I messed up the measurements of one of the IKEA kitchen handles. 32mm Vs 29mm to the edge, so 3mm off.

Do you think I can drill to widen one hole left 1.5mm and the other hole right by 1.5mm and then tighten it straight without exposing the mess from the front or back? Is a 3mm move too much? I'm willing to accept a half way house and maybe trim the discrepancy from 3mm to 1.5mm etc If not what do you suggest? Fill and re-drill?

enter image description here enter image description here

  • Making the hole wider will simply allow the handle to slide back & forth, no matter how tight you get the screw today. It will loosen and slide as you grab the handle to open the door. Once it's starting to slide around, it will scratch up the surface of your cabinet and you'll have a scratched door with a crooked handle, instead of a nice looking door with a crooked handle. Widening the hole is not recommended!
    – FreeMan
    Mar 12, 2021 at 14:38

2 Answers 2


I would plug both holes without enlarging them, glue a piece of dowel that fits and let dry.

Then check on the face that the handle will cover the dowel when the handle is mounted correctly, otherwise you will need to make it the same color.

Then drill new holes in the correct positions. The back side may be easily covered by using a washer or a screw with a wider head - usually the screws for those handles have a washer built into the head anyway.

The adage: measure twice, cut once also applies to drilling.


How wide is this?

enter image description here

It looks like you have enough room to adjust it 1.5-3mm in either direction.

I suggest:

  1. Removing the handle
  2. Clean the hole by drilling through it with a bit as wide as the screw threads. If the screw threads did not damage the interior of the original hole then skip this step unless you need to enlarge it for step #3.
  3. Get a bunch of toothpicks, match sticks, or a dowel
  4. Generously apply wood glue to them
  5. Hammer them into the hole
  6. Clean up excess wood glue
  7. Wait for the glue to cure
  8. Use a sharp knife or chisel and carefully remove the excess toothpick/match/dowel
  9. Re-drill your hole where desired

I do this all the time when I replace the strike plate on a doorframe. Albeit I benefit from the strike plate covering up my mess quite well :-)

If all else fails then order a replacement door from IKEA.

  • 16mm. Would you not consider just widening the whole or is that too much of a bodge?
    – user129664
    Mar 12, 2021 at 13:33
  • 2
    @J12966 The cabinet handle would forever be at risk of shifting when you use it and will mess up the finish of the cabinet door.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Mar 12, 2021 at 13:34
  • @J12966 Here's the damage a loose door knob does to a door's finish: locksmithsmelbourne.biz/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/… Sure, you could tighten it really hard but then you might crack your cabinet. Over time it will loosen.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Mar 12, 2021 at 13:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.