How to Install a Soft Close Drawer Adapter in Just Three Minutes

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If you’re one of the millions of homeowners with epoxy drawer slides and want to stop your drawers from slamming then you are in the right place. With just a few bucks per drawer, basic tools, and a soft close drawer adapter like the Rok Soft Close Adapter you can be upgraded in  under 3 minutes per drawer.

And most importantly without crawling around inside the cabinet.

In this article we’ll cover the simple steps needed to install a soft close drawer adapter. Starting with what to buy, a few tricks only a cabinetmaker may know, and the four screws per drawer you’ll need to install to make these adapters work.

What is a soft close drawer adapter? An adapter for a soft close feature works with the original slide and uses the same mechanism as a traditional soft close drawer slide. When the drawer is almost closed the adapter grabs the drawer and slowly pulls it shut. And this eliminates slamming found with traditional drawers.

 
 

Step 1 - Verify Slide Compatibility

soft close drawer adapter

The first step is making sure your drawer slides are compatible with a soft close drawer adapter.

As you can see in the picture above, the white drawer slide is an epoxy drawer slide. And these slides are just about everywhere. Resting on top of this epoxy slide you’ll see a ROK adapter that has been completed installed.

So once you’ve confirmed your drawers look this keep reading. But if your drawers aren’t compatible no need to worry. Check out our guide to the best soft close drawer slides for other retrofit options.

Step 2 - Order Soft Close Drawer Adapters

As a custom add-on this adapter isn’t something you’re likely to find locally. However, the good news is adapters like the ROK adapter are readily available online in bulk quantities. Since most kitchens will have 10-20 drawers this is a great way to do this upgrade on the cheap.

Nothing too fancy for this step then. Simply count up your drawers and order.

Step 3 - Prepare a Spot to Attach the Adapter

This step is optional if you have “frameless” cabinets. Because frameless cabinets have drawer slides attached directly to the cabinet side you’ll have a place to mount the adapter. Skip to the next step if this is your style of kitchen.

However, if you have face frame cabinets you’ll need a place to mount the adapter.

While your first instinct might be to cut a custom width board and attach to the side of the cabinet I have a trick. Rather than fight the table saw simply make a 1/2″ piece of plywood cut to 3″ x 18″ (for a standard kitchen). Then using a few extra 1/2″ screws attach this plywood directly to the epoxy guide slide using the existing screw holes.

attaching soft close drawer adapter block to guide slide

For two tricks in one step, if you aren’t a woodworker with spare lumber don’t despair. Just order pre-finished drawer side stock from Amazon and cut it to length.

Step 4 - Attach the Adapter to the Cabinet (or Slide)

screw soft close drawer adapter to cabinet side

If you aren’t familiar with epoxy slides there is one thing you’ll need to know. And that is the right hand slide is typically the “guide slide”.

What’s a guide slide? Well, it’s the slide that has a lip that keeps the epoxy slide wheel in a tight line. And this is what makes epoxy slides easy to install as the other (left) side allows the slide wheel room to roam.

Why am I explaining this? Because you need to attach the soft close drawer adapter to the guide slide side. Or risk a headache later with the mechanism failing (it’s happened to me).

Step 5 - Attach the Catch to the Drawer

attach soft close drawer adapter to side of drawer

I said 3 minutes per drawer and this is already step 3. So, let’s finish the installation with a few more screws.

First, make sure the adapters “catch” is all the way forward. Then install the drawer and rest the catch on the soft close adapter and find the back “trigger”. Now lightly hold the catch in place, keeping it level, and draw a very thin pencil line on the top edge.

Lastly, pull the drawer out a bit and screw the catch onto the drawer about 1/16″ of an inch above your reference line. Doing this will ensure your catch doesn’t rub on the adapter (you’ll hear it if it does). Start with two screws in the vertical slots to allow for adjustment. Finally when you’re happy everything is working install the third lock screw as show in the picture above.

That’s it! Just close the drawer and watch it self close.

Tip: Go ahead and give the wheels of the epoxy slides a shot of silicone spray to quieten them and make the drawers run smoother.

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      The Home Woodworker