Drawer Slides Explained

Posted on Thursday Dec 20, 2018 at 03:16PM in Tips

Has your cabinet builder asked you what type of drawer slide you want in your new cabinets? If you’re like most of us, you may not be sure how to answer that question. First of all, what’s a drawer slide? A drawer slide is the hardware that allows your drawer to move smoothly in and out of place. Older kitchen drawers may not have drawer slides, but new construction and remodels usually do. 

Before you let your cabinet builder decide on your hardware for you, get to know the different drawer slide options.

Slide Placement


Undermount slides are placed underneath your drawer box where they are virtually invisible, giving a cleaner look. 

Side mount

Side-mount slides are attached to the side of the drawer box and can be seen when the drawer is pulled out.

Ball-Bearing Slides

Side-mount ball-bearing slides offer quieter and smoother operation than non-ball-bearing slides.

Soft-Close Drawer Slides

If it’s in your budget, opt for soft-close drawer slides (you won’t regret it, we promise). Soft-close drawer slides make closing the drawer quiet and easy by slowly shutting your drawers for you after a gentle push. Blum, Titus, and other hardware manufacturers make soft-close slides. Blum, a very popular choice with homeowners and cabinet builders, also offers TIP-ON, a push-to-open feature, that can be added to Movento drawer slides. 


  Drawer slide extension options
The top slide is an overtravel and the bottom is a full-extension

The extension or travel of a slide refers to how far the drawer pulls out. You have a few options to choose from for drawer extension.

¾ extension -  With a ¾ extension, the drawer doesn’t fully come out from the cabinet. These slides can be bothersome when it comes to reaching into the drawer to try to get to what you need.

Full extension - Drawers come out just at the end of the cabinet with full extension slides. Full extension slides allow for complete access to the cabinet. 

Overtravel - Overtravel drawer slides come out past the end of the cabinet, which allows for complete access to the cabinet and then some. If you have an overhanging countertop, you may opt for overtravel slides because otherwise, you may have a difficult time reaching inside your drawers.

We’d recommend asking for either full extension or overtravel drawer slides so you won’t have to stick your hand in the back of your drawers to figure out what’s what. 

Value Slides

Knape and Vogt’s DuriSlide is a great pick if you’re looking for a less expensive side-mount ball-bearing option.

Specialty Slides

There are also heavy-duty slides that hold more weight and can be used in pantries, such as the Fulterer pantry pull-out slides, which can hold up to 450 pounds.