We don’t generally pay that much heed to the way our cabinets and drawers open and close. But the smooth functions of the drawers of your furniture play a vital role. So, to avoid any squeaky sound and limited gliding, you should install the best drawer slides. The right choice may make your drawer like a hovercraft floating on air.
But since there is an array of runners, it can be a strenuous job for you to find out the right one. So, I have done the most complicated job and come up with 5 drawer slides that will retain their superb quality over time and make your life smoother and a bit less frustrating.
Read on to learn more about how to choose for your next kitchen or bath DIY project!
Quick look at all of my top picked products below:
1. LONTAN Ball Bearing Drawer Slides – Best Overall Smooth And Flawless Finish
Uniform size with each of them being 22 inches, made with cold rolled durable steel, easy for shaping into accurate precision, dust-proof, water-resistant, corrosion-free. Besides it can take extensive loads of 100 pounds, comes with a double anti-roll mechanism for preventing falls and strikes.
2. Promark Full Extension Drawer Slides – Affordable Option With Non-Handed Feature
Comes with a 32 mm hole on the tabs, easy installation, stays hidden under the drawer, enables the drawer’s full extension, hold-in design resists the drawer from bouncing back. The cushioning of the bearing prevents the drawer creaking, which can take loads up to 100 pounds.
3. BLUM Tandem – Best Soft-Close Under-Mount Kit
Works in both frameless and face-frame applications, last longer, flexible to use in any kind of drawers, highly sturdy to both small and large drawers. It comes with a four-dimensional adjustment for staying in place and can bear a load of 100 lbs.
4. YENUO Heavy-Duty Drawer Slides – High-End One With Strong Bearing capacity
Constructed for heavy-duty, sizes can be from 12 inches and up to 40 inches, slides are muted for noiseless functioning, comes with Q235 high-density steel ball for smooth operation, resist water and rust, easy to install, comes with a locking mechanism on the slides, offers a full extension of the slides.
5. Zengest Less Noise Drawer Slides – Cheapest One With Silent Functionality
Made with standard quality cold-rolled steel, coated with hydrolysis or otherwise known as electroplating, contains protectiveness against scratching, tarnishing, and other forms of surface damage. It comes with a ball bearing technology for seamless operation, and maximum capacity of weight-bearing is 100 pounds.
What Are The Different Types Of Drawer Slides?
There are four types of mounts to choose from – the center mount, the undermount, bottom mount, and the side-mount. To know which of these will suit your drawer, you need to measure the space between the cabinet’s opening and the drawer itself.
1. Center Mount:
The best center mount drawer slides are perfect for long and single drawers, and they are sold in singles as well.
The center mount is attached underneath the center of the drawer box. The amount of clearance required for these slides depends on the size of the drawer box itself.
This type of mount is perfect for lightweight drawers that need delicate handling. Installation is done by using finger joints, and they are quite easy to install as well.
2. Side Mount:
These mounts go on the sides of the drawer. They are sold in pairs. They operate with two types of mechanisms – one is a roller bearing mechanism, and the other is a ball-bearing mechanism.
These mounts are not entirely noiseless. They work with metal parts and make a slight clicking sound when you open and close them.
To install this properly, you will need to have a clearance of at least ½ inches between the drawer slide and the opening of the cabinet.
Side mounts may stick out of the drawers if they are not positioned properly. You have to be very accurate in taking measurements so that this doesn’t happen. If installed correctly, they will last for years.
Also, remember that these slides are visible from the outside, as one part is installed on the interior of the drawer while the other is mounted on the exterior. If you want an elegant mechanism, then this is not it.
These slides have a ball-bearing mechanism, and they are sold in pairs just like the side mounts. They are installed on the sides of the drawers but from the bottom.
The clearance required for these drawers is about 3/16 to ¼ inches on each side. On the top and the bottom of the opening, you’ll need to have a space of about ⅝ inches exactly. On the underside, the clearance requirement is ½ inches.
These best under-mount drawer slides are very much in fashion nowadays. Because once installed, they are not visible at all when the drawer is left open. If you are aiming to achieve elegance in all corners of the house, then you should definitely start by considering these undermount slides for your drawers.
