Drawer Slides 101 - TCH Hardware Canada

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Drawer Slides 101

  • 2 min read
Drawer slides provide both easy access and secure storage for a wide range of applications. There are many different options for any number of enclosure types such as rack mount DJ cases, 19" racks  off-road drawer systems. Drawer slides are available in a standard range of lengths between 10" and 28".
Drawer slide length corresponds to the length of the drawer when it is closed, therefore make your enclosure than the drawer slide to fit. Determine the size of drawer slide by first finding the distance between the front edge of the enclosure and its inside back panel, minus 1".
When superior, smooth precision motion is a priority, choose drawer slides with ball bearings. Bearings are the best option because they provide smooth, low-friction travel. This is especially useful because ball bearings support means that the weight of the drawer is distributed evenly over the length of the slide. This feature of ball bearings optimizes the way the drawer travels, making it as easy as possible to open.

Specialty drawer slides can also be found in smaller or larger sizes than the typical range.

For instance, 36" drawer slides might be used for an off-road drawer system application commonly used by ‘overlanders’ or expedition travelers. Due to the the demands placed on applications used by expedition travelers, slides of a greater load bearing capacity are sought after. Hence, while a typical application would not require a slide with a weight rating above 130lbs, 250lb specialty drawer slides might be necessary for a 4x4 vehicle’s drawer system.

Access to the contents of the drawer also depends on the extension of the slide.

Full extension slides open the full length of the slide and over-travel drawer slides travel even beyond full extension. These features maximize access to the contents of the drawer. For example, a 28" slide with 1" of over-travel will travel roughly 29".
For added safety, specialty drawer slides can be equipped with holding features called “Lock-in” and “Lock-out” to prevent accidental opening or closing of the drawer.

Drawer slides with lever disconnect

Drawer slides with lever disconnect allow the user to take one side of the slide apart leaving the other half of the slide connected to the cabinet. This makes it very convenient to access the inside of the cabinet or the drawer for any number of reasons. Lever disconnect also makes cleaning or replacing delicate or heavy contents of the drawer easier