Best Cabinet Hardware Jig For Knobs and Handles

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Home » Projects » Cabinet Installation » Best Cabinet Hardware Jig For Knobs and Handles

Drilling holes in cabinets without a cabinet hardware jig is risky. Will the holes be the same door-to-door? How do I keep the drill bit from moving when I start drilling? Without a cabinet handle jig you’ll risk expensive damage. In this guide learn what the best cabinet hardware jigs are and how to use them.

Hey, it’s tempting to free-hand cabinet knobs and handles.

I know, I’ve done it.

But while I’ve drilled thousands of drawers and have a few decades experience to occasionally skip a jig, for DIY’ers one way to avoid an expensive mishap is to use a jig.

The good news? From under $30 to almost $300 there are cabinet knob jigs for just about every project and budget.

In this article we’ll review:

  • What types of cabinet hardware jigs there are
  • Best jigs for small cabinet knob and jig jobs
  • Cabinet door hardware jig for advanced applications like handle bars
  • Lastly, the best cabinet hardware jigs
  1. BEST OVERALL:  TRUE POSITION TPT-1934
  2. BEST FOR SMALL JOBS:  TOURACE JIG 
  3. FOR PROFESSIONALS:  TRUE POSITION TPT-1935
  4. EASIEST TO USE:  KREG KHI-PULL 
  5. CABINET TEMPLATE:  AMEROCK TEMPLATE 

What is a Cabinet Hardware Jig?

A cabinet hardware jig is an adjustable tool designed to allow accurate, repeated drilling of cabinet handle and knob holes. A jig is commonly designed in a “T” shape with two intersecting rulers that allow for fast and infinite hole layouts on doors and drawers. These jigs feature steel guide bushings and locking screws for ease of use and durability.

Alternatively, cabinet hardware templates are plastic molded guides that are used for small projects. Due to a plastic design they do not work best for repeated, large projects. 

Best Cabinet Hardware Jig

Installing Cabinet Hardware

I’ve built hundreds of cabinets from raw lumber in a 2-person cabinet shop. 

And, while we started using homemade jigs for a very specific style of cabinet hardware there are jigs available today that make manual methods obsolete.

So what makes one cabinet hardware jig better than another?

Here’s what I look for in the best cabinet hardware jigs:

  • All metal construction
  • Able to handle wide drawers with precision
  • Support for metric and imperial (inches) measurements
  • Firm, metal adjustment knobs to avoid slips
  • Squareness (not always a guarantee!)
  • Pilot hole bushings with hardened steel inserts
  • Support for long handle bars of 12″+  
Personally, I prefer to not use a clamp for speed.

So, here’s what I consider the best cabinet hardware jig options for pro or diy use:

1. Best Cabinet Hardware Jig: True Position Tools TPT-1934

The Original Cabinet Hardware Jig - Adjustable...
1,235 Reviews
The Original Cabinet Hardware Jig – Adjustable…
  • 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗢𝗥𝗜𝗚𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗟 𝗖𝗔𝗕𝗜𝗡𝗘𝗧 𝗛𝗔𝗥𝗗𝗪𝗔𝗥𝗘 𝗝𝗜𝗚 – Eliminate homemade templates or hand measuring while installing your cabinet…
  • 𝗣𝗥𝗘𝗖𝗜𝗦𝗜𝗢𝗡 𝗬𝗢𝗨 𝗡𝗘𝗘𝗗 – The most accurate and versatile cabinet hardware jig on the market. Precision machined to ±0.0002” tolerance then…
  • 𝗙𝗔𝗦𝗧 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗬 𝗧𝗢 𝗨𝗦𝗘 – Install hardware 10x faster with the speed and ease of our jig. Our adjustable and reversible drill template takes the stress out…

Last update on 2021-05-11 at 10:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There just isn't any competition for True Position Tools at the top of the cabinet hardware jig market. Best for professionals or large DIY kitchens.

Overview

For a serious DIY’er or professional woodworker the TPT-1934 from True Position Tools is the best on the market. 

Period.

As in, there are usually a few jigs or tools at the same price point but True Position dominates the higher end jig market for installing knobs and handles.

