Furniture hardware can be quite difficult to buy for people who know nothing about the different parts that ensure the longevity of furniture. For instance, when buying a drawer slide for a DIY project, you’ll find two options on the internet, a heavy drawer slide and a regular drawer slide. How do you decide which one’s the best for your need? Well, by reading this article!
In this drawer guide, we’ll tell you the difference between regular and heavy drawer slides and where to use them. So, let’s get to it, shall we?Heavy duty drawer slide
When it comes to heavy drawer slides, they can withstand loads of up to 500lbs and are made for industrial use. These drawer slides come in the extension lengths of up to 60 inches and a thickness of up to 1 inch (25 mm). Heavy duty drawer slides are made from cold rolled steel of grade 235, which makes them super strong against wear and tear. These drawer slides are more expensive than regular drawer slides and will cost you no less than $50-$100.
Regular drawer slide
Regular drawer slides, as you can guess by their name, are manufactured for home usage. These slides can only withstand a load of up to 100lbs as they are made for light usage. These drawer slides come in the extension lengths of up to 24 inches and a thickness of up to 0.5 inches. Made from cold rolled steel, these drawer slides are also pretty durable. They cost way less than heavy drawer slides ($30 and less).
If you’re purchasing drawer slides for your house, regular drawer slides would do the trick. But if you are buying them for rough use, for instance, to keep all your heavy tools, you should go for heavy drawer slide. There’s also another reason why heavy drawer slides are better than regular drawer slides; they are extremely durable.
Heavy drawer slides are designed to withstand continuous wear and tear. Therefore, they would last you years even in harsh environments like an industry. What makes them so durable is their larger size, which makes them ideal for conditions where they are prone to rust and corrosion. Heavy duty drawer slides are also thicker than regular slides, which makes them sturdy for harsh conditions and also takes longer to be destroyed by corrosion.Pop-up drawer slides
This is a push-and-rebound drawer slide. The drawer in the cabinet needs to have a certain space reserved at a distance of 0.8-1cm. It is built-in and does not require edge cover. The drawer can be ejected with one click and does not require a handle, making it a beautiful addition to your cabinet. It is unnecessary to install a handle on the top; just give it a light push and the door will bounce back during use. When you are finished, simply give it a light push and the drawer will be locked back in place and operate smoothly, providing a relaxing and comfortable experience for the user.
Soft Close Drawer Slides
The soft-close drawer slides have a buffering effect when they are closed. The buffer will automatically engage, preventing your hands from accidentally getting caught when closing the drawer. It operates quietly with no noise when opening and closing. The buffer on the drawer slide is located 1-2cm from the end, providing localized buffering. This buffer is achieved through the use of a damper lock and a hydraulic damper, with its pipeline filled with oil. When the slide rail is closed, it creates a boost effect, resulting in a buffering effect.
Difference between heavy and regular ball bearings
The lifespan of drawer slides is primarily determined by the durability of its ball bearings. Ball bearings are metallic balls located in each member that enable your drawers to smoothly slide open and close. These bearings evenly distribute the load of each member, ensuring smooth movement. The main cause of ball bearing failure is adhesive wear, a phenomenon that occurs when two metals rub against each other, causing the ball bearing's worn-out surface to shed its outer material.
Heavy-duty drawers come with larger ball bearings, which offer a greater dynamic load rating, allowing them to last longer even when carrying heavy loads. Their lifespan also depends on how frequently they are used and the speed at which they are opened and closed.
Contamination around the ball bearing can also cause it to fail quickly as it causes adhesive wear and damages the surface of ball bearings. But this risk is minimized in heavy duty drawer slides as the ball bearing retainers in them are larger than regular drawer slides. It’s easier for larger retainers to get rid of any dirt or particles keep the slide clean.Buying the right drawer slide
Now that you understand the difference between both types of drawer slides, you may naturally want to choose heavy-duty drawer slides due to their longer lifespan. However, heavy-duty drawer slides are not always necessary. If you plan on using the drawer slides indoors, regular drawer slides are a suitable choice as they are designed for indoor applications. Indoors, the frequency of use is lower and the environment is much better, allowing regular drawer slides to last a long time.
However, if you are purchasing drawer slides for outdoor use, such as in a tool shed, or for industrial use, heavy-duty drawer slides are the better option. They are capable of withstanding heavier weights and higher frequencies of use. Both types of drawer slides are specifically designed for their respective environments, so it is important to choose the appropriate slide based on where they will be used.
Frequently asked questions
What to do if the ball on the drawer slide rail falls off?
If the ball on the drawer slide falls off, the drawer slide will no longer function properly. To fix this issue, you will need to remove the drawer slide from the cabinet and reattach the ball. You can do this by locating the retaining clip or spring that holds the ball in place and carefully removing it. Then, reattach the ball and replace the retaining clip or spring. If the ball or the retaining clip is damaged, you may need to replace the entire drawer slide.
In conclusion, choosing the right drawer slide depends on your intended use. Heavy duty drawer slides are ideal for outdoor or industrial use, while regular drawer slides are suitable for indoor use. Knowing the difference between the two types, as well as other options like pop-up and soft-close slides, can help you make an informed decision.