Understanding side space

The distance between the cabinet and drawer is very important if you intend to use a ball bearing drawer slide. This gap is referred to as ‘side space’ and it will vary depending on the slide you select, so reference must be made to the installation guide or data sheets.

First you need to know the slide thickness

The slide thickness measurements for the selected slide are specified in the cross section drawings, which can be found in the relevant data sheets.

For optimum performance, it is important that the slide space is within the tolerance range specified, and is consistent along the length of the slide.  If the side space is too narrow, the slide members will be compressed, resulting in movement and performance issues, or early product failure.  If the space is too wide, and the members are pulled too far apart, similar problems will occur.

Side space must always be slightly greater than the slide thickness

For most slides, we recommend that you allow between +0.2mm and +0.5mm over the slide thickness, although some slides may have different requirements.

For example, the 3832 slide is 12.7mm thick, and requires a side space between 12.9 and 13.2mm.

Side space