How To Install Ball-Bearing Slides


It is rightly said that little things matter the most. These tiny things join together to form something significant and valuable. Everything needs support, and ball-bearing slides are used for the drawers and cabinets to work smoothly. But before understanding this, let’s first learn about drawer slides.

About Drawer Slides

A drawer slide is a type of appliance used in a wide range of office and household furniture like kitchen or desk drawers and cabinets. It is used in any machine where a telescopic motion is required in one axis or applicants need linear extension and retraction.

It allows one component to slide over another rolling part, and that’s how the entire mechanism works. Drawer slides are joined with a linear actuator which provides stability.

There are two types of drawer slides:

  • Roller slides
  • Ball-Bearing slides

There are many more types of bearings. For now, we need to know what Ball-bearing slides are.

Ball bearing slides have ball bearings instead of rollers for the required motion. These three components are the intermediate member, the cabinet member, and the drawer member—one set interfaces with the groves of the middle and cabinet members. The second set is supposed to work as an interface between the groves of the drawer and cabinet members. 

How Does It Work?

As the drawer extends, the member moves first and slides over the ball bearings between the intermediate part and itself. As it reaches the end of the ball bearings, the middle part slides on the ball bearings between the cabinet member and itself till it is fully extended. Within each groove, ball bearings give the machine horizontal stability and help in extension.

Use Of Ball Bearing Slides

These slides are used in various household applications such as dresser drawers and big machinery in industrial places. These are more helpful than plastic rollers as they are much more durable and can hold larger loads. Ball bearing slides are used in vertical and horizontal configurations as they are fitted with groves of each member.

There are also heavy-duty versions of these slides that are specifically meant for heavier applications. 

You can check out the best ball-bearing drawer slides at Maxave.

Installation Process

Step 1: Start by installing the drawer brackets. Fit the slides into the front and bottom of the drawer, screw them into the front vertical slots, and add one to the back.

Step 2: Repeat for the other side of the drawer. Next, separate the cabinet mounting portion of the rail.

Step 3: With the cabinet mounts clipped to the front mount brackets, place the wrapped shoulders of the brackets snug against the back of the front frame to achieve the correct offset.

Step 4: Tape a torpedo or other short spirit level to the slide, or use one of the magnets that hold the slide in place, and use it to level the slide up and down. (This requires proper alignment of the chassis). Measure the distance between the rail and the side of the chassis to ensure that the rail is installed parallel to the side of the chassis. Then attach the back end.

Step 5: Attach the rear mounting brackets to the cabinet.

Step 6: Slide the drawer into the cabinet brackets until the latches click into place. To adjust the fit, use the same method as before.

Step 7: Tighten the remaining screws to secure them.

You can also get wholesale upholstered chairs for your homes and offices at Keekea.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Selecting Or Designing Drawer Slides:


  • Max Extension

You will know how far you want the drawer slides to extend. Therefore, you need drawer slides that are expanded to the maximum according to your requirements. It also determines the total length of the drawer slides and their fully retracted length. Maximal extension generally equals the fully retracted size and half the total length. Cabinet and drawer components must also be the same length when fully retracted to ensure that the drawer slide assemblies are securely fastened.

  • Thickness

It is another design consideration. The thickness of the machine determines the required clearance between the cabinet and drawer components. With these factors limiting design, drawer slide thickness is critical in choosing the right one. You can also lighten up your drawers with LED lights on corners which will help you to see inside the drawers even in dark. 

  • Mounting

Mostly, each drawer slide is mounted on opposite sides in a vertical configuration. Some can be attached to the bottom of drawer components, others require a slide, but you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. If the manufacturer suggests a floor mount configuration, other options include: 

Always check the factors of B. Rated load is affected by this configuration. Another aspect to consider regarding assembly is the fastener hole pattern. When machining parts for your project, you must make sure you use the correct hole pattern for the drawer slides and that the holes are level. There are many specifications and features of ball slides that you should know about.


Ball Bearings give the appliances increased motor performance and are easily replaceable too. Make sure you learn everything about it before you try to install them at home.

Here is all you need to know about drawer and ball-bearing drawer slides, where they are used, and how you can install them. 


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