4. Bottom-Mount Drawer Slides:
These are fixed at the bottom sides of both. These roller slides come in partial extension and full extension. There is an angle flange to support the drawer box, with the benefit of indexing the side for easier and quicker installation.
These heavy-duty bottom mount drawer slides were designed for frameless cabinets and are also used for face frame cabinets nowadays.
Best Drawer Slides Reviews: My Top 5 Picks
Check out my recommended top 5 picks for your cabinets and drawers. Let’s see why and how they made the list and what features they are offering.
1. LONTAN Ball Bearing Drawer Slides – Best Overall Smooth And Flawless Finish
More Features: 1/2inch(12.7mm) thickness, the set contains 10 pairs of drawer slides with 22-inches in size, double anti-drop feature.
These 10 pairs of drawer slides are each 22 inches. These quality slides come with smooth edges and flawless finishes. Cold rolled steel has been used in their making, and this steel configuration offers fine precision, great smoothness, and tactility.
And there is zinc plating on the steel configuration to protect the steel, increase the longevity of the slides, and enhance the shiny appearance.
Soft Close Feature
The drawer functions with solid ball-bearings that make the opening and closing operations very smooth. And the soft close feature with hydraulic dampener slows the drawer as it closes, ensuring that it doesn’t slam.
However, the soft close feature is not like the high-end ones.
I like the fact that they have a double anti-drop mechanism that prevents the drawer from falling into the cabinet and getting stuck inside.
You can easily pull them out without the risk of that tug-and-pull situation to clean the drawers. These full extension drawer slides offer easy access to the rear of the drawer.
The zinc-plated cold-rolled steel is resistant to rust, corrosion, and wear. These best soft close drawer slides cannot be slammed shut, ensuring they close gently and silently every time.
It is safer because fingers cannot get accidentally smashed in closing the drawer. Besides, the double strong spring and durable disassembly clip are also praiseworthy.
This one is a medium-duty slide set for up to 100 lbs.
2. Promark Full Extension Drawer Slide – Affordable Option With Non-Handed Feature
More Features: Non-handed slides that work with any drawers, Cushioned slides, full extension telescope movement
If you find the top pick a bit costly and want to go for a budget-friendly option, the 10 pack Promark lightweight full extension drawer slides are the way to go. With it, you get more space for carrying out your work and can comfortably get access to the full depth of the drawer.
These best drawer slides for shop cabinets have a hold-in design that prevents the drawer from bouncing back when they are released. But if you slide the drawer closed too hard, it may bounce back and stay open slightly.
I like the fact that these lightweight drawer slides are non-handed. So you can install them on either side of the drawers. These best drawer slides for workbench have the flexibility to install on all the drawers of your office or lodging.
The side-mount steel ball bearing makes it work very smoothly without getting caught in its tracks. The smooth motion enhances the longevity and allows the drawer to be removed simply by disengaging a lever.
The drawer slides can take loads of up to 100 pounds, and the BIFMA tests have been conducted on them that have proved that they are indeed capable of taking the claimed load without coming under any sort of damage.
It is an affordable product with full-extension feature, which offers easy access to the end of the drawer. The ball-bearing construction is durable and smooth. Its non-handed feature is also praiseworthy.
You need to buy the screws separately.
3. BLUM Tandem – Best Soft-Close Under-Mount Kit
More Features: Comes with elongated holes and bottom mount holes, extend fully outwards to the whole length.
You will definitely be going to love this Blumotion complete kit! It combines full extension and smooth, silent operation with almost complete invisibility. It offers a new dimension in adjustability over previous kinds of drawer slide hardware.
This one is a boon when you’re dealing with inset drawers’ faces in particular. You can move the drawer face up or down, forward or backward, tilt it (at an angle) up or down.
The set works better and lasts longer than individual drawer slides because they upkeep a consistent quality.
You can use these for both frameless and face-frame applications.
This flexibility makes them ideal for use on many different types of drawer sets – in offices, bedrooms and they are even suitable to be used as kitchen drawer slides. The sturdiness of the slides makes it ideal for both large drawers and small drawers.
They have a four-dimensional adjustment that keeps them firm on their position no matter how much force you use while pulling the drawer.
