Home » Cabinet » Drawer Slides » Best Soft Close Drawer Adapters For No Slam Drawers
When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Disclaimers.

Best Soft Close Drawer Adapters For No Slam Drawers

Stopping your drawers from slamming doesn’t always require replacing the slides. With a soft close drawer adapter and a few tips from this article you can upgrade any bottom mount drawer in minutes.

And I’ve done this to a few of my own drawers. With just a few bucks per drawer, basic tools, and the Rok soft close drawer adapter (Amazon) my epoxy bottom slides closed without slamming.

But best of all I didn’t have to crawl around in the drawer, fight a slide replacement or spend $15-20 per drawer.

However, there are a few tricks to this that I’ll show you in this article.  And if you have face frame cabinets on of the tricks will make the difference between 3 minutes a drawer or 10-times that.

Here’s a video of my basement bar cabinets with an upgrade to Rok soft close:

How to Install a Soft Close Drawer Adapter

Step 1: Verify Slide Compatibility

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

10-Pack Rok Hardware Soft Close for Wood…
  • GENTLE CLOSING: This soft close adapter guarantees smooth and easy closing…
  • UPGRADE MADE EASY: Say goodbye to slamming cabinet drawers, and say hello…
  • INTUITIVE MOUNTING: You will never go wrong installing our soft close…
  • DIY TOP CHOICE: Our soft-close device for drawers is a popular choice for…

Last update on 2022-06-28 at 09:33 / Images from Amazon

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: 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 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 5. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions for a Soft Close Drawer Adapter

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a soft close drawer adapter?​

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.

What are the drawbacks to a soft close adapter?​

After installing these on a few of my cabinets the biggest drawback is it takes a little extra force to initially open the drawer. And, while I’ve built and used drawers with drawer slides like Blum, the soft close mechanism works well in comparison.

But one key: the adapter *has* to be installed on the guide slide of an epoxy slide drawer. Otherwise the catch can fail.

Can I add soft close to existing drawers?​

You can add soft close to existing drawers using an adapter specially made for this purpose. By using a standard 1/2″ clearance an adapter will work with the existing slide to catch and close a drawer. While these adapters can work with ball bearing slides, they work best with the epoxy drawer slides used on millions of cabinets and furniture.

What is the best soft close drawer slide?​

After twenty years of woodworking my recommendation for the best soft close drawer slide is the Blum BLUMOTION. Due to their heavy duty pistons and mechanism for soft close they open easy and shut extremely smooth. However they only work for new drawers due to special side clearance requirements. But, there are a number of side mounts that will work for existing 1/2″ side clearances. Learn more in our guide to the best soft close drawer slides.

How does soft close drawers work?​

Soft close drawers work through use of compression mechanisms and springs that will catch a drawer in its last 1-2″ of travel. By closing the drawer with a reasonable force the slide will catch the moving drawer and slowly pull it shut – thus preventing the slam common with slides.

Is a soft close drawer adapter the same as a soft close drawer damper?

Yes – both are designed to catch cabinet drawers and slow the close during the final 1-2″ of drawer slide travel.


Soft Close Drawer Adapter Summary

It really is possible to install a soft close drawer adapter in just a few minutes. But if you don’t have bottom mount slides, or want to upgrade to other drawer slides check out our recommended reading.

Recommended Reading

4 thoughts on “Best Soft Close Drawer Adapters For No Slam Drawers”

  1. The article references a bottom mount drawer -“topping your drawers from slamming doesn’t always require replacing the slides. With a soft close drawer adapter and a few tips from this article you can upgrade any bottom mount drawer in minutes.” However, your pictures and steps appear to be for a side mount drawer.

    Do you know of a solution for a bottom mount? Thx!

  2. Hi Jim,

    Drawer mounts are confusing! The pictures are of a bottom mount. Bottom mounts have one piece on the side of the cabinet, and the other piece on the bottom of the drawer.

    The Rok adapters on this page are one of the few available adapters and work with the slides shown.


