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

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Forum topic by Brett posted 02-04-2013 at 09:11 AM 2558 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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621 posts in 1320 days

02-04-2013 at 09:11 AM

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


13363 posts in 1312 days

#1 posted 02-04-2013 at 09:55 AM

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


1136 posts in 2115 days

#2 posted 02-04-2013 at 09:55 AM

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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6647 posts in 2616 days

#3 posted 02-04-2013 at 09:59 AM

Full extension is almost always the way to go.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 2629 days

#4 posted 02-04-2013 at 10:00 AM

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

View pintodeluxe's profile


3337 posts in 1450 days

#5 posted 02-04-2013 at 10:01 AM

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


2411 posts in 2379 days

#6 posted 02-04-2013 at 10:34 AM

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 2729 days

#7 posted 02-04-2013 at 11:17 AM

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


433 posts in 1702 days

#8 posted 02-04-2013 at 11:43 AM

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


621 posts in 1320 days

#9 posted 02-04-2013 at 12:30 PM

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

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1433 posts in 998 days

#10 posted 02-04-2013 at 01:01 PM

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


621 posts in 1320 days

#11 posted 02-04-2013 at 01:09 PM

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

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View huff's profile


2804 posts in 1922 days

#12 posted 02-04-2013 at 01:50 PM


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 1559 days

#13 posted 02-04-2013 at 02:04 PM

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 Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5032 posts in 1945 days

#14 posted 02-04-2013 at 03:03 PM

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

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1606 days

#15 posted 02-04-2013 at 04:24 PM

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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