be hard to grab, hard to clean, and sometimes they can catch on your clothes.
  • With handles, they are also easy to install but they take more than the one screw a knob uses.  Most will need two screws.  There are also a variety of styles.
  • With handles, there are different lengths but most are three or four inches so make sure that you have the right lengths so it will be easy to open the cabinets.
  • When you are choosing your new cabinets always ask to make sure if they come with handles or not because you do not want to get home and find you have no handles.
  • Many times when you buy customized cabinets you will get to choose the handles you want.