Drawer slides come in pairs, one at either side of a pullout drawer. When installed and loaded appropriately, they allow a drawer to open and close easily. A drawer slide consists of a guide or track attached to each side of a cabinet, and bearings or rollers attached to a drawer.
Drawer slides come in various grades and types to withstand a range of load tolerances and application requirements. Heavy duty drawer slides are usually composed of stainless or plated cold-rolled steel, or of certain treated aluminums. Alternatively, a drawer slide manufacturer will often produce light duty drawer slides, like some kitchen cabinet drawer slides, from plastic.
Below are 3 main categories of drawer slides and their capabilities:
1. Heavy duty drawer slides serve shop and industrial applications and handle loads in excess of 200 pounds.
2. Full extension drawer slides use telescopic mechanisms so that drawers can fully extend out from cabinets. These types have a typical load capacity of about 100 pounds, but sometimes much more.
3. Light duty drawer slides serve domestic and commercial applications. Their load capacities are less than 100 pounds, and, in the case of plastic, less than 50 pounds.
Buy heavy duty drawer slides from drawer slide manufacturers and drawer slide suppliersIndustrial and shop applications involve heavy tools and components that require sturdy drawer guides to hold them up. The bearing or rollers in heavy duty situations must also be able to operate smoothly, even under heavy loads. Full extension drawer slides are also important in the industrial, shop and automotive sectors. For instance, automotive tool drawers fully extend to allow mechanics to see every tool in a drawer without rummaging around.
Find kitchen drawer slides from quality drawer slide distributorsDomestic and light commercial applications usually require lighter duty drawer slide composition and smaller sizes as well. You'll want to find a drawer slide supplier that carries a wide selection of light duty parts. There is no sense in overdoing it with heavier duty products, because this will translate to overspending.
Repair your drawer slidesSometimes the repeated in-and-out motions and the hard openings and closings of drawers lead to disrepair of drawer slides. If your slides are not working smoothly, start by simply checking to see that all the screws are tight. A couple turns of a screw driver is sometime all it takes. Other times, especially on light duty slides, the tracks or guides are bent. Try using pliers to realign the parts. Sometimes, however, you will have to replace a slide or parts.
- Some drawer slides have self-closing mechanisms, which glide a drawer shut once you let go.