How To Remove A Dresser Drawer With A Center Slide (Do This!)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Clearing out your dresser drawers is a useful thing to do from time to time. You could find forgotten valuables in there or come up with a better way to make use of that storage space. Upon trying to clear out that drawer though, you may find it stuck inside the dresser.

Don’t just try to force the drawer out of the dresser. You have to remove it carefully based on how it’s mounted.

If your dresser drawer is mounted using a center slide, you first have to free any locking mechanism that’s present. Follow that by checking for a pull-out guard and then proceed to pull on the drawer, wiggling it if necessary. It’s possible that the center slide is damaged so use a putty knife along its tracks to free the drawer.

Handling your dresser drawers with care is a must if you want your furniture to last longer. Learn more about all kinds of topics related to dresser drawers and the mounts they use in this article.

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The Different Mounting Styles for Drawers

Drawers are mounted in one of three ways. The type of dresser you have will help determine which mounting styles are available for you to use.

Center Mount

First off, you have the center mount style. As you’ve probably guessed, this style has the drawer supported underneath by a slide. The slide is positioned near the center so it can offer adequate support.

Whether or not you can use this type of mount depends on three important factors. The first factor to consider is whether or not your dresser has either a face or dust frame. The center slide needs to be mounted on either a face or dust frame for it to work.

The slide must also have enough space to move around between the frame and the underside of the drawer. Lastly, you have to check on the thickness of the slide itself. Make sure that it can fit into the existing space before installing it.

Bottom Mount

Next up are the bottom or under-mount slides. They’re obviously located underneath the drawer, but instead of being positioned near the center, they are off to the sides.

Bottom mount slides don’t require a lot of space along the sides. However, they have other clearance requirements. For instance, the space between the underside of the drawer and the drawer sides must be half an inch. The sides of the drawer also cannot be thicker than 5/8 of an inch to accommodate the bottom mount slides.

Side Mount

Dresser drawers can also be mounted via their sides. You don’t have to worry too much about creating enough clearance to accommodate the slides at the sides. As long as you have about half an inch on both sides, the slides should be able to fit.

The Pros and Cons of Using a Center Mount Slide

Since we’re focusing on center mount slides in this article, it’s important to discuss the pros and cons of using them. Let’s break down those pros and cons in greater detail below.

The Pros

Hidden Hardware

If you don’t want the mounting hardware showing up whenever you open a dresser drawer, consider using a center slide. This mounting style also does a better job of emphasizing the beauty of your dresser.

Easy to Install

You’ll have an easier time lining up the single track used in the center mounting style. Future maintenance is also easier because you only have that one track to worry about.


The difference in cost between center-mount slides and the other options is not that significant, but still worth noting. If you’re trying to save as much money as you can, this is the mounting option for you.

The Cons

Frame Requirements

As noted earlier, center-mount slides need either a face or dust frame to work. If your dresser or work desk doesn’t have that frame, using a center slide may not be an option.

Weight Limitations

Unsurprisingly, only relying on a single slide limits the amount of weight the center mount hardware can hold. Consider the other options if you intend to store plenty of items inside your dresser drawers.

Should You Choose a Wooden or Metal Center Slide?

While putting a new dresser together, you may find yourself faced with an important decision. Should you choose wooden mounting hardware or a setup made from metal?

Weight Capacity

Let’s start by discussing weight the weight capacity of both wooden and metal slides. Generally speaking, wooden slides are able to hold more weight. However, that assumes that you’re using the classic metal tracks.

You can increase the weight capacity of the metal slide if you use one with a ball-bearing mechanism. Install that kind of metal mount slide if you want to store more items in your dresser drawers.

Ease of Installation

Carving out space for wooden slides can be difficult and time-consuming. If you’re an inexperienced DIYer, it may not be the best option for you. By comparison, attaching the metal hardware to your dresser drawer is a significantly easier task.


When you’re scrambling to find something important, you don’t want to be slowed down by a stuck drawer. Metal drawers are often more reliable in that regard, especially if they use ball bearings.

You can mitigate some of the reliability issues presented by wooden slides by using lubrication. Even so, wooden slides still get stuck more often. They are also prone to getting stuck when there’s plenty of moisture in the air, thus affecting their reliability further.

How to Remove a Dresser Drawer with a Center Slide

Removing a dresser drawer that relies on a center-mounted slide is easy. Follow the steps below to do it correctly.

Step 1: Remove the Lock and Pull-Out Guard if They Are Present

Look underneath the center slide and inspect it closely. What you’re looking for specifically down there is some kind of locking mechanism.

If your mounting hardware has a lock, it should be located next to a button. Press that button to free up the mounting hardware. That will allow the dresser drawer to be removed completely.

Another component you’ll have to remove is the pull-out guard. The pull-out guard is a small piece of plastic tasked with keeping the drawer from falling out accidentally. Search for the pull-out guard at the back of the drawer and remove it.

Step 2: Pull the Dresser Drawer Out Carefully

Don’t just yank the dresser drawer out. Doing so will risk damaging it and the hardware. Instead, pull it out carefully and see if you’ll encounter resistance. With the lock and pull-out guard removed, you should be able to pull the drawer out completely.

If you’re having a tough time removing the drawer, move it from side to side as you pull. That should help free it up from the spot it currently occupies.

Step 3: Clean Up the Track

Were you unable to pull out the dresser drawer even with the lock and pull-out guard removed? Don’t worry just yet. You may just have to clean up the track a little.

Grab some lubricant and a putty knife. Use the putty knife first and slide along the sides of the track. That should get rid of any debris lodged along the sides. Next, use the lubricant and apply it to the sides of the track. Try to pull out your dresser drawer again. It should come free this time.

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Related Questions

What Should You Do if the Dresser Drawer Remains Stuck?

Did the steps above not do enough to free the dresser drawer? If that’s the case, you probably have a bigger problem on your hands. Consider calling a professional and have the center slide repaired or removed.

How Do You Maintain Center Mounted Drawers?

Maintaining a drawer requires more than just shielding it from pests using mothballs. You also have to note the condition of the track. From time to time, inspect the condition of the track by trying to pull out your drawer. It should work consistently whenever you try to pull it out.You should also clean the tracks regularly with your putty knife. That will prevent the buildup of debris and allow the center slide to work with no issues.

How Much Weight Can a Center Mounted Dresser Drawer Hold?

Center-mounted dresser drawers that make use of the classic tracks will be able to support about 150 pounds max. For homeowners looking for higher capacity dresser drawers, installing a center slide that uses a ball bearing is recommended. Center slides that use ball bearings are capable of holding up to 500 pounds.

Can You Use Two Center Mount Slides on a Single Dresser Drawer?

Yes, it is indeed possible to use two center-mount slides to support a single dresser drawer. A setup like that is not often needed, but it can be helpful if you have an irregularly shaped drawer.You can purchase center slides of different lengths and use them to support your dresser drawer. The dissimilar lengths will allow the dresser drawer to move in and out smoothly despite its irregular measurements.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

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