How to fix ball bearing drawer runners: How to Fix Drawer Runners with Ball Bearings

How to Fix Drawer Runners with Ball Bearings

Have you ever opened a drawer and wondered, “Why isn’t this drawer as smooth as it should be?” If you have, there is a good chance your drawer has a malfunctioning runner. Drawer runners with ball bearings are sturdy and durable, but sometimes they can accumulate dirt or wear out and get sticky. Fortunately, they are often easy to troubleshoot, and fixing them is relatively straightforward. This blog will explain how ball-bearing drawer runners work and how to fix them if they are not operating smoothly.



What Are Ball-Bearing Drawer Runners?

A ball-bearing drawer runner is a metal tube with two parts: a metal cage with small steel balls and a flat, stable plate. The cage is usually attached to the side or bottom of a drawer, and the flat plate is attached to the cabinet wall to hold the drawer. The cage creates a channel that the balls roll along as the drawer opens or closes.

Metal drawer runners with ball-bearings are common in high-end kitchen cabinets and other furniture. They’re also available as an upgrade for many basic pull-out drawers. Many ball-bearing drawer runners come with additional features, such as soft-close, self-close, push to open or close, and more.


The Benefits of Ball-Bearing Drawer Runners

Drawer runners with ball bearings have several benefits over the standard drawer sliders that come with a plastic or nylon roller on a metal track. They provide smooth, quiet operation for both wood and metal drawers and higher weight capacity. Some full-extension Blum drawer runners can support up to 182 kilograms, making them perfect for industrial cabinets and bulky tool storage drawers.

Ball-bearing drawer runners also last longer. Steel components give them a sturdy build, and ball bearings reduce the wear on drawer components. This reduced wear and tear is especially important for high-use fixtures such as kitchen drawers. Blum movento runners and other ball-bearing runners with a soft-close function extend the life of the drawer by preventing it from slamming into the cabinet.




How To Mount Ball-Bearing Drawer Runners To Drawers

Ball-bearing drawer runners are easy to mount, and anyone with basic mechanical skills can install them. The most challenging part of the installation is drilling the pilot holes for the screws—a task that should take less than 10 minutes if you have a power drill.


To Mount Ball-Bearing Drawer Runners To Drawers:

1. Take the drawer sliders apart. Pull the two pieces of the drawer runner as far as they extend and press the release lever to separate the drawer member from the cabinet member.

2. Mount the drawer member. Measure 1.25 inches from the bottom of the drawer and make a mark. Position the top of the drawer member to align with this mark and secure it with the provided screws. Do the same with the other drawer member.

3. Mount the cabinet member. Start by holding the drawer where you want to install it in the cabinet cavity. On both sides of the cabinet cavity, make a mark along the bottom of the drawer. Use these marks as reference points to mount the cabinet members to the right height.

4. Install the drawer by connecting the drawer members to the cabinet members. Slide it all the way in until you hear a click. The click signifies that the release lever has been locked.

5. Check for smooth operation. Open and close the drawer to ensure it is working correctly. If necessary, remove, adjust, and reinstall the cabinet members.


Troubleshooting Ball-Bearing Runners That Aren’t Operating Correctly

If your drawer is stuck or not operating smoothly, remove it from the desk, dresser, or kitchen cabinet and inspect the bottom of the runner for debris or obstructions. Chances are something caught in between the two tracks is preventing the runner from moving properly. Remove any obstacles, then lubricate the rails with a dry graphite powder or spray. This will make moving the drawer easier and reduce wear and tear on the hardware.

If a drawer is still hard to open or close after removing obstructions and lubricating the rails, check for broken or bent slides at either end of the runner. If there are bent slides on one or both ends of your runner, they need to be replaced and lined up properly with one another and allow for smooth movement of the runner.

If you can’t get rid of these problems on your own, you may need to replace your drawer runners altogether.


