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Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

Posted by stpindell (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 8, 09 at 7:50

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!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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?


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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?


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE! 1

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

"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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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?


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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?


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

"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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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RE: Help! Soft Close Full Extension Drawers Are HORRIBLE!

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.


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