Are the soft close drawer slides worth it?

Brandy5August 16, 2011

We have begun the process of remodeling our kitchen. We met with a custom cabinet maker. He gave us a price of an additional $700.00 for the soft close slides? I saw them in his showroom and they seem okay. We had our previous kitchen cabinets built by him and we had the white metal slides on the sides of the drawers. He says he now builds his drawers differently than he used to. All wood and dovetail. We had our previous kitchen for 25 years and never had one problem with the side slides. He says that these new undermount slides have a plastic piece that sometimes breaks. He says everyone wants the undermount, but he is not sure that they really aren't worth the extra money. I have been decisive and definitive for what I want for my kitchen so far, but I really haven't been able to make a decision about this. I know a lot of people on this forum swear by these drawer slides. I do like the fact that they don't show and the beauty of the drawer is not distracted from, but are they really worth the additional $700.00. I would really appreciate some opinions. Thanks.

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Adrienne2011

YES.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 3:24PM
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wizardnm

YES.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 3:26PM
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davidro1

yes to soft close drawer slides.

no to spending all that money. In an Ikea store look at the kitchen drawers. Soft-close. They are Blum. See the Blum web site. Ikea-Blum drawers cost $30 to $50.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 3:40PM
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breezygirl

Mine aren't installed yet, but I also say YES!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 4:24PM
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billp1

Yes and Yes. They complete the kitchen and it is the one thing that you will use everyday...

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 4:29PM
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littlesmokie

Alright, I'll be the dissenter. I hate soft close drawers. They require more of a pull to open initially (which can be an issue for arthritis and/or carpal tunnel sufferers and/or someone planning to "age in place") but mostly I hate the creepy closing on its own. I find it very disconcerting.

I'm also an old house lover/owner who put cupboard latches in her kitchen (despite aging in place concerns!), so anything so obviously modern as self closing drawers just don't feel right to me.

And, you CAN get undermount non soft close slides/glides for your cabinet boxes, I'm not sure what your cabinet maker is talking about. (Are you doing inset?) I was warned with the inset cabinets that we have that using the undermount (but not self close undermount) that the drawers might drift out/not stay in well. The drawers aren't yet majorlyloaded up with all our junk-which may make a difference-but so far you just open and close them-and they stay closed-just like the undermount non soft close hardware that were on our previous partial overlay drawers. (If this changes once I'm using, I will update this post.)

If you've never cursed the slamming of drawers/cabinets and have never pined for soft close drawers, you'll never know what you're missing and you'll have $700 to spend on something else.

I will concede that they are are becoming the norm-and are probably expected in high end kitchens-so that is a consideration for resale. But we did not put them in ours.

If you get soft close, make sure your cabinet maker is using Blum, they were the least objectionable ones I've tried. Manufacturers use the term "self close" and "soft close" interchangeably. There is some "self closing" hardware out there that is definitely not "SOFT" close there was a loud slam at the close and it was even more difficult to open. Ask for the Blum by name.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 5:17PM
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joyce_6333

YES! But $700 seems high. My cabinet maker did it for no extra charge. And I have alot of cabinetry. He also did the soft close on the doors for no extra charge.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 5:18PM
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natal

I didn't use them and my drawers don't slam shut. A gentle nudge and they close ... quietly. My slides are side mounted. Do they detract from the "beauty of the drawer?" ... hardly.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 5:23PM
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plllog

High quality glides are worth it, whether or not they're soft close. When they're first installed they take a tug, but that wears in, and can also be adjusted.

For us, it's not a matter of slamming or not. Good glides ...glide and shouldn't bang unintentionally, though soft close does keep the contents from rattling. What soft close does, however, is prevent rebound, which is an unintended consequence of good glides. Also, you can just give a pat, or a bump with your hip, and the drawer closes, with the soft close mechanism slowing it down at the end and shutting it well. OTOH, if you don't give it enough of a pat to get it going, it'll still stay open, or even close up to the mechanism without enough oomph to engage the closer.

