How to Slide 500 Pounds With the Best Heavy Duty Drawer Slides

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Heavy duty drawer slides are tricky to purchase. Since their clearances, locks, and lengths are not standard, choosing the best heavy duty drawer slides can be a challenge.

And because of this I highly recommend you buy the slides BEFORE you start your project.

Why before? Well, after building thousands of drawers I know side clearance and drawer construction need to be adapted to the drawer slide. And due to wider side clearance and undermount considerations of a heavy duty slide you’ll want to buy the slide first. For example, most heavy duty slides have a 3/4″ side clearance, but others are 0.7″ and the undermounts are less than 1/2″. 

And nobody wants to rebuild a drawer or shelf to fit the drawer slide.

In this guide we’ll review slides from 100 pound capacity all the way to up 500 pounds. Due to their cost I highly recommend you take a look at the actual weight capacity you’ll need to avoid overspending.

ImageProductWeight / LengthsShop Amazon
Accuride 9301600 pound capacity. Lengths 10-60″Check Price
Hettich Heavy Duty500 pound capacity. Lengths 12-60″.Check Price
TCH Hardware Heavy Duty250 pound capacity. Lengths from 12-36″Check Price
Blum Tandem with BLUMotion125 pound capacity. 21″ length.Check Price
LONTAN 22 Inch Side/Rear Mount Soft Close100 pound capacity. Lengths from 18-22″.Check Price

With twenty five years of woodworking experience to guide my recommendations, here’s my list of the best heavy duty drawer slides:

1. Hettich 3320 Heavy Duty Drawer Slide (500# Capacity)

The Hettich 3320 Slide is my pick for maximum load support as it comes in lengths from 12 to 60″ and supports a massive 500 pounds.

For industrial applications or that unique woodworking project these slides will not disappoint in maximum load capacity.

Key features of this drawer slide include:

    • Full extension
    • Maximum weight capacity of 500 pounds
    • Cushioned in/out stops
    • Lengths up to 60″
    • Ball bearing spacers to reduce noise

The only drawback to this slide? It lacks a locking mechanism to hold the slide open.

A few key installation considerations include you’ll need to allow for a 3/4″ clearance on both sides of the drawer or shelf (versus the standard 1/2″) and allow for the 3″ vertical height of this slide. Also, screws aren’t included and need to be equally heavy duty.

2. Vadania Heavy Duty Slides With Lock (150-260# Capacity)

The Vadania HD Locking slide is a heavy duty slide with built-in locks. This slide is great for those mid-range projects that require more weight support than a standard slide but not the 500# capacity of the full HD versions.

Having a lock on a full extension drawer slide is a must when you want the load it is carrying to stay out and accessible. Due to their design and 2″ height these are great for use in furniture, desks, custom truck drawers, or even garage shelving for pull-out access.

Key features of the Vadania drawer slide:

    • Full extension with 3 folds
    • Maximum weight capacity of 150 pounds (32″) up to 260 pounds (12″)
    • Cushioned in/out stops
    • Lengths up to 32″
    • Lock to secure drawer or shelf it supports open (or closed)

Of note, these slides require a slightly off-standard 0.7″ of side clearance per drawer and installation instructions can be found here.

3. TCH Heavy Duty Over Travel Drawer Slide (250#)

The TCH 250-pound slide fits the niche for a non-locking economy priced heavy duty slide with up to 250# of capacity up to 36″.

Heavy duty slides are a bit confusing aren’t they.

While the previous slide on this list has a declining weight load it is almost a standard duty slide at 32″. But this TCH slide supports that maximum 250# capacity up to the popular 36″ depth.

Key features:

    • .75″ width and just over 2″ in height
    • Zinc coated
    • Full extension plus over-travel with 3 folds
    • 250 pound weight capacity
    • Hold-in feature to keep drawer shut
    • Lengths 12-36″

Like most heavy duty drawer slides, screws are not included. And if you haven’t guessed by now that’s because some applications call for small bolts vs. screws.

4. Best Undermount Heavy Duty Slide (125#)

These Blum Heavy Duty Undermount will conceal the slide and offer a premium soft close feature for drawers up to 125 pounds. And for almost all cabinet and even file drawers it’s tough to get that much weight in a drawer.