  3. Great Explanation. The problem with undermount slides is their is not 1/2″ of space at the side of the drawer. Usually 3/8″

  4. Tim – appreciated and agree undermounts require a special drawer build. Both the ~3/8″ at the side plus the drawer bottom has to be specially designed and drawer side thickness is a consideration.


Leave a Comment

Wood Vise in Cabinetmakers Top
The Best Woodworking Vises, Types and How To Mount Them

Woodworking vises free up your hands to carve, screw, drill or do whatever task is needed while your work stays securely in place. But, choosing the right type of vise and mounting location isn’t as obvious as it might seem. Learn why woodworkers prefer a vise like the aptly named    for its versatility, compactness and all-wood jaws plus other types of woodworking vises. A vises number one job is hold onto your woodworking piece when you need it. And then

Read More »
Power Tool Brands for Woodworking
9 Unique Tool Brands For Serious Woodworkers

Makita vs. Dewalt. Milwaukee vs. Festool. Woodworkers are used to comparing tool brands to decide what their next tools should be. But what most woodworkers miss is the unique tool brands that make woodworking faster, easier and improve quality. For example, FastCap has a glue bottle that takes the hard squeeze out of that Titebond bottle your stressed hand is used to gripping. Or, Powertec has a huge line of high quality tools at a much discounted price vs. large

Read More »
Workbench Organization Storage
Easy Workbench Organization With These Unique Solutions

Workbench organization isn’t just important for looks. It makes projects easier to start (and finish) and reduces time spent hunting for tools and supplies. In this guide learn how a few minutes time will have your bench upgraded from messy to tidy with easy to use products like: PEGBOARD ORGANIZERS: will quickly organize tools and parts. And free up valuable bench space. PROFESSIONAL SCREW ORGANIZERS: is a see-through and portable solution for small part and screw organization. BENCHTOP TOOL ORGANIZERS:

Read More »
Best Router for Router Table
The Best Router for Router Tables and Lifts

The best router for router table use is always one that will fit a router lift. But, for woodworkers that will use larger router bits for raised panels or subject the router to continuous use then horsepower and machine durability are a key consideration. While sticking to mainstream routers that are compatible with lifts is generally easy, making sure the router has key features like electronic speed control, soft start and compatible bases for off-the-table use are just as important.

Read More »
Best Cabinet Hardware Jigs and Templates
The Best Cabinet Hardware Jigs And Templates for Doors

The best cabinet hardware jigs are designed to be used for jobs of any size, are made from all metal components and are easy to use. But, for budget minded projects or one-time use, a less expensive jig with a reputation for durability and precision is what DIY’ers or occasional woodworkers will choose.  But, most importantly, the top cabinet hardware jigs will work on all styles of doors, including shaker cabinets that have a challenging inset face. So what makes

Read More »
Best Benchtop Planers Thickness
The Best Benchtop Planers for Small Workshops In 2022

While some woodworkers get by without one, a benchtop planer is usually a must for any woodworker. But finding a quality wood planer that will put a great finish on both hardwoods and softwoods can be difficult. And, since there many types of planers, its worth noting that a benchtop planer typically features: Straight or helical blades Support for boards up to 13-inches (33 cm) Single phase 15-amp motors Adjustable height up to 6-inches (15.2 cm) Single or two speed

Read More »
Best Orbital Sander for Woodworking
Professional Grade Random Orbital Sanders

Until you’ve connected a random orbital sander to a dust extractor you don’t know what you’re missing. Which is why the best random orbital sanders are both great at removing wood but also have the features and power professionals turn to. After using every type of random orbit sander to build cabinets and furniture the simple answer to which random orbital sander is best comes down to owning two orbital sanders: Cordless. There’s no reason to drag a cord around the

Read More »

Need Help Finding Wood?

Everyone does. Signup for a FREE hardwood directory that organizes 300+ hardwood retailers across the USA.

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

free wood (knowledge)

All you need to do is sign-up and as a BONUS receive a guide to 300+ lumber retailers (with price lists).