Many pieces of furniture come with drawers; these make it easy to store all sorts of items with the quick pull of a handle. But you may have noticed, while some drawers slide smoothly, others need a good tug and some fall right out if you pull too far, while others stop before coming the whole way out. This is because of the type of drawer runners or slides used. At Coastwood Furniture we use three different types of drawer runners. While each range has a certain type of runner as standard, most can be upgraded on request. Products will state their standard drawer runner type in the product description, but you can find out here how they work, and how to remove drawers if needed.

Wood-on-wood Drawer Runners

Wood-on-wood runners are simply where the drawer slides in and out along pieces of wood, there is no metal involved. This is the traditional runner type, having been used for generations, therefore they come as standard on most of our traditional ranges and come with traditional English dovetail joints. This joint is formed by interlocking wedge-shaped pieces which hold the drawer sides tightly together, providing a very strong, damage-resistant joint. This adds an aesthetic benefit to wood-on-wood runners as they all feature this attractive joint without the intrusion of metal. While these drawer runners are very strong and can generally support heavier loads than metal runners, they will wear down over time. The whole drawer can be pulled right out as there is nothing stopping it, so once it is out a certain distance, it will fall if not held. Wood-on-wood runners can also be affected by climatic changes as wood swells or warps so the drawers can stick when the weather is humid.

Ranges that come with wood-on-wood runners as standard include Charlton, Ferngrove, Gavardo, La Resta Dining, Marsden, Metro, Mill-Yard, Nordic, Villager, Waihi.

Standard Metal Drawer Runners

 Metal drawer runners are attached to the side of the drawers and allow for a smooth gliding motion of the drawer. While they have a slightly lower weight capacity than wood runners, they can still support fairly heavy loads and generally wear out less quickly than wood runners. Drawers with these standard metal runners only extend out ¾ of the way, then are stopped. This prevents them from falling out but doesn’t allow full visibility of the drawer.

Ranges that come with metal runners as standard include Adventure, Ambrose, Andorra, Brook, Cairo, Calais, Carter, Chicago, Hilton, Hudson, Karamea - Pine, La Resta Bedroom, Lynbrook, Mabel, McKenzie- Pine, Moana, Northville, Orinda, Portland, Santorini, Tillsdale, Veniece, Verve.

Double-extension Drawer Runners

Drawers with double extension runners have metal ball bearing slides mounted on the drawer sides providing excellent support for heavy loads. With a gentle pull, these drawers slide in and out easily and are much quieter than regular metal runners. The ability to double extend, means the drawers can be fully extended out all the way without falling out, allowing easy access to the full depth of the drawer.

Ranges that come with double-extension runners as standard include Asher, Barclay, Bayswater, Bronte, Bruno*, Ivydale, Karamea - Ash, Larry, Fenton, Maison, McKenzie- Ash, Neo, Ohope*, Plyhome, Reva, Sleepneat, Tribeca.

 *excluding coffee tables and hall tables.

How to remove drawers with different drawer runner types

If for any reason you need to remove the drawers from your unit, it’s done slightly differently for each drawer runner type.

  • For wood-on-wood runners, it’s obvious- just pull it out.
  • For either of the metal runner types, the process is not quite so simple. Firstly, you’ll want to remove the drawer contents to lighten the load and stop items falling out.
  • For metal drawer runners, open the drawer and take hold off both sides, near to the back. Lift up and pull towards you to remove.
  • For double extension runners, you’ll find push levers on the runners, on each side of the drawer, which you squeeze up or down as you pull the drawer out.
  • To re-install, just line the drawer up with the drawer runners and slide back on.