Looking for heavy duty drawer slides for your next project? Not sure if that means a 100, 250 or 500-pound slide? In this article we’ll help you understand the variety of slides and what might be best for your project.
Heavy duty drawer slides are expensive.
And they have non-standard side clearances (typically .75″) that almost always require purchasing them first.
In this article we’ll help you:
- Understand the variety of slides and weight ranges available
- Find features like locking
- Choose slides up to 96″ long.
Best Heavy Duty Drawer Slides
1. Hettich 500# Heavy Duty Drawer Slide
- 3320 Drawer Slide 22″ bulk w/o screws pre-galvanized
- Up to 500 lb. load capacity
- 3/4″ Required on each side for installation
- Full extension
- Sold as a pair
Lengths: 10″ up to 60″ in varying lenghts, Locking: No, Side Clearance: 3/4″ each side
2. TCH Hardware 250# Heavy duty Drawer SLide
- Pair of 36″ inch drawer slides – 250 lb load rating per pair
- These are 3/4″ wide heavy duty drawer slides.
- High quality 3 stage, full extension steel draw slides with Zinc coating for corrosion resistance
- Quick release allows mechanism to be separated for installation and removal. High precision hardened steel ball bearings ensures smooth travel
- Screws for mounting are not included
Lengths: 14-36″, Locking: No, Side Clearance: 3/4″
3. Rok Hardware 200#
- Heavy duty drawer slides that can hold up to 200 lbs
- Easy to install 32 mm system compatible
- Side mount with 1/2″ clearance
- Includes: 2 Slides, Mounting Screws
Lengths: 20, 22″, Locking: No, Side Clearance: 1/2″
4. Blum Tandem 125#
- Adds 25# of weight capacity over the standard Blum Tandem soft close undermount drawer slides
- Soft closing slide with quiet closing at 2″ from drawer closing
- Includes: 2 Slides, Mounting Screws, Triggers
Lengths: 20, 22″, Locking: No, Side Clearance: 1/2″
Buying Guide for Heavy Duty Drawer Slides
The heavy duty drawer slide class is easily the most unique. While standard grades compete for features like self closing and soft closing, this variety competes for the ability to hold 500 pounds when extended 60″.
But that’s not all there is – especially when you look at how these are used (and mounted).
How much weight do you really need to roll?
If you haven’t taken a look at the prices yet, make sure you consider how much weight you’ll really be supporting. Especially at longer extensions as the price for these slides is multiples of standard drawer slides.
Extra capacity is expensive:
- Another 25-pounds of capacity on the Blum Tandem will cost you almost double.
- The difference in most 250-pound vs. 500-pound slides is $20-30 a slide
However, if your application is borderline on a 250 pound slide then that extra few dollars is likely worth it.
Optional features of heavy duty drawer glides
While soft closing is a great feature on standard kitchen slides it’s not something to prioritize in the heavy duty world. Instead, consider the following:
- Locks to keep the drawer or shelf in place – for both convenience and safety. The Vadania (Amazon) are one example.
- Disconnect or non-disconnect if you need to remove the slides
Weight ratings can vary by length of the slide
Be sure to check the weight rating for your specific slide length.
A few manufacturers don’t offer a full rating (for that slide class) until you hit 18″. While other manufacturers taper their maximum load rating as the slide length increases.
Heavy duty RV drawer slides
One common use of heavy duty drawer slides is on RV pullouts as various compartments are made accessible after parking. Due to un-predictable conditions self closing and locks are two features to consider for RV slides.
Here’s a few common applications and slides that go with it:
- For heavy drawers the 500-pound rated like the Knape & Vogt (Amazon) are a good RV slide and have over-travel for extra access.
- The Vadania heavy duty drawer slide (Amazon) features locks for holding drawers open. And this is a great feature for un-even terrain where a drawer may want to close on its own.
Screws may not be included
I’ve tended to throw away any screws that come with drawer slides and use a better quality screw.
The good news, I think, with heavy duty drawer slides is the manufacturers recognize installations are all different. And that in some cases small bolts are needed versus screws to ensure a stable and well-connected slide.
36" heavy duty drawer slides
One of the most common heavy duty drawer slides is the 36″ length. In fact, I’ve used these on a few applications:
- Fireplace surround cabinets where drawers are extra-deep due to the setback of the fireplace
- Deep kitchen wall cabinets and island drawers that are accessible from only one side
While I haven’t used them in my workshop, they are a great length for my mobile bench that has a 42″ wide top (for cabinet assembly).
Always buy the drawer slide first, then make the drawer
If you’ve built drawers in the past you’ll know that side clearance is the #1 calculation to get right.
And unfortunately with heavy duty drawer slides there just isn’t a standard side clearance. While there are lighter duty slides with 1/2″ clearance, some require 0.7″, others 3/4″ and then others custom (like the Blum Tandem).
Frequently Asked Questions for Heavy Duty Drawer Slides
How to Use a Heavy Duty Drawer Slide
We’ll go into this in another article, but for general use make sure to consider:
- Locking mechanisms if you will be operating on un-even terrain
- Secure connection to the cabinet is a must so plan for heaviest duty screws or bolts possible
- Heavy duty cabinetry is a must. For example a 300-pound appliance sitting 48″ from the wall might just damage the cabinet.
- Anchoring is vital to avoid tipping. And this can be especially tricky with free-standing cabinets so counter-balancing may be part of your solution.
While some consider a 100-pound drawer slide heavy duty that weight class is standard compared to the 500-pound plus class. Hopefully this article gave you a few tips for your next project and feel free to share using the links below!