Maintaining Metal Drawer Runners

Ultimately, the best way to keep your ball-bearing drawer runners in good shape is to do regular maintenance. Every once in a while, clean the track, lubricate moving parts, check screws and bolts, and use shims where necessary. If you take care of your furniture, it should be able to serve you for years to come.

How to Fix Drawer Slides with Ball Bearings? [Complate Guide]

Drawers these days include ball bearings so that taking them out and inserting them is easy! A little push and your drawer it inside, you don’t need any additional effort any longer! But if you start facing problems with putting the drawer in and taking it out, you might be having issues with the ball bearings of your drawer!

So, how to fix drawer slides with ball bearings at home? Do you need professionals for this? Can you fix it at home alone? There are a lot of questions! Let us answer all of them and tell you how you can repair your drawer slides!

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Step by Step Fixing Drawer Slides with Baal Bearings

You don’t want to add deadbolt locks on your drawers, do you? You want your drawers to be free when it comes to movements! And today, we will learn how to help the drawer slides moves flexibly without any obstacles!

Step 1: Rearranging the Drawer

When it comes to repairing the drawer slides, the first thing you have to do is take the drawer out. As you have to work with the ball bearings and the sliding problems, you cannot do it if the drawer it already inside. So, before everything, get the drawer out. Also, make sure that you have emptied the whole drawer not keeping any equipment inside it.

If there is any content inside, you must take them off before you start working. All you have to do is rearrange the drawer. In some cases, you will see that there are no issues with the ball bearings. If it is like this, it is not use trying to fix the ball bearing. Before you get your hands on the ball bearings, you have to certify if the problem is with the ball bearings or not. In some cases, the objects inside the drawer prevent the drawers from opening and closing resulting in improper sliding issues.

In that case, taking off the objects and rearranging them will work without fixing the ball bearings. If the drawer still does not slide properly after the rearrangement, you have to get your hands on the ball bearings here and fix the situation.

Step 2: Taking the Drawer Out

The next step in the list of dealing with the ball bearings of a sliding drawer is to taking it out of the recess. Yes, all you have to do is pull the drawer first and then pull it up a bit. In this manner, you can easily take the drawer out of the recess so that you can go on with your work.

Now, you have to check for the rails. Here, checking the rails will ensure what’s exactly wrong with your ball bearings. Go through the outside of the drawer and start examining the rails and the cabinet hinges. Check both of the rails. There might be objects that are added to the drawer’s rail or recess that is keeping your drawer from sliding properly.

If there is any object that is obstructing the ball bearing’s regular rolling manner, this might be the reason of your problem. In that case, take the object out with your hands. In some circumstances, the object is usually too small. Examining properly is necessary for such situation. Use tweezers for removing the object if you go through small objects.

Step 3: Straightening the Bends

Now that you are already done checking for obstacles on the rails, you have to go through the next step. In this step, we will straighten out the bend in your drawer slides. Yes, at times, the drawer slides include bends. Kinks can also be the reason of your drawer not opening and closing properly. All you have to do is straighten these bends out. For this process, you will need needle-nose pliers. Use them to get rid of the curves.

Step 4: Coating with Mineral Oil

Once you are done getting rid of the bends in your drawer slides, you have to work with the ball bearings once again! Here, first, you have to search for a microfiber cloth. Once you get it, dampen it with oil. We recommend you using mineral oil for this process as it keeps the ball bearings safe and in perfect condition without causing any harm.

When you have dampen the cloth with the mineral oil, take it to the ball bearings and rub it on them. You have to rub it over the ball bearings. Along with this, use this on the slides too. Do not rub the pieces only one time; instead, go through the process of rubbing for a few times to safeguard the precision.

After getting the right amount of mineral oil on the ball bearings and the slides, go through the rails. You have to coat the rails with mineral oil in this position too. In short, you have to go through all the metal parts and ensure that the mineral oil is coated everywhere to ensure the easy movement.

