Pros Guide to the 3 Best Drawer Slides for 2020

Best Drawer Slides

Your time is valuable and I don’t believe in wasting it. So in this article we’ll review the three best drawer slides that I trust based on decades of cabinetmaking experience.

Declaring anything “best” is difficult, but with drawer slides it’s even tougher as there isn’t just one style of slide. Sure, cabinet knobs come in many different colors and materials but they essentially have one form and function.

So to help with how I look at determining best let’s consider the key features of a top drawer slide:

  • Full extension is a must. And this means the back of the drawer can be accessed when the drawer slide is fully open.
  • Soft close to prevent the drawer from slamming shut
  • Heavy duty weight capacity to support up to 100 pounds of capacity.
  • Hidden hardware to showcase the drawer construction, not a drawer slide.
  • Durability from proven manufacturers to last decades without fail.
  • Easy to install using standard drawer hardware jigs.
  • Replacement slides need to match the side and under drawer clearance requirements

And that’s a long list of features, so let’s dive into each of the three slides and evaluate their pros and cons.

1. Blum Tandem Blumotion Heavy Duty Soft Close Drawer Slide

There are few reasons, in my mind, for new construction drawers in cabinets or furniture to look elsewhere.

The Blum Tandem soft close drawer slides are rock solid for opening, closing and have the best soft close mechanism I have found in a drawer. Sure, you can find soft close cheaper. And yes, you can use a bottom mount slide that will hide most of the slide.

But you won’t find the same performance and durability as this slide.

Key features of this top drawer slide:

  • Mounts underneath the drawer and invisible once installed
  • Smooth opening action with minimal “pull to open” force
  • Noiseless soft close operation – lacking the “click” common to soft close side mount slides
  • Easy to install in both frameless and face frame cabinets with rear mount brackets
The only drawback? This slide requires a special side clearance and drawer bottom construction.
 

References:

  1. Blum Assembly and Installation Guides

2. Accuride 3832C Full Extension Side Mount Ball Bearing Drawer Slide

Not every drawer requires features like soft close and that’s where I turn to the industry leader in high quality side mount ball bearing drawer slides: Accuride. Sure, you’ll find dozens of slides cheaper, in bulk and with even high reviews.
 
But cheaper slides are exactly that.
 
Features of a high quality side mount slide:
  • Quiet operation as cheap slides “click” as each of the two extensions meet
  • Full extension for reach to the back of the drawer
  • Self closing to keep the drawer shut in mobile carts or moving recreational vehicles
  • Tight, well aligned tracks with a high count of ball bearings on the track.

 

References:

  1. Accuride 3832 Drawer Slide Guide

3. Blum 230M Bottom Mount Self Closing Drawer Slide

Sometimes a basic slide is all you need and that’s where the industry tried-and-true bottom mount slide comes in.
 

Over my decades of cabinetmaking I’ve installed thousands of these slides and honestly they are just plain easy to work with. Due to the right side slide being the “guide slide” once that slide is installed the left side is there for support.

 
Key features:
  • Economically priced
  • Almost indestructible with no small ball bearings to potentially break
  • Easy to adjust

References:

  1. Blum Standard 230M Guide

Frequently Asked Questions on Best Drawer Slides

Is a side mount or bottom mount drawer slide better?

A side mount drawer slide generally operates smoother due to ball bearing construction, features like soft close and full extension.

Who makes drawer slides?

Two of the top manufacturers are Blum and Accuride. Both of these drawer slide manufacturers have been in business decades.

How do I choose drawer slides?

Drawer slides have five criteria to consider: length, extension, weight capacity, mounting location and features like soft close. Choosing a drawer slide involves making a decision on each of these dimensions.

Summary

Didn’t find what you need? Well, there are dozens of slide types out there but these are my recommended slides for best performance and durability.

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