A Detailed Guide to Choosing the Best Drawer Slides
Drawer runners refer to metal devices that help facilitate the smooth opening and closing of drawers. In the past, cabinet drawers lacked any form of runners and caused problems due to friction buildup on the sliding wooden surfaces.
The slide system generally involves the incorporation of a roller system on an outer side of a drawer and a slider track on the interior section of the cabinet. This slider track contains plugged ends that prevent the slider wheels from slipping out of place. If you want to understand more about cabinet runners, here is a detailed guide to choosing top-notch ones. drawer slides.
Different Shapes of Drawer Slides Sold by Drawer Slide Suppliers
There are three different drawer guides on the market. Some are simple in design, while others are sophisticated and are for specific drawers only. Today, drawer runner suppliers can provide you with the following types of drawer runners.
- Ball bearing drawer slides
Ball-bearing slides use special ball bearings to facilitate the smooth opening and closing of drawers. This rail system consists of three main parts: the cabinet section, the drawer section, and the intermediate section. The center section contains a slot where the two sets of ball bearings attach to the cabinet or drawer sections. Ball-bearing drawer slides allow you to fully open a drawer and are usually found in home cabinets such as dresser drawers.
- Roller guides
The simplest and cheapest Drawer runners you can buy from drawer runner suppliers is the drawer runner. This device has only two plastic sliders that provide horizontal stability when opening the drawer. Roller tracks are relatively prevalent in desk drawers that handle light loads. You can only mount roller guides on the sides of your drawer due to their design.
- Concealed Ball Bearing Slider
This ball bearing slide is a high-quality expensive slide that has a hidden ball-bearing compartment. This drawer slide system contains a sturdy runner that mounts to the side of the cabinet. It can hold approximately 90 pounds of weight. The runner beam extends under the drawer to hide the slide mechanism.
Although these three are the main drawer slide options, you can also classify slides based on their mounting position. For example, there are bottom mount, center-mount, and side mount drawer slides.
Drawer track vendors sell-side mount and bottom mount slides in pairs, and these slides need approximately 0.5 inches of clearance between the cabinet and drawer sections. The amount of clearance distance required by center mount rails depends on the thickness of the rail.
Tips to Consider Choosing the Right Drawer Runner
Since runners are an inseparable part of cabinet furniture, you’d better pay close attention when purchasing drawer glides. Drawer runners come in various sizes and designs, and it can be overwhelming to choose one for your cabinet drawers. Here are five important tips to keep in mind when looking for drawer slides.
- Know your maximum expected capacity
When choosing runners for your drawers, it would be best to understand the maximum weight capacity that they can hold. This concept is particularly essential when it comes to kitchen furniture that stores cutlery and crockery. If you plan to keep heavy items inside the drawers, kindly consider heavy-duty drawer slides that allow for quick and efficient opening and closing.
Overloading the drawer slide can cause breakage and distortion of the slide system. Such occurrences may force you to replace the entire corridor and incur unnecessary expenses. A trivial way to estimate your intended weight capacity is by inspecting the width of the drawer. A wide drawer is more likely to carry heavy thngs and may require a heavy-duty drawer slide with a high load capacity.
- Know what type of slide extension you prefer
Since drawer slides can continue to function for many years, choose your preferred slide extension option before purchasing a slide. After the drawer slides are installed in a cabinet, the drawer can be extended out in three ways; you can get partial, full, or overtravel drawer extension. A partial extension is best for wide drawers that store small items that you can effortlessly retrieve without opening the drawer all the way. A full-extension runner allows you to open a cabinet drawer all the way and is ideal for shallow drawers where it may be difficult to access the back area of the drawer if you choose a partial extension.
- Consider the type and mounting method of the corridor
If you’re shopping for drawer runners, it’s best to first consider what type of drawers you have. Most people prefer to use roller guides because they offer ease of installation and low prices. However, these rails have a low weight capacity and only provide partial extension, meaning they are only best for small cabinet drawers. On the other hand, ball-bearing guides contain strong materials and components that can withstand high load capacities. Ball-bearing slides can offer partial and full extension options, and most models have a soft close drawer system.
- Find an ideal fixing position
drawer runner suppliers
Ideally, you should put a ball bearing slide on the side of a drawer, unless the slide has a bottom fixed roller, which requires you to mount it under the drawer. When installing drawer slides, it is always best to use a proper hardware combination when attaching the slides to the drawer and cabinet.
- Look for feature-rich drawer slides
Modern slides have complex features such as shock absorption, push to open, and automatic closing. Some drawer slides can absorb the impact associated with drawers slamming shut and prevent damage to the slide mechanism. Others have a push-to-open feature that only requires you to apply a light push on the drawer to open it. Self-closing runners automate the drawer’s closing mechanisms once you push it in.