How to Adjust Cabinet Drawers

cabinet drawers before and after adjustmentAdjusting cabinet drawers is an important step that should be done as part of every cabinet installation, but may also be needed from time to time throughout the lifespan of your cabinets.

The video and steps below are specific to Blum BluMotion Tandem soft close drawer guides, but the overall steps and adjustments will work on most bottom mounted, full extension drawer guides.  If your drawer guides are mounted to the sides of your drawer boxes, these steps won't work.

Many people that install their own cabinets can sometime work themselves into a panic because "the drawers are all crooked!!!", but the fact of the matter is that they just need some simple adjustments. 

Drawer guides can also need adjusted periodically as the wood drawer boxes expand and contract as well as the weight in the drawer box changes.

cabinet photo

Most soft close drawers can be adjusted with two built in "adjustment tabs" that are mounted to the underside of the drawer box. Some guides also have tilt adjustments located on the back of the drawer slides.

How to adjust cabinet drawer guides:

Step 1

Assess what you want the drawer face to do.  For example do you need the left side of the drawer face to go up?

Step 2

Remove the drawer box. Release the drawer box from the guides by squeezing the two orange handles on the underside of the drawer box and pulling the drawer box away from the cabinet.

Step 3

Adjust the tabs.  The adjustment tabs are located on the underside of the drawer box and slide in and out. Pulling the tab out, or away from the front of the drawer box and towards the back, will raise that side of the drawer.  So if you want to raise the right side of the drawer face, pull the right tab out, until you have reached the desired height.

Step 4

Check the fit. Reinstall the drawer box into the cabinet to see the effect of your adjustment.  If you are happy with the adjustment, give yourself a high five and move on.  If it needs further adjustments, repeat steps 1-3 until satisfied.

Step 5

Adjust the tilt of the drawer box.  Some drawer guides have additional adjustment points that control the tilt of the drawer box.  The tilt adjusters are located on the back of the drawer slides themselves that are mounted to the cabinet box.  To adjust the tilt, remove the drawer box and use the tilt tab on the back of the drawer slides.  As you move the tab you will see a small mounting cleat move with the tab.  As the cleat goes up, that will correspondably raise the back of the drawer box.  By manipulating the tilt tabs on each of the drawer guides you can tilt the drawer both left to right and front to back as needed to achieve a level drawer box.  

That's it! You're done. Remember that adjusting cabinet drawers is more of an art than a science and that you may have to manipulate the adjustment points several times to get the fit just right.  

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