What Is The Difference Between An Appliance Pull And A Cabinet Pull?

When considering kitchen hardware like cabinets and appliances, knobs and pulls are frequently overlooked. Many don’t know the difference between the various types of pulls: for example, what is the difference between an appliance pull and a cabinet pull?

The difference between appliance pulls, and cabinet pulls is that appliance pulls are larger, heavier, and use more heavy-duty screws than cabinet pulls. Appliance pulls are ideal for fridges and dishwashers, whereas cabinet pulls are smaller and easier to pull, making them better for drawers.

What Is The Difference Between An Appliance Pull And A Cabinet Pull?

In this article, I’ll cover what pulls are, what types are available, and more relevant info like how pulls differ from knobs and handles.

What Are Pulls?

Pulls are a type of handle commonly installed on cabinets, drawers, and household appliances.

Often seen as rectangular or circular prism-shaped handles on drawers, pulls are easy to grip and slide drawers more smoothly than a traditional knob.

Pulls can also be smaller than a regular rod-style design.

A popular alternative you’ve probably seen is the cup-style pull-on drawers, but others are also available.

Pulls are also used on pantry doors, washer handles, refrigerator handles, and more.

Their long, ergonomic design makes pulls perfect for pulling heavy objects like cluttered drawers or appliance doors and panels.

There is a wide variety of material choices when it comes to the design of kitchen pulls.

Chrome, brass, and steel are just a couple of the most common types of materials used in pulls. Polished chrome pulls with gold accents would be great in a contemporary kitchen design.

Appliance Pull vs. Cabinet Pull – The Differences Explained

If you’re doing any kind of kitchen remodeling or design, you’ve probably come across varying terms for pulls; namely, appliance pulls, and cabinet pulls. It’s easy to assume they’re different words for the same thing, but they’re not.

The main difference is that appliance pulls are larger and use larger screws – 10/32” size screws are common.

The reason for this is that appliance pulls are designed as handles for large, heavy household appliances.

As a result, they require quite a bit of force to pull. Appliance pulls are significantly pricier than cabinet pulls because of their sturdy construction.

Appliance pulls are used for:

  • Refrigerators
  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Dryers
  • Stoves

By contrast, cabinet pulls typically use 8/32” size screws and have a slimmer profile.

Cabinet pulls don’t need heavy-duty screws or large surface areas because they’re not built for things like appliances.

Rather, cabinet pulls are used as handles for drawers, cabinets, and doors.

The main advantage to cabinet pulls is that they’re easy to grip and pull, requiring much less force than an appliance pull.

Additionally, cabinet pulls being smaller and with smaller screws makes them cheaper to install than appliance pulls.

It’s important to note that the size of the screws isn’t absolute.

You could, for instance, use 10/32” size screws on a cabinet pull, but they’d cost more than the regular 8/32” screws. On the other hand, 8/32” screws on a cabinet pull would likely strip out after heavy use.

How Are Pulls Different From Knobs?

If you’ve browsed kitchen hardware a bit, you’ve probably come across the knob alongside pulls.

It’s understandable to assume they’re the same thing, but each has characteristics that make them unique.


Knobs are usually circular or, less commonly, rectangular. The main way knobs differ from pulls is that knobs are only mounted in one spot on hardware.

This makes them less suitable for heavy use like storage drawers and better for easily opening light cabinets or smaller drawers.

You’ll commonly see knobs used in the corner of high cabinets for convenience or used for light pantry doors.

In the past, knobs were common on kitchen drawers, but nowadays, they’re more often seen in bedroom furniture like dressers.

Knobs are a great design choice used as a minimalistic aesthetic choice in kitchens with strong themes – a simple silver knob in a kitchen of ebony cabinetry, for example.

Also Read: How Do You Fix A Stripped Cabinet Knob?


Pulls are typically mounted in two or more places on a piece of hardware, and their design makes it easy to distribute and manipulate larger and heavier objects than ordinary knobs.

While pulls are often seen as circular or rectangular rods on the front of storage drawers, they come in other styles, like the cup style mentioned above.

Pulls are becoming very popular in modern kitchen designs, and many new homes will feature long, slim pulls on their drawers and sometimes cabinetry.

Appliance pulls are a bit odder because most appliances come with their pulls, but homeowners can opt to replace them with pulls that better match their aesthetic design sensibilities.

Final Thoughts

While both appliance and cabinet pulls are essential pieces of kitchen hardware, the former is better for heavy-duty appliances, and the latter is great for drawers.

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Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.