What Are Ball Bearing Drawer Runners?
What is it?
Ball bearing drawer runners are mechanisms that are attached to drawers to help them open and close quickly. There are two parts. One containing the ball bearings is attached to the side or bottom of the drawer, and the other side, which is a flat and stable plate, is attached to the cabinet wall which holds the drawer. They have stainless steel ball bearings that make opening and closing a lot more fluid and seamless. In addition, these mechanisms do not affect the overall aesthetic of the drawer and cabinet since they are hidden from view.
Types of ball-bearing drawer runners
There are four types of ball-bearing drawer runners. Each has its style and purpose.
1.Soft close ball-bearing drawer runner
This type of drawer runner allows the drawer to close gently, despite being pushed hard. The runner mechanism has an additional part that stops the drawer from slamming inside the cabinet, letting it settle inside gently. They are also less noisy since two mechanisms allow smooth motion, and the drawer and cabinet do not have to bump into each other.
2.Undermount drawer slides, center mount drawer slide, and side mount drawer slides
They are the same; however, their placement on the drawer differs. As the name suggests, under mount drawer slides are placed underneath the drawer. They are usually sturdier, and their weight limit is different from side mount drawer slides, which can carry less weight because of the placement. The center mount drawer slide is placed underneath the drawer, right in the middle. This kind of runner is installed on tiny drawers because they are not designed to carry much weight. Undermount drawer slides also allow a drawer to open fully, allowing a person to see the back of the cabinet where the drawer is placed. Sidemount Drawer runners do not allow a drawer to open fully, leaving about two inches of the drawer’s inner part to remain inside the cabinet.
Where to use ball bearing drawer runners
1.Kitchen drawers are the most popular locations of ball-bearing drawer runners. There are different drawer sizes in the kitchen, such as cutlery drawers, baking equipment drawers, and even a sizeable pull-out drawer for pots and pans.
2.Office drawers and file cabinets usually have one to two pairs of ball-bearing drawer runners to support the weight of papers. In addition, heavy-duty runners are typically installed on large file cabinets.
3.Industrial cabinets and tool storage drawers use heavy-duty drawer runners too. Since their contents are heavy, the ball bearing drawer runners have to support the weight. In addition, these runners are usually of the soft close type since allowing the drawer to slam into the cabinet might shake the runners loose and cause the drawer to be destroyed.
4.Slide-out working tables also use drawer runners. People such as architects, engineers, woodworkers, and crafters have a retractable table in their office or workroom, and it is a great space saver because it can be slid back into a cabinet when not in use.
All kinds of drawers nowadays have a sort of drawer runner. Some have nylon plastic runners, and although they are cheap, they aren’t as sturdy and cannot hold up a lot of weight. Thus, ball-bearing drawer runners are more recommended if your drawers need to hold many items.
The advantages of ball-bearing drawer runners
- They are sturdier than nylon drawer runners. Since they are made of steel, they can withstand heavy loads, even appliances and large equipment.
- They can be used for many furniture types, from file cabinets to tiny drawers, making them very versatile.
- They are available in different types and sizes, and one can purchase a pair depending on where they are going to install it. Drawer runner lengths can go up to 30 inches.
- Its soft-close function adds to drawer life. Since the drawer won’t slam into the cabinet when it is closed, it won’t experience wear and tear. The soft-close function also prevents closing and opening motions from being too noisy.
Ball bearing drawer runners are highly recommended for drawers because they make opening and closing them much easier because of the seamless sliding motion.