Mitered
or

Cope & Stick

Do you prefer Mitered Doors and Drawer Fronts or Cope & Stick? 
Not sure what the difference is?

Our tutorial below will help you understand the difference.

The two most common joints used to build cabinet doors are
Miter and Cope & Stick.


We'll explain both and give examples so that you can make an informed decision on the types of doors you want in your new kitchen or bathroom.

Mitered Doors and Drawer Fronts

DIY-Cabinet Doors Miter Joints

A Miter Joint is the same joint used to make picture frames.  The pieces meet to form the corner, each cut at a 45º angle.  The Miter Joint is a practical woodworking joint especially suited for picture frames and cabinet doors.

Pros
- The Miter Joint, when done correctly, creates a clean, crisp edge along the end-grain of the pieces you are connecting.  The angled joint makes for a larger surface are for gluing, which translates to a stronger joint.

Cons - Getting the measurements and the cuts just right can be challenging and takes practice.

The biggest issue with using Miter Joints is that they have a tendency to open and close slightly with the change in humidity, therefore they are not recommended for painted finishes as the finish may crack at the miter.  Please be aware of this prior to ordering your new Cabinet Doors and Drawer Fronts.

Cope & Stick Doors and Drawer Fronts

DIY-Cabinet Doors Cope & Stick Joints

A Cope & Stick Joint is the most common joint used for cabinet doors.  The pieces meet to form the corner, each cut at a 90º angle.  Relies on the Center Panel to provide Joint strength.

Pros - The Cope & Stick Joint is easy to manufacture using various jigs specifically designed for this process.  Less wasted material in the manufacturing process results in lower cost.  Resistant to swelling and splitting due to humidity.  Able to make Arched doors.

Cons - Relies on the center panel to provide it's strength.  The 90º joints do not provide much strength, so the Center Panel helps aid in this.  This is usually not an issue as all doors and drawer fronts have a Center Panel.

 

DIY-Cabinet Doors - Bellingham Raised Mitered Door in Maple SelectDIY-Cabinet Doors - Frontier Recessed Mitered Door in Cherry
DIY-Cabinet Doors - Saratoga Raised Mitered Door in Hickory Knotty

 

DIY-Cabinet Doors - Belair Raised Cope & Stick Door in Maple KnottyDIY-Cabinet Doors - Cottage Recessed Cope & Stick Door in Oak Select
DIY-Cabinet Doors - Maverick Raised Cope & Stick Door in Oak Knotty