A heavy-duty drawer slide can do a lot. But the right kind of heavy-duty slide can do far more.
A heavy-duty slide can do a lot. But using the right one can save you time, money, and headaches with your project.
People often underestimate the scale of a project. When it comes to movement, a slide that’s not up to the task can have long-term consequences. An overloaded drawer will shorten the life of the slides that underpin it. Worse, that stress can even damage the drawer and cabinet–multiplying the cost of underestimation.
That’s why we have helpful tips to make sure you choose the right heavy-duty solution for your project.
The first thing is to estimate what your project’s maximum capacity will be.
A heavy-duty slide is any slide that bears up to 170 lbs. or more. Generally speaking, the higher the load-bearing ability, the greater the cost. Think hard about what your project will carry and what its load-bearing needs will be.
Consider how far you want your drawer to travel. Heavy-duty slides typically come in variable lengths from 12 to 40 in. There are some exceptions, such as the Accuride 9301E, which can come in lengths up to 60 in. (5 ft.).
How wide do you expect your application to be? Just as every drawer slide has a maximum load it can bear, every drawer slide has a maximum width it can support. In general, Accuride heavy-duty drawer slides support widths up to 42 in., or 3½ ft. The maximum width is that which experts have validated through rigorous cycle-testing.
That’s important to factor: Major brands like Accuride perform testing via strict industry standards. A generic brand may not, which can lead to dubious long-term reliability. See whether the brand of the slide you’re considering has a limited lifetime warranty behind it.
4. Indoor or Outdoor?
A general slide will fit most indoor applications without trouble, but outdoor ones are a different matter.
Outdoor applications contend with moisture and debris. Use corrosion-resistant slides to maintain smooth movement in outdoor applications. Options include stainless-steel slides like the Accuride SS5321 and aluminum ones like the AL4160.
Outdoor applications contend with moisture and debris. Humidity can have a corrosive effect on slide members, while debris can clog lubricated bearings and hinder the smoothness of movement.
If that’s the case, choose a heavy-duty slide built from a corrosion-resistant material. Consider options like the Accuride SS5321 Stainless-Steel Heavy-Duty or AL4160 Aluminum Super Heavy-Duty as a purpose-built solution for outdoor environments.
5. Vehicular or Stationary?
A vehicular application brings a new set of challenges. A slide used for vehicular use will see its load rating affected by as much as 40%.
Vibration and other stresses from vehicular use lower a slide’s maximum load rating by around 40%.
This reduction factors in the adverse effect of frequent vibration. Thus, a 9301E will see its maximum load rating fall from 600 lbs. to 360 lbs. when in a vehicular application.
Vehicular applications face frequent vibration, which can lead to drawers and trays rolling out. Heavy-duty lock-in slides like the Accuride 9308E make for an ideal solution.
Also consider solutions with features that keep compartments closed while in transit. These may be slides with a heavy-duty “hold-in” detent or lock-in mechanism.
If your project already has heavy-duty slides installed, you may be able to retrofit a locking feature. The Accuride CBHAND Lock-In & Lock-Out Handle Kit, for example, works with any heavy-duty slide with a ¾ (0.75) in. thickness.
Will this project be side-mounted or flat-mounted? Flat-mounting a slide can reduce its load rating by around 2/3. An Accuride 7950 Full-Extension & Heavy-Duty Slide, for example, will see its load rating fall from 350 lbs. to 150 when flat-mounted.
If you need to bottom-mount a slide, consider a special bottom-mount bracket kit. A special kit gives your slide greater reinforcement and preserves its load capacity.
7. Special Features
Will this project have soft-close? Will it disconnect? Will it need over-travel? How important is this particular feature? Some features available in one model may not be available in another.
Weigh the desire for a particular feature against that of load capacity.
An Accuride 3607 is a heavy-duty slide with a lock-out feature and lever-disconnect, but a user may need maximum load rating (273 lbs.) or available length (28 in.) may be insufficient for a certain project.
On the other hand, an Accuride 9307E has a greater max load rating (600 lbs.), has even longer available lengths (up to 60 in.), and comes with a lock-out feature. However, the 9307E is a non-disconnect slide.
What feature is a priority? It is a disconnect feature (popular in commercial assemblies) as important as 600 lb. load rating?
Decide which features are essential against those that are just preferred.
Need a heavy-duty movement solution for your project? Browse our wide selection on our Online Store!
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