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Drawer Slides

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A drawer slide is a linear slide used to mobilize drawers for easier access. Drawer slides are capable of compaction and extension, allowing the drawer to open and close easily. Drawer slides can also be used to ensure that the drawer cannot be accidentally disassembled from its housing. Read More…

Drawer Slides Drawer slides are a specific type of linear slide used to mobilize drawers for easier access. Capable of compaction and extension, drawer slides allow drawers to open and close with ease.
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Leading Manufacturers

Bethel, CT  |  203-778-2727

Del-Tron is a linear slide manufacturer/distributor of ball bearing slides, crossed roller tables, roller slides, multi-axis positioning stages, xy tables, motor-ready lead screw stages & crossed roller rail sets.

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Del-Tron Precision, Inc. $$$

Bethel, CT  |  800-447-2042

When describing Tusk Direct, a linear slide distributor, products such as linear motion components, roller tables, ball & crossed roller slides, dovetail slides, bushings, multi-axis positioners & motor ready lead screw actuators, come to mind.

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Tusk Direct, Inc. $$$

San Rafael, CA  |  415-924-7938

Modern Linear manufactures guide roller components and integrated slides for applications ranging from clean/vacuum environments to food processing/packaging, and heavy contamination.

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Modern Linear Incorporated $$$

Hatfield, PA  |  800-314-3332

Isotech is a distributor of precision linear motion components: air cylinders, linear actuators, linear slides, ball slide assemblies, crossed roller slide assemblies, re-circulating ball slide guides. We can supply standard or high precision products in either English or metric, all with the convenience of on-line ordering. Our parts are ready for installation right out of the box.

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Isotech, Inc. $$$

Bloomfield, NY  |  800-642-6446

Established in 1967, Velmex makes manual & motor driven dovetail slides, open frame tables, twin rail slides, rotary and XY stages. Choose hand, lead screw or belt drive.

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Velmex, Inc. $$$

Fort Mill, SC  |  800-284-9784

TPA Motion has been established to answer the ever-increasing demand for higher precision and lower costs. Our combined product offering provides designers with the widest variety of components for miniature automation tasks, and our ability to provide complete subassemblies answers the increasing demand for cost effective positioning solutions from a single source.

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TPA Motion $$$
placeholder image Del-Tron Precision, Inc. Tusk Direct, Inc. Modern Linear Incorporated Isotech, Inc. Velmex, Inc. TPA Motion

What Is a Drawer Slide?

These constructions have two main components: a stationary linear base and a moving carriage. The linear base is a flat surface that allows the linear bearings to move in a controlled, precise motion. The moving carriage is what attains mobility through the linear bearings.

Drawer Slide

How Drawer Slides Function

Drawer slides function by reducing friction so that drawers can slide in and out of the furniture in which they are installed. Installing a drawer directly into furniture is not ideal as this will create friction that eventually damages the drawer and the furniture.

Most drawer slides have a metal housing unit that contains a set of small balls. These balls are known as ball bearing drawer slides. They allow proper movement as the drawer glides across these balls.

Types of Drawer Slides

There are various types of drawer slides, each based on use, different features, and cost.

Ball Bearing Drawer Slides

These are the most common types of drawer slides as they are less expensive and easy to install. Ball bearing drawer slides are made with steel ball bearings that roll in a thin track. This action allows the drawer on which they are mounted to move in and out smoothly with less friction.

Ball Bearing Drawer Slides

Ball bearing drawer slides are easy to install, but they also require great precision when building the drawer box. For example, if a drawer is too big or small, the drawer slides will not be able to roll properly.

These drawer slides separate into two pieces, one for the side of the drawer box and one for the inside of the cabinet. For the two halves to be released for easier installation, there is a small plastic tab in the track.

The ball bearing drawer slides have advantages as they can hold a lot of weight and are inexpensive. The cons include that steel balls are not suitable for dirty or dusty environments. Other cons include the precision required for the drawer box dimensions and the slides being visible when the drawer is open.

Under-mount Drawer Slides

These slides are mounted to the bottom or side of a cabinet with a sliding track and an L-shaped bracket. A special clip is the only hardware attached to the drawer box on the underside to lock it onto the track. The under-mount drawer slides are not visible when you open the drawer, giving a cabinet a sleek look.

Under-mount Drawer Slides

The undermount drawer slides make it much easier to remove the drawer when needed just by disengaging the clips underneath and then lifting off the drawer box. These slides also have more adjustability, making it easier to fine-tune the drawer front position.

Dials on the clips allow one to move the drawer box in all intended directions to achieve the perfect reveal. The need to build the drawer box around the exact specifications listed in the instructions is one of the cons of under-mount drawer slides. In addition, undermount drawer slides are more expensive than other styles and can only use one type of drawer box.

Center Mount Drawer Slides

Center mount drawer slides contain a rail in the middle of the drawer box. Rollers are also on the sides of the cabinet opening to keep the drawer aligned. Center mount drawer slides are easy to install and appear hidden when the drawer is opened. However, these slides are not suitable for large weight capacities.

Center Mount Drawer Slide

Applications and Uses of Drawer Slides

Drawer slides are mostly used in the furniture industry, but some areas of application include industrial manufacturing, fire and rescue industries, storage and racking, and equipment and tool mounting. Drawer slides used for industries can be made using metals to provide heavy-duty, load-bearing capabilities.

Drawer Slides Informational Video

 

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