Simple Solutions

How to Use a Drilling Jig for Cabinet Handles and Knobs

By: Joe Truini

wooden jig for drilling holes for cabinet hardware
When installing cabinet handles and knobs on doors and drawers, the screw holes need to all be drilled the same, so the hardware will align properly. The best way to do this is to make a simple jig from a scrap of plywood with strips attached to the jig to act as stops for the top and edge of the door.

Hold the jig in place on the cabinet door, and drill the aligned holes through it. For doors which are hung on the opposite side, position the jig on back of the door, hold or clamp a scrap of wood or plywood on the front to prevent tear out, and drill the holes in the door from the inside.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Video Transcript

When installing new hardware in cabinet doors, it’s important to drill the holes accurately so the handles not only line up, but also align with all the other doors and the other handles. Right? You don’t want them all out of line. So the trick is to use a jig – a drilling jig.

You can find plastic jigs like this; but this one is only good for marking the holes, not drilling, so I prefer to make my own. This is just a simple drilling jig made out of a 1/2” plywood block and some stops. These are 1” wide stops that I glued and screwed to the back.

Now, I can just hold it in place. These holes that I drilled earlier line up perfectly with the holes on my handle. And now I’m just going to drill straight through the jig and right through the door. That’s all there is to it, and see these holes line up perfectly with the handle.

Now, the nice thing about using a jig like this is that you ordinarily have to drill a lot of holes because there are several doors, and the jig allows you to not only do it quickly but accurately.


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7 Comments on “How to Use a Drilling Jig for Cabinet Handles and Knobs”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    April 24th, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for reporting this, mp. We’ve revised the article’s headline.
    Take care!

  • mp Says:
    April 24th, 2019 at 10:35 am

    You didnt show how to make the jig, you just described how its used!

  • allan Says:
    March 1st, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Don’t the holes in the jig get bigger or misshapen every time the drill but goes through? Seems after a dozen doors the jig would be sloppy.

  • Pat Says:
    November 23rd, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Okay we have placed the handles on the cabinet doors, but I am looking for suggestions for the drawers. We have several different size drawers in the kitchen cabinets. My husband says make a jig, but I can’t see how one jig will do it. The handles will need to have 2 holes drilled for each handle and be centered in both directions. Any instruction videos or suggestions would be appreciated. This job has been put off for several years now. Thanks. we enjoy your show.

  • Fred Says:
    December 26th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    This video is fine for a right hand opening, but most kitchen cabinets have cabinets next to each other that open both ways and this jig won’t work for left hangs.

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    August 29th, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Lynnette,
    It’s not possible to give the hole placements for the jig, since they will vary depending on the width of the door stile, the height you want the handle or knob, and the distance between the two posts on a handle. You will have to custom drill the holes in the jig to fit your individual needs.

  • Lynnette Says:
    August 29th, 2012 at 9:28 am

    This video needs to tell us HOW TO MAKE THE JIG! I get it that I need a jig-that’s why I came here. How do you get the hole placement on the jig in the correct spots? I will watch a few other videos to see if they are better at COMPLETELY explaining things. If so, what a great resource, thank you. If not, I won’t be back.

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How to Use a Drilling Jig for Cabinet Handles and Knobs