I only install the Blum undermount soft close in my new cabinet and furniture projects. And if you’re curious on why you can read more in my guide to the best soft close drawers.

So when it comes to a slightly heavier duty slide (the standard slides are 100#) this one will give that extra pull to operate the soft close mechanism.

Key features:

    • Soft close engages at 2″ from closed.
    • 125 pound capacity per drawer
    • Drawer slides are not visible to the user
    • Blum durability and brand reputation

The only downside? These are pretty expensive slides and you’ll want to consider the value of concealing the slide. Also note they require a custom side fit (less than 1/2″) and require a custom drawer construction.

5. Lontan 4502S3 Heavy Duty Soft Close Slides (100#)

The Lontan soft close slides are my choice for slow close slides. And at a 100-pound weight capacity might have just enough capacity at an affordable price.

Maybe you don’t need a 500 or even 250 pound slide. Well, if that’s the case then a 100 pound rated slide is one of the more popular slides available. And after testing a number of leading ball bearing slides I like the Lontans.

Key features:

    • Standard 1/2″ side clearance (per side)
    • Soft close with dual spring
    • 100 pound capacity
    • Quiet operation

The only downside? The soft close might not work on wide drawers or as well when you reach full capacity.

Other Purchasing Considerations

As with all types of drawer slides, purchasing the slide itself is only part of the process.

What else should you think about with heavy duty slides? Well, consider these needs for your project:

Screws and Bolts Not Included With Heavy Duty Slides

Some heavy duty drawer slides will be used in metal applications like garage or industrial shelving.

While other slides will be used in furniture or garage workbench applications and require wood fasteners.

So whichever project you plan it’s important to note you won’t likely receive screws or bolts with your slides. But that’s easily remedied by purchasing the slides in advance and checking the clearance of the slide vs. the desired screws or bolts you’ll use.

For wood applications a popular screw is the #10 flat head* for the cabinet (buy as long as possible) and a #10 pan head* for the drawer side.

Even Heavy Duty Drawer Slides Need Jigs for Installation

While all ball bearing drawer slides are tricky to install, the heavy duty slides offer a weighty twist. Yep they are hard to hold and align.

And while I recommend a drawer slide jig for all drawer slides a jig is a must have for heavy duty slides.

If you haven’t invested in a jig you’ll find Kreg jigs* are some of the most adaptable on the market.

Finding Hardware for Heavy Weight Drawers

When you have 200+ pounds of drawer and cargo to pull out you’ll need some heavy duty drawer handles.

Here’s a few I’d recommend taking a look at:

Of course, what style you need will depend on the drawer construction and purpose. But planning ahead for the pull will keep our options open.

Tools for Installing Heavy Duty Drawer Slides

There’s always an excuse to buy another tool. Sometimes it depends on the project and special needs, like these considerations when building heavy duty drawers:

    • For wood drawers you’ll want to use dovetail joinery and a high capacity jig like this Leigh 24″. And yes that means it will handle a board up to 24″ wide.
    • Heavy duty plunge router*
    • Powerful cordless drill*

Heavy Duty Drawer Slide FAQ

How much weight can a heavy duty drawer slide hold?

A heavy duty drawer slide can hold from 100 up to 500 pounds. While there are a few slides that hold more than this, they are specialty built and typically not for woodworking related projects (my focus).

It is important to follow the maximum weight guidelines as a slide failure can cause injury or death

What is the difference between self closing and soft closing?

A soft closing drawer slide has a mechanism specifically designed to “catch” the drawer and quietly pull it close. On the other hand, a self closing drawer lacks this mechanism but instead leverages gravity to pull the drawer shut.

How do you fix ball bearing drawer slides?

Unfortunately the best option is to replace the slide. Due to the enclosed construction of most ball bearing slides they are not repair friendly. While not ideal, most ball bearing slides are $10-20 per pair of slides.

How do you remove drawers with ball bearing slides?

Removing a drawer from a cabinet with ball bearing slides is usually accomplished by finding a locking lever on each drawer slide. Often these locks operate “opposite” of each other – meaning on one side you’ll lift up and the other push down. To start fully extend the drawer and examine the slide for unlocking mechanisms.

If you don't require a 100-pound or more drawer slide be sure to check out the guide to best soft close drawer slides for medium-duty slides.

      The Home Woodworker