Drawers are essential to any kitchen, bathroom, or other room’s furniture. They allow you to organize and store your belonging efficiently. When it comes to drawers, the ability to slide them outside the furniture body makes it simpler to locate anything.

However, a heavy drawer slide comes in a variety of styles. So what should you look for when selecting drawer runners? Below are the main types of drawer slides and the essential factors that will help you decide.

Roller Slides

Roller drawer slides are typically utilized in domestic applications like desk drawers when relatively small weights are typical.

Rolling drawers or roller slides are made up of two parts: the drawer member and the cabinet member. Each has its roller, which is commonly made of plastic. As the name implies, the cabinet member attaches to a fixed or grounded component. The drawer member attaches to a moving component, namely the drawer.

When fully retracted, each roller will fit into the groove located on the other member. Each will be at opposite ends of the mechanism, with the cabinet member’s roller at the front.

As the mechanism is stretched, the cabinet member’s roller permits the drawer member to slide outwards, and the drawer member’s roller follows in the cabinet member’s groove. The two rollers will meet when completely stretched. This two-roller design provides horizontal stability to the system and enables level expansion.


Side-mount drawer slides attach to the side of the drawer box, as the name implies. They are commonly found in kitchen cabinets, toolboxes, and utility cabinets. Side-mount drawer slides come in ball-bearing and epoxy/Euro configurations, with a nylon roller that travels on a track.

All-bearing types are also available and offer advantages, including smooth ball-bearing operation, large load capabilities, and full-extension and over-travel possibilities. They also typically come with a detent, which prevents the drawer from slipping open if the cabinet has a slight error in its plumbing functionality.

The epoxy-coated models include a self-closing mechanism and an opening detent that keeps the drawer open for convenient access as you work. These slides require a minimum of 1/2″ space between the cabinet opening edges and the drawer slides.


Undermount drawer slides have two advantages over side-mount slides. First, they are completely concealed beneath the drawer. Secondly, since they don’t require as much room on the sides for clearance, they provide slightly more storage space within the drawer.

Keep in mind that since the slides demand more space underneath the drawer, you will lose some drawer height inside the drawer. Undermount drawer slides are also typically equipped with premium features like as soft-close, making them a popular choice for high-end cabinets.


Center-mount drawer slides are a more traditional form of drawer slide that is still used today. However, they are often marketed as older cabinet replacements.

They are entirely concealed, much like under-mount slides. However, only one slider runs down the center rather than being attached to both sides of the drawer. Center-mount often slides only extend 3/4 of the way out. In addition, they often lack features such as soft-close and self-close due to their limited weight capacity.

You may purchase single center-mount drawer slides in either the traditional wood design or with ball bearings. The thickness of the slide determines the amount of space required.

How to Choose Slides for Drawers

It may seem hard to start a DIY cabinetry project, but with the right information and tools, you can quickly become an expert at installing drawer slides. The most important parts of your cabinet drawers will be the slides themselves, especially the length of the extension (stroke) and the weight they can hold.

The Bottom Line

Drawer slides are an important component of cabinet hardware because they allow the function and utility of your cabinet drawers. If your cabinet drawers’ slides become worn or broken, the pull-out function may rapidly become a cause of irritation.

Therefore, it is critical to start with the right product. Weight must also be taken into account. If you do not get the correct weight capacity drawer slides and add more weight to the drawer than the slides can bear, you will have even more trouble.


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