Force won’t be necessary either because these slides have a full extension opening over their bearing that makes them slide out and slide in without getting stuck in the passage.
These soft closing cabinet drawer slides are a comfort to use. Due to the delicate handling, they will seldom ever get damaged by force. The closing function will protect the drawers from being tampered with.
These under-mount drawer slides from Blum are not visible when the drawer is open, making it suitable for a nice furniture design. These soft-close drawer slides have large, integrated dampers, allowing them to open and close quietly and smoothly. The four-dimensional adjustment keeps them firm on their position.
Some parts are missing.
4. YENUO, Heavy Duty Drawer Slide – High-End One With Strong Bearing Capacity
More Features: Has an estimated service life of 30 years, comes with a locking mechanism on the slides.
If you want the best heavy-duty drawer slides that can live through 30 years of tugging and pushing, then these are the ones you should try. These slides have been tested about 100,000 times, and the production has been verified only after the test went through positively.
Since these come with a great load capacity of 150Ibs, they are suitable for long cabinets.
Fortunately, these come in a great number of sizes, starting from 12 inches going all the way up to 40 inches!
Whatever size of the slide you get, you will have to leave the same clearance on the sides for the proper installation.
Cabinets that are suitable for the range of these slides should measure somewhere between 32 to 34 inches.
Installation is easy but remember to buy the mounting brackets and the mounting screws because they are not included in the package. And these tools take a little muscle to slide.
Lock and Detachable Design
These slides have a lock and detachable design that makes them easy to detach and remove the slides when necessary. You can also remove the interior slide and then get the whole drawer for cleaning purposes very easily.
Also, the locking function makes it the best drawer slides for RV or moving spaces like residential vehicles.
This pair has a thickened steel plate configuration with a solid load-bearing force. It is extremely durable and easy to install. The rubber-cushioned feature reduces noise while pushing and pulling.
It may seem pricey to some consumers.
5. Zengest Less Noise Drawer Slides – Cheapest Drawer Slides With Silent Functionality
More Features: Works via ball bearing slides, 10-inch (255mm) length
If you want to have quality slides without breaking your bank, you can undoubtedly bring home the Zengest drawer slides.
These slides have been plated via hydrolysis in a process called electroplating. The process causes a layer of metal to coat over the steel and forms a bond that protects it against tarnishing, scratching, and other forms of surface damage. This makes the slides greatly immune to damage and much more efficient at their job.
This is further helped by the smooth gliding of the ball bearing that carries the operation of these slides. The smoothness is so spot-on that your drawer will not let out a single creak while being worked on. These slides will make the drawers smooth as butter.
Each of the slides is 10 inches in length, and you will get only a pair of them in the packet. They come with 12 screws that you will need during installation. However, you should be watchful about the screws. It would be best if you bought them separately.
The maximum capacity of weight for these slides is 100 pounds.
These slides will work best with drawers that have a depth of 4 mm or less between the two of them.
These drawer slides perform very well and provide a very smooth pull-out. Installation is simple as well.
The screws need to be changed
How to Choose the Right Drawer Slide? (The Buying Guide)
Here are some factors that you must pay attention to when buying the best slides for your drawers.
Length of the Slides
The usual length for slides is about 10 to 28 inches. But their length can be customized according to preference as well.
To figure out what length you should go for, you’ll first need to establish whether your cabinets are frameless or have face frames.
Frameless cabinets don’t need a rear mounting bracket. To know the side length, measure the cabinet’s total depth and subtract the front of the drawer’s thickness.
In contrast, face frame cabinets have a frame around the front of the cabinet box and require a rear mounting bracket. While measuring, it’s essential to subtract ½ inch for the bracket and the thickness of the front of the drawer.
This is a measure of how far your drawer will come out when you open it. You may have 3 options here – the ¾ extension, the full extension, and the over-travel.
The ¾ extension will open partly. These drawers are safer for children as they don’t come out of their boxes. These can be an economical solution to the old-style drawer slides.
Full-extension slides are good when you need full access to the drawers. These are mostly preferred when the drawers are to be completely operated by adults.
