Rarely do we give a second thought to the way our cabinets and drawers open and close—that is, unless they squeak when they’re in motion and don’t glide on their tracks as easily as they should. The drawers of your furniture should function easily and quietly. This is easy to achieve with high-quality drawer slides, which are both easy to use and install.
Soft-close drawer slides have high-quality dampers to prevent the drawers from slamming when you close them. They are also outfitted with springs that help return the drawer gently to the cabinet. Slides that offer full extension are useful because they allow you to easily see and access the contents of the whole drawer. Read on to learn more about how to choose the best drawer slides for your next kitchen or bath DIY project.
Types of Drawer Slides
There are many different types of drawer slides available on the market for, some are a very simple Ikea single wheel cheap and cheerful style, others are more sophisticated that are for very specific drawer sizes. The most common type for most cabinetry applications that happens to also be easy to install is the Bearing style Drawer slide.
The most popular drawer slides are side mount drawer slides which, as their name suggests, attach to the sides of the drawers and cabinets. Although these slides do not support the bottom of the drawer, they can still bear a lot of weight. Side mount drawer slides are sold in pairs and operate via one of two mechanisms: ball bearings or rollers. Slides with ball bearings are typically made from high-quality steel and help drawers glide quietly and easily. Side mount drawer slides operate on rollers and are less expensive, but drawers on rollers typically cannot extend as far as those on ball bearings.
One of the primary advantages of side mount drawer slides is that you can remove drawers from cabinets easily, without using tools. One drawback of side mount slides, however, is that you can see them when the drawer is open. To install these slides, you must have about ½ inch of clearance between each side of the drawer and the cabinet.
Undermount drawer slides are sold in pairs and mount to the sides of the cabinet. They connect to locking devices that attach to the underside of the drawer. Because they are not visible when the drawer is open, these slides are a popular choice for those who don’t want metal hardware distracting from the look of their wood cabinetry. Undermount drawer slides are typically silent and don’t make the metal clicking sound that some other slides do.
The disadvantage of undermount slides is that they are typically more expensive than other types of drawer slides. Though they don’t require a lot of clearance between the sides of the drawer and the cabinet, they do have specific clearance requirements above and below the drawer. For these reasons, undermount drawer slides are typically used on high-end, custom-made cabinetry.
While most drawer slides come in sets of two, center mount slides have just one bracket that attaches to the underside of the drawer. Made of either wood or metal and fairly easy to install, center mount drawer slides are less popular than other types of slides because they can easily come out of balance, causing the contents of your drawer to shift and slide around. Another disadvantage of center mount drawer slides is that they can’t hold as much weight as other types of slides. For this reason, they’re not a good option for drawers that will contain heavy items.
Also known as bottom mount drawer slides, European slides are attached to the bottom edge of the drawer and the side of the cabinet. One advantage of European slides is they’re easy to install: They are simply attached to the bottom edge of a drawer, so there’s no guesswork involved when it comes to placement. And, because they use nylon rollers rather than ball bearings, they’re typically inexpensive, too. Two downsides to European drawer slides are that they tend to have lower weight capacities than side mount or undermount slides, and the soft-close feature is not always available for this style of slide.
How to choose Drawer Slides
Starting a DIY cabinetry project may seem a daunting task, however, armed with the right knowledge and equipment, you can very quickly become a competent in drawer slide installations. The most important aspects of your cabinet drawers is going to be the actual drawer slides themselves. Drawer slides are an important part of cabinet hardware, as they enable its utility and function for your cabinets drawers, if the slides become worn or damaged, the pull-out function of your cabinet drawers can quickly become a source of frustration, so its important to pick the right product to begin with.
You don’t want to have to deal with all that, sticking and jamming preventing the drawer’s ability to actually open and close effortlessly. Also weight needs to be a big consideration. If you don’t buy the right weight capacity of the drawer slides and then you add more weight to the drawer than the slides can handle, you are going to have even more problems.
Our Top Picks
Now that you know more about drawer slides, it’s time to start shopping. The recommendations for the best drawer slides consider the features above, including type, size, material, and weight.
If you’re looking for something really heavy-duty and you want to open your drawers more smoothly than ever, you can try the drawer slides from Lontan. This one, unlike anything else, comes with amazing features that will blow your mind no matter what.
First off, what you’re getting from the whole set is not less than 10 pairs of drawer slides ranging 22 inches. This should be enough for you to cover 10 drawers without no worries at all. As you unbox them, you’ll see that each of the slides is packed well and wrapped individually.
These sliders are made of high-grade cold-rolled stainless steel. Besides, for added durability, they have got a zinc-plated finish on them. For which, there’s no way you’re getting rust or corrosion any time soon.
If you want to know how it feels to use the best heavy duty drawer slides, you should give the mount drawer sliders from Promark a go. Functionality, durability, comfort, you name it, these drawer slides have got it all.
Durability matters a lot and when it’s about your drawer slides, things get much more serious. You see, if your drawer sliders are not durable and strong enough, the drawers may fall off.
You can say goodbye to all your worries now as these sliders come with the strength and the durability you need. The sliders are made of solid cold-rolled steel, for which, you have all the strength to back you up.
Don’t let word ‘rust’ pop inside your head now since I said ‘stainless-steel’. Rust, corrosion, whatever, these sliders stay protected from all these issues 24/7. Thanks to the anti-rust coating it comes with, you never get to see rust or corrosion popping up on your sliders.
