Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

stpindellApril 8, 2009

We are in the process of having our cabinets installed. Our soft close full extension drawer are HORRIBLE! The drawers are extremely hard to open AND close.

The drawers I have seen and tested with these options were extremely easy to open and I can just give it a slight push and they would close on it's own.

NOT mine...is there something I'm missing? PLEASE tell me this is NOT normal. What should I do? I have a total of 19 drawers (including tall pantry with pull outs).

HELP!!!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sprengle1

Someone else reported this problem recently and found out they weren't Blum soft-close. Blum soft-close works very well. Sorry I don't have more info.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 8:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ma-bookreader

Talk to your contractor. What you are describing is not how they should work. There is a problem.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stpindell

My DH just spoke with the contractor. He is saying that this is normal and how they should work. He also said that once we loaded the drawers with our stuff it would not be so hard. (which doesn't make sense to me as the drawers would be heavier and I would imagine just make it harder because of the weight).

I'm so upset. Basically the drawers are not functional since we have to literally TUG at them to open AND push extremely hard for them to get to the point where they catch and begin to close.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
candibarr

Some other things that can go wrong besides cheap knockoff slides include:
-- drawer boxes not sized right (usually a little too big). These kind of slides require high precision.
-- cabinet boxes not square
-- drawer boxes not square

Your contractor sounds like he's blowing smoke. You can fill a drawer with heavy stuff for a demonstration, he may then say the slides need to be broken in with use. Don't buy that as an excuse either.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
travisalfrey

what brand are they? Every different brand has a different feel. Are your knobs and pulls on yet. Also try them with a drawer that is loaded. Sometimes weight will change the feel.

Travis Alfrey Woodworking
Pinehurst, NC

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nolamom

i've recently purchased two brands of soft-close cabinets, henrybuilt and kraftmaid. i've noticed that a couple of the kraftmaid drawers are hard to open, as if there's a suction on them. but overall, we've had no problems and are satisfied with the product. my henrybuilt cabinets are equipped with blum soft-close hardware. initially, one of these drawers stoppped to a 1/2" from closing. i called the cabinet company and they said the mechanism is extremely sensitive to any foreign particles. they highly advise covering the mechanism before drilling the cabinets. this may be the cause of your problem. i would remove the drawers and make sure the mechanism is free of particles. my contractor dusted them with a clean, natural-haired paintbrush. it's working fine now.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stpindell

Thanks for all the responses.

travisalfrey - I do not know the brand, will have to look later and see if I can tell.

candibarr - you mentioned that the drawers may be too large. How can I tell for sure? I do hear a slight scratching noise when I tried to open it. If it's too large does it mean they have to remake ALL the drawers?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pharaoh

Dont believe what contractor or anyone else tells you. Look for yourself to see what brand they are. Post photos if you can. We can tell if they are blum or not.

I am almost sure that you got some chinese knock offs instead of blums :(

No need to make new drawers.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 12:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
candibarr

Most knockoffs of the Blum slides use the Blum specifications for drawer manufacture, which can be downloaded from the Blum website. Download the Tandem brochure and find the right page for your slides (pg 21 is my guess).

To be absolutely sure you need to find out what brand slides you have and get in touch with that company. Any drawers out of spec sizewise need to be remade, but the drawer fronts can be re-used.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blum literature

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 1:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
travisalfrey

By the way- Blum is not the best on the market just the best marketshare- don't get me wrong they are ok but they are not the best by far.

Some slide companies make a soft close and a self close. I have found that the self close are tougher to open.

Good news though- slides can be replaced. Most slides use the same clearance tolerances and specs so they can be interchanged so if you simply don't like them you can have them replaced.

Where are you located?

Travis Alfrey Woodworking
Pinehurst, NC

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 2:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buddyrose

I thought my Kraftmaids were hard at first and then they weren't. I don't know if I got used to them or there's a period of them adjusting themselves. When you say hard to open and close are you meaning really, really hard?? Or just something you're not used to yet?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 3:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stpindell

I talked to the cabinet maker. They are definitely not made by blum. I was basically told this is how these are and if I wanted something that opens and closes easier then I would need to change them out for the blum and they would need to make all new drawer boxes. The cabinet guy said we should have known they would have resistance and would be alot harder to open and close.