Drawers with the overtravel feature offer openings beyond full extension to get more clearance than a full extension drawer slide.
Drawer slides are rated on the basis of the amount of weight they can handle. The most common household needs require drawers that have 75, 100, and 150 pounds load capacity. Some slides can handle as much as 220 pounds too. It depends on the size of your drawer and the extension you need.
Be generous when deciding the weight rating because if the slides can’t handle the weight of the load, then they’ll wear out sooner or frequently get stuck when they are pulled out.
These are comprised of two components – the cabinet member and the drawer member, where each has its own roller, usually made of plastic. Each roller will get set into the groove found on the other member. They will be at opposite ends of the mechanism when fully retracted.
The cabinet member’s roller will be at the front. It will allow the drawer member to move outwards, and the drawer member’s roller will follow in the groove of the cabinet member.
The two rollers will meet at the fully extended position. It offers the mechanism horizontal stability. These are the best drawer slides for kitchen or household applications where you expect relatively lightweight loads and a horizontal configuration. They can only be side-mounted, and it is not recommended to use these in any other configuration than horizontal.
Ball-bearing slides consist of ball bearings instead of rollers for the telescopic motion. These slides have three components – the cabinet member, the intermediate member, and the drawer member.
The intermediate member comes with two sets of ball bearings – the first one interfaces with the cabinet member’s grooves, and the second one interfaces with the drawer member’s grooves.
These are also known as the best drawer slides for heavy drawers for durability and excellent load capacity. For the interfaces within the grooves of each member, these slides are suitable for horizontal configurations, vertical configurations, and at various angles. They can be mounted to either the drawer’s sides or bottom according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
You can choose a push-to-open system. On these drawers, a slight nudge will get the drawer to open out. This works with a magnet in the system and doesn’t need handles to operate. Thus it gives a very clean appearance to the furniture. These are an appealing choice for kitchens and bathrooms where the kids don’t bump into.
Another modern option you have is self-close drawer slides. These drawers are quite obedient – they’ll return to their boxes by an automatic pull from a spring constructed into the slides.
However, you have to be careful with these because they can be quite hazardous.
The third option is the soft closing slide. These slides are the same as the self-closing drawers, but the closing happens more delicately. These slides have a dampening effect of closing the drawer without slamming.
Thus, chances of injury are much less in this case.
This is the appearance of the slides. If you are getting side mount slides, then this should be given considerable importance. You’ll have a choice between a zinc finish, black or white/brown colors.
Can You Add Drawer Slides To Old Drawers?
Metal slides will make the old drawers work smoothly, but that can be challenging. Every drawer is different, and there can be no space on the sides of the drawers. So, the slides should be mounted at the bottom of the drawers. The slides will need to be raised a quarter-inch to clear the front of the shelves.
For the necessary heights, use some thin boards. They help to mount the hardware on. Using some screws, nuts, and washers, tie all the parts together. Make a similar application on the other side. Another set of boards will bring the bottom of the drawers in line with the slides’ top. Then install the fasteners and repeat the process for the next drawers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Drawer slides have two mating pieces -the drawer profile and the cabinet profile, where nylon rollers or ball bearings allow the parts to move smoothly past each other.
With a measuring scale, measure from the end of the drawer box all the way to its front. The distance between these points is the proper length of the drawer slides you need.
You can use paraffin rub on the internal parts. Use a soft cloth and give a smooth rub down to all the parts of the slides that endure frictional forces.
You could use a grease spray or bee’s wax directly to keep the slides squeaky clean.
No tools are required. You just have to unhook it from the cabinet slide carefully, and then you can easily pull it out.
You have to pull the drawer out all the way. Then hold the drawer parallel to the board below, slightly angle the whole thing upwards, and pull. Listen for a slight clicking sound. After the sound, your drawer has rolled out of the ball-bearing system of the slide and is ready to come out.
Drawer slides are essential parts of the primary mechanism behind the drawers we use. If there’s a problem with them,you’re going to have trouble opening and closing the drawer.
So, make sure to choose the correct size of your best drawer slides. And the sustainability of your drawer slides depends on your care and maintenance.
Let me know which is your favorite between side mount vs under-mount slides.