How to Repair Ball Bearing Drawer Slides

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Some tool boxes and cabinet drawers come equipped or installed with ball bearing slides. These railing systems use the ball bearings to create a smooth opening and closing action for easy retrieval of the drawer contents. Unfortunately, over time, the lubricant can begin to dry out, and the drawer becomes more difficult to open. To fix this problem, you only need a few items, and your ball bearing drawer slides will work like new again.


Step 1

Open the drawer and empty all of the contents. Open and close the drawer to determine if it is the ball bearings or it was one of the objects inside preventing the drawer from opening and closing properly.

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Step 2

Pull the drawer out and up, taking it out of its recess. Examine the rails on both the outside of the drawer and the recess for foreign objects. Should anything be obstructing the ball bearings from rolling freely, remove it by hand or with a pair of tweezers.


Step 3

Straighten out any kinks or bends in the drawer slides with needle-nose pliers if necessary.

Step 4

Dampen a microfiber cloth with mineral oil and rub the microfiber cloth along the slides and over the ball bearings several times. In addition, coat the other rails with mineral oil.

Step 5

Insert the drawer back into the recess and pull it open and shut several times; it should glide smoothly in and out.



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