Step 5: Checking the Improvement

When you have added mineral oil too all the parts of the drawer slides, you are almost ready to get it done! Now, your work is the take the drawer and gets it inside the cabinet. Take it and put it inside the recess just the way it was before.

Here, you have to pull the drawer open a few times and again shut it off so that you can understand if the problem with the ball bearing still continues or not. In this situation, the drawer will smoothly glide in and out and release you from any other complication!

You are done, my friend! Your drawer slide not can move freely without any extra effort to open or close it! If you want, you can repeat the use of mineral oil process once a month to make sure everything goes right!


Wrap Up

So, you have already checked out how to fix drawer slides with ball bearings and how you can make the drawer slides work in five easy steps. All you need to do is stop calling the professionals and be the professionals! Get your hands on the drawer slides and you will know how easy it is to do it!

If you are facing any problems with your cabinets or the drawer slides, check out our sites to learn more and fix it yourself! You will get every required solution here and we won’t disappoint you at all!

Restoration and repair of a drawer in a wardrobe and chest of drawers

In any cabinet furniture, moving elements are the first to fail. Repair of a drawer may be needed for various reasons. Perhaps the guides are out of order. Or the box itself was deformed during operation due to heavy loads. Let’s consider the most probable cases.


  1. Repair of drawers: causes of damage
  2. Drawer box collapsed or the bottom fell out
  3. The drawer falls out or warps in the guides
  4. The drawer does not slide out well, the guides jam
  5. Do-it-yourself repair and replacement of the drawer box
  6. Repair of the drawer with the replacement of guide mechanisms

Repair of drawers: causes breakdowns

Before starting repairs do-it-yourself drawers in a closet or chest of drawers, you should deal with the cause of the breakdown. Understanding what caused the malfunction is the key to a successful repair. The main thing is not to confuse cause and effect. For example, warping the body of a cabinet or pedestal itself can cause the rails to move incorrectly and fail. And if you do not “return” the body to the original correct geometry, replacing the guides simply will not solve the problem.

The drawer box has collapsed or the bottom is falling out

This kind of breakage is especially common in chests of drawers assembled on spikes. Over time, the boxes dry out and fall apart. All that is required is to take them out, disassemble into parts, align, sand and reassemble with glue. For reliable tightening, use additional fasteners in the form of furniture corners and self-tapping screws.

The bottom of the MDF box may not be firmly nailed down initially. Fasteners on small nails are especially unreliable. If the drawer is made of chipboard, then it is better to attach the bottom of the fiberboard to it with 3×16 self-tapping screws. Use washers to widen the clutch area.

The drawer falls out or skews in the rails

Most likely the reason is the lack of rigidity of the cabinet itself or chest of drawers. From the uneven load of the shelves, the case is inevitably deformed: the sidewalls bend, the distance between them increases, the boxes begin to fall out. The case can warp if the floors are uneven and the cabinet itself or chest of drawers is not level.

Correct, smooth running of the guides is only possible with the correct geometry of all elements. That is, both the body and the drawer boxes must be aligned diagonally. Perhaps the assembly was wrong initially – it is worth screwing the guides unevenly relative to each other at least by a millimeter, and over time, as the boxes are loaded and they subside, this inaccuracy will become critical.

Also, the reason for warping and falling out of the box from the rails can be grinding and deformation of the rollers (ball bearings) of the rails themselves. It happens that the metal of the guides itself bends. The reason is simple – the fittings have exhausted their resources and need to be replaced.

The drawer does not slide out well, the guides are stuck

The reason may be both in the deformations described above, and in the fittings themselves. If the manufacturer “saved” on the rails and supplied Chinese analogues with thin metal, then it is unlikely that the fittings were originally designed for a full load of the box. Therefore, it cannot provide the expected smoothness of closing and opening the drawer.

