How To Install Knobs On Cabinet Doors

Table of Contents

Modern brass cabinet door knobs

What’s one of the first things you notice when walking into a kitchen? The cabinets. Whether your cabinets are in the kitchen or bathroom or another room in your home, they are always the feature that grabs people’s attention. That’s why your cabinet hardware placement has to be perfectly precise and look professionally-done. 

Our guide for installing knobs on cabinet doors will help you learn how to get your knobs centered and placed exactly where you want them. Because there is nothing worse than spending top-dollar on your cabinets, only to be left with off-level cabinet knobs. 

When you have the right tool and instructions, installing knobs on cabinet doors is very easy. Learn how to install knobs on cabinet doors quickly and like a professional by following a few simple steps, including tips for choosing the best cabinet hardware tool for the job.

Knob Styles for Cabinet Doors

Whether you’re going for a traditional or modern look, knobs are a great hardware choice. And what many people might not realize is that knobs are extremely versatile. There are endless styles of knobs for cabinet doors to choose from these days to accomodate any design preferences. Below are some current trends:

knob installed shaker style cabinet drawer front

Timeless Knobs: These knobs are always the traditional circular shape with a bronze or brushed nickel color.

natural wood kitchen cabinet door wooden matched knobs

Wooden Knobs: For a laid-back look, knobs made from natural materials (such as wood) are a fun, kitchy option.

white kitchen cabinet door with trendy glass knobs

Glass Knobs: Glass knobs are an incredibly modern choice with a fresh, trendy appearance. For the best results, you want to be sure your kitchen appliances match their aesthetic.

Sleek dark wood cabinet small brass modern knobs

Tiny Knobs: Small knobs made of steel or brass are a great option for making your kitchen a mix of modern and traditional.

vintage style cabinet door knob painted detail

Vintage Detail Knobs: Knobs in this style category have painted designs for extra flare.

white cabinet door with metal beaded knob

Beaded Knobs: These knobs for cabinet doors might come with a higher price point, but they can really transform your kitchen with a personalized look.

Using a Cabinet Hardware Jig or Template
to Install Knobs on Cabinet Doors

There are two options for tools when it comes to installing knobs on cabinet doors – Cabinet Hardware Jigs and Templates. You want to select the tool that will take the least amount of time to use and will leave your install work looking like a professional did the job. While both tools help to install knobs on cabinet doors, 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.

The Original Cabinet Hardware Jig

TP 1934 Cabinet Hardware jig

The Original Cabinet Hardware Jig 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 because the cabinet hardware jig is constructed from hardened aluminum and squares to within one-one thousandth of an inch, this design leads to complete accuracy and precision every time.

Pro Tip:

Not every jig out there is made like the Original. Many of the imitation jigs overpromise and under-deliver. Their integral components are made with low-quality materials and lack the precision machining that is vital to achieving accurate results. Many fake jigs also use plastic components and lack hardened bushings, which cause misplaced hardware and install jobs that look unprofessional. All of which leads to unsquared and inaccurate measurements. The Original Cabinet Hardware Jig at TruePosition Tools is made with only the highest-quality materials. The excellent level of precision provided by the Cabinet Hardware Jig is the result of nearly two decades of perfecting this tool, making it the most accurate jig on the market.

Other Benefits of Using The Original Cabinet Hardware Jig for Installing Cabinet Door Handles:

  • The Original Cabinet Hardware jig is infinitely adjustable. This top-rated jig, TP-1934 Cabinet Hardware 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 Original Cabinet Hardware Jig 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. 
  • Lifetime Bushing Warranty
  • Precision Guarantee

Easy Steps for Learning How To Install Knobs on Cabinet Doors

White modern minimal kitchen cabinet doors with traditional knobs

When it comes to cabinet hardware placement, deciding where specifically on the cabinet door to place your knobs is also important. The biggest priority is that you want your knob placement to be functional. You should always be able to easily reach the knobs and open the doors. And where exactly you should install the knobs will depend on which type of cabinet door you are using. For example, the rules for knob placement on wall cabinet doors are very different from base cabinet doors and taller cabinet doors.

Pro Tip:

Did you know that a common place for people to try and install cabinet knobs is centered at the end of the door rail? But this knob placement can actually create a very busy look in the room. Especially if you have several cabinets in the room with significant woodworking detail. The most functional and aesthetically pleasing place to install knobs on cabinet doors is anywhere between 1’’ and 4’’ from the top or bottom edge of the door.

Learn Where To Install Knobs on Cabinet Doors

Once you know where to install the knobs, it’s time to get started.

white kitchen cabinet door hand placement traditional style knobs

1. Place the cabinet hardware (measure as needed) to find the position you like. Mark the hole location.

Tape measure marking white kitchen cabinet door

2. Measure from the bottom of the cabinet door to mark made in step 1.

TP 1934 cabinet hardware jig adjust measurement

3. Using your cabinet hardware jig, set the Sliding End Stop to the measurement from Step 2 and tighten.

white kitchen cabinet door tape measurement marking

4. Measure from the side of the cabinet door to your mark from step 1

Pro Tip:

To avoid unwanted markings on your new cabinetry, place a piece of masking tape over the space you would like to mark and make the measurement markings on tape.

TP 1934 Cabinet hardware jig

5. Set the Large Stop of your cabinet hardware jig to the measurement from Step 4 and tighten.

TP 1934 cabinet hardware jig drilling on white kitchen cabinet door

6. Position the cabinet hardware jig with the Stops as shown and drill a hole through the drill bushing.

Reversed TP 1934 drilling on white kitchen cabinet door

7. Reverse the cabinet hardware jig tool position onto the opposite door and drill.

White kitchen cabinet door traditional style knobs installed

The Original Cabinet Hardware Jig

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 door knobs very easy. After all, it was designed with you in mind. You’ll save time and money with our jig. 

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

½’’ is the minimum cabinet door 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 if extra clearance is needed, but this is usually only needed for pull handles. 

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

12” CC (300mm). Need to install cabinet door 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 Knobs on Cabinet Doors and other cabinet hardware needs? Check out our FAQ Page.

Install Door Knobs Like a Pro

It’s time to work like a pro – And we want to help you get there by putting the power of tools into your hands. At True Position Tools, cabinet hardware placement and high-quality specialty woodworking tools have been our game for more than 20 years. Our Cabinet Hardware Jigs get you working quickly and accurately. All True Position Tool Products are made in the USA.

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