How Do Ball Bearing Drawer Slides Work?
You cannot install drawers without the drawer slides. It is required in drawer chests, dressers, workstations or nightstands. Every drawer uses drawer slides. They are hidden from your sight but are an essential part of the drawers. One such slide is ball bearings. But how do ball bearing drawer slides work? This article will explain it all.
What are ball bearing drawer slides?
Another name for drawer slides is drawer runners; they allow the drawer to move horizontally. The drawers are given a pair of ball slides so that they can easily slide in and out of the furniture they are placed in. Instead of rollers for moving the ball bearing slides use ball bearings. The ball bearing slides consist of 3 components. They are cabinet, intermediate and drawer components. The cabinet is mounted to a grounded or stable area and then the drawer is attached to it.
How do ball bearing drawer slides work?
Ball bearing sliding drawers reduce friction so that it is easier for drawers to slide in and out of the place they are installed. Introducing a drawer straightforwardly into furniture will never work. You will be able to close and open the drawer but there will be a lot of friction. This excessive friction is harmful to the furniture as well as the drawer. The ball bearing slides serve as a solution for that. They allow the drawers to smoothly close and open reducing the friction.
Ball bearing slides are the most common sliding drawers. mostly the drawers consist of narrow and long housing units made up of metals. These units consist of small balls that can alongside the tracks set up for the drawers to move. The ball bearings prevent the drawers from coming in direct contact and rubbing against the piece of furniture installed. The intermediate components of the pair of ball bearings. The primary set does interfacing with the cabinet grooves and the second one does interfacing with the drawer grooves. As the component amplifies, the primary component that moves is the drawer that directly uses the ball bearing to slide between the intermediate part and itself. When the drawer reaches the endpoint of the ball bearings the intermediate component slides along the bearings with the cabinet till the point it fully opens. Just like a two-roller system the ball orientation inside each groove of the component gives it horizontal solidness and permits for a levelled opening.
Ball bearing slides are generally the most used in lots of household furniture like dressing cabinets to machinery used in industries. The ball bearings provide more durability and help in carrying heavy loads when you compare them with the plastic slides. The ball bearings are fitted in the grooves of all the components which make them capable of moving in vertical, horizontal and other angles too.
Types of Ball Bearing slide drawers
There are a lot of options available when it comes to ball bearing slide drawers. Let us know about them.
Soft Close Ball Bearing Drawer Slides
The demand for soft closing ball bearings has been very high since the last decade. And people who prefer DIY’s prefer this type of ball bearing drawer as they are cost-efficient and are durable. The maximum weight the drawer can handle is 100 pounds. They come with hydraulic dampers that prevent the drawer from slamming shut and avoiding any kind of damage. The springs that are installed help the dampers in closing the drawer smoothly. The drawer also comes with rail cushions that prevent any kind of friction and noise. They are most commonly used in the kitchen.
Self Closing Ball Bearing Drawer Slides
This type of drawer closes by itself when you leave the drawer. This is quite convenient as you do not have to close it for yourself. This also has rail cushions that prevent any kind of clinking noises and friction. You can fully open the drawer while some of the cabinets open past their extension limits. The weight that the drawers can carry is 100 pounds. They are mostly used in medical carts and other industrial furniture.
Heavy Duty Ball Bearing Drawer Slides
If you want drawers that can hold more weight you should install heavy-duty ball bearing drawer slides. There are four kinds of categories in this ball bearing drawer slide. They are :
Light duty – up to 50 pounds
Medium duty – 50 – 100 pounds
Heavy-duty – 100 – 500 pounds
Ultra duty – 500 pounds and more
The drawers have ball bearings that are heavy-duty and can be fully opened. Some of the drawers come with locking facilities. They can hold weight from 100 – 1000 pounds. They are used in factory workshops that carry heavyweights. The drawers that are installed in RV’s use the same kind of drawers.
Low Profile Ball Bearing Drawer Slides
Since the bearings are supposed to be mounted on the sides of the drawers they are visible. If you do not want the bearing to be seen you will have to decrease the slide’s height. Due to that the weight holding capacity of the drawer decreases making the maximum to 60 pounds. They don’t open up to their full extent. They are mostly used as drawers to store pencils due to their lightweight.
Top Mount Ball Bearing Drawer Slides
It is identical to the side mount style, just the location of the mount changes to the top of the opening. You can easily adjust the height of these drawers. They can be extended only three-fourth and can carry up to 50 pounds. They are used as keyboard drawers.
Push to Open Ball Bearing Drawer Slides
You just need to push these drawers to open them. This drawer has a spring mechanism that helps it function. These drawers can be fully opened and can hold weight from 50 – 100 pounds. These are mostly used in modular kitchens.
So there are a lot of options available in the market for ball bearing drawer slides. They have simple working mechanisms and are quite cost-efficient.