Making Decisions about Drawer slides
When shopping for drawers, the endless range of options can make the entire process rather overwhelming. Apart from the design, color and other aesthetic features, two common options you’ll need to choose between include heavy duty and regular drawer slides.
If you’re new to the market, how do you decide which one is better than the other? Which one will you need to get the job done? Which one is right for you? There are so many questions that need to be answered.
Before we get into it, there are a few differences between regular drawer and heavy-duty drawers that you should know.
The differences between heavy-duty and regular drawer slides?
Heavy duty drawer slides are exactly what their name suggests. Heavy duty. This means that in comparison to any other drawers, they last a lot longer. They are more durable and have the ability to last in harsh conditions. When comparing the two, you will naturally notice a significant difference in size. Based on the size alone, you can tell that the heavy-duty drawer slides will be able to fight against corrosion and rust, which can become a problem a few years down the line with regular drawer slides. Though they are made from the same materials, heavy duty drawer slides are much thicker in width, it takes a lot longer for them to break down and for deterioration to seriously affect its functioning.
One other concern that customers usually have with drawer slides is the ball bearing and its durability. The ball bearings allow the smooth movement of the drawer which can usually deteriorate a lot quicker in the case of regular drawer slides. The bearing seals on regular drawer slides are prone to corrosion and this often leads to liquids and debris depositing into the ball bearing mechanism. This will worsen the ability of the drawer to slide and severely impact its life expectancy. However, this doesn’t happen too often with heavy duty drawer slides. Since they have a larger ball bearing retainer, it helps the bearings stay in place and therefore, these slides are more resistant to corrosion. They are also larger in size, which prevents debris from collecting and keeps the area clean.
Things you need to consider before getting heavy duty drawer slides
This refers to the amount of weight you expect your heavy-duty drawer to bear. It can bear up to 170 lbs. and more. However, the higher the load bearing ability, the higher will be the price tag. Before you consider buying a heavy-duty drawer slide, consider the weight you expect it to bear. If it isn’t too much, then maybe you’re off buying a smaller drawer slide depending on what the load-bearing needs are.
In terms of length, you have to think about what exactly your drawer will be carrying. Heavy duty drawers usually come in various sizes and can range anywhere from 12 to 60 inches. However, you may be able to find one based on your needs.
The width is also another aspect that you need to consider. Depending on what you plan on storing in your drawers, you will need to decide width that’s appropriate for your application. In addition to the limit these heavy-duty drawer slides have on the weight they can bear; they also have limitations on the width they can support too. Usually, these drawers can hold up a width of 51mm or a maximum 76mm width. Be sure to see how much room you’ll require and what you’ll be using it for to get an exact idea of what you’ll need.
Heavy duty drawer slides have multiple applications; therefore, you should know where you plan to place the drawers- indoors or outdoors. While indoor drawers are relatively easier to manage, outdoor drawers are not. They are exposed to harsher conditions and hence will be faced with different variables that can cause deterioration. Outdoor heavy-duty drawers struggle with moisture and fragment related issues. While humidity can affect the slide movement, the debris can clog the ball bearing areas and may lead to rough movement.
If an outdoor heavy duty drawer slide is what you’re looking for, then we suggest getting one built with corrosion resistant material.
On the move
Where are you planning on placing your drawers? Will it be on the move or kept stationary somewhere around your house? Heavy duty drawer slides that are often used in cars and trucks to expand storage space see their load being affected by at least 40%. This means you will have to reduce the weight placed in these drawers by a significant amount to ensure protection of the drawer and the items placed inside. If you wish, you can add tools that will aid in transfer. For example, locks to protect the drawers from sliding open during your journey.
Depending on whether your drawer will be flat mounted or side mounted, there will be a change in the amount of weight it can carry. If the drawer is flat mounted, it can reduce its load carrying ability by 2/3 the amount. So, if your drawer could essentially carry 350 pounds, this will be brought down to 150 lbs.
Now comes the exciting part. While most heavy-duty drawers are somewhat similar, there are a few that have added special features. You might have to ask yourself a few questions such as: will this project have a soft close? Can it be detached? Will I need to relocate it? Will it do well in transit?
Soft closing drawer slides dampen the buffer and have a stainless-steel slide. If the heavy duty drawer slide is placed in your kitchen, for kitchen cabinets and drawers, you will need the stainless steel 4-24 inch ball bearing extensions.
Related: Check out our soft-closing slide rail series now
There are plenty of options for you to explore, just make sure you do your research and avoid DIY installations if you don’t have prior experience.
How To Decide
If you’re still struggling to decide whether you need a regular drawer slide or a heavy duty one, weigh out your options. While heavy duty drawer slides may be a great option and will definitely last you a lot longer, you might not even need that extra durability. Of course, if you are planning to use it outdoors, we definitely recommend a heavy-duty drawer slide simply because of its ability to fight against corrosion and debris. A regular drawer slide, in this case, will not last you very long. Additionally, you’ll want to consider how often you’ll use it. If you think you’ll be using it often and you see yourself pulling open your drawer quite frequently, we recommend installing heavy duty. If you need your drawers in transit, heavy duty is the way to go. They are quite suitable for RV’s, trailers and other industrial purposes.
To give you some insight into our heavy-duty slides with lock, here are some things you should know. We offer four different ball bearing varieties:
- 51 series which can support up to 68 kgs
- 53 series which can support up to 120 kgs
- 71 series which can support up to 150 kgs
- 76 series which can support up to 220 kgs
You can use them for different purposes ranging from cabinets, machinery, ATMs, military systems, vehicles and much more.
The locking feature also allows extra protection and security. When you pull the lever, you can release the drawer from lock. It is quite easy and user friendly. The belt-lock is a two-way locking mechanism, when pulled out it can be locked and made completely secure. It won’t open until it is pulled.