Regular vs heavy duty drawer slides

custom cargo drawer 3

What’s the difference between a regular and heavy duty drawer slide?

Dunn & Watson provide a range of drawer slides from 35kg right up to 227kg, including locking and non-locking slides made from zinc plated aluminium, as well as stainless steel options. However, one of the most frequent questions we are asked by customers is whether they need a regular or heavy duty drawer slide. It’s a fair question, because it’s not always an easy decision. So let’s take a look at the differences between these two types of drawer slides and at the same time, point you in the direction of which ones are best for your project.

Features of heavy duty drawer slides

The biggest feature of our heavy duty drawer slides is that they can take much more weight than regular slides. So they’re ideal for heavy toolboxes that need to store solid pieces of equipment, modular drawers and under tray drawer systems. This means that they are popular for projects on camper trailers, caravans and canopies. 

A point to note about these heavy duty slides is that whilst they are available in lengths of up to 2007mm, these extreme lengths actually reduce their weight capacity. So if you want a 2007mm extension, the maximum weight capacity of the drawers will only be 50kg. This means that the maximum extension of the drawer slides for a 227kg weight capacity is actually only 762mm. That’s because extensions over 762mm can’t carry the maximum 227kg load. It pays to remember this snippet when it comes time to order your drawer slides, because you not only need to select the correct weight capacity for your projects, but also the best extension.

  • Maximum weight capacity of 227kg
  • Available in lengths of 356mm to 2007mm
  • No disconnectable feature due to heavy weight capacity
  • Available in locking and non-locking formats
  • Opens out to its full extension
  • Highly durable and strong

Features of regular drawer slides

Dunn & Watson’s regular drawer slides are available in 35kg, 45kg, 60kg and 125kg weight capacities. The 35kg, 45kg, 60kg slides are considered to be ideal for light duty projects (such as small drawer systems), while the 125kg is better for medium duty projects. Most of these are available in both locking and non-locking versions, including the stainless steel options. All models open to their full extension and all except the stainless steel options are zinc plated aluminium. Since each weight capacity is different, their full extension lengths are also different, as follows.

  • 35kg: Full extensions from 250mm to 500mm, but weight reduces to 30kg for 550mm and 600mm extensions.
  • 45kg: Full extensions from 250mm to 700mm with no weight reductions for the longer lengths.
  • 60kg: Full extensions from 350mm to 800mm, but weight reduces to 55kg for 550mm, 50kg for 600mm extensions, 45kg for 650mm, 40kg for 700mm and 35kg for 800mm extensions.
  • 125kg: Full extensions from 356mm to 1016mm, but weight reduces to 110kg for 559mm, 100kg for 610mm, 90kg for 660mm, 80kg for 711mm, 70kg for 762mm, and an additional 5kg for 813mm, 864mm, 917mm and 1016mm to a maximum of 50kg.

As an example, you can purchase the 35kg drawer slides with a maximum of a 500mm extension, but you can also purchase the 60kg drawer slides with a 800mm extension that is equivalent to a 35kg weight capacity. So it depends on both the weight capacity you need, as well as the extension that’s required.

When to use a light, medium or heavy duty drawer slide 

A heavy duty drawer slide is designed for applications where a lot of weight needs to be stored. So if the weight of your equipment is more than 125kg, you will need to use a hefty 227kg drawer slide for your project. You will also need to use these heavy duty slides if you need an extension that’s greater than 1016mm, because that’s the maximum for the medium 125kg duty slides.

However, you might find yourself needing to choose between two different types of slides that offer the same extension and weight capacity. This could happen when you want slides with a 500mm extension with a weight capacity of 125kg, where you could also choose the 227kg option that fits these measurements. So why choose one over the other when they both suit your needs?

Well, the heavy duty option is more durable and long lasting, because it’s made from a lot more metal than the medium duty model (it’s bigger). This means that it will last longer under heavy loads and in corrosive weather. So in the given example, you could opt for the heavy duty drawer slide if you needed them for an outdoor application, repetitive opening and closing operations or a coastal environment. On the other hand, if the drawer slides will be protected and not used very often, you could select the medium duty slides. As a quick check, medium or light duty drawer slides are good for household applications, whilst heavy duty drawer slides are better for outdoor, corrosive, industrial or dusty environments.

Why aren’t the heavy duty slides disconnectable?

Our heavy duty slides aren’t disconnectable, simply because of their maximum weight capacity of 227kg. This weight is too heavy to have a disconnectable feature. This means that to install these slides, you need to open it to its full extension. Next you need to fit the points that are easily accessed and then slide the extension closed slowly until you see the window in the slide showing the other installation points along the track. If you want a disconnect-able drawer slide, you will need to select one of our 35kg, 60kg, or 125kg options. 
For help selecting the best light, medium of heavy duty drawer slides for your project, just give us a call 1300 210 549 or shoot us an email.