Drawer Slides. Under mount Vs. Side Mount

Bobby Slack

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Forget about brands.

Under Mounted Drawer Slides

1. Drawer construction requires a 1/2" reveal from the bottom of the drawers

2. Side reveal is about 3/8" per side

3. Reveal between drawers ... at least 1" to have clearance for the drawer hardware which is underneath.

4. Length ... very limited options (unless you use Hettich_]

5. Reliability. Even the better ones have a lot of breakable plastic parts

6. Smoothness ... super smooth and soft close

7. Space management take 2 ... the back of the cabinet requires an extra 5/8 for the hook of the drawer slide to get in the hole of the back of the drawer


Side Mounted Drawer Slides

1. Drawer bottom can be flush with the bottom.

2. Side reveal is about 1/2" per side ... more if heavier duty slides

3. Reveal between drawers ... you can put them as tight as you want providing they don't rub

4. All kinds of lengths available with a 2" increment

5. Reliability. They last forever

6. Smoothness ... after a while these slides are very decent. the soft close option comes with the telescopic guides which are too noisy ... I like progressive slides (or is it the other way around) 

7. Space management take 2. no need for extra depth of the cabinet (may be 1/8" reveal )

Husband. Side mounted drawer slides last forever, better space, reliable and more economical

Wife . love the smooth and soft close experience


What am I missing?

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I'm not recommending brands. Some prefer Blum, Grass, Accuride or KV .. this is just a concept issue. My cabinet making buddies agree with my view. I'm about to get an email from a friend in a Hardware company ... we shall see.


What is your preference? of course if money is not the issue.

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When building large and wide drawers I use KV 8505 file drawer slides. They look like 2 slides,one on top of the other, with a rubber wheel between them. They open with progressive action and the drawer has thin rails mounted that hook on top of the slides. The number ending in 05 means it has an overtravel feature so it pulls out an inch or more past full extension . 150 lb rated 

Flie drawers , pots and pans, tools, pantry shelves, so many uses.

I am pretty sure Accuride and others may have similar slides.

Blum does offer heavy duty under mount slides with higher load ratings and they work quite well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If the drawers are going to be solid wood and dovetailed I use under mounts . If they are BB ply I use side mounts. It's functional vs aesthetic , but price always is an issue. 

If drawers are wider than deep or very large you are approaching the limits of undermount slides and function  becomes the controlling factor no matter the budget.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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