How To Choose a Slide

Which slide is suitable for your needs?

Duraslide has an extensive range of products including telescopic drawer slides, linear rails and tip-down drawer systems, drawer handles and much else besides. The help notes below relate only to the drawer slide part of our range and provides an explanation of the terms we use and some general guidance about how to select the right set of telescopic drawer slides for your application. Telescopic slides come in all shapes and sizes with capacity to carry loads at full extension ranging from a few kilograms to several tonnes. 

Duraslide offers you a selection of our products to buy online which cover a range of applications. When choosing a drawer slide or pair of drawer slides there are a number of key points to consider

  • Drawer Slide closed length – this is the length of the slide when closed and usually relates to the depth of the compartment the slide is to be mounted in.
  • Drawer Slide extension – There are three basic types: (1) partial or 70% extension; (2) full or 100% extension; and (3) over or 150% extension.  This is the amount by which you want the drawer or slide-out system to extend relative to the closed length.  A 100% extension slide with a closed length of 500mm will extend by 500mm.  A 150% extension slide with a closed length of 500mm will extend by 750mm etc.  Each slide is made up of a number of beams.  A partial extension slide will be made up of 2 beams.  To achieve 100% extension the slide must usually have 3 beams, and to achieve 150% extension a slide must have 4 beams.  Most slides are made with ball bearings between the beams, held in position by ball cages.  Other types, particularly many higher precision high repetition slides, work with rollers (roller bearings). When choosing a slide, the first issues to decide are closed length and extension.  


  • Load – the third most important issue to decide is what load (weight) a pair of slides must carry when fully extended.  All slides will have a load capacity, and this is invariably deemed to be the load for a pair of slides and which is assumed to be evenly distributed over the length of the extended part of the slide


  • How to Install a Slide - Slides should normally be installed in pairs and so as to carry load on their major axis.  Some slides, however, particularly Sliding Systems' Shock Resistant range of reinforced high strength sliders can be mounted flat and will carry load on the minor axis (see illustration below), subject to a significantly reduced overall load capacity. Unless you are certain the slide you are choosing is designed to be able to carry load on its minor axis, you should only mount your slides vertically.
  • Telescopic Slide Height and Width – It is also important to consider the dimensions of the slide itself  what is its height, and what is the width of one slide – slide length (Closed Length) is referred to above.  This can be important particularly where there is only a certain size of gap between the compartment wall and the drawer body.  Duraslide offers the largest range of telescopic slides available in the market, which means that we are more likely to have a slide to meet your overall length, width, height, extension and load capacity criteria.  If you cannot find what you are looking for, please send us enquiries and we will be glad to help.  
  • Operating Environment – Slide selection must also take into account the overall environment in which the slide will be operating.  If a slide is likely to be exposed to prolonged vibration - for example it is to be mounted on a vehicle, or will be carrying a running generator or pump - then a vibration resistant slide should be selected. This will usually mean a telescopic slide fabricated from cold drawn steel (as opposed to cold rolled steel) should be selected.  Similarly if the slide is likely to be slammed shut or open whilst carrying a heavy load.  Drawer slides have built-in end-stops that which have to be strong enough to take the shock of the slide being slammed open or shut.  

 Is the drawer slide going to be mounted on a moving platform (vehicle, vessel etc)?

    • Is it likely to be subject to rough treatment?
    • Is it likely to be exposed to extremes of temperature?
    • Will it be in a corrosive environment (sea air or particular gases or radiation)?
    • Will it be subject to high repetitions (many thousands of openings and closings)?
    • Is very high precision required (minimal deflection etc, eg machine tool or automated applications)?
    • Will the operating environment be dusty and will slide maintenance be easy or difficult?
    • Will the telescopic slide be used in a food related environment?

How To Install a Slide ?

This top quality product has been tested in the Australian environment. Please Take a few things into consideration during installation.

 When marking hole placements you MUST NOT drill through the slide holes during installation. Doing this will create metal   filings which lodge in the tracks resulting in rough running and ultimately, failure of the slides.Depending on substrate, stainless steel 'flat head' hex screws with NY-lock nuts or stainless steel rivets are recommended.

There must be no rubbing of the fixing against the moving slides. This will cause failure of the slide.

It is not possible to cover all possible questions that could be relevant to the choice of slide.  The choice of slide is ultimately the responsibility of the application designer, but with our practical and professional experience and knowledge, as well as probably the largest range of telescopic slides available on the market, Duraslide is well placed to help you make the correct choice of slide.  Please call us on 03 9369 8113 if you need assistance.