How to Use

The TPT-1934 cabinet hardware template is one of the popular “T-style” cabinet handle jigs.

It’s design allows for positioning of cabinet knobs or handles on the door or drawer in an infinite number of settings through the use of sliding adjustments.

Steps:

  • First, assemble the all metal jig according to the included instructions.
  • Then, use the jig to measure the distance required between your handle holes and set the hole spacers.
  • Or, if installing knobs, use the supplied center spacer built into the vertical rail
  • Finally, for both drawer and doors set the stop to the appropriate depth (middle of the door stile, center of the drawer front)
  • If installing knobs or handles in the middle of a door (or for handle bar installations) use the optional extended ruler attachment
  • Use a 5mm jobber bit for drilling the holes

Make sure to test one door or drawer first and fully install a handle or knob to verify you have the right cabinet hardware placement and the jig is properly adjusted.

Cabinet Jig Review

So why is this #1 on the list of the best cabinet hardware jigs? 

True Position Tools owns the market for accurate cabinet hardware jigs. 

And there just isn’t any all metal jig competition. Sure, Kreg is a competitor but their jigs are a different design and don’t offer the flexibility.

Pros

Cons

2. Professional Grade Cabinet Hardware Jig for Long Handle Bars (TPT-1935)

Original Cabinet Hardware Jig with Extensions for...
1,235 Reviews
Original Cabinet Hardware Jig with Extensions for…
  • 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗠𝗢𝗦𝗧 𝗩𝗘𝗥𝗦𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗟𝗘 𝗖𝗔𝗕𝗜𝗡𝗘𝗧 𝗛𝗔𝗥𝗗𝗪𝗔𝗥𝗘 𝗝𝗜𝗚 – TP-1935 accurately installs cabinet knobs and handles…
  • 𝗣𝗥𝗘𝗖𝗜𝗦𝗜𝗢𝗡 𝗬𝗢𝗨 𝗡𝗘𝗘𝗗 – The most accurate and versatile cabinet hardware jig on the market. Precision machined to ±0.0002” tolerance then…
  • 𝗙𝗔𝗦𝗧 𝗔𝗡𝗗 𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗬 𝗧𝗢 𝗨𝗦𝗘 – Install hardware 10x faster with the speed and ease of our jig. Our adjustable and reversable drill template takes the stress out…

Last update on 2021-05-11 at 14:49 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For installing long cabinet handle bars on cabinets you'll want to use a jig built JUST for this purpose (but it scales down to the TPT-1934 for standard handles & knobs).

Overview

While technically a bigger and better cabinet hardware jig than the TP-1934, I’ve put this #2 due to the extra cost that most hardware installations won’t require.

So why would you consider the TP-1935?

Easy. If you have long handle bars on your cabinets over 12″ this jig is a must have.

And with the cost of those style handles a jig of this size (and cost) is reasonable.

How to Use

Since the TPT-1935 is the same jig as the TPT-1934 it is setup and used the same.

However, as it works for long handle bars it’s extended length ruler allows for handle bars out to 38″ in length.

Manufacturer info: True Position Tools

Pros

Cons

3. TOURACE Cabinet Hardware Jig for Small Projects

Tourace Cabinet Hardware Jig for Handles and Knobs...
1,903 Reviews
Tourace Cabinet Hardware Jig for Handles and Knobs…
  • The quick-release Drill Guide Block makes set up simple
  • High precision wide range of adjustment Easy to operate
  • The fastest and most accurate hardware tool on the market Install hardware 10x faster

Last update on 2021-05-12 at 10:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For smaller cabinet installation jobs the Tourace jig is what I've used. Accurate, easy to use and great for occasional use on shorter handles and knobs.

Overview

After trying a Valiant jig (that I found out of square) I picked up this jig for my toolbox. 

And I was pleasantly surprised with it’s construction and accuracy. It included a nice carrying case, was intuitive to use, and only had plastic on the horizontal (blue) guide bars.

And after installing four doors and three drawer handles in under 10 minutes I was sold on this handy cabinet handle jig. 

