How to Install Cabinet Handles

Table of Contents

1. Cabinet Door Handles

Modern bright kitchen cabinets handle pulls

Replacing or adding cabinet door handles is a great way to update a room. Modern, sleek pulls can transform an outdated kitchen and elevate a new bathroom. But the most important thing when it comes to installing door handles is about being precise. The handle hardware has to be perfectly straight and level. Cabinet hardware mistakes can cost upwards of hundreds to thousands of dollars, so it’s important to get it right the first time. 

Before cringing at the thought of doing this yourself, there’s good news – You don’t have to be an expert to get your cabinet door handles mounted exactly how you want them. With the right cabinet hardware tool and our step-by-step instructions, you can install your cabinet door handles quickly and with absolute precision. 

Learn how to install door handles like a professional by following a few simple steps, including tips for choosing the best cabinet hardware tool for the job.

Using a Cabinet Hardware Jig or Template to Install Your Door Handles

Before getting started with installing your cabinet door handles, you’ll need to decide which hardware tool is best to use. The thing about DIY projects is that you want it to look like you paid a professional to do the work. Making the right cabinet hardware tool choice can mean the difference between confident, efficient and accurate work or shaky measurements with uneven handles and poor results. Not to mention crooked cabinet hardware will drive you crazy. There are two tool options out there – Cabinet Hardware Jigs and Templates. Both help you install cabinet door hardware, but there are a few significant differences between them.

Templates

generic cabinet hardware installation template

Templates are fixed patterns that can either be made at home (homebuilt) or store-bought. The materials used to make templates are of low quality, therefore the costs tend to be cheap. Homebuilt templates are made from MDF board or scrap plywood and are limited to one option for installing cabinet hardware for one specific size and dimension. 

Store-bought templates are usually made of plastic. Similar to homebuilt templates they lack customization and adaptability. Despite having a few options for hole marking to help you decide where to place the knobs, they tend to only work with commonly available sizes of cabinet hardware. If you’re placing hardware outside of a set range, your template will not work. 

One of the biggest drawbacks to using templates is they tend to have a very limited lifespan. That’s because the more a template is used, the more the marking holes will enlarge over the course of each project, leading to immediate issues such as imprecise hole placement. And imprecise hole placement results in uneven knobs.

Cabinet Hardware Jig ORIGINAL

The Cabinet Hardware Jig ORIGINAL is completely adjustable and customizable. Any type of hardware can be mounted with the signature T-square frame. That means you only need one of the Original Cabinet Hardware Jigs to work for any type of cabinet door size and handle dimensions. Constructed from hardened aluminum and squares to within one-one thousandth of an inch, this design leads to complete accuracy and precision. 

Pro Tip:

Not every jig out there is made like the ORIGINAL. Many of the imitation jigs overpromise and under-deliver. All of which leads to out of square and inaccurate measurements. The Cabinet Hardware Jig ORIGINAL is made with only the highest-quality materials making it the most accurate jig on the market.

Other benefits of using the Cabinet Hardware Jig ORIGINAL for installing cabinet door handles:
  • Cabinet Hardware Jig ORIGINAL (TP-CHJ) is infinitely adjustable. This top-rated jig enables complete flexibility in your hardware choices and placement.
  • Hardened steel bushings serve as drill guides and enable you to drill through them. This helps you keep the drill bit exactly where you want it.
  • The Cabinet Hardware Jig ORIGINAL is reversible. So once you’ve set up the exact parameters on the tool, you can drill on the left and right cabinet doors without altering any settings.
  • The jig works easily on any style cabinet, including Shaker cabinets.
  • Save time and money by only using one cabinet hardware tool that gets the job done the first time around. 

Our Best Selling Solution for Hardware Installation

The True Position Tools Cabinet Hardware Jig ORIGINAL is the best bang for your buck option in our lineup. Install knobs and handles in seconds with the most accurate jig on the market. Perfect results every time on any cabinet door or drawer front.

Installing Cabinet Door Handles - Easy Step-by-Step Guide

When it comes to cabinet hardware placement, deciding where specifically on the cabinet door to place your pull handles is also important. Once you know where to install door handles, it’s time to get started.
1. Place hardware (measure as needed) to find position you like; mark bottom hole location.
2. Measure from bottom of door to mark

3. Set Sliding End Stop to measurement from step 2 and tighten thumb screw

4. Measure from side of door to mark you made from step 1

5. Set Large Stop to measurement from step 4 and tighten thumb screw

6. Measure hole centers

7. Transfer hardware measurement from step 6 to Sliding Drill Guide and tighten thumb screw

8. Position tool as shown, drill through fixed center bushing for bottom hole
9. Drill through Sliding Drill Guide for top hole
10. Reverse tool position onto opposite door and drill holes

2. Cabinet Drawer Handles

Kitchen cabinet drawers handle pulls

Adding pull handles to your cabinet drawers can give any room a modern or traditional look-and-feel. Once you’ve decided on the specific style of pull handles you want on your cabinets, it’s time to get them installed. And guess what? Adding drawer handles doesn’t have to be done by a professional. In fact, you can easily and accurately install them yourself!