Soft close on cabinets however is the bestest thing ever, because those can bang, especially with Euro hinges. They still need a good pat, however, to engage, and will otherwise leave your cabinets open.

Soft closers, at least good ones, are pretty pricey. They shouldn't break, however! A favorite brand here is Blum, and we've had some very disappointed people who were told that their closers were "just like Blum". There's at least one other that gets good reviews for less money, but I forget the name.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 5:33PM
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rosie

I have the pocket-change Ikea version and love them. On a higher-end kitchen, I'd skimp on something else to get them--unless my luxury drawers glided so beautifully they just didn't contribute much of anything...? I wouldn't know about that. :)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 6:15PM
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colorfast

We are in the process of install now. We have undermount glides that are not soft-close. They are really nice. They cost less than soft-close. In one area of our kitchen, the drawers were longer than standard and soft-close were the only type of undermounts he could get. He did not charge us additional for them. I am able to compare the two: same builder, same materials, etc. I don't think the soft-close is worth it.

Yes, I do have kids. No, they are not allowed to bang doors and drawers shut. My friends think I am nuts that I passed up the soft-close, so be prepared for questions.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 7:55PM
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plllog

Rosie's pocket change IKEA version are Blum, unless something has changed. That's one of the great bargains of IKEA kitchens--the Blum hardware.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 8:23PM
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sneezye

yes.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 9:32PM
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Lesyeuxbleu

My vote is no.
I don't currently have them, and I opted not to get them on my new kitchen, but I have stayed in vacation rentals with them. I don't really find that I make that much noise when I close my drawers. And I don't feel satisfied for some reason when I go to push a drawer closed, but the drawers "soft-close" kicks in and stops me. i find myself holding the drawer til it is closed all the way. Weird. And if i am looking for something it takes longer to open and close (completely) the drawers. I vote you put that money somewhere else.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 10:06PM
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buehl

Soft-close is a "nice to have", not "required". What is "required", at least IMHO, is full-extension glides. These are the glides that allow the drawer to be pulled out completely (the back of the drawer clears the front of the cabinet)...not 3/4 of the way. For me, it means no more knuckle-scraping when I need something from the back of a shallow drawer!

Often, most of the "extra" $$$ is for the full-extension with some added cost for the "soft-close" feature...but that's not always the case.

Are they worth $700? To me, I think so, at least for the drawers. I like the fact that drawers cannot be slammed and that contents don't shift when the drawer is closed. As to the "extra effort", with a good name glide (like Blumotion), there's not that much extra...certainly not enough to bother someone w/arthritis. My FIL has rheumatoid arthritis that has partially crippled his hands/fingers and he has no problem using our drawers. (I wonder if this is b/c we have pulls and not knobs on our drawers..a bigger area to grasp...)

I don't understand the comment about being "creepy"...?????

The doors, OTOH, I don't think are worth $50 per door, which is what our KD wanted for soft-close doors (the Blumotion full-extension, soft-close drawer glides were standard). We purchased the soft-close door dampers for something like $4 per door...and it took no more than hour for my DH to install them on all our cabinets in the kitchen + the PR.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 10:11PM
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liriodendron

No, I think they are creepy, They utterly skeeve me out. When in kitch cab showrooms I am constantly stopping sales people from opening the damn drawers! Oooh, just writing about it gives me the willies.

You can have up-graded drawer sliders that don't have soft close. Full extension, good quality drawer glides, yes, but w/o the icky soft close.

Pay $700 more to get them? Not in this gal's budget!

L

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 10:33PM
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buehl

Liriodendron...just trying to understand why they're "creepy". I wonder if it's b/c you don't have control over them...the glides are "in control"?

It's probably like scratches on a chalkboard or knife scrapes on plates...the former bugs me, the latter bugs my DD. It's probably just one of those things that we don't know why they bother some people or why it's only some but not others!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 10:41PM
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desertsteph

i think of the creepy part posted here as in - WHO is closing that drawer? door? if it ain't a human, it's weird...

it doesn't creep me out but i probably won't get them either. I guess i should try opening and closing my upper doors a few times and see what i think about them...

the drawers (as is) would be a total waste of money - I'm not even sure they're on any kind of a 'glide' - other than the frame! I tried some in the store and got impatient with them - too slow! i'm sure i'd turn around and bang into the still not closed drawer sticking out.

