When you shop for hardware, do you ever feel like you’re drifting in a sea of specifications, making guesses and hoping to end up with the right thing? Don’t feel alone. With an almost infinite variety of hinges, slides, brackets, braces and so forth to choose from, there are bound to be moments of confusion. Here’s the best piece of advice we think anyone can offer: read customer reviews; they’re are a hardware shopper’s best friend. Going beyond help in choosing the best products, they offer tips on installation, advice on the hardware applications, and even inspiration and ideas for future projects.
And now, with the addition of a “Top-Rated Products” link to the Rockler.com website (in the upper left corner) finding useful, unbiased information on everything from hinges to screws is easier than ever. Choosing this handy option will take you to a wealth of often detailed customer reports on a wide range confusion-inducing hardware items. Better still, it’s all neatly categorized and easy to navigate. In just a few seconds you can be deeply immersed in the nitty-gritty on just about anything you could have on your list.
It’s amazing how clearly customer reviews can answer specific hardware questions. Let’s say, for example, that you’re wondering whether there’s an easy-to-install center mount drawer slide available to replace old, worn out or inferior slides. A quick read through customer reviews of Accuride’s Center Mount Slides for Face Frame Cabinets will tell you that there is, and that they’re easy to install and actually work:
"I used these center mount slides to replace inferior drawer glides on a chest-of-drawers we purchased from one of our local furniture stores (the plastic guides had broken after a week of use). The unit was worth the time to change over to the "Accuride center mount slides" instead of the cheap factory installed glides. The drawers can now support the clothes in them instead of falling out when opening."
Michael Reed, from Springfield, IL
"We replaced our original parts from our bathroom vanity (our house is 44 years old) with this product and I can only say positive things about it. It saved us tons of money, and we also could keep the original charm of the house that we loved so much when we purchased our home. "
Brett Hudock, from Chesapeake
"Refaced kitchen cabinets and reused the drawers in some simple cabinets that I built for the workshop. Used the center supports to make the cabinet work simple and was very please with the simplicity and operation of the supports. I now have more than adequate space in my chest of drawers to keep things organized."
Willie Williamson, from Marietta, GA
"We replaced center wooden slides with these slides. We tried 2 other styles that did not work very well. These are great, they slide smooth with no side movement at all. They are also very easy to install."
Larry Harvey, from Salem, OR
Or, you could have a “heavy duty” drawer slide project on your hands, and need a slide that travels easily under heavy loads and above all, won’t give out. Depending on what the slides are intended to support, you might be less than thrilled about making a purchase based strictly on a manufacturer’s specs. In that case, customer reviews of Accuride’s Heavy Duty Full Extension Slides could go a long way in putting your mind at ease. After all, if the very same slide is out there right now holding up washers, dryers and 200 lb. woodworkers…
"We made some drawers that were 27" wide 24" tall and 48" front to back. These sliders made the drawers operate with the tip of your finger. I even went as far as to put one of my employees in the drawer and close it. Even with 200+ pounds in it they still slid with a finger tip."
Chad, from Franklin, TN
"I purchased 2 pair of these (28") for a Washer/Dryer pedestal I have been working on. These things are serious drawer slides. Probably overkill for what I used them for but I won't need to worry about them being overloaded!"
Tony Jones, from Sullivan, IL
"I installed these 20-inch slides flat under a platform for my 42-inch LCD TV in an armoire. Great product, great service."
Michael R. Walsh, from Brecksville, OH
Or you might have a whole kitchen’s worth of drawers to install on a tight budget. In that case, the perfect solution would be a slide that offers a respectable weight rating and good performance for a price that won’t break the bank. Blum’s Epoxy Coated Low Profile Slides are definitely on the more affordable end of the spectrum, but how well do they really work? Without a flaw, apparently. Reading the customer reviews, you’d find everything from the approval of pros and people accustomed to more expensive slides, to reports of easy installation from less experienced woodworkers, to installation tips and advice on building pullouts:
"Having been in the cabinet industry in the past, have used these glides many times. I did a couple of drawer sections for a friend's business. The glides worked as usual, perfectly, and of course the price makes it so as you can and will take on the project."
Michael Skinner, from Minersille , UT
"…These slides are great. I have used much more expensive higher load rating slides before and was not as happy as I am with these ones. I was delighted to see that they came with screws. I have 8 drawers total and they all work silky smooth. Thanks for the great products Rockler!"
Steven Dyndiuk, from Mariaville, ME
"The drawer slides are smooth, quiet, and self-closing. I am no expert, but I just followed the easy installation instructions and they work perfectly. I mean, what good is a nightstand if the drawers don't work. The slides are the finishing touch. I will always use these slides for all my drawer making projects, simply because they're fool-proof."
Mack Hall, from Enterprise, AL
"Used these slides to make pullout trays for a new vanity rather than order them with the cabinet. Cost of 5 slides was less than one tray from cabinet mfg. Was able to use them with rear support brackets I had on hand from another co. They fit perfectly.
"I have added pullout trays to several base cabinets and wouldn't go back to fixed shelves for anything. Well worth the effort to add. The trays are simple to make – 1/2" solid or plywood sides 2" high with a 1/4" plywood bottom. Make width 1" narrower than width of face frame opening and length 2" less than depth from face to cabinet back. Attach front of slide to edge of face frame. Add brackets to attach slide to cabinet back."
D A Tiede, from Glen Carbon, ILLINOIS
"This is an excellent product and it works exactly as advertised."
Henry Sullivan, from Rio Rancho, NM
You get the idea.
In our opinion, customer reviews are among the most valuable sources of information about the tools, equipment and supplies we offer, and we’re happy to see their numbers growing every day. Now, with our “Top-Rated Products” tab, we’ve added a quick and easy route to the products our customers appreciate the most. It’s a great way to zero in on exactly what you need and find field-tested products that will do exactly what you want.