Need cabinet advise: Soft close hinges?

carrie_eileenDecember 14, 2010

Hey everyone! I'm in the process of making final decisions on cabinets with the cabinet maker. He has on the bid "35 mm hinges and full-extension drawers." He wants to use the heavy-duty drawer hardware that holds 100 lbs.

I asked about soft-close and he said he can certainly use them if that's what I prefer. Any feedback or advice on hinges and drawer hardware? Everytime I think I'm finished making a decision, there is another one to be made, that I again know nothing about.

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I think the drawer slides are pretty cool---I've been opening and closing our new ones just to watch them. ;) (But the full-extension is much more impressive---our old drawers fell out if you pulled them out that far!) We have the Blumotion Tandem full-extension soft-close hinges, which seem great so far.

We did not use the soft-close door hinges, though. Half our doors have latches, so it seemed like the soft-close would get in the way of those doors closing properly (we actually went with visible hinges on those in the end for aesthetics). But I think you can also add dampers after the fact if you decide you want the soft-close, if you have a hinge that accommodates that.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 3:34PM
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Drawers...soft-close glides now, if you want them. We have soft-close drawers and really like them. Drawers cannot be slammed (deliberately or accidentally) and contents aren't constantly shifting toward the back (like in our old kitchen). We just give them a nudge and walk away, confident they will quietly and gently close on their own without our "supervising" them!

Cabinet doors...soft-close later (DIY). If your cabinetmaker charges more than $10 or so per door (not hinge), then do it yourself later. If less than $10, have your cabinetmaker do it.

We DIY'd soft-close on the cabinet doors by purchasing the dampers from Woodworker's Hardware(R) at $3.95 per damper & installing them ourselves. Most doors require just one damper. I think the price has gone up a bit, but not too much. It only takes "beginner" DIY skills to install them. My DH installed 18 of them in a little over an hour. [Note: If you have partial overlay doors, you'll also need "spacers".]

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 3:45PM
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Blum and only Blum--don't settle for knockoffs--soft close on drawers is great. Full extension. Just give a little push and they close all the way without banging. The really heavy duty glides, the 250 lb. ones, don't have soft close. If I whack my pot drawers (no soft closer) closed they sometimes bounce open again! Soft close rocks! Or...literally, doesn't rock.

It's less necessary on the doors. If you don't push hard enough they stay part way open instead of engaging the closer. But the soft close still prevents banging, and the spring is strong enough to keep the doors closed without any other kind of latch.

Do try them out first. Some people find the little bit of resistance that the soft closers on drawers have to be bothersome, especially if they have hand strength issues.

But get Blum. We've had a lot of members who hated them when installed who found out that they had "as good as Blum" rather than Blum.

BTW, besides the standard soft close hinges, you can also get ones that open 170 degrees. They have a larger mechanism inside the cabinet that you have to allow room for when you place your stuff, but they're pretty awesome.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 3:50PM
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In their Tandembox line, Blum drawers come with the soft-close already in the slider glides, as far as I know. You can get the lowest cost Tandembox option and still have great quality. Less than 100 lbs of rated carrying capacity.

In the Tandem line, quality is also great. (Tandem and Tandembox are two distinct things, not the same).

Blum has one or two other lines of drawer glides. One of them is low or medium quality. I think it will be easy to see by looking at the images on the Blum site.

Anyway, go get the catalog or "brochure" on their web site; don't rely on me and my memory.

After you go see the quote again, and go look on the Blum site, post again. Posting here, that it's "Blum" is not enough information.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 3:57PM
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We have the dampers in our drawers and cabinets. Ikea standard. They are great. Blum, too. Highly recommended. I will note, they are a pain to actually get on, for the cabinet doors anyway. Maybe I just haven't gotten the hang of it yet.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 4:31PM
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Love the Bum full extension soft close drawers and am thinking of getting something for my doors. I am not an early riser and not particularly pleasant in the morning, my life is better with the soft close drawers but not as good as it could be if my cabinet doors didn't slam. I swear some days it sounds like my kitchen is getting demoed again with three men in there slamming away. I wish there was some gizmo for the microwave door as well. My microwave gets lots of use and it's a miracle it still works with all the slamming. If you have high ceilings in your home, tile floors and young adults or teens along with a loud husband do get anything and everything to keep the noise down. Unless of course you are a fan of trash can band instrumentals.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 4:40PM
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Closeups of my cabinet door Blum soft-close dampers:

(My door hinges are Salice, the dampers are Blum.)

Closeups of my Blumotion drawer glides (full-extension, soft-close):

Underside of drawer (the glides are bottom-mount):

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 10:15PM
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I am not the person plllog mentioned, but I am someone who doesn't like the soft-close feel.

I think you should try it in the showroom first and see if you like it. Just because something is "top of the line" doesn't mean you have to.

(It actually was included in my cabinets, but I happened to try it somewhere, and made them stop work and take it out! Very glad I did.)

To add a little illumination to the discussion, as I recall it (for people who may be debating if it's worth the money):

For large, heavy drawers, like a dish drawer, people absolutely thought it was worth it.

For smaller drawers, maybe up to you.

The thing that is more important, people advised, is the full-extension part -- being able to pull the drawer all the way out to the back end.

If I also recall correctly, the can be added later if you change your mind, or if you fear the almighty Resale.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 1:22PM
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I love my full extension drawers and my soft close !!! I can actually see everything that is in my drawers now,nothing gets lost.

I didn't get it on the doors - to save some $$$. But, I will get them installed later as a DYI.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 1:58PM
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I just wanted to chime in that I also don't like soft close drawers. It seems like we are in the minority on the forum though.

Earlier in our reno, my contractor was complaining to me about how he couldn't believe that one of his other clients hated the soft close hardware upgrade he'd given her (without checking) and made him replace it with regular. "Everyone wants that, I don't know what her problem is" he said, to which I replied, "Well I hate it too so please don't put it on ours!"

Now, full extension drawers I want, just not soft close :)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 5:09PM
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Thanks for these photos buehl.

It seems blum has a newer version of the cabinet doors hardware that looks quite clever to me. The installed part is for non-soft close doors and then you can snap on a damper if you like -- or not. I think you might be able to save some money on up-front costs and buy the snap-on later after your bank acct has had some time to refill. That's my thought at least. OTOH, it's also my experience that people generally do what they do and don't themselves have need for slight behavioral changes mid-stream. It's not as if you're likely to wake up one morning and say "oh, I think I'd rather have silent doors this morning but tomorrow I'll go back to the slammers". So the "versatility" of the new system may not be so helpful if you don't have that potential cost-spreading-out need. I think the new snap-on hardware might be a tad more bulky; I think the old all-in-one mechanisms are still available.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 12:33PM
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Fori is not pleased

What Buehl said. :)

I have soft close drawers on some things and not on others and don't care a bit.

I do have it on my door hinges and eh. Sokay. Nice I guess. I have the dampers that snap onto the hinges, probably an even easier retrofit than the ones Buehl has. A few popped off under my sink cabinet and I haven't been motivated to spend the 10 seconds to put them back, but to be fair, I have child locks on those doors so they don't really function there anyway.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 12:47PM
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