Buying the best soft close drawer slides requires understanding drawer slide mechanics, brand names and mounting location. Did you know not all slides will open easily, close smoothly and without noise? Or, that brand matters as some invest in certification for 100,000 open/close cycles? In this guide we purchased, tested and ranked the best drawer slides.
First, after building and installing over a thousand drawers, I know drawer slides must be durable and reliable.
But, a Soft Close Drawer slide must also:
- Be easy to open and not require a hard tug (too many brands do)
- Have strong dampers to catch the drawer to prevent slamming
- Use two strong springs to pull the drawer shut
- Stay closed when using in cabinets or carts (aka “self closing”)
- And be QUIET when opening and closing
Seems simple, right?
Well, after spending $150 on testing out slides, plus $50 on a force gauge to measure open and close force, I found a lot of drawer slides on the market only do a few of these things correctly.
- Best soft close slide for new drawers: Blum 563H undermount are my only choice for new drawers. These slides are BHMA certified, Made in USA, and are from arguably the best brand in woodworking hardware.
- Best side mount & retrofit (bulk): Lontan side mount soft close are inexpensive AND top performing in this drawer slide review.
In This Article
The Best Soft Close Slides Won't Work If Installed Incorrectly
I know you want to get to the drawer slides.
But, before we do I want to share a few tips on what else to buy.
Or, no matter how good the slide is won’t operate correctly, it might fail later, or you may possibly break it during installation:
Drawer slide jigs are a must to properly align your drawers during installation. Most cost less than 1-2 pairs of slides and the Kreg KHI-SLIDE is most popular.
Rear mount brackets are a must for face frame applications as they make installation faster and improve drawer performance with infinite adjustment. I’ve used the ProMark and Lontan and prefer the ProMark as it has a larger rear screw plate.
Drawer screws sent by most manufacturers are inadequate. So, I use Rok #8 truss head screws in both drawer slides and Soft Close cabinet hinges as they have a superior hold.
So, add these 3 to your shopping list and you’ll experience a MUCH SMOOTHER installation.
Drawer Installation Tools
Last update on 2021-01-10 at 15:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What is a Soft Close Drawer Slide?
Note: Around minute 4 in the video you’ll see the Blum undermount slides. This is a great reference by the Crafted Workshop on soft close slides and making drawers for them.
First up is understanding what a soft Close Drawer slide is – and isn’t.
So, as you’d expect, a soft close drawer slide does two things. First, it prevents drawers from slamming through use of a damper that catches the drawer and slows the closing force. Then second, using (preferably) two large springs the soft close mechanism gently pulls the drawer closed.
Is it the same as self closing? No.
But will a quality soft close drawer slide keep most drawers closed? Yes.
Best Soft Close Drawer Slides
|Blum 563H Soft Close Drawer Slides||Undermount, 18″-21″|
|Lontan 4502S3 Soft Close Drawer Slides||Side mount, 16″-22″|
|Probico Black Soft Close Drawer Slides||Side mount, 12″-24″|
|Vadania VK1245 Soft Close Drawer Slides||Side mount, 10″-24″|
|Accuride C-3832 Soft Close Drawer Slides||Side mount, 16″-28″|
|Gobrico Close Drawer Slides||Side mount, 12″-24″|
|Knape & Vogt 8400P Close Drawer Slides||Side mount, 10″-28″|
|Promark Soft Close Drawer Slides||Side mount, 12″-24″|
After buying, testing and using ALL of the slides in this guide, here’s what I consider the best drawer slides on the market:
1. Blum Undermount 563H Best Under mount Soft Close Drawer Slide
- Complete kit for face frame or frameless application
- Four-dimensional adjustment
- Elongated holes for depth adjustment & bottom mount holes
- Full extension and soft closing
Last update on 2021-01-10 at 12:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
There’s a reason most cabinets offer undermounts as upgrades: they perform better.
Fortunately, if you’re making new drawers a few simple measurement adjustments (these aren’t standard 1/2″ side clearance) and you’ll be able to build and install drawers with glass-smooth operation that should last for decades.
Like other undermount soft close slides they are invisible once installed, come packaged with locking hardware, rear mounting brackets and are full extension so the drawer is completely opened.
HOWEVER, Blum sets itself apart from other slides with:
- The durability you need for a long-term drawer slide
- BHMA certification provides for high initial and long term closing quality
- Easy to open and smooth opening and closing with roller bearing design
And, as a bonus for Made in USA shopping, Blum slides are manufactured in the USA.
- Undermount drawer slide
- Full extension drawer slide
- Available in 18″ and 21″ lengths
- Roller bearing construction for smooth performance
- Hidden once installed with no part showing
- Tool-less removal by unlocking the front drawer locks
- Integrated soft close damper
- Large dampers for smooth performance