I think wide pulls with a deep projection are easier to use with arthritic fingers/hands than a knob. I've been warned not to put in knobs because of having to grip them - my fingers don't 'grip' well - lol!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 10:59PM
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davidro1

Since there are more than a handful of manufacturers of soft-close mechanisms, we cannot rely on verbal or written explanations, here. Each system is different. They all take some getting used to. Once you are used to the system you have, you like it. This happens after a longer time than a one-week rental so vacations in one-week rentals don't count. .
:-)

I have the pocket-change Ikea version and love them, and I have the more costly Blum version and love them too. They are identical in almost every way. The damper mechanisms of the soft-close device IS slightly different in the two versions purchased in 2009 or 2010. Mechanically perhaps they are identical, but I wouldn't know because I can't tell, i.e. the difference is so slight I cannot tell. They are packaged differently so visually one can see it, but inside the packaging there may be no difference; I don't know.

Other than Blum, or Ikea-Blum, there are more than a handful of manufacturers of soft-close mechanisms. I remind you all that we cannot rely on verbal or written explanations, here. Each mechanism is different. They all take some getting used to. Once you are used to the system you have, you like it. If you rented a vacation home for a month you might come 'round.
:-)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:25PM
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dianalo

We have the Ikea Blums and love them. We also got the soft close for the doors ($5 each) and love those as well. We don't have to hear any slamming and the kids like closing things for a change ;) I love how smoooooth is all is.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 11:31PM
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lolauren

Buehl is right on about full extension being most important.

Did anyone ask you how many drawers you'll have? did I miss that? How much extra is it, per drawer?

It is a nice feature. I would pay $700 for my drawers to have full extension & soft close after using them.

(FYI -- the first week in our new kitchen was a bit odd. We had to get used to letting things self/soft-close. Now, I don't think about it at all.)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:01AM
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Spifeymom

I have full extension & soft close & I love them both!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:04AM
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cluelessincolorado

Yes, really like them. First time with quality slides AND full extension, so that's probably skewing my response. Wish we had put them on the doors as well because there is too much "heavy closing" going on, esp. on my part! We elected not to put them in the new bath vanity - mistake!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:11AM
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michoumonster

you can add the soft close feature in after-market for a lot less than $700, maybe costs at most about $25 per drawer. I did this with my cabinet drawers which had the blum full extension glides. For blum, there is a plastic part that controls the soft-closing. Basically, you just buy that plastic part and click it onto the bottom of your drawer glides. Extremely easy. The only drawers that I was not able to add this feature on were the bottom-most ones because i would have had to take the glide apart to put the plastic thingy on the bottom. But truthfully, i don't miss not having the soft close feature on the bottom drawers, so it is definitely something you can live without.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:15AM
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oldhousegal

I have the Blum ones on the new cabinets and I put in Ikea Blum soft close on my Ikea drawers in my breakfast nook. What I love about them is I can close the drawer with any body part - elbow, foot, hip - and it will close without slamming, without glass or ceramics rattling or breaking in the drawer from closing so hard. I have lived in my old house kitchen for the past 6 years developing all varieties of itis'es from pulling and pushing doors and drawers too hard to open and close- trust me, these are not tough to open, and can be adjusted easily. So, I would say yes, absolutely worth it, but I do think $700 is too much- I'd go aftermarket.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:28AM
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wpdoit

Our base cabinets were just installed today, and I was sort of surprised(happily)to see the drawers were soft close. I guess I missed that detail in the plan. They are Blum, and they are very nice. I think they add a really nice extra touch to our new kitchen.