Should we have known this? I mean everything I've read and all the drawers I've tested did not have this problem. Are we really at fault? Should he not have told us the pro and cons? Needless to say the cabinet maker is not very happy with me right now. I'm so stressed as majority of my base cabinets are drawers with the exception of the two corners.

travisalfrey - we're located in the Fort Lauderdale area.

buddyrose - they were really, really hard to open AND close. I had to basically tug at the drawer the entire time to get it to open and push extremely hard to close. It almost felt there there was a resistance band on it when I try to open and then something resisting me closing it. I thought I was being wimpy so I had my husband try - he has found that it was really, really hard to open AND close.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 4:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
advertguy2

Does your cabinetmaker have any displays in his shop that you can go check out to compare with what you have? Any "references" he can give for you to check out to make sure that they're "supposed" to be like that? I doubt it. There's a problem with the glides most likely and he doesn't want to waste his time fixing it. But thats just my opinion.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 4:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pharaoh

Unfortunately, my suspicions were right.

Look for the 'made in china' stamp.
Please post photos so that we can debunk the cabinet maker's claim of 'resistance'.

One way or the other, they need to be replaced.

Warning to others - Please look for BLUM hardware and not some knockoff. This is becoming a recurring problem.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 4:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pharaoh

One more comment- our blum self close, soft close with 50 lbs worth of stuff inside can be opened with the pull of a finger. a soft push from the tush will close the drawer.

Once you go blum you will never forget the soft, airy glides.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 4:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
southernstitcher

Travisalfrey, could you share with us some of the other brands that are as good as, or better than blum?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 5:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
charlikin

That doesn't sound like they're working correctly at all. I have Kraftmaid cabinets, so I don't have Blum brand glides - but my drawers open and close fine. Perhaps not as nicely as Blums (I've never used Blums, so I can't compare), but they open easily, and close themselves after I give them a reasonable "push".

Now, this is only after my cabinets were replaced. The carpenter had originally installed the cabinets badly, putting the boxes out of square - then the drawers didn't work well at all. Once the cabs were replaced (we had to reorder them!), they worked fine.

So something is very wrong.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fauxdeux

"My DH just spoke with the contractor. He is saying that this is normal and how they should work. He also said that once we loaded the drawers with our stuff it would not be so hard."

That makes no sense. When you test out cabinets at a store or display, there is nothing in them! The soft-close drawers I've seen are still soft-close when there's nothing in them.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
2ajsmama

Where did you test the drawers? Your cabinetmaker's showroom or some other showroom?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stpindell

Update -

Cabinet maker has agreed to replace all the drawer slides to blum. He said he will need to remake all the drawer boxes to accommodate the new slides. Does this sound right?

He said that different drawer slides have different drawer box size requirements.

Can anyone tell me if the blum slides are bottom mounted or side mounted? The current crappy slides are side mounted and they take up alot of space, therefore making my drawer boxes smaller.

BTW, thanks for everyones support on this. All the information that was provided in response to my post helped my case when I had to talk to my cabinet maker today.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chachashea

My newly installed cabinets have bottom-mounted Blum glides. There is an initial resistance when opening the drawer, but my 6 and 8 year old daughters can do it without a problem. You do have to give them a little tug, so it feels a little strange (never having had this kind of glide before), but not difficult. HTH.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
caryscott

Hettich makes high quality cabinetry hardware - a bit more up market than Blum as I understand it.

Side mount full extension and soft close are different than Blumotion which are undermounted ball bearing glides (if I have my terminology right). Blum makes full extension guided runners which are side mounted (this hardware falls between Blum's 3\4 track and roller hardware and Bluemotion). With undermounted ball bearing glides your drawers will be wider and it will have a very different feel.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 1:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
2ajsmama

Bottom mounted, allow 1/2 recess on bottom, back notched, drawer box 1/2" narrower than opening. Length is also critical - make sure he's familiar with Blum specs (may not be if he used something else on your drawers), we used Blum Tandem Plus (not softclose Blumotion but still undermount and soft enough for me) 18" (457 size) on my 18" deep (outside measure) drawer boxes, they swore they would mount correctly in 21" deep vanity but we had to add 1/2" mounting blocks (scraps of baseboard) to the back, even though I ordered the exact same part number as Merillat used (must have been older stock or custom-made for Merillat/MASCO). How deep are your cabinets?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 1:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
travisalfrey

I think hettich is the best made. I also like the motion of the Accuride but Accuride has a difference clearance than blum or hettich so they are not interchangable. I use the accurides on inset jobs because they are the most adjustable.

Blum is not bad as they are the most widely used but they just are not my favorite.

Travis Alfrey Woodworking
Pinehurst, NC

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 7:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kntryhuman

I'm having my cabinets custom made. How can I tell if the Blum soft close, self close will fit?

The drawer glides are part of the price but I want easy to open drawers.

