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  • Jeff Chaignot

What are dovetail drawers?

Dovetail Drawer Boxes – Should I Upgrade?

Should I upgrade to the dovetail drawers?

If you are in the market for new cabinetry for your house, no doubt you have went into a store and the designer asked if you wanted the standard drawers or if you wanted to upgrade to the dovetail drawers. In most cases the dovetail drawer upgrade includes the full extension, soft closing drawer guides. Hopefully this article should help you choose which one is best for you.

Standard Drawer Box

First off let’s talk about the standard drawer box. Most cabinets are going to come with a drawer box that is made out of particle board with a rabbet joint on the front. The rabbet joint is the way the drawer box sides are attached to the drawer box front. Usually a little glue and some staples are holding the joint together. When you slam the drawer, the drawer box wants to keep going but the drawer front will try to stop it. This is usually when your hands are wet and you are using a thrust of your hip to close the drawer with 20 pounds of silverware in it. After many closes, one day the rabbet joint breaks and the front of the drawer box falls apart. The staples will usually tear through the front of the drawer box.

Dovetail Drawer Box

Dovetail drawer boxes are usually made out of a solid hardwood like Ash or Maple. The joints at the front and back of the drawer boxes are notched to fit together like a puzzle piece. This adds extreme strength to the drawer box joints. It is almost impossible for the joints to break because of the dovetail cuts as well as it being made from solid wood. In addition to this, most companies will also add the full extension, undermount, soft closing drawer guides.

Upgraded Drawer Guides

As I said earlier, when you slam a drawer the drawer box wants to keep going and the drawer front is what stops it. Well, when you upgrade the drawer guides to the soft closing that is not the case. The soft closing drawer guides have little shock absorbers in them to stop the drawer front before it hits the frame and let it close softly. This will absolutely extend the life of your drawer boxes. In addition to the soft closing you will have the full extension feature. The standard epoxy side mount guides will only open up about ¾ the depth of the drawer box, making it very difficult to get to the back of the drawer. Full extension drawer guides will allow you to access the entire drawer box. The undermount guides usually will hold more weight and are underneath the drawer giving you a wider drawer box to maximize your storage.

Dovetail drawer boxes will definitely improve the longevity of your cabinetry and I highly recommend doing this upgrade. At Stellar Kitchen and Bath we do have both types of drawer boxes in our showroom for you to compare.

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