How to change the slide of a drawer?


Continually and incessantly used, the drawer slides end up wearing out over the years and, one day, need to be replaced. Here is a task within everyone’s reach, even for amateur DIY enthusiasts.

What is a drawer slide?

Also commonly known as rails, slides or even slides, this mechanism is essential for the operation of any drawer, since it is through the grooves of this part that the movable and removable part of the cabinet, more precisely its case, simply slides. Moreover, on old furniture, wood slats were used. And for movement to be possible, they were coated with paraffin.

However, with this system, handling the drawers, especially full drawers, was still quite arduous and laborious. But fortunately with the arrival of the drawer slide, opening and closing have become easier, but above all less painful. For our greatest happiness, the new generation models are all equipped today. In plastic or galvanized steel, these rails, apart from their great ease of use, have many advantages.

For example, the slides support heavy loads of up to 160 to 200 kilos without flinching. This is why we do not hesitate to provide storage furniture with large capacities. Otherwise, this piece is also commonly found on shop windows. But did you know that their safety locking system prevents accidental dislodgement of the box from its cabin? This is not at all the case with wood slats.

There are two main types of slides. The first and undoubtedly the most encountered are the roller slides. They are also the cheapest on the market. However, the ultimate in drawer rails are the ball bearing models. These are the ideal devices if you have wide and deep drawers. In addition, depending on your needs and expectations, the slides can be fitted with an automatic safety closing device, or even a silencer.

How do I replace the slides on a drawer?

Only here, insofar as the wings are made up of many small parts, over time, some elements end up wearing out due to friction. In the long term, these frictions thus inevitably lead to a malfunction of the device. To find out, all you have to do is see the furrows carved out by the drawer on rails. Otherwise, the other signs are the wear of the heel of the drawer, as well as the creaking of the mechanism, at the slightest request.

Faced with these symptoms, a replacement is necessary. To reach the device in order to disassemble it, the removal of the drawer is essential. To get there, you must do the following operations, namely pull the box to the end of the rail, then lift it gently to release it definitively. Subsequently, you must unscrew the screws that hold the worn slides in place. For information, these pieces are always two in number.

To be sure you get the right models, buy exactly the same part numbers as the old ones. However, you can also swap them for more resistant or more ergonomic models. In this case, you must take into account the depth and width of the case, the desired opening length, not to mention the weight of the items you plan to store in the drawer.

Once the rails have been chosen, their installation is child’s play, since it suffices to put them back on the site of the old ones. Here, the only difficulty is the alignment of the two slides. In order to function properly, the two devices must in fact be perfectly parallel.