As with a lot of things, the value is in the eye of the beholder.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 1:00AM
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artemis78

I would ask which specific slides you're looking at. $700 is a lot for soft-close, as others have said---you can do that aftermarket for far less. But I'm guessing it's not actually the charge for the soft-close feature, but the charge to switch from one brand of slide to another. It isn't worth paying that much for soft-close, in my opinion (nice but not that nice!) but it is *absolutely* worth paying that much for Blum full-extension slides, which may well come with soft-close. If you aren't getting those with the cheaper package, that explains the cost difference. (They were an upgrade for some of the cabinetmakers we interviewed, and quite pricey; we went with one who used them unless we requested otherwise.) Full-extension is worth its weight in gold. We get so much more into the same sized drawers (though in fairness the old ones had no slides at all, so if you pulled them far enough out to reach the back, they fell out... :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 1:53AM
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pharaoh

YES!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 3:31AM
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jgs7691

I agree with Buehl -- the soft close isn't "essential", but the full-extension glides are. Our cabinetmaker offered the Blum full extension/soft close glides or the standard glides, so we ended up with soft-close. I have arthritis in my hands, and it is not a problem to open the drawer (especially after they have been in use over a month). Of course, we too have pulls, not knobs, so that helps.

I would (and did) spend that much $$ if the upgrade is for full-extension drawers (with or without soft close) but I wouldn't have spent that much for soft-close alone.

As for "creepy"? I don't get that either. I hope I'm not creeping all my friends and family our when I demonstrate the soft-close feature during their kitchen tour. Should I give a warning or ask kids to leave the room?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 6:45AM
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liriodendron

Re the creepy description:

Yes, this is partly a highly idiosyncratic sensory quality like scratches on chalkboard.

But the other part is a functional quality: I like to feel things moving in a clear, well-honed, mechanical way. I don't like touching or handling things that are dampered, softened, modulated, attenuated and made, well, cushy.

I like hard, responsive suspensions on my cars; manual transmissions; crisply-turning door hardware; faucets with easy, but clearly "mechanical" action; refrigerator door handles with a firm pull; keyboard keys with clear snap back, etc.

I guess I just like being aware of the mechanical aspect to stuff. And I also associate the sensory quality of very well-fitted, well-adjusted, well-made items with higher quality that doesn't need any disguise.

I don't like mushy, soft, anything. Especially things that have that quality added on in an effort to make it appear more consumer-attractive. That just feels like second-rate, mutton dressed as lamb, flab to me.

Plus, I don't seem to have a problem with sliding my drawers shut w/o slamming them. Unless of course, I want to slap them in - which occasionally I do. With feeling!

L

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 8:58AM
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celtinNE

I love the full extension soft close as well. I've never had them before but would never again choose without them again. Just a quick hip check and presto!

If I'm of the mind to slam something (which thankfully happens infrequently), it has to something with a much bigger impact than a little kitchen drawer :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:20AM
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davidro1

When you go look at and touch the removable (clip-on) kind of softclose damper, you will see that

with it
or without it

the "FEEL" when one opens a drawer is the same.

In the store, you can remove the thingie from any drawer and try it out.
In the store, you can try opening two drawers that are side by side, one with and one without.
Do this blind, predicting which drawer has the clip-on, and you will fail.

It's worth paying attention to this, before we all propagate a misconception about the feel of soft-close mechanisms when one pulls the drawer open.

The store I have in mind is Ikea. The soft-close in their store is visibly clip-on. (So easy to remove, that many people steal them. )

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:20AM
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jgs7691

Too funny, Celt! I agree, if I'm in a bad mood or need to make a point, slamming drawers is way too simple (and passive aggressive) for me. (I'm sure my family would invest >$700 for a voicebox damper in such cases.) :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:25AM
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Brandy5

Thanks everyone for your responses. I still haven't made a decision and will have to talk to my cabinetmaker to get more details on the brand he uses, etc. He figured we will have 20 drawers. So I guess $35.00 a piece isn't that much? But I will make sure to get the full extension glides for sure.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:34AM
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lolauren

For 20 drawers, I would do it if they are full extension. $35 doesn't sound bad....... already installed for you without you having to worry about it every again :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:48PM
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mindstorm

Hypothesis:
Are you the sort of person that likes auto-complete and spelling-correct on your computer editors? If so, you'll like the soft-close.

