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.
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.
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.
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!