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All you need to know about push to open slides

All you need to know about the push to open slides

push to open drawer slides

When you first hear of a drawer that opens without having you pull the knob or handle, you may think of it having a built-in electronic mechanism controlled by a remote that makes the magic happen. Still, things are much easier than you imagine. A drawer like this doesn’t necessarily use a motor or batteries to open. All it needs is a slight push that activates the slide’s spring. This article covers push to open drawer slides, providing you with details about their operation, special features, and benefits.

How do push to open drawer slides work?

A push to open slide requires a push to release the face of the drawer. The mechanism is incredibly simple. Behind the whole opening magic, there are a spring and a trigger. When you push the face of the drawer, the trigger engages the spring, making it push the drawer back in your direction. It’s good to mention that the spring releases the drawer partially, letting you do the rest of the job with your hand, depending on how far you need to reach in the drawer. Note, though, that the weight of the drawer contents also impacts the spring’s opening power. An empty drawer will be definitely pushed by the spring farther than the one full to the brim with household items.


1. Modern look

The lack of drawer pulls provides a slicker cabinet look. Sometimes, knobs and handles are regarded as superfluous element that interferes with the smooth finish of the drawer. The push to open feature allows to remove the pulls from the equation and make sure nothing distracts from the slick cabinet design.

2. No handle repairs  

After years of using the drawer, it’s inevitable that issues related to the knob or handle appear. It may get loose and wobble or break under too much stress. Sometimes, you repair the handle, other times you decide to replace it, which costs you time and money. Moreover, extended use leads to the handle losing its store luster, becoming dull and detrimental to the appeal of the whole cabinet. With a touch release drawer slide, these issues are in the past.  

3. Space-friendly

Push to open slides are the go-to option when there is a shortage of space in the kitchen or in any room of the house where you have drawers. They allow you to fit the drawer in narrow corners where it would hit other furniture pieces located nearby when open. Yes, a removed handle is not much of a deal in winning space, but it can be critical in tight areas where every inch matters.


The touch release slide’s advantages outweigh its disadvantages by far, but we must admit that some minor cons exist. They mostly refer to the functionality of the spring, which is, no surprise, exposed to wear and tear and daily stress and, thus, can lose vigor in pushing the drawer open or break down. Another disadvantage is if the spring breaks when the drawer is closed, it will be quite a challenge to open the drawer since you don’t have a grip on the exterior. Fortunately, though, such an issue is not likely to happen, if your slide is high-quality.  

Full-extension vs partial extension

While the spring and trigger are present in all push to open slides, there are some additional features that make a difference between slides. One of them is the type of extension. A full-extension mechanism allows opening the drawer to the maximum extent so as you get easy access to all its contents. There are slides that extend only partially, making you stretch your hand under the cabinet countertop to reach the needed items. This makes partially extendable slides a bit uncomfortable to use, especially if you have lots of items to store and have no choice but to stuff things in the back of the drawer. If there is little to store, make a point of placing the contents in the front to ensure you have easy access to them when you open the drawer.

What is a push to open soft close slide?

An integrated soft close feature allows for the drawer to shut smoothly and silently. The soft-close mechanism slows down the drawer when it’s about to meet the cabinet. No matter how vigorously you push the drawer, its high speed is about to be neutralized by the damping element and a delicate closing is guaranteed. In this way, you keep your cabinet frame from aesthetic and structural damage, save your kids from potential injuries and prevent drawer contents from flying around due to the sudden stop.

push to open

push to open

Side mount vs under-mount

When you choose a push to open drawer slide, make sure you pay attention to such detail as the type of mounting. Both side mounts and under-mounts are efficient and provide a smooth glide motion, yet the underneath mounts come with some advantages. Being hidden under the drawer, they allow for more a appealing look. Side mounts are visible when you open the drawer, which in some people’s opinion spoils the aesthetics of the cabinet.

But, as long as the drawer stays closed most of the time, this shouldn’t be a problem. An aspect you are better off to take into consideration is the accumulation of dirt and cleaning. The location of under-mounts makes them hard to reach for grime, dust, and spills, allowing you to spend less time and effort on cleaning them. Side mounts are more exposed to dust and dirt, so you are expected to clean them more often.

Closing thoughts

Using push to open slides comes with many benefits for you and your cabinet. You ensure your cabinet looks more slick and modern and get rid of annoying handles and knobs that get loose over time or fall off when you least expect it. Also, you save a little space that may be critical in helping use a drawer that is placed in a tight corner of the kitchen. When you choose a touch release drawer, make sure you consider other features that impact conveniences, such as the type of extension, the presence of a soft close feature, and the positioning of the mounts.

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