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ULTIMATE GUIDE: BEST SOFT CLOSE DRAWER SLIDES

The best soft close drawer slides will open easily, close smoothly and be certified for durability. But unfortunately finding a brand name slide that works properly isn’t easy. And, since soft close slides require precision installation, there are a few tools you MUST purchase for proper installation. In this article learn what the best drawer slides are for your projects – and what you need to install them.

First, after building and installing over a thousand drawers, I know drawer slides must be durable and reliable.

First up is understanding what a soft close drawer slide is – and isn’t.

So, as you’d expect, a soft close drawer slide does two things. First, it prevents drawers from slamming through use of a damper that catches the drawer and slows the closing force. Then second, using (preferably) two large springs the soft close mechanism gently pulls the drawer closed.

Is it the same as self closing? No. 

But will a quality soft close drawer slide keep most drawers closed? Yes. 

BEST DRAWER SLIDES FOR CABINETS AND FURNITURE

As with a lot of hardware, there just isn’t a great variety of choices.

While some top brands like Accuride dominate in self closing under mount slides(that are not soft closing!), they just didn’t perform as well as others.

Curiously, this slide had the #1 issue with side mount ball bearing slides: it opened loud. While most high quality slides have extra “bumpers” to ensure 3 tracks don’t do this my test showed a louder than average click.

Drawer screws sent by most manufacturers are inadequate. So, I use Rok #8 truss head screws in both drawer European slides and soft close cabinet hinges as they have a superior hold. 

17mm ball bearing slides as you can see from the image above are completely different to Roller slides. These make use of ball bearings encased in a bearing cage so they don't fall out, and some models offer a telescopic motion. By telescopic we mean that the Rails have 3 or more members that once combined together are able to extend the same distance or more than their total closed length. This great use of space is what gives them such a great appeal because the drawers are then able to slide out 100% of the drawers depth in a cabinet, where-as using a roller slide you can typically only achieve around 75% opening. 

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