If not, you'll tear your hair out.

At least, such is the thesis I'm forming reading the above responses. The persons who've disliked soft-close tend to move like I do. I had my kitchen and bath remodeled 6 years ago (2005-ish). At the time, the blumotion soft-close was a very new entity and came as a separate add-on. My cabs - mostly drawers didn't come with it, and after the job was done, DH and I undid the drawer glides and added the self-close/soft-close blumotion modules to them.

Not one month later, I removed them all - that was how much they irked me. I'd turn around and bump into the blasted drawerfronts as they coasted slowly to their close; I'd jam my hand moving to the next drawer below or have to wait for the wretched things to shut so that I could get to the drawer below ... drove me bally nuts.

I do wish that I could ensure that I could close my now blumotion-less drawers completely but I didn't like the heavily dampened behaviour of the soft-close and I don't have the patience to hold my drawers to a full close - so I just give 'em a shove. If the shove isn't adequate, they sit open - that also drives me batty but not quite as much as the dampeners did on the soft-close.

For those reasons, the soft-close on the doors I find very appealing. On the drawers, not so. Although I'd really wanted to.

Oh, and I loathe auto-complete, the spelling-corrector, MS Word's grammar police.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:59PM
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jgs7691

Obviously, there is a divergence of opinion on this one, which is typical of most issues.

If it helps the OP, I just went down and closed my soft-close drawer, and the self-close "caught" at about 3 in from the drawer front (1 1/2" from the countertop overhang). Before the soft-close engaged, it was just a nice smooth motion like every other well-made drawer with good hardware. It's not like there would ever be a room full of opened drawers sllllooooowwwwlllyy returning to their place in the drawer base. It's a regular motion, just minus the slam at the end.

Brandy (the OP), I would suggest that you try these drawers out at kitchen showrooms and at a friend's or neighbor's house, so you can really judge for yourself. (Although I agree with davidro1 that it's hard to know what you'll really think after only a short tryout.)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 1:28PM
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natal

Mindstorm, I find myself getting irritated with the soft close toilet seat and that's on the infrequent occasion when I want it to close so I can sit on it. I can imagine the frustration in a working kitchen. I'm happy my slides work the way they do. Quick and silent. No big deal that they may occasionally need an extra nudge to completely close.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 4:14PM
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torontotim

When you've got 80 pounds of pots and pans in a drawer, you're going to want it to be soft-close.

I'm surprised your custom cabinet maker optioned this out for you. When I got my quote it was an all-in price with soft close drawers and doors.

On the doors, if you're getting soft close, make sure your BLUM hinges are the newer ones without the big add-on plunger. The new ones have a little on/off switch and a small hidden mechanism to close them slowly.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 4:51PM
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plllog

LOL!!! Tim, they don't make soft close on the extra heavy glides. :) Yes, I want it, but I'm glad to have the heavy duty ones for my pots. :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 5:11PM
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buehl

Natal...I agree! So funny!

For the record...yes, I do like spellcheck & grammar check in MS Word! Granted, the grammar "corrections" aren't always correct, but they usually are! As to spelling, my goal is to get all my commonly-misspelled words added to "auto correct"! I'm actually a very good "speller" and my grammar is (usually) very good as well...but when I'm on a roll and typing quickly, my fingers sometimes "cross" each other and letters are typed in out of order or I skip letters altogether...sometimes whole words (grammar check gets those)!

So, your hypothesis, MindStorm, holds for me! :-)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 5:14PM
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buehl

Plllog...the Blomotion soft-close glides are supposed to hold up to 100 pounds, at least that's what my glides are supposed to be able to hold.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 5:16PM
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VickieHallmark

We just finished our remodel, without soft close, but with full extension. While I expected to like the soft close after reading about it, in real life while doing my research I find them annoying.

Granted, I haven't lived with them for a month to adjust. However, I have been closing my drawers for more years than I care to mention, without them hanging open, slamming, or bouncing back out.

