A file cabinet is an excellent way to manage files in a home office, but from time to time, you may need to fix a drawer or simply empty the unit to move it elsewhere. Removing HON lateral file cabinet drawers requires two people, as the process involves releasing one side of the drawer and then the other, while the second person supports the released end of the drawer. Vertical file drawer removal is easy enough to manage on your own.
Preparing for Drawer Removal
Though it may seem like common sense, the drawer must be completely empty before attempting drawer removal. Remove all the papers and materials stored in the drawer, including the side bars that hold hanging file folders in place.
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If you're removing multiple drawers or all of them, empty the top drawer first; otherwise the file cabinet may become top-heavy or even topple. If you need to remove only one of the lower drawers, as may be the case if there's an issue with drawers not fully opening or closing, empty the top drawer or two anyway, at least most of the way, for safety's sake. As for removing the actual drawers once the cabinet is empty, it's still a good idea to start with the top drawer and work your way down.
Removing HON File Cabinet Drawers
Open the top drawer all the way to prepare it for removal. Press on the left side of the door while pushing up on the bottom of the drawer. This releases the left side of the drawer from the side rail that normally guides it for smooth operation. Once the left side pops out of its rail, ask a friend to hold that side up as you move over to the right side.
Press on the right side of the opened drawer while pushing up on the drawer bottom to release this side of the drawer from its rail. Once the right side is no longer engaged, pull the drawer out, asking your friend to handle the one side as you handle the other, as lateral drawers are wide enough to be awkward.
Set the removed drawer out of the way and repeat the process with the next drawer down, removing as many as needed. When you're ready to replace the drawers and all of their contents, start with the bottom drawer first to keep the filing cabinet balanced, which prevents it from tipping over.
Removing Ball-Bearing Suspension Drawers
Some HON vertical file cabinets, which are the narrow file cabinet style, have ball-bearing suspension. These drawers are a bit easier to remove and do not require an assistant's help. Remember to start with the top drawer and work your way down, as tall vertical cabinets in particular can become top-heavy if the bottom drawers are empty while the top is full.
Empty the top drawer completely; then pull the drawer all the way out. Look for a black tab on each side rail, near where the front rail slides into the back rail piece. Press each tab to release the drawer from the back part of the slide mounted in the cabinet. Pull the drawer all the way out. When replacing drawers, start with the bottom drawer first and work your way up.