The thing about installing cabinet drawer handles is they only need to look like they were done by a professional. But you don’t need to pay a hefty price for that job. You yourself can actually install cabinet drawer handles with absolute precision and accuracy – All your friends and family will think you really did pay someone else to do the job. 

To get the perfect drawer handle install done, not just any tool will do. Because a simple cabinet hardware mistake can end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. But with the right cabinet hardware tool, you can add your own drawer pulls without worrying about making any errors. 

These easy-to-follow steps and tips will help you install cabinet drawer handles like a pro.

Choosing and Placing Your Drawer Pull Handles

When it comes to cabinet hardware placement, it’s also important to decide where specifically on the cabinet drawer to place your pull handles and which size pull handles to use. 

Where: When the height of your drawer front is greater than 12’’ we recommend placing your pull handle toward the top of the drawer front. 

Size: With heavier and larger drawers, consider using one large pull handle. Generally the pull handles should be ⅓ of the cabinet drawer width to ⅔ of the width or greater. 

Once you know where to install door handles, it’s time to get started.

Installing Cabinet Drawer Handles - Easy Step-by-Step Guide

Hand Placing cabinet hardware handle on drawer front

1. Place the cabinet hardware (measure as needed) to find the position you like. Center the pull handle on width and height.

tape measure measuring cabinet hardware handle TP 1934 Cabinet Hardware Jig

2. Measure the hole centers. Using your Cabinet Hardware Jig, adjust and tighten the Sliding Drill Guides. Cover the unused bushing with tape in order to prevent accidental drilling.

Tape Measure on cabinet drawer front

3. Using a tape measure, measure the drawer width to find the center.

TP 1934 marking center on cabinet drawer front

4. Use half of the measurement from Step 3 to mark the center on top of the drawer.

tape measuring height on cabinet drawer front

5. Measure the height of the drawer front with your tape measure.

TP 1934 Cabinet hardware jig height adjustment

6. Take your Cabinet Hardware Jig and set the Large Stop to half of the measurement from Step 5.

TP 1934 centered kitchen cabinet drawer front drilling

7. With your Cabinet Hardware Jig, line up the notch on the Large Stop with your mark from Step 4. Then drill.

kitchen cabinet drawer front installed handle pull

3. Common Questions

Do I need to be a cabinet professional to use the Cabinet Hardware Jig? 

No, this cabinet hardware jig is straightforward and makes installing cabinet drawer handles easy. It’s all designed with you in mind. Whether you are learning how to install drawer handles over the weekend or regularly work with cabinet hardware installations, you’ll save time and money with our jig. 

What is the deepest drawer front I can center the Cabinet Hardware Jig on?

16″. We recommend placing your cabinet drawer handles towards the top of the drawer front, rather than the center. This will make the drawer easier to open and adds to the aesthetic appeal. 

What are the minimum door stile and rails I can center on?

½’’ is the minimum cabinet drawer stile and rails you can center on with a Cabinet Hardware Jig. The small and large end stops on the jig can even be reversed when extra clearance is needed. 

What is the maximum handle size I can install with the Cabinet Hardware Jig?

12” CC (300mm). Need to install cabinet drawer handles larger than this? The Cabinet Hardware Jig TP-1935 installs hardware up to 38’’ (960mm). If you have pull handles outside of this range, multiple jigs can be connected with thumbscrews to drill for any length you need.

How long is your bushing warranty?

We offer a lifetime bushing warranty. We’ll gladly send you a pack of replacement bushings free of charge if you ever need them. Bushings typically ship and arrive within 3 to 5 business days. 

Have more questions about How To Install Cabinet Drawer Handles and other cabinet hardware needs? Check out our FAQ Page.

Install Drawer Handles Like a Pro

Easily and efficiently install your cabinet drawer handles like a pro. At True Position tools, we put the power of tools into your hands. Cabinet hardware placement and high-quality specialty woodworking tools have been our game for more than 20 years. Our Cabinet Hardware Jigs will help you install your drawer handles perfectly every time. All True Position Tool Products are made in the USA. 

4. Choosing the Best Cabinet Hardware Jig for your Hardware Installation

ORIGINAL

$229
  • Fast, accurate hardware installation in seconds
  • Any door & drawer + hardware up to 12”

PRO

$249
  • All features of the Cabinet Hardware Jig ORIIGNAL, plus:
  • Rapid drawer front centering and quick repeatable door settings.
Most popular

MAX

$299
  • All the features of the Cabinet Hardware Jig PRO, plus:
  • Hardware up to 38" (965mm) and Shelf Pins with 32mm spacing

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