I think if you're the type of person who always closes your cabinets with control, you might be annoyed by the gremlins taking over for you, in sloooooowwwww motion. If you're the nudge and turn away type, you'll probably love them because slow is better than never.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 5:35PM
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littlesmokie

oh liriodendron, my soul sister (brother?) I knew there was someone else who didn't like them as much as me!

Incidentally, liriodendron was much more articulate than I could have been about explaining "creepy." (Though perhaps we don't have precisely the same issue as I love many mushy things...Dairy Queen blizzards, thick squishy socks etc. LOL)

I'll lend weight to someone's earlier hypothesis: I am a control freak. I want to close my own drawer. I think for me it is more primitive-I get impatient and infuriated. ;)

My next comment will make me sound like the grumpy/"get off my lawn!" type person I am... ;)

They're like cell phones. Years ago we never had cell phones and we were ok. Now if someone leaves home and forgets their cell phone, they'll rush back to get it thinking, "well what if there's an emergency?!" etc.

Similarly, all these years we've managed to close our drawers just fine. Now soft close has become a "must have" for many people.

Innovation is great, but does everything need to be innovated?

I'll be more provocative too--tongue in cheek--are we really so lazy we need our drawers closed for us? Please note! this is meant to be fun---I don't really think anyone who posted here saying they love the soft close drawers are lazy, ok? :)

Natal mentioned the soft close toilet seat---shudder---OMG don't get me started!!!

We even had the contractor remove the screw/break the soft close feature on our fridge drawers!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 9:07PM
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plllog

Yep, Buehl, the soft close are rated for 100 lbs. Mine are rated for 250. Again, it's just about the really big drawer that actually has that much weight in it. The extra heavy duty glides slide really easily with all that mass sitting on them. If I do push them hard, however, there is equal and opposite reaction and they do bounce open a little. That's from combining them with the soft close so that I sometimes give them the same little shove with my hip or knee, instead of closing them like non-soft close drawers.

One thing which I think may not be clear to some of the people who've never had this kind of glides before is that they roll very freely.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 1:49AM
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liriodendron

FWIW, Liriodendron is a she.

I think Mindstorm has nailed it. I hereby propose the Auto-Correct/Completion Preference Test be added to the Famous Sweeby Test on this forum to determine the likely preference for soft-close vs. not whenever this question comes up.

For the record, I loathe all versions of that (as you may discern from my sometimes careless keystrokes).

Going back to the OP's question: $35 bucks sounds like an upcharge for full extension hardware that comes with soft close, perhaps standard. Even if you decide against SC, you could (should, in my view) consider getting better-quality FE extension sliders without SC. That would be worth $700 to me if I could swing it.

L.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 2:12AM
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desertsteph

"Natal mentioned the soft close toilet seat---shudder---OMG don't get me started!!! "

OH NO! that IS something I was thinking would be worth the extra $s! rethinking...rethinking...

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 10:50AM
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natal

Desertsteph, if you have kids it definitely would be. No more slamming.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 11:59AM
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dianalo

It isn't about being too lazy to close the drawers myself but to keep them from being slammed by anyone (namely, 2 boys in our house). I also am bothered by when people don't close doors and drawers completely, so this is one way that with minimal effort, our drawers are all closed evenly and we don't have several almost closed drawers. You'd think that that would not be an issue, but, then again, you have not met our younger ds. In his room, the dresser drawers are never all closed and it looks so sloppy. I am not an over the top neat freak, but this is a pet peeve of mine.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 12:11PM
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kaysd

I loved the non-soft close full extension glides in the drawers at our last house. I have no trouble closing a drawer softly and completely by hand. I cannot stand auto format and other "helpful" features in Word. I fear I will dislike waiting for drawers to close themselves. If I still lived in an all-adult household, I would likely skip the soft close feature when we re-do the kitchen.

