Child-Safety Drawer Catches

Advice on those child-proofing drawer and door accessories. July 5, 2006

I've never used the Tandem with Blumotion slides, but have seen them used and convinced a client to go with them on a cabinet job. They just called asking for child locks on all the drawers, and I can't get a straight answer from Blum on if the child locks will interfere with the self-closing feature. I asked for their help in picking a child lock, but their answer was, "Some should work, others might not." Any help?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor L:
There is a kind of lock that uses a magnetic key to open the lock. Very simple and quite effective. However, I've only used them on doors; I don't know if they could be used for drawers. You might just have to buy a few kinds of childproofing locks and prototype this in order to find out firsthand.

Also, I've used Blum tandems for many years for all my projects that require slides. I recently put in some tandems with Blumotion and the client, although he loved the self-closing feature, thought that it caused greater force to be needed to open the drawer. After talking with my rep, and a bit of experimenting, I used a mixed pair: one side with Blumotion, the other side of the drawer without. It worked well and everyone was happy. While it is possible to remove the Blumotion mechanism from an individual slide, don't imagine that you'll be able to easily reverse the process.

From contributor D:
Rev-a-shelf tot locks.

From contributor M:
I agree with the tot locks. You will need to drill a hole through the back side of your drawer front, but only so far. They will tell you how far it needs to go. I think I would make it about 1/4" or a little less from the front of the drawer front. Definitely put a stop on your drill bit, a piece of tape, or do it on your drill press with the stops set.

I would supply them with at least 2 extra magnetic locks, just in case they lose their main one. You can buy them at or even the babies-R-us. I'm sure some of our main suppliers must have them, too. You can buy the mechanism itself in quantities and just a few magnetic locks. It will work better if you drill a hole that ends up on a flat spot on the drawer face. I don't think it will work too well if you're trying to do it on the profile.

From contributor H:
I do not think your client will be happy with the tot-locks. The installation on drawers is difficult and you will need a stretcher for each drawer as well as space for the mechanism. It can only be done on face frames. If you build a drawer box with front and back and then add the face, it will be too thick for this mechanism to work. Any re-alignment on site after installation will require a resetting of the mechanism. Using the magnet to unlock the mechanism can take a little time and I know that I would not have the patience to have to constantly take out the magnet and feel the exact place required to trip the mechanism and neither would most busy cooks. The clear nylon safety catches would be faster to install, need fewer critical adjustments, cost less, and be less frustrating for the client to use as they do not need a magnet to open. The top drawer is not practical for these catches, as the countertop extension prevents the client from using their finger to trip the mechanism, unless you leave more space between the top of the drawer face and the underside of the countertop; again, a huge waste of space. Most of the kitchens I have built have been for families with 8-12 kids and the only locking system that has worked is to have pull-outs behind doors with a 1 1/2 reveal between the top of the door and the countertop bottom. If anyone has had success with the tot-locks, I would love to hear about it. If you are using the soft closing undermounts, the resistance of the spring is often enough to discourage a baby, but it's not a guarantee.