Drawer Slide Choices and Tips

Pros discuss drawer slide preferences and installation details. March 17, 2005

I have been using Blum standard 22" drawer slides for awhile now and for some reason it is taking me longer to adjust. What other slides are highly recommended for their smoothness and ease of installation?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor L:
A top of the line slide from Blum is the Tandem undermount slide. They mount on the walls of the cabinet and two locks mount under the drawer. They are very smooth operating and will support 100 lbs. However, they are expensive and the undermount design leaves you with less drawer depth. To install the drawer, you pull out the slides, lay the drawer on them and push it in. The locks activate when they are all the way in. Another thing about them is they are self closing. When the drawer gets to about 2" near closed, they suck the drawer in - kinda neat. I pay $17.50/pr + $1.40 for two locks.

From contributor H:
I think the questioner is talking about the 230e bottom mounting epoxy coated slides. The jig that they sell for this slide is awful and after switching to a double line boring machine, my adjustment problems were solved. We use the tandem slides as well, with the soft closing device. Very slick.

From contributor B:
If you install European hardware precisely, no adjustment is needed. You need a dual line boring machine or CNC to achieve this level of accuracy. Study Blum's Process 32 or similar, and adjusting hardware will be a thing of the past, other than a slight tweak here and there after installation.

From the original questioner:
I have not made the switch yet to 32mm, so I am talking about mounting these slides on FF cabinets. I have used the Accuride full extension slides in the past on occasion and found them to be very smooth. I think I paid too much through my local supplier, though. Basically I am looking for a decent slide that installs well, is smooth and is good enough for low to mid range cabinets such as garage, vanities, etc.

From contributor P:
We're using a lot of 230e slides in a high-volume mini-kitchen face frame project, and find that the fastest way to install quickly and consistently is to use spacer blocks from the bottom of the case to the underside of the slide, obviously placing uppermost slide set first, then working down the stack (using face frame ht above deck + 1/4" for the spacers). It's the only way we could find to have them go in dead-on every time. The Blum jig is useless; magnetic Kreg just as bad. Tandems are great - the fine adjustment after installation alone makes them worth every cent, and clients go crazy over the smooth action and self close.

We're using Dynaslide full extension on rollout shelves, etc., and I am very impressed with overall quality and price ($5.50/22"). The individual bagging of slide sets within a master case saves me throwing out $200-300 in dust-infested or mismatched orphan slides every year. Way nicer action than the KV 6400 or Accuride 3800 series, in my opinion, and I'm not usually one to have a kind word for imported components...

Anybody out there having luck with 230e knockoffs? We tried a few - Hafele, KV, RUKA - and loved the price, but they seemed kind of flimsy and inconsistent.

From contributor B:
Contributor P is right. Using spacer blocks as he suggests is a very effective way to assure the slides are perfectly parallel. After all, all that adjusting is only about trying to get the slides parallel without a real system to control parallel.

From contributor T:
Where do you get your 22" Dynaslides for $5.50 a pair? I used to really like these slides (even better than the Blums I use now) but the place that I was buying them raised the price to over $8 a pair.

From contributor U:
I get 'em from CSH (Custom Service Hardware). Also get the Quadro from them. The Quadro full access is nice, and priced below $14/set, but I personally didn't like all the little parts that come with it. The Quadro and the Blum Tandems simply screw to the side. I too think the 230e knock-offs are a bit flimsy, but I use them with the "What's cheapest?" customers.

From contributor O:
Our method may seem a little crude, but it works very well for installing the 230 slides. We tried spacers, etc. before, but didn't have as much luck as our method now. I install the cabinet members to the face frame, leaving the mounting socket loose in the back. Then with the drawer members (and the drawer front) installed on the drawer, slide the drawer into the opening, hold it in place and lined up how you want it with one hand and simply mark the location of the mounting socket with the other. Remove the drawer, hold the cabinet members where they line back up with your marks and shoot them with a staple to hold in place. Replace the drawer to make sure it still lines up, then install screws into the mounting socket. This method is foolproof, at least for us. It isn't as awkward as it sounds to hold. I am right handed, so I usually just hold the drawer in the opening with my left hand and mark with the right. It works well enough that most of my help has been able to master lining up drawers, which isn't always easy.

From contributor M:
I use the 230 knockoff from Heffle. They cost me about $1.25/pr in bulk. They are very consistent and sturdy. Made in China. For full extend 100lb. slides, I use an Accuride knockoff from dlawlesshardware.com. They cost approximatley $7.50 per 22" pair and are smoother than the real thing. Made in Taiwan.