How to Use

As a T-style cabinet knob jig the Tourace is setup and used similar to the TPT-1934.

A few things to look out for, though:

  • Due to plastic components be sure to take care to firmly lock the sliding guides – but not strip them
  • Make sure to validate square of the assembled jig. 

Pros

Cons

4. KREG TOOL KHI-PULL Clamp On Cabinet Hardware JIg

Kreg Tool Company KHI-PULL Cabinet Hardware Jig
2,878 Reviews
Kreg Tool Company KHI-PULL Cabinet Hardware Jig
  • Install Knobs and Pulls the Worry-Free Way – with Easy, Repeatable Accuracy
  • Adjustable guides for accurate hole placement
  • Built-in measuring scales for repeatable results 

Last update on 2021-05-12 at 10:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kreg offers jigs of all kinds, and for cabinet jigs they have one of their infamous "blue" entrants. This is a simple, solid quality jig for small jobs.

Overview

For fans of the highly reputable Kreg line this jig is a great option for small projects. And due to it’s no-frills design it can be easily used by just about anyone.

The Kreg jig departs from the T-style jigs and leverages a simple sliding design for it’s guides. And, while this jig is plastic, the drill bit bushings are encased in hardened steel.

How to Use

This style of jig is simpler to setup – and is best when used with Kreg’s popular face clamp.

Simply match the guide bushings to the spacing of your hardware and clamp to the cabinet door or drawer.

Manufacturer: Kreg Tools

5. Valiant Cabinet Knob Jig

Valiant Cabinet Hardware Jig | Drawer Knobs and...
682 Reviews
Valiant Cabinet Hardware Jig | Drawer Knobs and…
  • ✅ WORK WITH HIGH PRECISION – Install new cabinet handles with accuracy. This cabinet jig allows you to drill holes without going wrong, ever. We specifically designed it to make installations a…
  • ✅ ROBUST BUILD – Our tools will surely outlast your mounting needs. The cabinet hardware jig is made from industry-grade aluminum alloy while the ruler is made from stainless steel some pvc.
  • ✅ WORKS ON MOST CABINETS & DRAWERS – Our cabinet jig can be used to a variety of kitchen drawers, cabinets, cupboards, door handles, flaps and drawer fronts while installing them 80% faster.

Last update on 2021-05-11 at 18:20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Overview

This Valiant is one of many True Position Tools-like budget T-style cabinet hardware jigs.

And, after purchasing this jig, I was disappointed with this jig due to a mis-aligned set screw on the main shaft of the jig that caused it to be out-of-square.

And not just a little, it was noticeable over just 5″ on the project I was installing.

How to Use

Like other T-style jigs, including the TPT-1934, this jig is setup for drilling both handles and knobs. 

Pros

Cons

6. Amerock Cabinet Knob Jig Template

Amerock Cabinet Door/Drawer Hardware Installation...
1,518 Reviews
Amerock Cabinet Door/Drawer Hardware Installation…
  • Cabinet hardware installation template combo pack for doors and drawers
  • Simplifies cabinet hardware installation
  • Intricately crafted with precise detail for lifelong beauty and durability

Last update on 2021-05-11 at 18:02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Overview

If your DIY skills are stretched to the max with measuring and drilling, a cabinet knob jig template might be best for you.

A cabinet knob jig is a plastic sheet with pre-drilled holes for most popular knob and handle spacing. 

To use on doors, simply select the right holes for your knob or handle and drill holes like you would have with a jig. 

And for drawers repeat the same thing, however you’ll need to locate the drawer center (left to right, up and down).

Tip: Use blue painters tape to hide the holes you shouldn’t use.

