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The Best Undermount Drawer Slides for Any Drawer

When it comes to drawer slides the undermount slide is the woodworkers choice as it has the smoothest operation and is invisible once installed. But with a limited amount of manufacturers how do you pick the best undermount drawer slide for your project?

Well, brands like Blum make it easy as they are industry certified and the top choice of premier cabinet makers. 

But there are there other things to consider:

  • Weight rating (100-150 pounds)
  • Soft closing 
  • Full extension
  • Rear mounting brackets
  • Available lengths
  • Push-to-open operation

In this guide learn what the right slide is for your project – and budget.

Undermount Drawer Slide Features

With the many types of drawer slides its often confusing to even experienced woodworkers just how these slides actually work. For undermount drawer slides, key features include:

  • Almost all are full extension
  • For heavy duty applications, some manufacturers support a 150-pound rated slide (Blum, namely)
  • These slide types are soft closing and stay closed through use of springs
  • Undermount slides are not visible when installed
  • Both frameless and face frame cabinets are supported
  • Undermounts require a custom drawer width and space underneath the drawer to operate

Purchasing Tips and Tricks

When buying undermount slides you’ll need to consider:

  • The drawer slide comes in three parts: slide, locking mechanism and optional rear mount bracket for face frame cabinets
  • Brand names are best as they certify their slides for open and close cycles (durability)
  • Woodworkers like to have a spare drawer slide on-hand. Ordering an extra to hide away on a large project is never a bad idea if the drawer is years down the road.
  • Undermounts are not best for retrofits unless the drawer is currently an undermount. Side mount drawer slides are best for replacement drawer slides.

Undermount Drawer Slide Overview

Before digging deeper into an undermount drawer slide, there are four other main types of drawer slides:

  • Bottom mount drawer slides aka “epoxy slides” are screwed to the bottom of the drawer side and the side of the cabinet rail. These are inferior slides as they have partial extension and do not have soft closing.
  • Side mount drawer slides are the most popular slides and use a heavy duty ball bearing mechanism. These slides are attached to the side of the drawer and cabinet, and are visible.
  • Top mount drawer slides are commonly used for pencil drawers and attach to the bottom of a desk, table or other surface and the side of the cabinet.
  • Center mount drawer slides are most common in dressers and use a single slide in the center of the drawer. These slides are not soft closing, and have only partial extension.

Undermount Slide Features

Fortunately, undermount slides are all generally made the same. While side mounts come in self closing, soft closing, push-to-open, heavy duty and a myriad of other combinations this isn’t so with undermounts.

Key features include:

  • Soft closing is standard and will gently pull the drawer shut using springs and a damper
  • Self closing is accomplished through use of springs that will keep the drawer shut (important for any moving furniture)
  • Hidden design that uses a custom drawer design to conceal the slide
  • Full extension to allow you to reach the back of the drawers

Drawer Requirements

When matching the drawer slide to the drawer you’ll find there are some unique requirements. For example, a side mount and bottom mount slide use a standard 1/2″ side clearance. 

But, for undermount slides there are custom drawer needs:

  • First, buy the drawer slides first, then layout the drawer and slide to match the opening as you build the drawer
  • Undermounts can use as little as 1/4″ of side clearance
  • And, an undermount will require a custom clearance to the space under the drawer bottom to fit. Including a notch cut in the back of the drawer.

Looking to replace existing slides? Instead of attempting to make an undermount work, choose a top rated side mount drawer slide instead.

Best Undermount Drawer Slides

Blum 563H Undermount (Best Overall)

Blum 563H Drawer Slide

Certified, Soft Close, Smooth

For frameless or face frame cabinets you can’t go wrong with the leader in drawer slides. The 563H line of slides is popular from high end kitchens to woodworkers that demand perfection in furniture.

Top Features

  1. Durability. Blum tests their drawer slides for 100,000 cycles (twice the ANSI standard)
  2. Easy to open with no spring resistance common in knock-off slides
  3. Silent when opening
  4. Full extension
  5. Soft closing

Overview

From kitchens to furniture, if you are building a quality project and want a drawer slide that might outlast your drawer itself then turn to the Blum 563H. 

