Cabinet doors without handles have become popular again although they have always had some good uses in entertainment cabinets and the hifi units. It was perceived that handles on cabinets in the lounge or living room makes the cabinet look “kitcheny”. A number of solutions have been used and can still be used to solve this problem but all have required a concealed hinge. The hinges were positively sprung, so designed to keep the cabinet door closed by the spring pressure. This tended to act against the push catch or tip latch which pushed the door outwards when released. The result was that the door only opened a small amount, about 10-20mm, so you had to get your fingers around the gap to open the door.
A solution to this was to take out the spring in the concealed hinge which then allowed the catch to push the door out much further when released. The downside of this is that the door never pulled itself closed anymore and had to be positively pushed shut until the catch clicked in.
Smaller glass hi-fi doors on a pivot hinge worked with a magnetic push catch (which are still widely used and available). When the catch is depresssed, the magnet then positively attracts the steel button fixed to the door and holds the door closed. When released the magnet becomes neutral and the catch pushes the door open. This is successful for small light weight doors. It is called a hi-fi catch.Now the perfect solution is available. The major hinge manufacturing companies have produced a negatively sprung hinge which springs out when the door is not held in by the catch, so the hinge and catch are working together to push the door open. The catches are more robust, and strong enough to hold the door shut.
It is now feasible to use a good cabinet hinge and have a handleless door.
One thing to be aware of is that for a door that is used often the surface wear of the door must be good otherwise the paint or lacquer or foil will tend to show marks of wear at the position that where the door is pushed in to release. The idea of the handle is to also give the door protection from excessive wear. It is cheaper and easier to replace the handle than have a door resprayed or replaced (where colour matching to older doors becomes a problem.)