The Best Kitchen Handle Alternatives: Finger-pull, Push to Open

by | Feb 1, 2023

Greenbank Desire Homes Display Home - Kitchen

In recent years, handles have become increasingly diverse. There are T-Bars, U-Bars, D-Bars, cups, knobs and lip pull handles. Plus, each of these categories has thousands of different options to choose from, which range in price from a couple of dollars to hundreds. While there is still an overwhelming amount of handle variety, you might be thinking that the “handle look” just isn’t for you. Fortunately, there are several kitchen handle alternatives.

Sharknose Finger-Pull

Sharknose finger-pull handles are a type of cabinet hardware that is designed to be used as a kitchen handle alternative. The sharknose’s name derives from the shark-like shape of the handle as the top of the door or drawer is cut at a 45-degree angle. This type of handle alternative is especially popular in modern and contemporary kitchen designs as they add a clean, minimalistic look to the cabinetry. For people with disabilities or limited mobility, they also make it easier to open cabinets and drawers with just one finger. Although, there are some downsides, and the main one is finance.

Due to the labour intensity of cutting the fronts, this option is usually more expensive than regular handles. Therefore, choosing sharknose finger-pull might not always be in your best interest if you are on a budget. Sharknose finger-pull handles are usually paired with push-to-open mechanisms. However, if you prefer the push-to-open style, you can use it for the entirety of your kitchen.

K2 Projects Albion by Imperial Kitchens with Sharknose Finger pull Kitchen Handle Alternatives
K2 ProjectsAlbion” by Imperial Kitchens with Sharknose Finger-Pull as a Kitchen Handle Alternative

Push-To-Open Cabinets

Push-to-open mechanisms are a cheaper alternative to finger-pull and still give off a nice handleless look. These mechanisms are spring-loaded and allow you to open the door or drawer by pushing on it, rather than pulling on a handle.

There are different ways this can be done for doors and drawers. However, in most circumstances, you will have to sacrifice soft-close cabinets if you want push-to-open. Cabinets with doors require a mechanism screwed into the bottom of the cupboard, so when you push on the door, it opens. These can either be drilled into the bottom panel of the cupboard carcass or fixed on top of the bottom.

For drawers, the push-to-open element is usually a part of the drawer mechanism. This means that you could find a soft closing option for push-to-open drawers if you require it. While this is certainly a good option, we don’t recommend it as it can come with a lot of issues. In our experience, these drawers tend to decay faster than other drawer mechanisms.

Fernberg Project by Imperial Kitchens with Lip Pull Kitchen Handles
Fernberg Project by Imperial Kitchens with Lip Pull Kitchen Handles

More Kitchen Handle Alternatives

While not entirely a handleless look, lip pull handles are an option that looks entirely different to a regular handle. These handles can be installed on the top of doors or drawers with minimal visibility. Furthermore, pocket doors can also be an alternative to handles. These are generally used for appliances cupboards or other small one-off cabinets. These doors slide into the wall, rather than swinging open. This eliminates the need for handles altogether. Finally, another option is magnetic catches. These use magnets to keep the doors or drawers closed, eliminating the need for handles altogether.

New handles or handle alternatives are being created all the time, so there will never be a shortage of options. Ultimately, the best kitchen handle alternative will depend on the specific design of your kitchen and your personal preferences.

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Based in Meadowbrook, 30 minutes south of Brisbane, Imperial Kitchens has successfully undertaken more than 30,000 kitchen and joinery projects across Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast since 1995.

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