Pros and Cons of Drawer Slides

Pros and Cons of Drawer Slides

1. Wooden Slides

Conventionally, drawers usually slide on wooden runners; strips of wood interlocked into horizontal rails at the cabinet’s face. In cases where a drawer won’t be guided by the sides of a cabinet — for instance, when the cabinet’s face frame extends into the drawers opening — the runners are equipped with leads to stop the drawers from sliding to the right or left and binding when they are closed.

Qualities of wooden runners

  • They work terrifically when the drawers fit well. With fine furniture, they are the benchmark, not because it takes skill to make drawers snugly fit but not so snug that it is hard to open and close.
  • They don’t need additional monetary investment outside of your labor, while mechanical slides will cost installers.
  • They enable your drawer’s front to function as a completed face; no additional face needs to be applied.
  • They allow the joinery and drawer sides beam without interference by metal equipment.

However, wooden drawer slides are far from ideal in many respects.

  • They do not allow to fully extend: When installers pull the drawer out to a specific point, it can sag and maybe even fall out of the opening.
  • Well-fitting drawers can stick in locales where humidity deviates considerably from season to season.

For a while now, cabinetmakers have mechanical slide hardware accessible to them, the features that have improved gradually. Nowadays there’s a crazy amount of options provided by many manufacturers such as Blum, Accuride, Knape & Vogt, and more.

Mechanical slides have a couple of benefits over conventional wooden runners, even if they don’t have the pristine that comes with piston fit drawers. They are quiet, run smooth, and enables installers to pull a drawer fully out without risk of it tipping its contents all over, or even worse, falling totally out and getting damaged.

2. Side Mounted Ball Bearing Slides

Side mount ball bearing slides like those manufactured by Accuride are budget-friendly, reliable, and durable. They come with a large variety of optional features, among them a decent; extra-heavy load capabilities; specialty slides for file-type drawers, lateral files, etc.

They are extremely easy to install— installers can install them just about anywhere installers want, mounting the supports to the cabinet sides or using mounting brackets to attach hardware to the front and back of the cabinet— and only impose one restriction on the dimensions of the drawer: The width of the drawer is required to be at or just a little under the specific width between the slides once they have been installed. Outside of this, installers could use these slides on drawers that are more deep or narrower than the slides, conditional on its application. The matter of how the drawer bottom fits into the drawer is of no concern — even it’s even at the bottom surfaces, fitted into slips, or sliding into slots in the drawer’s front and sides. While this adjustability might not sound so impressive in theory, it may be a life saver in uncommon situations where installers need the combination of budget friendly price, fully extendibility and adjustability in drawer design that likewise hardware might allow.

These types of slides enable the drawer to be removed easily by disengaging its lever. In replacing the drawer, slide it diligently into position — if the parts aren’t aligned correctly, it may damage the slides – -then push until there is a click. Then pull it out and close it all the way to check the fitting.

Adjustability: Prior to installers installing the set screws, the slides can be adjusted up and down additionally to forward and backward positions thanks to grooves on each piece: the piece that goes on the drawer and the piece that goes into the cabinet. Many drawers can also be equipped with screwdriver adjustable cams.

3. Undermounted Self-closing Slides

Cabinetmakers are accessible to kinds of slides that mixes full extension and pristine, silent operation with close to complete concealment. The Blum Tandem is the most commonly known type, but when other fabricators saw how favorable new designs were with fabricators and their clients, they started designing their own types based on their concept.

In lieu of the slides being silent, pristine running, fully extended capability, and concealed; when fitted with the correct locking devices they provide a new area in adjustability over previous types of drawer slides hardware. Installers may move the drawer faced up or faced down, forwards or backwards, angle it up or down, or place it side to side; a joy when installers are handling inset drawer faces. However, these components come with many strict specifications:

There are specific dimensional specifications: Drawers need be just the correct width and depth to fit certain slides. These and other requirements are laid out in easy to read guides provided by the hardware fabricators.

There is no way to install the drawer bottoms wherever installers wish. It is required to have a 1/2″ recess enabling the drawer sides and front will be on top of the runners. Along with these specifications, installers are required to drill some holes in the back of the drawer for the mechanism to tilt.

Since the placement of the slide’s hardware is in a fixed position in relation to the drawer’s sides, installers are required to be more precise in the position of the hardware in the cabinet than the installers would do with side mounted ball bearing types. Installers are also required to leave more height space than using side mounted types, which may take up space, depending on other components of the cabinet’s design.

As in the case with the side-mounted types, there will be some of space on the sides of the drawer with undermounted hardware. This clearance comes out to be about 5/16″ on either side. In many cases installers will want to put on a cabinet face.

Drawer Boxes

If you’re looking for the best quality cabinet drawer boxes at the best prices there isn’t a better source than Drawer Connection.  We give you your choice of wood and only source the highest quality raw materials.  All of our fabrication is high precision and made to last.  Whether you’re choosing a solid wood with a dovetail joint or a melamine with a dowel joint, every single drawer box is built to last!