Need push to open drawer slides to build a cabinet or piece of furniture with clean lines and no drawer knobs or handles? But not sure how the drawers will open without hardware? Which ones are best? Or maybe you’re just looking for the best push to open drawer slides that allow for modern look and function?
Fortunately push to open drawer hardware is as simple to buy and purchase as the more popular soft close drawer slides.
While you can have both push to open slides and soft close, like these premium Vadania push to open slides*, there are a variety of manufacturers and choices in these slides.
So how does a push to open slide work? Basically:
- A spring and trigger is engaged when the drawer is closed
- Next, the drawer front is pushed slightly to release the trigger
- And the spring is engaged to gently push the drawer partially open
- Best Side Mount: Vadania Push To Open (Amazon) – these side mounts are my choice for soft close as well and feature top construction, quiet operation and durability. These are great for new or retrofit drawers.
- Best Undermount: King Slides (Amazon) that are invisible underneath the drawer and feature whisper quiet operation for new drawers.
What is a Push to Open Drawer Slide?
As the name implies a push to open drawer slide is operated by pushing on the face of the drawer to open. Notably, this slide only works with frameless cabinets as a face frame cabinet prevents the drawer from being pushed back. This slide is popular in modern kitchen designs when the finished cabinets will not have handles or knobs.
Additionally, this style of slide can feature:
- Integrated soft closing
- Full extension
- Side or undermount installation
Manufacturers of Push to Open Hardware
Second, with Guru Reviews I only recommend drawer slides from hardware manufacturers with physical websites (with rare exceptions!).
Due to re-branded generics commonly lacking installation instructions or the right screws the quality with known brands is consistent year-over-year.
With that, here are the top manufacturers of push to open drawer slides:
- King – who specializes in a premier drawer slide.
- Vadania – offers a very economical side mount push to open
- Blum – offers an adapter that works with their wildly popular 563H Tandem slides
- Grass – a popular manufacturers choice, offers an adapter similar to Blums
- Knape & Vogt – an established brand with a broad product line
- Accuride – one of the leading side mount manufacturers
- Salice – offers a complete line of drawer slides and organizers
Decision #1: New Drawers vs. Retrofits
Drawer slides aren’t always for new drawers.
In fact, there is a growing demand for retrofit slides as consumers look to upgrade and replace slides.
So, the first decision will need to be your application:
- Retrofit: Choose a side mount push to open with soft close built in.
- New Drawers: Frequency of use and budget are the key decisions here.
- For budget applications use the side mount hardware
- But for top quality go with the undermount push to open drawer slides for the best performance.
Decision #2: Additional Features
Not all push to open slides were made equal.
If you’re looking to compare the quality and features you’ll want to consider:
- Weight / load capacity
- Built-in soft closing
- Available slide lengths
- Full extension vs. partial extension
- Side clearance and drawer construction
- Maximum drawer width (24″ is common)
- Builder certification like BHMA / AWI
Rating the Best Push to Open Drawer Slides
Drawer slide quality varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
And I’ve experienced this first hand during my reviews of other types of drawer slides the variation in performance from slide to slide is remarkable.
So how do you decide what’s the best push to open drawer slide for your project? Instead of shopping on price, shop on features:
- Integrated soft close is only available with undermount push to open drawer slides ($60-75 per drawer)
- Retrofit applications call for side mount push to open slides ($15-30 per drawer)
- On/off switches come with some undermounts
More often than not it’s the installer that broke a perfectly good drawer slide. Which is why, after we review the best push to open drawer slides, we’ll spend a little bit time on needing to use a drawer slide jig and have the right #8 drawer slide screws on hand.
1. King Push to Open Under Mount Drawer Slide
Why King is the #1 UnderMount Push to Open Drawer Hardware
First, King expands on the undermount design by including push to open directly in the slide.
Why is that important?
Simplicity of installation.
Grass and Blum, the major manufacturers in this style of slide, require a version of the Tip-On design to achieve a push to open drawer.
- Push to open can be enabled or disabled with a switchLengths 10-21″
- Vibration Safe Design (VSD) prevents drawers from open during vibration
- Easy release locking levers
- Soft close integrated
- Invisible when drawer is opened with undermount design
- Smooth, quiet opening and closing
2. Vadania Push to Open Side Mount Drawer Slide
Why they Are the #1 Side Mount Push to Open
Vadania is a relatively unknown slide to even the most experienced woodworkers.
However, they offer excellent quality slides and mid-range prices. And they check the box on all features except having soft close integrated.
Here are the features that set them apart.
- Modern black finish
- Ball bearing design with 100 pound capacity
- Smooth, quiet opening and closing
- Push to open mechanism prevents slamming as it engages
- Standard side clearance
- Just .12″ of rear clearance required for push to open to work
- Product: Vadania F1245
- Material: Cold rolled steel
- Type: Side mount
- Width: 1.7″
- Side clearance: 0.5″
Installation instructions available here.
3. Blum 563H UnderMount With Tip On Adapter
Blum drawer slides are subjected to some of the most rigorous internal and industry certified testing (BHMA). And for a standard undermount soft close these are my recommended drawer slide.
However, for a drawer slide that is meant to be push-to-open from the start they have an added layer of hardware with the Tip-on component.
Deal killer? Certainly not. Confusing … yes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you adjust push to open drawer slides?
First, the approach will differ based on side mount vs. undermount push to open drawer slides. For undermount slides the manufacturers offer the ability to enable or disable the push to open mechanism. Next, the undermount can be adjusted with various levers and adjustment knobs found on the slide (remove the slide). But for side mounts adjustment will require removing the slide and re-positioning the drawer slide to adjust.
How do you install push to open drawer slides?
This style of drawer slide is installed like a standard drawer slide with the exception that room behind the drawer is required to allow the push-to-open mechanism to engage. While not much, a 1/2″ of space is more than enough when planning your drawer and installation. Refer to the instructions for other requirements as they will vary by manufacturer and for side mounts vs. undermount push to open slides.
Can I use push to open drawer slides on face frame drawers?
Technically yes. But they will require the drawer slide to visibly protrude from the cabinet.
Hopefully this guide helped your understanding and decision process on purchasing push to open drawer slides. Be sure to check out our other articles for help on building and installing drawers.