25 Types Of Drawer Slides (With A Guide To Choosing)

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about drawer slides? In a lay man's language, a drawer slide is a device that is fixed to the side of a drawer and also fixed to the carcass of a drawer unit.

You must know different types of drawer slides available because the type of drawer slide you choose can make or mar the quality of your project. Knowing different types of drawer slides and choosing the best gives your project the perfect final touch it deserves.

Here is the best guide we have compiled for you to know and choose the best option.

Mounting Style -

There are different mounting styles for drawer slides such as hard mounting, flat mounting, bracket mounting, vertical mounting, rail mounting. There are easy DIY mounting styles you can adopt for your drawer slides, some of them are side, center, under and bottom mounting, which depend on the amount of space or distance between your drawer box and your cabinet opening and personal preference.

We have more to unleash to you in this article, follow attentively


1. Bottom Mount Drawer Slide:  

This mounting style enables you to make drawers to the full width of the drawer opening with 1/8" subtracted from each side, which allows more storage space when compared with other styles.

They are attached to the underside of the drawer.

Most bottom mount drawer slides are 3/8" in thickness but you need to leave about 5/16" under your drawer bottom for proper mounting. 

There is an extra 1/16" extra which gives clearance between the face frame and the drawer sides after mounting your drawer slide. 

When you should use it?

You can use this when you need more storage space to accommodate heavy loads.


2. Undermount Drawer Slide: 

This is a ball-bearing type of slides, sold in pairs. They are mounted to the cabinet's sides and connected to locking devices which are fixed to the underside of the drawer.

It needs specific clearance at the top and bottom of the opening of the cabinet, this type of slide is usually 5/8" thick and 1/2" space from the underside to the drawer bottom. 

When you should use it?

It can be used based on your personal preference if you want your cabinet to be highlighted. 


3. Side Mount Drawer Slide: 

This type of drawer slide is sold in pairs and each pair is mounted on the side of the drawer. It needs a clearance of 1/2" between the slides and the opening of the cabinet. The working principle can either be a ball-bearing or roller. 

When you should use it?

You can use this when you want to carry heavier weights, which will be visible when opened. 


4. Center Mount Drawer Slides: 

These are drawer slides that come in single slides unlike other types. They are fixed under the center of your drawer and mounted along the bottom. It works with the principle of ball-bearing and the thickness of the slide is a determinant for the clearance. 

When you should use it?

This type of slide can be used when you have lighter weight items and when you are considering the economic factor; It is economical.


5. Groove Mount Drawer Slides: 

These are drawer slides that recess into a groove on the box of the drawer. It works with a ball-bearing mechanism and requires less maintenance. 

When you should use it?

They are used in dresser drawers and office furniture drawers. 

Special Motion Features -
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​There are different motion features you can choose for your drawer slides, Most drawer slides come with diverse special motion options which can be the feature you need for your drawer in your home or office.

Let us look at some of these special motion features.


6. Soft Close Drawer Slide:

This is a special motion feature that increases the dampening effect, which stops slamming while closing the drawer. It consists of hydraulic components that prevent slamming which in turn reduces the noise produced when closing the drawer 


7. Self Close Drawer Slides: 

These are slides that draw or pull the drawer in any direction with exerting much effort. It also makes the drawer return to its original position in the cabinet when pushed. 


8. Push To Open:  

Drawers without handles or pulls make use of this slide. The drawer slides open when you exert pressure on the front face of the drawer. It needs to be pushed slightly.


9. Assisted Open/Close:

The working principle of this special slide allows the automatic closing and opening of the drawer about three-quarters through the motion. It makes use of an assistive mechanism just as the name implies. 


10. Hold-in/Hold Out:

The law of motion says, a body will remain in a position of rest until an external force is applied. This law is also applicable to this type of slide, in the sense that the drawer will either remain open or closed until you apply force.


11. Lock-in/Lock-Out: 

This is similar to the one prior discussed, the only difference is that lever components need to be released while the drawer is locked opened or locked closed. 