How to Use

Of all of the jigs on this list, this one is the easiest to use:

  • First, there are no moving pieces or setup to the jig
  • Your choices are first finding the right hole layout for your cabinet hardware
  • Once you have the right holes, I recommend marking them off with tape (either mark the holes to use, or mark off the holes not to use)

Pros

Cons

Cabinet Hardware Jig Reviews

NameFeaturesShop
True Position Tools 1934 Cabinet Hardware JigTrue Position TP-1934 Accurate, all metal construction perfect for large DIY kitchen projects.Buy
TPT-1935 Cabinet Hardware JigTrue Position TP-1935 All the features of the TP-1934 plus a 38″ bar for long handled cabinet hardwareBuy
Tourace Cabinet Hardware Jig
Tourace Best DIY cabinet hardware jig for small projects with a few handles.Buy
KHI-Pull Cabinet Hardware JigKreg KHI-Pull Quality jig great for small projects.Buy

Choosing Cabinet Hardware

Still deciding on what cabinet knobs or handles you want? With thousands of options to choose from it can be difficult.

Bestselling Cabinet Knobs

Last update on 2021-05-11 at 15:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Guide to Cabinet Hardware Jigs

Why do I need a cabinet jig?

For a DIY project here’s a few things to consider:

    • Accuracy as manual methods are tough to repeat over large #’s of holes
    • Cost savings when manual methods may end up damaging a cabinet door or drawer front
    • Visual alignment for both knobs and handles to ensure they are perfectly aligned

When should I use a cabinet hardware jig?

Farmhouse Kitchen Hardware Blue Painted Kitchen With White

So let’s be economical. 

If you have 2-3 doors and a drawer there’s an alternative: a tape measure, hole punch and some careful measuring. 

And triple check your measurements.

But when do you need a jig? Well, here’s my criteria for a DIY project:

    • More than four doors and especially if the knobs or handles will meet “side by side” as any mis-alignment will be visible
    • Multiple drawers or a “drawer stack” where left to right perfection is a must
    • Adding and subtracting fractions isn’t your thing
    • You or a spouse is a perfectionist 

What other tools will I need?

Dewalt Cordless Drill Woodworker Tool

I’d recommend these four tools in addition to your cabinet hardware jig:

  • Lightweight cordless drill
  • 3/16″ drill bit
  • High quality tape measure with a wide blade
  • Phillips screwdriver

Who needs to help me?

Installing cabinet hardware is a job for one. 

Or, two if you’re not the decision maker on cabinet hardware placement. And I fall into this category. 

So I recommend help for:

    • Deciding initial knob placement
    • Validation after the first door and drawer has it’s hardware installed

After that, a helper is great to work behind you with a Phillips screwdriver or cordless drill set to a low clutch.

Where do I place my hardware?

Farmhouse Kitchen Hardware White Cabinets Knobs and Pulls

This is a question only the owner of the cabinet can answer. But, check out my guide to cabinet hardware placement for a few ideas.

How do I install cabinet hardware?

Let’s look at the basic steps and we’ll cover each in more depth later:

  1. Order your hardware
  2. Decide on your cabinet hardware placement
  3. Setup your cabinet hardware jig to the desired hole locations
  4. Double check your measurements
  5. Triple check
  6. Drill one door and test installing a knob or handle
  7. KEEP the cabinet handle jig setup and drill all similar doors
  8. Double check the jig hasn’t slipped every few doors
  9. Convert the jig to drawers and repeat steps #3-6

What's a sacrificial block and why do I need one?

Cabinet-Hardware-Jig-Sacrificial-Block
Sacrificial block on back of jig

If you haven’t drilled cabinet hardware holes before then the term blow-out might not  mean anything to you.

But once you drill a fast hole in a door and find a splintered back of the door or drawer you’ll realize what blow-out is.

How do you prevent damage with a sacrificial block?  Here’s how:

    • First, make sure you are using a sharp (or NEW) brad point drill bit
    • The sacrificial block is a 3/4″x3″x6″ block of scrap wood placed on the backside of the door or drawer where the drill bit will come through
    • Firmly hold or use a face clamp (safest) to hold the block in place while drilling
    • When drilling make sure to clear the shavings a few times to keep the bit clean for optimal cutting

In the picture above you can see I used a scrap of pine as my sacrificial block. But it can be safer to use hardwood if your depth judgement isn’t precise (takes longer to drill through hardwood!).

Why you want a metal cabinet hardware jig and not plastic

DIY Cabinet Hardware Jig

It’s all about slipping and durability when it comes to metal versus plastic.

