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.
So, based on my reviews and use, here are the top three choices for your next project.
There’s a reason most cabinets offer undermounts as upgrades: they simply perform better.
Because an undermount drawer slide places the weight of the drawer on horizontal rollers (versus steel ball bearings) the drawer action is SMOOTHER.
For example, the Blum 563H won’t require the hard pull to open like you’d find in a low quality side mount soft close slide. And, since they aren’t metal-on-metal, you’ll find they are quieter as well.
So what’s the catch? You’ll need to make a few custom measurements as these slides don’t use a standard 1/2″ side clearance. Instead, you’ll have a slightly wider drawer and require an extra 1/4″ or so clearance under the drawer to fit the slide.
I was surprised with this drawer slide.
First, they come individually or in packs of 2, 6 and 10 at half the price of most other drawer slides.
And, while they what I consider a “generic” slide as they aren’t from one of the established manufacturers, their construction was TOP NOTCH when stacked up against the other slides.
And, in a brand test, I’ve put these ahead of the well known Accuride as they simply performed better and were surprisingly quieter when opened and closed. As you know, or don’t, that will matter when you first open and close the door as a “clicking and clacking” sound is one of the hallmarks of poor performing ball bearing slides (soft close or standard).
Lastly, with their great bundled price, I’ve also installed these in a recent garage workshop makeover. And after loading one drawer (~15″ x 22″) to capacity with heavy screw boxes it has performed fantastic. I’ve even attempted to slam the drawer and it’s damper has worked each time.
And the Accuride C-3832 drawer slide is a strong competitor.
However, due to price and noise it falls to #4 on the list as it’s performance doesn’t stand out from the competitors to justify it’s hefty price tag.
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.