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1st Jun 2014


Self-close and soft-close are similar mechanisms that provide the slide with two different styles of closing action.

A slide with self-close will close the slide by engaging the mechanism in the rear of the cabinet member using a pin element on the drawer member. The closing action is very positive and is performed by a spring that has no damping.

Slides can have different closing forces to pull in different loads. The mechanism also acts as a hold-in, by virtue of the spring pressure holding the slide closed – preventing the slide from bouncing open.

Because the mechanism requires a spring force to pull the load closed, this will also affect the opening force; the spring rate needs to be overcome while opening the drawer. Let’s image a self-close slide on a drawer. The user will feel a resistance from the spring while opening the drawer, but this will disappear once the slide has been released from the spring.

A soft-close slide has all the same benefits and attributes of a self-close, but with the added feature of a smooth dampened closing movement.

This helps prevent the slide from slamming closed. The damper is normally positioned in the mechanism at the rear of the slide, similar to the self-close, and controls the closing action.

This mechanism also acts as a hold-in, stopping the slide from bouncing open. Because the mechanism requires a spring force to pull the load closed, it will also affect the opening force.

In conclusion:

  • The self-close mechanism does not slow down the closing action of the drawer – it supplies a positive closure.
  • The soft-close mechanism also closes the drawer, but provides a controlled, slow and soft closure, and generally prevents slamming of the attached drawer.

Case studies...

Extendable ramp for wheelchair cargo bike

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Extendable ramp for wheelchair cargo bike


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