The furniture around our house is made up of many components. All of these parts come together to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture for your interior space. Today, we’re going to talk about a very important component of modern-day furniture that is often overlooked: The Drawer Slide. In this guide, we’re going to take you through 5 different types of drawer slides and discuss their pros and cons. However, before we dive into the types of drawer slides, let’s understand what do they exactly do.
What are Drawer Slides?
If you look at either side of your drawer, chances are that you’re going to find some kind of sliding mechanism over there. Drawer slides are simple mechanisms that make opening and closing your drawers easy. They increase the overall functionality of your drawers by decreasing the effort it takes to open and close them. Drawer slides also make sure that your drawers don’t move around too freely.
Simply put, drawer slides make operating drawers easier. They are an essential component of any furniture item that has drawers in it. Drawer slides come in many different shapes and sizes. Let’s take a look at the 5 different kinds of drawer slides to help you pick the best one according to your needs.
5 Types of Drawer Slides
Different types of drawer slides function in different ways. They all serve the same purpose but achieve it using different methods. Here are the 5 most common drawer slides that we’re going to take a look at:
- Roller Slides
- Ball Bearing Slides
- Undermount Drawer Slides
- Triad Full-extension Slides with Bumper Roller Tracks
- Wooden Slides
1- Roller Slides
Roller slides are one of the most common types of drawer slides in the world. They consist of two metal frames that slide against one another with the help of nylon wheels. One metal frame is attached to the side of your drawer, and the other goes onto your drawer’s housing. Roller slides are simple and reliable. Their durability makes them a good option for kitchen drawers that see regular use and don’t hold too much weight.
- Easy to install and maintain: They have a simple design.
- Dampening: Prevent your drawers from shutting with excessive force.
- Control: Their mechanism prevents your drawers from closing and opening freely.
- Weight limit: Up to 150 pounds.
- They have a simple design.
- Roller slides are durable and long-lasting.
- They function very smoothly.
- Roller slides take up a lot of space from either side of your drawer. This makes them harder to integrate with your furniture design.
2- Ball Bearing Slides
Just like roller slides, ball bearing slides are dependable and durable as well. Unlike roller slides, ball bearing slides are easier to install, and they take up less space. Also, they can operate under heavier loads. Ball bearing slides are great for drawers that carry heavier loads. They are commonly used in office spaces and in computer desks as well.
Ball bearing slides have telescopic metal arms that slide into one another with the help of ball bearings. Their mechanism is complicated, but it also makes them more durable. Ball bearing slides have a bunch of extra features as well; for instance, you can adjust their movement and their overall extending range.
- Adjustability: You can adjust their length and range of movement before installing them.
- Control: You can adjust how easily they open or close.
- Weight limit: Can carry loads of up to 300 pounds.
- Ball bearing slides can carry heavier loads.
- You can adjust their movement and extendibility before installing them.
- Ball bearing slides let you remove slides easily by operating a built-in lever.
- These drawer slides have a lot of moving parts, making them more prone to wear and tear.
3- Undermount Drawer Slides
Both of the drawer slides that we have mentioned above are side-mounted. This means that when you pull your drawer out, they can be seen. Undermounted drawer slides are designed to remain hidden even when your drawer is opened. As their name suggests, undermounted drawer slides are mounted underneath your drawer. This lets you have more horizontal space in your cabinet frame for your drawers.
Undermount drawers have a sliding metal frame that houses a pneumatic or hydraulic piston. This piston regulates the speed at which your drawer moves, resulting in a soft-close effect. Undermounted drawer slides are popular because they work well with sleek and minimalistic-looking cabinets.
Apart from being discreet, these slides come with added features that make them very functional. A lot of undermounted slides have a self-closing or soft-closing mechanism. You just have to give them a slight push, and they close your drawer on their own.
- Discreet: They aren’t visible after you install them.
- Control: Their soft-close mechanism makes closing and opening these drawers effortless. It also dampens the movement of your drawers.
- Weight limit: Up to 100 pounds.
- Their discreet design means you don’t have to compromise on your furniture design in order to install them.
- Their soft-close capabilities make undermounted slides highly functional.
- These types of drawer slides are only suitable for drawers that hold light items.
- Not easy to install .
4- Full-extension Slides with Bumper Roller Tracks
These types of drawer slides are designed with heavy-duty lifting kept in mind. Full-extension slides with bumper roller tracks have a robust metal frame that houses their moving parts. They are designed to work smoothly under a lot of load and make sure that heavy drawers are easy to open and close.
Full-extension slides have a working mechanism similar to a ball bearing slides. However, they are bigger and more robust. Their mechanism is designed to handle the extra weight without failing. These type of drawer slides are suitable for industrial or workshop cabinets that are going to hold heavy objects.
- Heavy Duty: These drawer slides are designed to handle heavy loads without failing.
- Control: They have a dampening system that prevents heavy drawers from moving too quickly.
- Weight limit: Up to 500 pounds.
- These drawer slides are incredibly heavy-duty; they can operate under heavy load.
- They are durable and make it easy to operate heavy drawers.
- They are bulky and have a complicated mechanism.
5- Wooden Slides
Wooden slides are simple and old-school. Wooden slides have been around for a very long time. They are still popular because of their simple design and because they get the job done. Wooden drawer slides are essentially channels carved into the sides of your drawers. These channels act as guides for wooden strips that are fixed to your cabinet frame.
Wooden slides may be old, but they aren’t easy to install. They require precise cutting in order to be set up correctly. Also, they are harder to maintain and lack functionality. However, they do offer good aesthetics. Modern wooden drawer slides have seen improvements in their design. You can now find wooden slides that have dampening capabilities as well. Wooden slides can be combined with undermount slides in order to give them a rebound function as well.
- Aesthetic: These drawer slides look very pleasing since they don’t add anything extra to your drawers.
- No compromises on design: You don’t have to worry about fitting drawer slides when designing your furniture.
- Weight limit: It depends on the quality of your furniture.
- Wooden slides have a simple design, and they offer great aesthetic value.
- Gives you a variety of design choices.
- They are hard to maintain and harder to install.
Which Drawer Slide You Should Choose?
The 5 drawer slides that we mentioned above have their pros and cons. They all serve the same purpose (increasing the controllability of your drawers) in different ways. Which drawer type you should choose depends on your requirements; the slides that meet your requirement the most are going to be the best for you. The table below should help you figure out what each drawer slide has to offer.