What is The Difference Between a Drawer Slide and a Runner?
By: Gareth Jones
A lot is made of the question ‘what is the difference between a slider and runner?’ but we find that they basically offer the same function – letting a drawer move in and out – and therefore you can use either name for anything that relates to this action.
Although they have some minor technical differences both sliders and runners offer the same basic function, they both allow a drawer to move in and out smoothly. As a result, we and most other companies prefer to call products of this type a Drawer Slide for the sake of simplicity as slides and runners are essentially interchangeable terms.
A ‘slide’ is generally the term that is given to a product that is fixed to the side of the drawer and the carcass of the drawer unit. The movement in and out is facilitated by ball bearings, ensuring that movement is smooth and noiseless. Slides are generally used in heavy duty drawer systems as they are often more capable of supporting heavy weights than runners are.
A ‘runner’ is generally the term that is given to a product that is fixed to the bottom edge of the drawer and the carcass of the drawer unit. Much like the slide the movement in and out is facilitated by ball bearings, though usually smaller than the slider version and offering a smoother opening action. When fully extended runners often allow the drawer to be lifted and removed, allowing for easy access to the drawer system. Runners are usually not as robust as slides and are more often found in light kitchen and bedroom drawers.
Some companies use one term, some use both; All we'll say is its important to look at the function of the drawer rather than worrying about the name too much.