Probrico is one of the best soft close drawers slides that worth checking. With a load capacity of 80 lbs, this sturdy product doesn’t disappoint users with vulnerable equipment.
I know how much durability matters to you and trust me, it matters to everyone. The marketplace is full of typical junks and you can’t expect durability from them at all. Probrico changes the whole game for you.
Since it is constructed with heavy cold rolled steel, you can rest assured that they are durable and strong. Such materials, combined with a nickel-plated steel finish, prepare a rust-free reliable product.
Whether you are in need of upgrading your kitchen, bathroom or cabinet, they can perform great. These sliders will make sure your drawers stay suspended no matter what.
While many prefer the undermount for their homes, the side mount can do a great option. The Vadania VK1245 Soft Close Drawer Slides allows for one of the best count of ball bearings and it is seem as one of the only steel soft close catch options on the market.
It is simple and easy to use, which makes it a good option on the list. There are a few ways that the Vadania is able to stand out from the Promark, Accuride, and Lontan drawer slides.
Now we can move on to some of the features of this slide. First, it has a full extension so you are able to access the back of the drawer. Compared to the Blum 563, there are more size options as these have lengths from 10 to 24 inches.
The ball bearing of this slide allows for a smooth performance and the black finish will give some of the modern look that you want.
If you need more than one slider, then the Lontan 450253 Close Drawer Slides are the ones that you should choose. You can choose between a 2, 6, or 10 pack and they come in at half the price of some of the other drawer slides. While they are considered the generic form of these slides, they hold up well against some of the other options.
Compared to the Vadenia VK1245, these hold up just as well, without all the cost. You may even be surprised that you will not hear any of the clacking and clicking sounds that come with a poor ball bearing slide when you get these.
This brand is known for being sturdy and strong, but how they provide all of this for an affordable price is hard to tell. Whether you are using it on a regular kitchen drawer or need to load it up with lots of tools and other supplies, you will find that it is able to withstand the weight. Even when you try to slam the drawer, the damper tends to work each time, preventing damage to the drawer for an affordable price.
There are a number of features that you will love with this slide. It is a full extension drawer slide that goes on the side. You can also purchase packs of this in case you need to add the slides on more than one drawer.
The Accuride brand is often considered one of the top manufacturers of drawer slides, though the Accuride C-3832 may not be able to stand up to some of the other brands on our list. The price is a little higher than some of the other drawer slides on our list, which can make it hard for some to choose it.
The performance is great though and this slide will last a long time, so if you want to go with a name you can trust, this is the one to go with.
This drawer slide has everything that you need. Compared to the Lontan 450253, these can extend out a little bit further at 28 inches if you need to have that extra reach.
The close catch does a good job of making sure you will not be able to slam the drawer, but it does have a louder opening than some of the other options. If you want a slide that is quiet, then this may not be the best one.
The first thing you have to know about these slides is that they are not going to break. In a world where the drawer slides often get chipped off, these ones are made with high-quality cold-rolled steel.
This means that they have been molded at low temperatures, which made them much stronger and harder than regular steel. This steel will even resist deformation, and will, of course, doubly resist corrosion because of the electro-galvanized coating of zinc on its surface.
But there is one thing you need to know here – these slides are for side mounting, but unfortunately, the mounting brackets are not included in the package. When you buy these slides, you are paying for them alone, and for the long-term use, you’ll get out of them. You will, however, get mounting screws in the kit.
The comfort of using these slides is that your drawers will become soundless. These slides have ball-bearing type rolling, which reduces friction among the moving parts and slides in and out very smoothly and effortlessly.
What Load Rating do I Need?
Generally speaking, standard metal drawer slides support enough weight for everyday use in the kitchen. These slides are typically rated for loads from about 75 to around 100 lbs. However, there are some situations where a more robust slide is needed. For drawers that will support more weight than usual — large file drawers, pantry pull-outs or tool drawers, for example — look for a Heavy-Duty slide. These are built from thicker metal, with more ball bearings to maximize durability.
What Finishes are Available?
If you want your drawer slides to match your hardware, you’ll be happy to learn that we offer slides in a range of finishes. While finish matching is most common in furniture pieces, it can also be used in high-end cabinetry to up the style factor, or to help the hardware blend in.
What Slide Length?
Most slides are available in a range of lengths, usually in increments of about 2”. It goes without saying that you’ll want to minimize the amount of dead space at the back of the cabinet by selecting a slide that is as long as possible, but make sure the slide has plenty of room in the cabinet for proper operation. Take into consideration any obstacles inside the cabinet, such as nailers or stretchers, as well as whether your drawers are full inset or overlay. Full inset drawers will reduce the maximum depth of the drawer. Typically, side-mount ball-bearing slides should be the same length as the drawer box. For undermount slides, be sure to check the spec sheet—drawer boxes for these slides must be built to specific depths (front to back) in order to work properly.
What is the difference between easy-close and self-close drawer slides?
Some of our easy-close and self-close slides have several features in common such as full extension, front disconnect, hold-in features and high load ratings, however there is one main difference between all easy-close and self-close slides. A self-close slide uses a spring mechanism to close a drawer, pulling it shut quickly once the spring is engaged. Easy-close slides meanwhile, have a damper mechanism in addition to a spring, pulling the drawer shut gently and quietly.