12. Shock Absorption:

The internal mechanism of a drawer slide incurs damages when slammed. This type will limit noise when closed hard and it also protects the quality of your drawer slides by absorbing shock.

Slide Length and Extensions -

You need to consider the ideal slide length and their respective extensions when selecting the best type of drawer slides for your drawer. It is very frustrating when you use the wrong slide length for your drawer. 
You need to be certain about the largeness of the drawer space in your cabinet, don't buy a drawer that is the wrong size for your cabinet.  

Let us consider some of the side length and extensions, to guide you in choosing the right drawer size for your cabinets. 


13. 3/4 Extension Drawer Slide: 

You can pull a drawer out at 3/4 of its total length when you make use of this slide.  This also serves as an economical solution when you want to replace your old drawer slide.  Those who want to restrict access to their drawer's contents can go for this extension.


14. 7/8 Extension: 

This drawer slide gives you total access to all the contents in your drawer, it also includes a soft-close feature, easy to install and economical.


15. Full Extension Drawer Slide:

You can go for this type of drawer slide because it allows you to easily sight and gain access to the contents in your drawers.  


16. Overtravel Drawer Slide:

You have access to open your drawer beyond complete extension, this means the recommended clearance requires more inches.  Users who have kitchen countertops or a lip on your cabinets can go for drawer slides with over-travel because it provides full access and visibility of the drawer's contents. 


17 . The Short Length Under 10-Inch: 

This type of slide has a higher capacity.


18. The most common 10-inch - 28-inch:

This is a drawer slide that gives you access to open your drawer without stress,  it is one of the most common slide lengths and extensions because it allows ease in opening and closing drawers comfortably.


19. The longer length 30-inch +:

This extension is used in ball-bearing drawer slides and under-mount drawer slides. They are used in kitchen cabinets.

Closing or Opening Mechanism -

Drawer slides make use of different mechanisms and perform different functions, which depends on the type of drawer slide in use. We will discuss some of the common types of drawer slide mechanisms available, they include:


20. Wooden Slides: 

Wooden slides can be adopted instead of plastic or metal drawer slides.

A wooden slide is constructed from timber which serves as rails where drawers rest and slide.  

Guides can also be fixed on the slides to guide the movement of the drawers.

When using wooden slides for your cabinets and furniture needs fabrication that is precise for smooth movement without friction.

On the downside, you can't achieve a balanced drawer and full extension is not possible. It can also tend to stick in humid environments.


21. Roller Slides: 

These types of slides have two components such as two mated,  epoxy-coated metal profiles which are attached to the frame of the cabinet.

Nylon wheels are also a component that allows easy and quiet movement of the profile.  

It is more conspicuous if attached to the drawer side in comparison to the wooden slides. It is sometimes called the European bottom mount and is widely used for lightweight loads. 


22. Ball Bearing Slides:

As the name implies,  this is composed of balls which allow the mated steel profile components to move smoothly and quietly on the drawer.

It is more durable and can bear more loads when compared to roller slides.

It allows smooth and quiet opening because all slide components move simultaneously.

Weight Rating -

This is one of the factors that need to be considered when choosing the best type of drawer slide for your drawer.  

Most drawer slides are rated to contain 75, 100, and 150 pounds, this is considered when selecting slides for a kitchen where there are heavy kitchen utensils like pots, stoves, and pans.  

These are important for heavy-duty applications, for example pantry pull-outs and file drawers.

Let us look into some of the rates of the common slide:


23. 75 Pounds: 

These are drawer slides that can hold items of weight 75 pounds easily. It can hold a static 150 pounds. 


24. 100 Pounds: 

This is a drawer slide that can hold items of 100 pounds in weight. This type is used to heavy content in the drawer. 


25. 150 Pounds: 

This is a slide that can hold cabinet contents of 150 pounds in weight. The weight capacity of slides varies from 75 pounds up to 500 pounds.

Conclusion


We have discussed different types of drawer slides and applications, choosing the best slides for your drawer depends on many factors such as weight, size, space, motion features among many others.

This is a guide that will help you to choose rightly without stress, you can read and research more for proper understanding. 

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