Alas, I live with a 2 year old and an infant. The 2 year old can't slam the drawers in our "new" 1960 house only because they are wood drawers without glides. She slams everything else though. I am ridiculously happy with the new Toto toilet with soft close seat we installed in the hall bathroom. (Quiet is good!)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 1:06PM
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ncamy

I'm almost 50 years old and I don't think I've ever heard a cabinet door or drawer "slam." Do I live a sheltered life or what?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 5:48PM
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plllog

I'm the exception. I HATE auto-correct, grammar check and the rest. I do use the underline spell check because my brain gets ahead of my fingers and types the wrong thing, often, and there are some words--mostly easy ones--which I just can't spell. I don't mind manual spell check, but I've never met a spell check/autocorrect with sufficient vocabulary to accurately choose the word I'm looking for. I hate the Mac GUI for the same reason. I want the computer to do what I want, not make me do things the way it wants to.

Pretty much hate the soft close toilet seat too, but do appreciate the anti-bang factor and realize that that's practically a necessity in some places.

Contrary to the test, however, I generally like soft close drawers and cabinets. I don't feel like it is doing something for me. I feel like there's a spring and I'm engaging it at my own desire. Like using a retractable pen or winding a clock. It's mechanical. It's nice. It's not perfect, and I have to wait in the corners for one to close before I open the other since they really aren't fond of being hurried, and sometimes they don't engage and stay open a little, but I like them far more than I'm annoyed by them, and wouldn't remove them.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 6:04PM
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marcydc

I have to add that I love love love my Toto soft close toilets with the dual button on top to flush. Flush and just a brush with my hand to close in one easy reach!

I did keep slamming the toilet in a hotel last week.
I don't think I'll make a good house guest anymore.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 8:22PM
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marcolo

This thread is genius. These questions have to get into the Sweeby test.

I hate my soft-close toilet seat. I didn't even know I had one til the plumber showed me. First, I thought it was cool. Now, I spend every morning staring at it in pure hatred for a full minute. (I have a tiny bathroom, so I have to use the toilet lid for extra counter space.)

What I really loathe is my keyboard. I hate all keyboards, and have since IBM stopped making that wonderful clacky-clacky one back in the '80s. (I learned to type on a Gutenberg, btw.) I want tactile satisfaction. I want the feedback.

I also hate non-cooks in my kitchen, because I know exactly where my hand is going or what door I need to open when I finish stirring, and they don't.

I have this big, grand theory about how some people's brains are wired to plan trajectories of things in motion, and others are not. I developed this theory in trying to explain why Bostonians not onlly drive like angry blind drunks, but also walk straight into you at full clip while staring at you full on in the face. Some folks have a visual map in their heads of where things are in space, including their own bodies, and where they're going to be next. Some don't. Some can ignore the map, while a few of us can't move without it.

Hmmm. I'm certainly going to have to think about soft close now.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 9:34PM
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northcarolina

Oh my gosh, this thread is hilarious. I suspected I wouldn't like soft close, and here is the proof. I miss my manual transmission ('cause I drive a hybrid now, but I still wish I had manual); I cannot abide spell check; I have never even heard of an automatic grammar correction but the thought horrifies me. I like the interface of my iPod Touch (very intuitive) but having to go through iTunes makes me want to heave a rock through my monitor. Therefore I don't listen to music on my iPod, I only use it to read books and surf the Net (that is really what I got it for anyway). I much prefer my older cheapy drag-and-drop mp3 player for music and audiobooks. I wonder if there is an Apple vs Microsoft correlation with the soft close preference too. haha.

My kitchen drawers may be old but they glide very smoothly on their rollers, and none of us has ever slammed them as far as I remember. Soft close seems like a good idea, but (all joking aside) I really do wonder now if I would like it. Assuming I actually ever do anything with my kitchen, that is. I'll have to have a closer look at them next time I'm in a kitchen showroom.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 12:29AM
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northcarolina

p.s. Marcolo -- I learned to type on IBM Selectrics at school (and we had a manual typewriter at home) so I know how you feel about keyboards.

I am not THAT old, really...

Chicken nugget buttons on ovens. Hmm. No, not for me either. lol. I don't even use the programmed buttons on my microwave. Come to think of it, DH refuses to use the auto-dry settings on the clothes dryer; he sets the time himself. I bet he'd hate soft close. I'd ask him but he runs screaming (figuratively) whenever I say the word "kitchen."

