Drawer Slides and Travel Distance: What You Should Know

Drawer slides by Monroe

When shopping for drawer slides, you may come across the term “travel distance.” Drawer slides are commonly used in cabinets, tool benches and other storage solutions. They consist of rails with ball bearings. As their name suggests, they are used to slide drawers in and out of the furniture with which they are used.

The travel distance of drawer slides may vary. Some drawer slides have a longer travel distance than others. By familiarizing yourself with travel distance, you can choose the right drawer slides for your application.

What Is Travel Distance?

The travel distance of a drawer slide represents how far the drawer will pull out. You can pull out all drawers mounted on drawer slides. The distance at which a given drawer can be pulled out is represented by the drawer slides’ travel distance.

A typical drawer slide may have a travel distance of 180 to 500 millimeters. You can refer to the travel distance to determine how far a drawer slide will fully extend.

What Affects Travel Distance?

Several factors affect travel distance, one of which is the length is the rails. Drawer slides with long rails will typically have a longer travel distance than those with shorter rails.

The way in which a drawer slide is designed will affect its travel distance. Most drawer slides are designed with ball bearings, but some of them feature wheels, instead.

One-Way vs Two-Way Travel

Some drawer slides feature one-way travel, whereas others feature two-way travel. One-way and two-way travel don’t affect the drawer slides’ travel distance. Rather, it determines the way in which they operate.

One-way travel drawer slides operate in a single direction. In other words, you can pull them out and push them back in from one side of the furniture with which they are used. Two-way travel drawer slides operate in two directions. You can use them from both sides of the furniture. Most drawer slides feature one-way travel, but two-way travel is a popular alternative for certain commercial applications, such as tool benches.

Other Things to Consider When Shopping for Drawer Slides

In addition to the travel distance and direction, there are other things to consider when shopping or drawer slides. You should consider the load capacity, for instance. The load capacity is the maximum amount of weight that a given drwer slide can safely support.

Drawer slides are available in different materials. If you’re planning to use them in a humid environment, you should choose drawer slides made of a corrosion-resistant material, such as zinc-plated steel.

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