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A Quick Guide to Choosing Drawer Runners

 |  Furniture Tips

9Choosing drawer runners is not as easy as it may seem – there’s no “one size fits all” approach. With different materials to consider, different fixing positions and many varying lengths, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right one before you buy.

That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to choosing drawer runners, and what you need to think about before shopping.

Drawer Runner Types

Before deciding anything else, you need to know what type of drawer runners you need. There are 3 main types; side-mount runners are the most popular, and either attach directly to the side of the drawers or slot into a groove. These are known as groove drawer runners.

There are also bottom-fix drawer runners, either as a centre-mount runner (one single drawer runner mounted under the centre of drawer) or with two separate drawer runners mounted evenly under the drawer.

How Do You Measure Drawer Runners?

Drawer runners are measured by the longest dimension of the fully closed side, and so should snuggly fit the inside the length of the drawer.

Normally, you will be able to remove your previous drawer runners (assuming they are not warped or bent) and get the measurement from these. However, it is always recommended to measure the drawer unit just in case.

How to Measure:

  • Remove a drawer from the unit
  • Flip upside down and measure across the bottom (excluding drawer front)
  • If your measurements are accurate, you can buy full extension drawer runners that measure the same as the interior unit measurement
  • Alternatively, allow 10mm clearance on drawer runner length
  • Check the inside of the drawer unit to see if there’s anything that will obstruct installation of the runners
  • Always measure twice, and buy once!

Load Ratings and Roll Types


Most kitchen drawer runners will either be ball-bearing drawer runners, rolling wheels or caged ball-bearings that are enclosed in the runners.

Always consider what each drawer will be storing. If you want to store heavier items, opt for metal drawer runners that have a suitable loading weight. Similarly, if the items are fragile, opt for soft close drawer runners to ensure items do not break.

Want to find out more about our kitchen drawer runners? Feel free to call us on 0800 298 7141 and speak to one of our friendly staff members. We offer free delivery when you spend over £120 online at SCF Hardware.