Types Of Drawer Slides: A Guide

Drawer slides can increase the functionality of cabinets in kitchens and other areas with lots of storage while making them considerably easier to use. A popular feature of some drawer slides is the ability to allow the drawer to slide closed quietly and with very little effort.

To choose the right drawer slide for your application, you will need to know the drawer depth, mounting configuration and the amount of weight your drawers will have to hold. Drawer slides are generally distinguished by two characteristics: weight classification and specialty mounting designs.

3 Weight Classifications of Drawer Slides

Light-duty slides are designed to shoulder up to 75 lbs. Light-duty slides are most commonly used in domestic applications like kitchens where several drawers are placed in a cabinet. 

Medium-duty slides have an average weight capacity of 120 lbs. Also common in domestic applications, medium-duty slides are used where heavier items like pots and pans need to be stored.

Heavy-duty slides hold between 100 and 500 lbs. and are intended for large storage purposes either in the kitchen, garage or office.

4 Types of Specialty Slides

The second classification of slides in our drawer guide is the specialty slide, which comes in 4 types depending on how the drawer will be mounted.

Side-mount slides are the most versatile in terms of extension, durability and weight capacity. Side-mount slides are mounted on the sides of the drawers and on cabinet side interiors. Popular in kitchens and other applications, side-mounted slides are easy to install and provide a broad visual of the contents when the drawer is opened.

Side-mount underside slides are mounted on the drawer side bottoms as well as the cabinet side interiors. While the installation is easy, the side-mounted slide offers only a limited view of the contents in the drawer.

Center-mount slides are mounted beneath the drawer centers and are intended for extremely light applications. Easily installed, center mount-slides are preferred when the drawer itself is light weight and is fitted using uncommon joinery like fingerjoints.

Under-mount side slides are fitted at the bottom of drawers. Characteristically these slides are apt for medium-duty applications. Like the center-mount slides the hardware can’t be seen from above and they are similarly easy to mount.

Choosing the best type of drawer slide will make all your cabinets more functional while putting a great finishing touch on a kitchen remodeling project.