If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, then the chances are that you have a good amount of kitchen tools and gadgets. You may have appliances like blenders, coffee machines, and stand mixers that you only bring out when necessary. Your kitchen drawers are built to support these items, but they do have limits. To prevent any accidents, you want to make sure that your drawers are not overloaded, so we researched to find out what the limits are.
The average kitchen drawer can support forty to fifty pounds of weight. Larger, heavy-duty drawers can support from seventy-five up to one hundred pounds. The drawer manufacturer will have specific weight restrictions, so it is best to contact them if you are unsure.
You can save yourself from repairs in the long run by knowing your kitchen cabinets' weight capacity. Most importantly, you can avoid damage to your kitchenware. Keep reading for more weight limit information if you want to get the best use out of your kitchen drawers.
What Determines Weight Capacity
The weight capacity of drawers is determined by factors such as drawer slide rating, drawer size, and materials. The drawer slide rating tells you how much weight that the sliding hardware can bear. The weight of the drawer itself will also influence how much you can store.
Drawer slide rating
This is the most important information to consider when loading your drawers. The rating given to drawer slides falls under three categories: light, medium, and heavy-duty. The standard slides used in kitchen drawers are in the light to the medium-duty range.
Light duty slides support up to seventy-five pounds, which makes them perfect for holding kitchenware and dishes. Medium-duty slides hold up to one hundred and twenty pounds and are great for holding heavy pots and kitchen appliances. Heavy-duty slides support up to five hundred pounds and are commonly found in pantries or filing cabinets.
Drawers can be made of many different materials; the most popular are hardwood, metal, and MDF. The materials have different weights that need to be accounted for. The slide rating applies to everything that the slides will support, including your items and the drawer holding them.
The heaviest material would be metal; however, it is also the strongest. Solid metal drawers are not typical in the kitchen, but you can find these wire drawers easily. You get the durability of metal while keeping it lightweight.
The next heaviest material is wood. Solid wood drawers will vary in weight depending on the species of wood.
The lightest is MDF or plywood, which is a popular material across many brands. These drawers give the appearance of wood with a fraction of the weight.
Lastly, the size of your drawer combined with its material will determine its final weight. Drawers can be customized to fit any space, but the more significant the draw, the heavier it is. A standard drawer has depths ranging from twelve to sixteen inches and widths from nine to twenty inches.
The weight of the empty drawer will be subtracted from the slide weight rating. The remainder is the maximum capacity of the drawer. For example, let's say you have a large metal drawer on a light-duty slide. Due to the weight of the drawer, you cannot load it as much as if it were made of a lighter material.
How Can You Determine How Much Weight Your Kitchen Drawers Hold?
The best way to determine weight limits is to consult the manufacturer of your kitchen drawers. If you cannot get manufacturer-specific weight ratings, there is a way to test weight capacities on your own. After loading the drawer with your desired items, test how well it opens and closes.
If it feels like the drawer is not sliding out as easily, you may want to remove a few things. Without knowing for sure, it is safe to stay under the seventy-five pound limit for light-weight slides. If you would like to exceed that, check the status of the drawer every time you go into it. Take note of if the slides are beginning to come unscrewed from the cabinet.
What Happens If You Overweight Kitchen Drawers?
If you surpass the weight rating on a frequently used drawer, it will become more and more dangerous each time you pull it out. The biggest threat is the drawer slides; they can fail, and the drawer will fall if it cannot hold the load. Not only would you have to replace the slides, but you can also damage the items inside.
The bottom of the drawer can also become loose if it is overloaded. If that happens, you will need to replace or repair the drawer. If your drawer is not overloaded and you still have problems with the slides, read our guide on how to help drawers slide easier.
How Can You Make Kitchen Drawers Stronger?
Now that you know what affects the weight limit of your drawers, you may wonder if you can make them stronger. Luckily, you can upgrade your drawer hardware to increase the maximum weight capacity. If you find your drawers sagging under the weight, you can reinforce them as well.
Replace drawer slides
The best way to increase your drawer's weight capacity is to replace the original slide system. There are a few different kinds of drawer mounts: center, side, and under mounts. If you have problems with your drawer slides, read our guide on what to do if kitchen drawers open by themselves.
If you are upgrading your hardware, then these slides are a great choice. These have a one hundred pound weight capacity. You can store all of your kitchen necessities with multiple drawers of this strength. Not only can you replace drawer slides to support more weight, but you can also upgrade for utility.
You can replace regular slides with soft-close slides. After manually pushing the drawer, soft-close slides will pull in the last centimeter. Even with a forceful push, instead of slamming, it will close without sound.
Upgrading to these will allow the entire drawer to come out fully. Normal slides make it impossible to see the back of the drawer without pulling it out. The process of replacing your drawer slides can be seen in the following video.
Reinforce drawer bottom
Sometimes, you may find that the slides are holding up fine, but the bottom is not sturdy. Most kitchen drawers are built to be strong, but there is a simple fix if you are experiencing problems. Drawer bottoms can be reinforced to correct or prevent sagging.
To reinforce the drawer bottom, you can purchase something called a drawer repair kit. These kits use steel brackets and screws to add strength to drawers. You can install multiple brackets for larger drawers.
There are not many rules for kitchen drawers, but the most important one is the weight limit. You should follow these guidelines to extend the life of your cabinetry. You are even able to upgrade your drawers to fit your storage needs if required. To be on the safe side, if you are unsure of weight ratings, follow limits for light-duty drawer slides.