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Drawer Slide Types and Sliding Drawer Brackets: How to Choose the Right One

You may have already seen drawer slides affixed to both sides of the drawers in your home. These are special devices that allow individual drawers in furniture to slide in and out easily.

Drawer slides are essential in most homes and residences, as you can’t have drawers without accompanying drawer slides. These are typically hidden from view, so one may overlook their importance.

In this post, we explore the different drawer slide types and how to choose the best one for your project. We will also cover how choosing the rightsliding drawer brackets ensures the proper functionality of your drawer slides.

How Do Drawer Slides Work?

Drawer slides are also known as drawer runners because they help the drawer box “run” back and forth along its rails. A drawer is typically secured with drawer slides on each side, which allows the drawer box to move along the rails evenly.

Drawer slides also support the drawer box’s weight and reduce friction as it slides in and out of the drawer housing. This is vital, as a drawer should always be easy to open and close, no matter how heavy its contents are.

The Importance of Drawer Slides

Drawer slides reduce friction during movement and help extend the drawer’s lifespan. A drawer box that isn’t supported by a drawer slide would be in constant contact with the drawer housing, wearing down the surfaces on both.

This means it is essential for all drawers to feature an appropriate drawer slide that keeps the drawer box and housing connected but separate.

What Do Drawer Slides Consist Of?

Drawer slides have many different components depending on their type. However, they generally feature long and narrow metal rails. Let’s look at various types of drawer slides, what they consist of, and where they are used.

Applications of Drawer Slides:

  • Study desk drawers
  • Kitchen drawers
  • Dressers
  • Drawers for storing medicine
  • Medical beds
  • Drawers in laboratories
  • Drawer slides in emergency vehicles

Types of Drawer Slides

There are numerous types of drawer slides out there. This includes:

How Do Sliding Drawer Brackets Work?

Sliding drawer brackets are integral to the performance andinstallation of drawer slides, ensuring a secure and reliable connection between the drawer and the cabinet. These brackets, whether part of undermount slides or side-mount systems, support the drawer's operation. Selecting the right sliding drawer bracket for your particular drawer slide is crucial for both the durability and functionality of your drawer.

How to Choose the Right Drawer Slides and Sliding Drawer Bracket

As you can see, there are many different types ofdrawer slides to choose from. Choosing between each one can be tricky if you aren’t familiar with drawer slides. Let’s look at some considerations to keep in mind when choosing drawer slides to make the selection process easier.

Load Rating

You should also consider the direction your drawer will be moving in. Most of the drawer slide types mentioned above allow you to extend the drawer box outward and then back into its housing.

If your drawer housing is open on both ends, a 2-way travel drawer slide can extend your drawer box outwards in two directions.

Similarly, the choice of sliding drawer brackets must consider the weight they will support, aligning with the load rating of the drawer slides for optimal performance.

Drawer Movement Direction

You should also consider the direction your drawer will be moving in. Most of the drawer slide types mentioned above allow you to extend the drawer box outward and then back into its housing.

If your drawer housing is open on both ends, a 2-way travel drawer slide can extend your drawer box outwards in two directions.

The choice of sliding drawer brackets also impacts the smoothness and stability of the drawer's movement. Ensuring that your brackets are compatible with the intended direction and type of drawer slide will enhance the drawer's operational efficiency.

Extension Length

It is also vital to determine how much you would like your drawer to extend outwards. Full extension drawer slides are ideal for drawers that extend outwards completely and allow you to access the drawer boxes' entire contents easily.

¾ extension drawer slides allow the drawer box to extend to around ¾ of its entire length, which is preferable for bedroom dressers or places with limited space.

You can also check therail length for each slide. It is recommended to use the longest slide for your application, but without exceeding the drawer’s depth into the cabinet housing. Most roller slides feature guide rails that are around 20” in length. However, there are ball bearing slides that feature guide rails with longer lengths up to 50”.


Drawer slides also vary in terms of durability depending on their type. The stainless-steel ball bearings on ball-bearing slides offer better durability than the plastic rollers on roller slides. If you intend to make your drawer last for many years, choosing ball-bearing slides over roller slides may be better.

The material and build quality of sliding drawer brackets are equally important for ensuring long-term durability. High-quality brackets complement the drawer slides, providing a reliable and durable drawer system.

Final Thoughts

AtHinge Outlet, we understand the importance of drawer slides and sliding drawer brackets in creating functional and durable drawers. We offer a wide range of drawer hardware for different applications and can help you find the right one for your needs. 

Our experts are always eager to help customers, guide them through the selection process, and ensure they are matched with the perfect drawer slide and brackets for their projects. Pleasecontact us today to learn more about our selection of drawer slide products.