Drawer slides: full- or 3/4-extension?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 540 days ago 2430 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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620 posts in 1285 days

540 days ago

I’m planning to build a shop cabinet with a bunch of drawers, each approximately 18” wide, 22” deep(front to back), and 3” to 12” high.The drawers will be used to store typical shop stuff: tools, boxes of nails and screws, cans of finishes, paint, etc.

I’m considering using 3/4-extension slides rated for 75 lbs. Will those be sturdy enough?

Are 3/4-extension slides adequate, or will I regret not using full-extension slides (despite the extra cost)?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

19 replies so far

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)


12958 posts in 1277 days

#1 posted 540 days ago

As far as weight goes;
Get a bathroom scale and fill a comparably sized drawer and see what it weighs in at!

Personally, I would go with full extension, but that IS just an opinion!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View RockyTopScott's profile


1123 posts in 2081 days

#2 posted 540 days ago

I think you will regret not going with full extension slides.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

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Lee A. Jesberger

6646 posts in 2582 days

#3 posted 540 days ago

Full extension is almost always the way to go.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 2595 days

#4 posted 540 days ago

i have to 3rd the full extension thing i know i regretted the 3/4 i put in my old shop new one has full.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

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3273 posts in 1416 days

#5 posted 540 days ago

I would use full extension slides. They will typically be rated for 100# for that size.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View DrDirt's profile


2364 posts in 2345 days

#6 posted 540 days ago

If it is a cabinet screwed to the wall – go full extension.

If you will fill the drawers with tools and screws – and think you may be “testing” the 75 pound limitof a cabinet on casters like Pinto – go 3/4 or your cart will tip when you pull out the drawer.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View Nicky's profile


636 posts in 2694 days

#7 posted 540 days ago

DrDirt, good point about cabinet type.

If it’s non-mobile, I agree with the full extension slides that others are recommending..

-- Nicky

View Woodbum's profile


409 posts in 1668 days

#8 posted 540 days ago

Full extension. You can buy them in bulk from Woodworkers Supply. It is their house brand, but they work pretty well. Or you could get spendy and buy the Accuride full extension Plus 1” so the entire drawer contents are accessible.

-- Improvidus, Apto quod Victum-- Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

View Brett's profile


620 posts in 1285 days

#9 posted 540 days ago

Whew, eighteen full-extension slides is no small investment. Thanks for the information, but I may need to rethink this…

-- More tools, fewer machines.

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Clint Searl

1390 posts in 964 days

#10 posted 540 days ago

Fancy drawer slides are expensive overkill

For my shop storage I put together a 2×4 frame with 2×2 drawer guide rails mounted inside.

The 22w x 24d drawers ride in the rails, which also keep them from tipping.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View Brett's profile


620 posts in 1285 days

#11 posted 540 days ago

Clint, do the drawers slide freely, despite the slides being wood-on-wood?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View huff's profile


2788 posts in 1888 days

#12 posted 540 days ago


How much dust do you deal with in your shop? I would normally suggest full extension slides also, but I’ve used 3 different type slides in the different cabinets I’ve used in my shop over the years, 3/4 epoxy coated slides(very inexpensive), Full extension side mount (100lb. rated) and the Blum undermount full extension. (very expensive for shop use).

All have pros & cons, but the biggest problem I had using the side mount full extension slides was the dust and dirt getting into the ball bearings and working very rough over a period of time. If your shop is pretty much dust free, then you shouldn’t have that problem.

3/4 slides will bug you at times when you’re trying to find things that got pushed to the back of the drawers.
I would think the slides would handle the weight in most cases unless you just load the devil out of them. I’ve never had a problem with weight in any of those drawers, just the inconvenience of dealing with the drawer only coming out 3/4.

The Blums have worked flawlessly even with all the dust in my shop, but again ridiculously expensive for shop use. The only reason I used them, they where some left over slides from a huge kitchen job I did.

Actually I’ve used wood on wood drawers in one of my work benches and they worked OK, but the drawers where fairly small and about the only thing they were used for was sandpaper, so I have no experience using them for larger items and weight.

-- John @

View brtech's profile


664 posts in 1525 days

#13 posted 540 days ago

22” for $5.91 a pair. 100 lbs, full extension.

Now, these are not accurides, but they are pretty decent slides at an excellent price

View  Box 's profile


4937 posts in 1911 days

#14 posted 540 days ago

I use wood drawer guides and cover the wood with this low friction tape. Works fantastic…!

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1572 days

#15 posted 540 days ago

It’s good to be able to pull the whole drawer out and throw it on the bench for when you need to go rummaging for something. You can do that easily with wooden runners or piston fit drawers.

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