Drawer rails might seem like a minor component in furniture, but they play a crucial role in its functionality and durability. Whether you’re designing cabinets for your kitchen, office, or workshop, choosing the right drawer rails is essential. With various types available in the market, it can be difficult to evaluate which one suits your needs best. In this article, we’ll explore different types of Selectlok drawer rails, comparing their features and benefits to help you make an informed decision.

Ball Bearing Drawer Slides

Ball-bearing drawer slides are renowned for their smooth operation and high load-bearing capacity. They consist of rows of ball bearings that allow the drawer to glide effortlessly in and out of the cabinet. These slides provide excellent stability and support, making them ideal for heavy-duty applications such as filing cabinets, tool chests, and kitchen drawers. Ball-bearing drawer slides are also known for their durability, ensuring long-term performance without sagging or sticking.

Roller Drawer Slides

Roller drawer slides feature rollers or wheels that facilitate smooth movement of the drawer. They are commonly used in light to medium-duty applications where weight capacity is not a primary concern. Roller drawer slides are easy to install and maintain, making them suitable for various household furniture like dressers, bedside tables, and bathroom cabinets. However, they may not offer the same level of stability and load capacity as ball-bearing slides.

Undermount Drawer Slides

Undermount drawer slides are installed beneath the drawer, providing a sleek and modern appearance. Unlike traditional side-mounted slides, undermount slides are concealed, allowing for full extension of the drawer and maximizing storage space. These slides offer smooth and quiet operation, making them popular choices for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, where aesthetics and functionality are equally important. Undermount drawer slides may have slightly lower weight capacities compared to other types but excel in terms of design versatility.

Side-Mounted Drawer Slides

Side-mounted drawer slides are the most traditional type, typically attached to the sides of the drawer and cabinet. They are versatile and simple to install, making them suitable for a vast range of furniture applications. Side-mounted slides come in various configurations, including full-extension and partial-extension options, allowing you to customize the drawer’s accessibility according to your preferences. While side-mounted slides may not offer the same smoothness of operation as ball bearing or undermount slides, they provide reliable performance at an affordable price point.

Soft-Close Drawer Slides

Soft-close drawer slides are designed with a mechanism that slows down the drawer’s closing motion, preventing it from slamming shut. This feature adds a piece of luxury and convenience to any furniture piece, reducing noise and minimizing the risk of finger injuries. Soft-close slides are available in different types, including ball bearing, roller, and undermount, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of smooth and quiet operation regardless of your preferred style.

When comparing different types of drawer rails, several factors should be considered to determine which one best fits your needs:

  • Load Capacity: Evaluate the weight of items that will be stored in the drawer and choose rails with an appropriate load rating to ensure stability and durability.
  • Smoothness Of Operation: Consider the level of smoothness and ease with which the drawer slides in and out of the cabinet, especially if you’ll be using the furniture frequently.
  • Installation Requirements: Determine the installation method that aligns with your skills and preferences, whether it’s surface-mounting, under-mounting, or concealed installation.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Take into account the visual appearance of the drawer slides and how they complement the overall design of your furniture piece.


Selecting the right type of drawer rails is essential for achieving optimal functionality and performance in your furniture projects. Whether you prioritize load capacity, smooth operation, or aesthetic appeal, there’s a drawer slide type that meets your requirements. By comparing the features and benefits of each type, you can confidently choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.