How to make Sure Drawer Slides Work Smoothly?

How to make Sure Drawer Slides Work Smoothly?
Stefan Herchenreder
ByStefan Herchenreder,Technical support manager
Published by :Accuride International
So, you’ve found the perfect slide for your project, but now you have to install it. One of the most important questions asked at this stage in the process is “How do I install drawer slides so that they line up and work properly?” Well, we’ve got the answers for you! Whether you’re using Accuride’s own slides or a different brand, these steps should be exactly what you need to make sure your project runs smoothly.


When you’re building a house, you wouldn’t have uneven walls, floors and ceilings. Aside from making the house very unstable, it would also make installing doors and windows tricky. The same applies to your cabinets and drawer boxes. If these aren’t built as accurately as possible, it will make it incredibly difficult to install your slides. Drawer slides need to be able to sit parallel to each other as well as the surfaces they are installed on, otherwise they will not move smoothly.


Another way in which you can prepare your project is to pre-drill the panels before assembly to make it easier to see where the slides will need to be fitted. The only risk with this method is that if the final product doesn’t sit exactly how you calculated, your measurements will be thrown off – so make sure you’re as accurate as possible!


It is important to ensure that there is enough space for the slide to be fitted. Between the cabinet and the drawer box, make sure to have a space just larger than the width of the slide – +0.2mm to +0.5mm is usually enough of a margin to guarantee a comfortable fit. This space must be constant and run parallel between the cabinet’s internal wall and the drawer box outer wall.

Space is also important to keep in mind if your drawers have a front panel. In order to ensure the slide doesn’t prevent the drawer from closing completely, make sure the slide is set back from the front of the cabinet. If the front panel is 1.5cm thick, for instance, consider setting the slide 2cm back from the front of the cabinet’s outer wall.



Using slides that have a disconnect feature, such as our series of 3832 models, can make the installation process much easier. The slide can be disassembled, separating the part that fits to the cabinet (the outer member) from the part that fits to the drawer (the inner member), allowing them to be installed separately. The two separate pieces can then be reconnected to install the drawer.

Helping Hands

If you aren’t using a slide with a disconnect feature, it is strongly advised that you ask someone to help you install the slide. Slides without a disconnect feature will need to be fully extended to expose all of the fixture points and the drawer may need to be supported while it is fixed in place. Pre-drilling is often advised in this situation to help to position the slides accurately.


Once the slide and the drawer has been installed, open and close it a few times to ensure that everything is working properly. If the drawer does not move correctly, check that every aspect of installation has been completed properly, as there may have been an issue with alignment or installation.

If you have any questions about drawer slide installation, contact us today and one of our friendly team of experts will be happy to talk to you.

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