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An Overview of Different Types of Drawer Runners

40% to 50% of total kitchen remodel costs are consumed by cabinets.One of the major decisions that you will have to make during kitchen remodeling is figuring out the best heavy-duty drawer runners. This can be mindboggling for a greenhorn, but knowing the different types that the market has to offer today will point you in the right direction.

Cabinet drawer slides, also known as cabinet runners, are components that play a key role in terms of ensuring that individual drawers can slide out and in of the drawer unit to allow easy reach of the objects inside. There are different options to choose from when it comes to the construction and design of cabinet drawers glide parts such as mounting style (bottom, under, center, and side mounting), slide extension (three-quarter, over-travel, full, among others), slide length and weight rating (maximum load capability)

What is more, heavy-duty drawer runners have different working mechanisms that demonstrate varying functioning depending on the type used. Among the common drawer types that we have today are ball bearing slides, roller slides, and wooden

Wooden Slides

Before the advent of modern metal and plastic drawer slides that we have today, furniture and cabinet makers solely used wooden slides. As the word suggests, these are made from wood strips in a manner that makes them function as horizontal rails whereby drawers can slide and rest. Depending on the drawer or cabinet face, it is possible to install guides on the slides to assist in guiding drawer motion whenever you are closing or opening.

If smooth drawer movement is to be achieved without being too tight or too loose, the use of wooden runners in cabinets and furniture has to go hand in hand with topnotch assembly and fabrication. Achieving the perfect fit can be a daunting task, but this means that the drawer won’t need false face components or additional hardware.

Even with the aesthetic value that wooden drawer slides have to offer, the hardships of attaining the desired drawer fit and extension limitation issues (full extension is impossible without compromising on stability) makes them less suitable. What is more, other drawbacks such as tendencies to get stuck particularly in humid environments make people incline more towards other heavy-duty drawer runners.

Roller Slides

Roller slides usually consist of two metal profiles (one attached to the cabinet frame and the other attached to the drawer) and nylon wheels whose role is to allow the metal profiles to move quietly and smoothly along each other. Unlike wooden drawer slides, roller slides are more discernible reason being they are attached to the drawer sides. This means that they do require an extended drawer front lip or a false face to have the hardware concealed if need be. Roller slides come in both bottom mount and side mount models, and they are basically meant for lightweight applications

Ball Bearing Slides

As the name highly suggests, ball bearing slides come with ball bearings that help the steel alloy or mated steel profile components move quietly and smoothly on each other. When compared to their roller slides counterparts, these heavy-duty drawer runners have higher load capabilities as well as more durable.

Ball bearing slides usually come telescopic slide and progressive movement models. The former is segmented, and individual slide segment movement takes place in stages. Each of the segment extends fully before setting in motion the next segment. On the other hand, progressive movement slides are characterized by the simultaneous movement of sliding components. The result is quiet and smooth closing and opening motion.

Other Drawer Slide Features and Functions

Apart from mechanisms that allow users to open and close drawers, the market today offers optional features and functions. Most of these options help users enjoy a tad more in functionality as well as enhance the user experience, and they include:

  • Soft close: these are dampening drawer components that prevent slamming and reduce noise levels
  • Assisted close/open: a helpful mechanism that opens or closes three-quarters of the drawer automatically
  • Push-to-open: applying pressure to the front face opens the drawer slides
  • Lock-Out/Lock-In: the drawer stays closed or open until the release of a lever component
  • Hold-Out/Hold-In: the drawer stays closed or open until a given force level is applied

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