What other brands are good?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 5:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
antss

"I'm having my cabinets custom made. How can I tell if the Blum soft close, self close will fit?"

This is the wrong question to be asking. You simply TELL the custom cabinetry maker what you want an he goes and makes it in the size necessary to fit your space. This should be part of the specifications that are given to the cabinet shop.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 7:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buehl

Note the "blum" name in the following pics:

"Clip" for connecting/disconnecting drawer from glides:

This is the glide that's mounted inside the cabinet. Note it tells you the Manufacturer and Model: Blum Tandem Plus, 30kg Blumotion (soft-close)

"Blumotion" is Blum's name for their soft-close.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jdesign_gw

Hi. let me chime in here since I build custom furniture and cabinets and have installed many sets of Blum soft-close, under-mounted, tandem glides. They are the only kind I use and work get when installed properly. The drawers have to be made to specific specifications. Like 13/16" from opening to the inside of the drawer side, 1/2" space under the drawer for the release mechanisms etc. You can't change out cheap side-mounted slides without making all new drawers.
John

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
luvhorses

May I join in on this discussion with my dilemma? I wanted self-closing drawers but thought the $30 per drawer upgrade for Blumotin was steep so told my cab-maker I would go with a side mount, full extension, but still wanted self-closing drawers.

My cabinets were installed this week and Accuride slides are totally dis-functional! If you push the drawers softly, they don't close; if you push them with enough force to close completely they bounce open. IMO, they are unacceptable.

Is there not a decent slide between BLumotion and junk?

Thanks for any comments.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 3:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lexluthor

charlikin, I noticed you said you have Kraftmaid cabinets and do not have Blum.

Did you actually look?

I just had Kraftmaid cabinets installed and at least the 1 drawer I looked at was indeed a Blum.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 4:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
2ajsmama

I have Merillat cabinets (same parent company as Kraftmaid) and my FE glides are Blum Tandem Plus, though I opted not to pay more for softclose Blumotion. They are really easy to open, and pretty much close themselves (without banging) if I get them close enough (they kind of "suck themselves in"). The side-mount glides on the (Rev A Shelf?) pullouts aren't as nice - they will bang.

Wish the Grass hinges on the doors didn't let the doors bang.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 4:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yourflorida_hotmail_com

One more voice in the discussion. We are building out our kitchen and have many Blum Tandem soft close units. They work smooth and correctly.

BUT, we have had 3 of the catches (as pictured above but with a small white plastic tab for bottom screw install) break. They have all broken in the same spot, on the plastic that I described My vendor did replace 2 so far, waiting on the third.

Will update.

Here is a link that might be useful: our kitchen project

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 8:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sheryle

I just renovated my Kitchen and got the same story from my cabinet maker. My drawer slides are Hardware Concept Inc from Florida. I am in Jupiter FL. I contacted the company and they said that I should not be having these issues with the drawers and that it was my cabinet maker who has installed the product incorrectly.The company has done nothing to help correct the problem and my cabinet maker insists that people in Florida don't use soft close because they are hard to open and need to be loaded in order to work properly. I never have heard such crap before. I asked the cabinet maker to use Blumotion because it is a fabulous product I have in my other home. All drawer sizes work beautifully and have for 4 years. He said the Hardware Concept product was as good if not better so I agreed to go with the product he wanted. Little did I know he had no idea how to install the product. Extremely disappointed in the cabinet maker (Allan from A Kabinet King in Lake Worth) and Hardware Concept Inc. soft close drawer slides. They have been installed twice and still do not work properly. I am left with with drawers that do not work the way they are suppose to work.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 5:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fishymom

Your cabinet maker is giving you the run-around! I am in the Jupiter area also and have had soft close drawers and cabinets for 5 plus years and they work perfectly. We just renovated our kitchen and my new Blumotion work flawlessly also. If the cabinet maker has tried to install your glides correctly twice, and they still don't work properly, I would call the manufacturer and have them recommend a competent installer to fix them for you.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 6:23PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Strategies for washing dishes in a large single sink vs double sink
Hi all, We have in our plans to get a large (33 inch)...
ontariomom
Ikea cover panel installation question (Akurum line)
Hi all! I was ready to post this to ikeafans.com and...
criv227
Specific stacked upper cab questions
I'm looking for input as I get closer to finalizing...
melis918
I started gel staining....
So y'all say a prayer for me. If this doesn't work...
highendredneck
Honed Vermont Danby marble countertop owners... Love it or leave it???
I am hoping to understand people's experience who have...
Pippin
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™