FIRGELLI Drawer Slides
Firgelli Automations offer both Drawer Slides and Slide Rails. Our Drawer Slides offer sealed bearings with hardened steel rails for long life, superior gliding, and low friction. The Industrial Heavy Duty Drawer Slides can hold up to 500 lbs weight capacity (226 kg) and a maximum stroke extension of up to 50" (inch). Our smaller compact drawer slides can carry up to 400 lbs (181kg) with a maximum stroke extension of 60" (inch). These are widely used for many home and automotive applications where long strokes are required to carry heavy loads.
What are the different types of Drawer Slides?
There are several different types of drawer slides:
- Ball-bearing drawer slides
- Soft-close drawer slides
- Undermount drawer slides
- Center mount drawer slides
- Side-mounted drawer slides
FIRGELLI Drawer slides can be used for all of the above applications and come with bumper stops for soft closing.
How do I choose a drawer slide?
Selecting the right drawer slides for your application can seem complicated. There are so many types available on the market, some very complicated to install and require a professional and others very simple and can be done by anyone. So how do you choose from all the options?
There are three basic things you need to consider when choosing the ideal drawer slides.
- Drawer slide travel or extension: This refers to how far open you want the drawer to fully extend.
- Weight capacity: Most big box store-style drawer slides are cheaply made and don't offer much in a way of weight capacity. To make things worse, when the drawer slides are fully extended that weight capacity decreases significantly, typically by 50%. It is important to determine if the weight capacity refers to when the drawer is closed or open. All Firgelli drawer slides weight capacities are rated for fully open. Hardware stores usually give this weight capacity when closed, so be careful.
- Mounting location: Side-mounted drawer slides are the most popular and easiest to install. Center mount drawer slides and under-mount drawer slides are also options.
What Length of Drawer Slides do You Need?
Drawer slides generally come in extension lengths between 10 and 32 inches to fit a wide range of cabinetry requirements. We recommend you choose a slide length that corresponds to the size of your drawer, so you have to first measure your drawer depth. Once you know the length of extension required you also need to measure the closed length to make sure that whatever drawer slide length you buy will actually fit once closed without sticking out of the cabinet. For this reason, you probably want to pick a telescopic-style drawer slide.
Frequently Asked Questions
A drawer slide, or sometimes called a drawer roller, is a mechanism that allows for telescopic motion in one axis. They are commonly found in a wide range of household or office applications like desk drawers, kitchen cabinets, and pull-out cutting boards but can be used in a wide range of applications that require linear extension and retraction. Drawer slides generally work by allowing one grove component to slide over a rolling component, which allows the entire mechanism to extend or retract. Drawer slides are not motorized but can be coupled with a linear actuator to provide greater stability. Generally, you will use a pair of drawer slides in any application and will most likely encounter two main types: Roller Slides and Ball-Bearing Slides.
Roller slides consist of two components, the cabinet member and the drawer member, each having its own roller, usually made of plastic. As their names suggest, the cabinet member mounts to a stable or grounded component, i.e. the cabinet, and the drawer member attaches to the moving component, i.e. the drawer. Each roller will fit into the groove found on the other member and will be at opposite ends of the mechanism when fully retracted with the cabinet member’s roller being at the front. As the mechanism is extended, the cabinet member’s roller allows the drawer member to move outwards and the roller of the drawer member follows in the grove of the cabinet member. When fully extended, the two rollers will meet. This two-roller design gives the mechanism horizontal stability and allows for level extension.
Ball-Bearing Drawer Slides
Ball-Bearing Drawer Slides make use of ball bearings instead of rollers to allow for telescopic motion. They also make use of a third component, the intermediate member, which interfaces with two sets of ball bearings. The first set interfaces with the groves of the cabinet member and the intermediate member, while the second set interfaces with the groves of the intermediate member and drawer member. As the mechanism extends, the first component to move is the drawer member, which slides over the ball bearings between itself and the intermediate member. Once the drawer member reaches the end of the ball bearings, the intermediate member will begin to slide along the ball bearings between itself and the cabinet member until fully extended. Like the two-roller design, the ball bearings within each grove of the mechanism give it horizontal stability and allows for level extension.
Deciding the mount type is important but more than likely it has already been decided for you by the cabinet design. There are three mount types for drawer slides: side mount drawer slides, center mount drawer slides, and undermount drawer slides. When determining the most suitable mount type, you have to consider the space between the cabinet opening and the drawer box.
1. Side-MountSide-Mount Drawer slides for side mounting usually come in sets or pairs with slides for each side of the drawer. They come in either roller or ball-bearing mechanisms and require a clearance of at least 1/4″ between the sides of the cabinet opening and the slides. There are basically two types of drawer slides suitable for side mounting: telescopic extension slides and roller bearing slides. The simple two-section roller bearing slides are what you will find in the majority of kitchen cabinetry. They are cheap and widely available but they do not allow for a very long extension and their weight capacity is limited to 50 lbs.
Telescopic extension slides offer any extension length you require and can hold huge amounts of weight. Firgelli heavy-duty drawer slides can carry up to 500 lbs of weight with extensions up to a whopping 60 inches.
Installation of both these types of drawer slides is pretty simple and can be done by anyone with a tape measure, screwdriver, and wood screws.
2. Center MountCenter Mount Drawer Slides are sold individually as they are under the center and lay flat. the downside of this is that the slide loses its weight capacity when turned however the benefit is that they are hidden even when open, and you only need one per drawer. They are ideal if want to keep a low capacity. required clearance will be determined by thickness style.
Undermount Drawer Slides are the ball-bearing style, and they come in pairs but don't extend the full length that matches the closed length. They are mounted to the cabinet’s sides and are connected to locking devices that go on the underside of the drawer. They require less clearance, usually around 3/16″ to 1/4″ for each side, and maybe a little more work to install.
If you are looking for quality drawer slides with exceptional weight capacity and extension length, see the links below to Firgelli Autmations drawer slides.
Here are a few considerations and factors that you should consider when selecting or designing around a drawer slide.
Load rating or load capacity is the maximum allowable load or weight the drawer slide can handle before failure. This is usually the main factor in deciding between a regular Drawer Slide or a Heavy-Duty Drawer Slide. This would seem straightforward; just ensure you don’t go over your limit, right? While your drawer slide might be able to hold 300lbs, doesn’t mean your design will. The load carried by your drawer slides will cause shear stress on the mounting fasteners, for your drawer slides, and cause a corresponding force on your cabinet member. If these components cannot hold 300lbs, your design won’t either. To avoid unexpected failure, you should determine the load capacity for your entire design.
The thickness of the drawer slide mechanism is another consideration you will need to factor into your design. The thickness of the mechanism will determine how much clearance you’ll need between your cabinet component and your drawer component. If these factors are constraining your design, then the thickness of your drawer slide will be a very important aspect of selecting the right one. Heavy Duty Drawer Slides have a greater thickness compared to normal Drawer Slides.
Most commonly, you will mount each drawer slide on opposites sides of each other in a vertical configuration. Although there are some that can be mounted on the bottom side of your drawer component or require only one draw slide, you should always follow what the manufacturer recommends. If your manufacturer does suggest bottom mount configuration is possible, always check to see if other factors, like load rating, are affected in that configuration. Another aspect to consider, related to mounting, is the hole pattern, which is for your fasteners. If you are getting parts machined for your project, you will ensure you use the right hole pattern for your drawer slide as well as ensuring the holes are level.