What are Soft-Close Drawers?
Easy-to-use and more efficient kitchens have premium cabinetry that is soft closing. Soft-close drawers and doors are constructed to be shut with less effort and sound.
To shut something that is soft-close, give a gentle push and the mechanism will help it to shut quietly and smoothly as it reaches its closed position.
Read below to learn more about soft closing drawers and how they operate in kitchens today.
What are soft-close drawers? Soft-close is a slide with a hydraulic spring, piston and damper mechanism that pulls a drawer closed quietly and gently.
What are Soft-Close Drawers?
Soft-close drawers are an unobtrusive and simple way to reduce noise in your kitchen.
Drawers that have a soft-close feature a special mechanism that activates when it is almost shut. It slows down the closing of the cabinetry and gently guides it into a closed position – without you needing to push it all the way in!
You may choose to have soft-close drawers with or without handles, which means they can be used for push-to-open or regular pull-open cabinetry. Soft-close is sometimes called easy-close, but is different from a self-close mechanism.
Soft-Close Drawers: How Do They Work?
A well-designed kitchen has drawers that are soft closing, but how do they work?
To close, a drawer needs a slide that is made of several pieces that attach to the actual drawer box and the cabinet so it can move open and closed. Traditionally, a drawer slide operates with the help of ball bearings or wheels and your hands to close and open it.
A soft-close drawer has a drawer slide that has a dampner that absorbs force/sound and often a spring and air-driven piston hydraulic system. These mechanisms allow it to shut itself once it approaches closure.
Soft-close is a simple, built-in hydraulic system which means the drawer will glide into a closed position. It often features an under-mount slide that is attached to the bottom of the drawer, but there are some side-mount slides on the market.
Soft-Close vs Self-Close: What’s the Difference?
Soft-close and self-close are both types of motion features that your drawer may have. They are similar, but not exactly the same:
Self-close: means that the drawer or cabinet door will pull itself shut. When you want to close the drawer or door, give a gentle push and once it’s 75% closed, it will close itself the rest of the way with a bump or tap.
Soft-close: the drawer slide component has a hydraulic mechanism and dampner which allows the drawer/door to gently glide to a closed position with no noise.
In summary: while most soft closing cabinetry is also self-closing, self-closing does not mean soft-close. Self-closing is not as quiet as it does not have a hydraulic damper to glide shut.
What are the Advantages of Soft-Close Drawers?
There are many reasons to choose soft-close drawers, including:
- Acoustic: soft-close keep the noise down while you’re accessing various kitchen items and appliances.
- Durability: as you cannot forcefully shut a soft-close drawer or cupboard, you will reduce damage or wear and tear on the unit that happens through years of slamming and trauma. In short—soft-close drawers last longer.
- Function: the chef in the kitchen will appreciate the ergonomic benefits of soft-close drawers, as the drawer or cupboard does the work for you in the last 25 degrees. Soft-close cabinetry, therefore, enhances a more natural cooking flow.
- Protection: Not only are adult and little fingers protected from being caught in a door or drawer, soft-close will also protect the items inside your drawers from impact or rattling around. Even if not fragile, items inside are less likely to become jumbled or out of place.
- Cost: Soft-close drawers are available in a range of price points from basic to luxury, making them accessible for a range of kitchen renovation budgets.
- Aesthetics: as soft-close tends to be installed using an undermount slide, internal mechanics of the drawer are hidden and provide a more minimalist and streamlined appearance.
What are the Disadvantages of Soft-Close Drawers?
There are some limitations to soft -technology:
Size: undermount slides require a slightly larger opening to accommodate the slide.
Retrofitting: although not impossible, it is more complex to convert an existing drawer into a soft-close one.
Initial Cost: compared to a regular drawer, soft-close is more expensive upfront. If you are on a strict budget, consider selecting a few essential drawers to be soft-close to manage cost. However, with long and even lifetime warranties, soft-close mechanisms deliver better value (and function) overall.
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