Cabinet Latch Hardware: Magnetic vs. Hook and Latch

A kitchen with cabinets.

The basic function of cabinet latch hardware is to keep cabinet doors closed. They also contribute to the overall look of the cabinets. Putting some thought into the planning of the room design for cabinet latch hardware can help tie the whole look together. Two of the basic cabinet latch designs have different ways in which they combine both form and function.

Magnetic Latches

The hardware for this style of cabinet latch is located inside the cabinet with a magnet mounted to the top or bottom of the inside cabinet door. When the door is closed, a corresponding metal plate on the inside frame comes in contact with the door magnet, keeping the cabinet door closed. This type of cabinet latch hardware is not visible from the outside so it will neither add nor detracts from the overall appearance of the cabinet.

Hook and Latch

A staple of American cabinetry since Colonial times, the hook-and-latch style of cabinet latch hardware is located externally on the face of the cabinet and makes a major statement in the appearance of the overall cabinetry. Made of solid, old-fashioned, artisan-looking metals, hook and latch hardware takes you back to simpler times and sets the tone for the entire room.

If ease of use and functionality are your concerns, the modern magnetic latch is the way to go. But if you’re looking for a finishing touch to a traditional design, hook-and-latch hardware, although slightly more work to open, may be just the right touch.