But first, let’s understand the three general types of cabinet hardware jigs and their construction:

    1. Fixed hole cabinet hardware jigs that are initially appealing due to price and the ability to skip measurements. But that makes the less flexible and accurate for perfectly centering your holes.
    2. Clamp-on cabinet hardware jigs like the Kreg and a dozen other varieties of mostly fixed-hole jigs. While these jigs are suitable for smaller projects they are harder to get that perfect 31/64-th’s alignment that is surprisingly required on highly symmetrical installations. 
    3. Inter-locking rule cabinet jigs that depend on two intersecting rules and sliding bore mounts. And while these are a mix of plastic and metal construction, they are my preferred jig and focus of this section.

When it comes to the inter-locking rule cabinet jigs it just doesn’t make sense to choose plastic as the material when this jig is built around extremely precise measurements. 

Due to that plastic can fail if:

    • Over-torquing the adjustment screws can strip the metal housing that is embedded in plastic.
    • Plastic will not be as straight as a machined metal rule. Period.
    • For jigs with a plastic vertical rule squareness to the horizontal rule will be an issue. Maybe not the first use, but over adjustments, inevitable drops, and normal wear-and-tear it will shift out of square.

Buying Guide for the Best Cabinet Hardware Jigs

Notice the open gap between the silver rule and the right side of the jig (serious flaw)

The reason I recommend the True Position Tools jig is it’s reputation for being exactly square and made from high quality materials throughout.

I found this out recently when I purchased and tested the Valiant jig. Due to a design flaw in the set screw the Valiant jig, pictured below, is almost 1/32″ out of square. And that can be noticeable on a cabinet with short handles and a disaster for longer handles or bars.

To demonstrate this, in the below diagrams the TOURACE is in aluminum and blue; while the more expensive Valiant is in black. Notice the TOURACE has a set screw to keep the jig square and the nearly identical Valiant does not.

Plastic vs. Metal Cabinet Hardware Jigs

If your project involves a few doors and no drawers then a plastic jig might work. While a plastic jig is $10-15 cheaper there are a few considerations:

    • Plastic jigs with pre-drilled holes and no adjustment might not allow you to place the holes exactly center on your workpiece.
    • Sliding jigs with a plastic ruler should hold up for a few doors. But for larger projects with many adjustments metal is preferred for holding power.
    • Drawers require a long clearance from the jig edge and metal will outperform plastic for accuracy.

Cabinet Jigs for Long Handles

If your cabinet project involves handles that extend over 12″ you’ll want to go with the True Precision 1935 jig to ensure accuracy of holes door-to-door. 

Why? Simple, shorter jigs would require two setups and holes to be drilled. And a simple difference in door or drawer front length will throw off your handle hole spacing and cause a disaster.

Frequently Asked Questions for Cabinet Hardware Jigs

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you install bar pulls on cabinets?

The best method is to use a cabinet hardware jig built for bar pulls. Because you need repeated placement across multiple drawers and doors a jig built specifically for this will improve accuracy and visual placement.

How do you use cabinet hardware templates?

While each cabinet hardware jig will vary in it’s use there are three basic steps. First, do all similar doors or drawers together and avoid changing your jig settings. Second, use a face clamp to secure the jig to the door or cabinet before drilling. And lastly, use a large backing block on the back side of the door or drawer to avoid “blow out”.

How do you make a cabinet jig?

While it’s possible to make a simple, fixed hole jig I advise to purchase one as they are relatively inexpensive for small jobs. But, for a quick door jig, you can create a jig using two plywood strips nailed in an “L”. Then use a third piece of plywood as the face piece that you will drill two guide holes in. But, this method is not as accurate as commercially available jigs.

What is a cabinet hardware jig?

A cabinet hardware jig is a tool built to help install cabinet handle and knob hardware. The jig provides guide holes for holes to be drilled with repeatable accuracy. Cabinet hardware can be quickly installed without concern for crooked handles or knobs.

Summary

While you can drill your cabinet hardware without a jig, it’s error prone and typically will not yield as high a quality job. Which makes matching the best cabinet hardware jig to your job a must before picking up the drill.

Last update on 2021-05-12 at 10:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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