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 12:53AM
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natal

Hmmm ... food for thought. Only knobs on my washing machine ... no circuit board. Don't use the dryer's auto-dry setting or the programmed buttons on the microwave. Love my Mac! Would never go back.

What in the world are chicken nugget buttons?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 11:25AM
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davidro1

Brandy5 it's hard to believe that the cabinetmaker offered you a choice, without a demonstration. You've started a long discussion, about an unnamed brand, and this discussion has now spread its wings over all other unnamed brands.

I shall repeat that various brands of drawer sliders and glides exhibit various characteristics. This includes the resistance when the drawer is opened.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 1:01PM
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buehl

LOL! I use all the "shortcuts"...but I customize them for me!

E.g.,

* I set the "My Cycle" on both my clothes washer & dryer for my preferences (which don't seem to be "commonly" used since there's never an option that's "just right" for me!)

* I use the "sensor cook" and other options on the MW, but I often also include the "More" or "Less" options b/c the sensor cook settings aren't quite right for me.

* I use the "Speedcook", "Convection", and similar settings on my oven, but I "fudge" the times & temperatures to work for the way I want my food cooked (done more or less)!

* I customize all the toolbars & "ribbons" in the various software programs I use...

Keyboards? Other than I don't particularly like laptop keyboards b/c you can't adjust them, I don't have an issue with "today's" keyboards. (Actually, I never liked manual typewriter keys b/c you had to push too hard...yes, I remember them!)

Does that mesh with the other observations (liking soft-close, liking spell check & grammar check, etc.)?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 2:27PM
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marcolo

I shall repeat that various brands of drawer sliders and glides exhibit various characteristics. This includes the resistance when the drawer is opened.

I think we just came up with another piece of excellent GW conventional wisdom:

Drawer glides are a machine. Don't rely only on recommendations. Test drive before purchasing.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 4:42PM
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mini_bottle

I have both types in my kitchen and the soft close are BY FAR my favorite. I paid for all full extension glides. On my 36" wide drawers, the ones that the cabinent maker installed just didn't feel right. We replaced them a few times and finally upgraded them to a fancy Blum glide that self closes. So, I have 6 drawers that self close and the rest do not. I love the 6 self closers so so so much than the drawers that don't self close.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 5:39PM
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Hardware_Guy

As someone who has been actively involved in the cabinet industry for more than 40 years, I find this discussion interesting.

Blum is certainly a well-known brand for good reasons - good quality, innovation and gererally a good competitor in the marketplace. But, Blum's product is nowhere so superior to several competitive brands to command the premium price they do. Don't be misled because of extensive trade advertising - someone has had to pay for each ad after all.
Yet there is one question I have yet to find well answered - WHY should a homeowner want to have soft-closing slides or hinges installed? Maybe that is a question for another forum.

There are some facts designers, cabinetmakers and consumers need to consider:

1. Soft-close and self-close action are two totally different mechanisms. Be sure you know the difference and are not confusing them.

2. There are major differences between under-mount and side-mount soft-close drawer slides in terms of weight capacity, installation and adjustability, and price. Some applications clearly call for one type of slide versus another - but one type of slide may not be well-suited for every application. Also, know the true difference between slides referred to as "full extension" and "full access" - big difference in function and price/value.

3. Realize there are major differences when evaluating the required pull-force, closing speed, dampener length (at what point does the closing mechanism take over), and dampener design. Look for hydraulic dampeners,they are superior to air-filled dampeners as they eliminate drawer bounceback much better.

4. Finally, acknowledge many cabinetmakers have been experiencing hardtimes for the past several years and have sought opportunities to get something that looks and works like the quality brands. Buyer beware still rules - slides may look alike but have vastly different quality aspects.

From a competitive point of view I'll give credit where credit is due, in my opinion the two soft-close slide programs that merit equal consideration are Blum and KV. They have many of the same design charactistics, both companies have drawer slides as a core competence, and both companies have reputations for superior quality and excellent service.

Hope this helps the discussion with specifics.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 5:22PM
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