As one of the few manufacturers that makes their professional-grade slides widely available, the Blum offer up performance, durability and features.

Plus, as your slides age or are abused,  Blum is very likely to be around in 20 years to offer a replacement slide.

Pros

  • Reputation for durability
  • Industry ANSI/BHMA grade 1
  • Lengths from 12 to 21″
  • Available in bulk packs
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Price

OCG Undermount (Best Budget)

OCG Undermount Slide

Full extension, soft close, bulk

During the COVID period the prices of everything have increased. And Blum’s 563H have almost doubled in price – which makes these OCG undermounts a value pick at almost half the price.

Top Features

  1. Brand – OCG has been manufacturing slides for 15+ years and offers support.
  2. Full extension
  3. Soft closing
  4. All parts included
  5. 75-pound capacity

Overview

It is difficult to find an alternative to the Blum brand that offers up all of capability plus the reputation for durability.

However, in the last few years brands like OCG have come to the front with slides that meet a lot of the quality concerns woodworkers have with ‘imitations’. 

And, avoiding a trick some import slides attempt, these slides include all of the hardware and screws you’ll need.

Pros

  • Common lengths (12,15,18,21)
  • Soft closing
  • Full extension
  • Supports 1/2 and 5/8-inch drawer sides
  • Includes everything for an installation

Cons

  • Lower weight rating than Blum

Salice Undermount (Brand Alternative)

Salice Undermount Slide

Full extension, soft close runner

Available through many retailers, Salice is a trusted manufacturer of a wide variety of cabinet hardware. These undermount slides have all of the key features you expect and are a solid alternative to the Blum slides.

Also available at: Woodcraft

Top Features

  1. Full extension
  2. Soft closing
  3. ANSI grade 1
  4. 100 pound static / 75 fluid capacity

Overview

The Salice line of Futura runners features all of the similar components of the Blum and a similar reputation for producing high quality slides.

While not as mainstream as the Blum, these slides are harder to find and woodworkers know to watch out for deals that sell just the slide (and not the front clip and rear mounting bracket).

Pros

  • Common lengths (12,15,18,21)
  • Soft closing
  • Full extension
  • ANSI standards

Cons

  • Harder to find
  • Some retailers sell only the slide, not the accessories

Frequently Asked Questions

Are undermount drawer slides better?

While it is always tough to say something is “best”, when it comes to drawer slides the undermount slides are indeed best. Because they are hidden from sight, have the best design for soft closing and are easily the quietest drawer slides you can’t go wrong with undermounts for new drawers. They are, however, not best for retrofits unless you are replacing the same brands.

What is the difference between undermount and bottom mount drawer slides?

First of all, drawer slide names are confusing. Undermount drawer slides are best thought of as being 100% “under” the drawer so that the sides of the drawer will never show the slide. Bottom mount slides, however, are screwed to the bottom of the drawer edge but are visible on the bottom side of the drawer. And, bottom mound slides are usually partial extension and will not feature soft closing.

Do they make soft closing center mount slides?

Because of the design of a center mount drawer, having soft close is not possible as the single damper would have to catch and close the entire drawer. Further, a center mount slide is almost always partial extension and soft close requires a full extension slide.

Top Selling

SaleBestseller No. 1
Soft Close Undermount Drawer Slides 21 inch (6...
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Bestseller No. 2
Knobonly 10 Pair 21' Undermount Drawer Slides Soft...
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Knobonly 10 Pair 21" Undermount Drawer Slides Soft...
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Bestseller No. 3
10 Pairs Self Soft Close Under/Bottom Rear...
351 Reviews
10 Pairs Self Soft Close Under/Bottom Rear...
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Bestseller No. 4
Gobrico Soft Close Under Mounted Drawer Slides 21...
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Last update on 2022-11-23 at 06:35 / Images from Amazon

  • About the Author
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( Woodworker )

Eric has been a professional woodworker for over thirty years and has worked in small cabinet shops making everything from kitchen cabinets to hand-made furniture. Now working from a home woodworking shop Eric is sharing his passion for woodworking, tool advice and how-to knowledge from his Minnesota-based woodshop.

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Disclaimer: DIY projects can be dangerous, hire a professional (link to Home Advisor) if unsure.