Solid versus hollow cabinet knobs and pulls: why it matters.

The cabinet and drawer knobs and pulls that are stocked at big box home improvement stores and hardware stores are typically hollow. Hollow knobs can also be found in kitchen cabinet showrooms and decorative hardware showrooms on their lower end “builder grade” knobs and pulls. You can tell a knob is hollow by picking one up and holding it. It’s light. You may also notice that the back of the knob or pull is also hollow. This reduces the amount of metal in the knob or pull, which reduces the cost. But it also reduces the longevity of the knob. Less metal can also cause sharp edges that aren’t comfortable to the touch.

Nouveau III M1143

Nouveau III M1143

If shortcuts have been taken on the metal, then it’s also likely that shortcuts have been taken on the finish – fewer coats, less polishing, fewer coats of protective lacquer, and thus more vulnerable to tarnishing, the finish rubbing off, and changes to the finish color over time. The knob or pull may also have rougher edges due to mechanical finishing vs. hand finishing.

Top Knobs Passport Collection Luxor Series

Top Knobs Passport Collection Luxor Series

You can feel the quality of Top Knobs in your hand. Most Top Knobs products are solid metal – solid brass, bronze, iron, steel, etc – and they are heavy! A solid knob is far less vulnerable to denting or creasing. The heavier weight feels good in your hand. The screw threads extend through the solid knob, making it far less vulnerable to stripping than a hollow knob with far fewer threads. And because every Top Knobs product is hand finished, they are smooth to the touch with no rough edges.

Top Knobs Tuscany M229

Top Knobs Tuscany M229

There are a few hollow knobs and pulls in the Top Knobs product line. If the design on the product is very intricate, the metal has to be pressed into the mold rather than poured into the mold. This requires using a flat sheet of metal, which is then formed to create the rest of the hollow knob or pull. This is actually are more costly and involved production process, but the result is a beautiful and intricate design and appeal!

View the complete Top Knobs product line, and the 2015 product catalog, at www.topknobs.com.

Guest Post: CFT 411 – “Glitter”

We welcome Joseph Freenor, blogger at CFT 411 who was so kind to share this article he wrote on Top Knobs. Joe is a writer and woodworker and for those of us in social media – he is one of the original bloggers who first entered the scene and informed us on the kitchen and bath industry. You can find his wonderful blog at http://cft411.com/.

“Glitter”

Whether one works as a woodworker or an interior designer, every part of design is a challenge, up to and including the hardware for furniture or cabinetry. From the outside looking in, it’s nothing more than a knob or hinge, and one will do the job just as well as another. And in the strictest, most utilitarian sense, this is certainly true. But that said, there is a world of difference between the plain knob that enables one to open a cabinet door, and a knob that adorns the piece. And even that, the word “adorns” can, if it is not used correctly do more to damage the look of a piece than to help it.

When I took woodworking classes at Palomar College we studied hardware, but the entire focus was on the more arcane aspects of it: how many threads to an inch does a certain bolt have-that sort of thing. Even now, my eyes glaze over at the memory of that particular class, but as it is with any discipline, there is a certain boTop Knobs USA 6dy of information one must simply have is if one is to succeed at it. But to return this to our current discussion, I’m not sure that there is anywhere a class in what makes this particular knob a good choice for a cabinet and this other a poor choice.

I think about all a body can do, really, is to find one of the better makers of hardware, examine their output, and choose whatever seems to look best of on the piece itself. And it is important, too, that the hardware itself be made well, because even though it’s “just a knob,” if made on the cheap, it will tend to cheapen the piece on which it resides. And with that, I can introduce the subject of today’s blog, because Top Knobs is certainly one of the finer makers of hardware.

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