Do-it-yourself repair and replacement of the drawer box

Summarizing all of the above, there are several repair methods for returning the drawer to its former strength and smoothness:

  • Strengthening the structure itself . It is required to add rigidity by installing slats along the back wall. And also align uneven furniture on the horizon so that its geometry becomes correct. After checking all the corners, you can repair the drawers with the replacement of fittings (if required).
  • Drawer frame reinforcement and bottom reinforcement . If during operation it became clear that the bottom of the fiberboard is not able to withstand the load and even after replacement it is expected to fall out, there is a reason to strengthen it. To do this, a stiffening rib is installed along the bottom horizontally or vertically – a partition. The bottom can be additionally fixed to this part. Also, this method will help to make a large box more rigid, without warping.
  • Replacing crate boxes. Sometimes studded wooden crates are easier and cheaper to replace than to repair. For example, to make them again from chipboard. How to calculate the dimensions of the replacement drawer parts can be found here. It is also worth doing if it turns out that the dimensions of the boxes were initially calculated incorrectly, and therefore fall out of the guides. Or the fittings themselves are already outdated and are not produced (for example, some types of guides with a tie-in into the groove of the box).

For roller and telescopic slides, the optimum clearance for smooth extension is 13 mm on each side.

Repair of a drawer with replacement of guide mechanisms

It happens that the guides quickly fail because the drawer is large and heavily loaded. Telescopic (ball) guides allow installation in two rows. At the same time, the drawer will be endowed with a greater load-bearing capacity and will last longer.

With such an “upgrade”, it is quite possible to replace the bottom of the flexible fiberboard with chipboard or plywood in order to store, say, tools in such a box.

The metal guides should of course be replaced. They don’t cost that much. However, if during visual inspection the rollers are intact, have an even shape, and only the metal of the runners is bent, you can try to return it to its original shape. To do this, use a vice, pliers and other hand tools.

How to replace old drawer slides – 5 easy steps



How to replace old drawer slides – 5 easy steps

  • Posted by Mike

One of the most frustrating things is replacing the drawer slide. You know you have to do this when you notice that it is often difficult to open or close the drawer. As a result, everything inside the box is poured out. However, despite the frustration of the replacement process, it’s actually an easy fix. Below are 5 easy steps you can follow if you don’t know exactly what steps to take to replace your old drawers.

1) Pull out the drawer

The first and obvious step is to remove the drawer. Be careful when removing it and pull as far as you can. Grasp the front of the drawer and lift it up at a 45 degree angle. If you see that this does not work and you cannot free the drawer, then another alternative is that you can pull on the back of the drawer. You may still run into some difficulty if the box is heavily stuck. If this happens, try installing drawer locks or use twist latches that prevent the drawer from fully sliding out. In most cases, the latches can be bypassed by simply pushing the drawer in slightly. After that, you move the latches to the side to release the slides.

2) Get rid of the old slides

When thinking about how to replace your kitchen drawer slides, first remove the ball bearing and all other hardware from your old drawer. To do this successfully, you may need to slide out drawers both at the top and bottom to provide enough room for your hands and a screwdriver. It would be better if you keep an eye on any wheels or rollers on the back of your old box. To complete this task successfully, you can either use a slotted screwdriver or a Phillips screwdriver. However, some drawers may not require a screwdriver; you just pull the staples out of the drawer. Be careful not to damage the wood or the screw holes.

3) Measure the new drawer rails.

Use a flexible tape measure to measure the length of the drawers in the cabinet. Try sketching out the length and width of each slide. When measuring the length of each side, you must also measure the length of the crate box. This is to let you know if the box can handle a longer slide. As a rule, not all sizes are always available, so it is important to know if you can be flexible. Try to purchase quality drawer slides that are up to date and should have a longer lifespan. You also need to make sure they don’t slide too hard.

4) Buy new drawer rails.

After measuring your old slides, look for new slides with the correct dimensions. You can get the exact dimensions by measuring the depth of the drawer.