How to Replace Old Drawer Slides So They'll Glide in & Out Like New

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Replacement drawer slides

The slides on the left and right sides help drawers open and close smoothly.

Drawer slides consist of two parts on each side of the drawer. The male slides attach to the left and right sides of the drawer for insertion into the female slides mounted inside a cabinet, dresser or desk. Rollers on the slides help the parts glide smoothly so that the drawer opens and closes easily. Over time, the slides may become bent or broken or the rollers may become chipped, causing the drawer to stick or hesitate when pushed shut or pulled open. Removing the old slides so new ones can be installed is the solution.

Step 1

Pull open the drawer and lift upward by the handle or knob to disengage the drawer slides from the slides inside the piece of furniture. Remove the drawer from the furniture.

Step 2

Remove the two screws holding the slides on the left and right sides of the drawer. Take note of the slide's orientation on the drawer so you can attach the new one in the same position.

Step 3

Remove the screws holding the left and right female slides on the inside of the cabinet or desk. You may need to remove the drawers above and below to make room for your hands and the screwdriver.

Step 4

Insert the left and right male slides into the female slides and take the parts to a hardware or home improvement store to match with a replacement set.

Step 5

Attach the new female slides to the inside of the furniture, using the screws supplied with the new hardware. The slides may be labeled "L" and "R" to guide your installation on the left and right.

Step 6

Fasten the left and right male slides to the sides of the drawer, using the supplied screws.

Step 7

Tip the back of the drawer down into the cavity in the furniture so the wheels on the leading edges of the slides fit into the female slides inside the furniture. Lower the drawer until it is horizontal and slide into place.


James Clark

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.