When it comes to choosing slides for a new or unusual project, the wide range of choices can make this task overwhelming. Here’s a simple approach to help you quickly narrow the choices to the slides best suited to your project.

1. How wide is the drawer?

Drawer width is a critical dimension. If the slide does not have the strength and load capacity that corresponds to the drawer width, it can cause racking. Excessive racking causes instability and could result in drawer failure.

Check with your slide manufacturer regarding maximum recommended drawer widths for the slide products you are considering. Often, drawers greater than 16 inches wide will require a product with a sturdier cross section that carries a higher load rating.

2. How heavy are the contents?

Will the drawer hold dish towels or bricks? Silverware or paper medical gowns? As with drawer width, exceeding the established load rating may cause the drawer to fail. Be sure you take the weight of the drawer into consideration in addition to the anticipated weight of the contents.

Most manufacturers specify a maximum load rating. That maximum is likely based on specific conditions, such as 18-inch slides mounted on a 16-inch-wide drawer. Check with your source to determine how the product’s load capacity is affected if your application calls for a drawer that is deeper or wider than the tested load conditions.

3. Where and how will the drawer be used?

The slide selected for a residential kitchen drawer would be very different than a slide chosen for an identically sized drawer in a busy Starbucks. In commercial or institutional environments, drawers encounter greater use, and often abuse. Think about your intended application and the environment. You may wish to select a more robust slide to offset more rigorous conditions.

Source: Accuride International. Visit Accuride.com or call (562) 903-0200.

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