Guide to choosing push to open drawer slides [2020]

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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
In this guide we’ll cover every manufacturer and type of push to open drawer slide.
 
But, if you’re in a hurry, here’s my recommended slides:
  • 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

Source: https://www.grassusa.com

First, this type of slide isn’t as common as self closing, soft closing or heavy duty drawer slides. Which makes them a little harder to find.

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 
Fortunately, with some nuances, most push to open slides are comparable across the basic features.
 
And I’ve found that few drawers or applications have issues with the maximum weight limits.

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

Editors Rating 4.9:
4.9/5

King offers the only all-in-one push to open with integrated soft close in an undermount slide. It's two main competitors (Blum, Grass) require add-ons to the base drawers (that make prices comparable, less added installation time).

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.

Features

  • 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

Specifications

  • Product: King Slide 
  • Material: Galvanized steel
  • Type: Undermount
  • Side clearance: varies by drawer wall thickness

Installation instructions available here.

2. Vadania Push to Open Side Mount Drawer Slide

Editors Rating 4.7:
4.7/5

Vadania offers the only stylish black push to open with integrated soft close in this review. Their slides are high quality with quiet operation.

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.

Features

  • 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 

Specifications

  • 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

Editors Rating 4.5:
4.5/5

Blum is my preferred choice for soft close drawer slides. But their push to open drawer capability depends on an add-on component that pushes them to #3 on this list.

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

Summary

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.

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