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February 12, 2019 2 min read

Why drawer pulls made of brass are far superior to those made of other materials

Brass is used to make quality drawer pulls  and cabinet handles, as it provides many advantages over other commonly used metals. Its appearance offers long term options as the surface remains relatively consistent over time. Brass is easy to finish. It can be polished providing a shiny bright finish. If lacquered, the finish will stay shiny.  If brass is left natural it will age over time. Natural brass is often referred to as a living finish. If an aged look is preferred brass can be darkened to seem old.  

Brass is very useful. It is also nickel-plated when a silvery finish is preferred. The quality of nickel furniture handles depends upon the base metal. It is important to know what is under the nickel. Good quality nickel is always plated on brass. Nickel-plated brass handles are sturdy and dependable with a durable corrosion resistant finish.

Brass has excellent physical characteristics. It is strong, durable and extremely resistant to corrosion. It is a metal alloy, made up of approximately 60% copper, 37% zinc, and 3% other trace metals. Brass has been favored in the production of furniture handles and bail pulls for the last three centuries. History demonstrates that brass handles last and functions for generations.

What does solid brass mean? It simply indicates the item is brass all the way through. The difference comes in the production method. There are various techniques used to make brass hardware.
  • Cast brass is made by pouring molten brass in a mold. Early hardware was sometime made using this technique.
  • Stamped brass is created and shaped by pressing sheet brass with dies. This manufacturing method became popular with the industrial revolution.
  • Forging presses hot brass between die, producing a very uniform appearance. Similar production as extruded brass.
  • Extruded brass is made with a machining process where hot brass is pressed through dies into custom shades. It is then machined into shape. Brass extrusions are often used to make hinges.

Many furniture drawer pulls made in the 20th and 21st centuries were produced of pot metal or were die cast. These materials produced handles which were easily broken. Unfortunately many of these drawer pulls were made in unusual sizes or shapes, which are not available today. Time and time again customers call us about broken handles, inevitability they are die cast or pot metal.

Whenever possible it is best to use brass drawer pulls.  They are more expensive than their counterparts such as die cast or those made of pot metal or zinc. However the quality, appearance and long lasting durability of brass furniture handles is unmatched!

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