How to repair ball bearing drawer slides

Ball-bearing drawer slides are durable and reliable. Some are cycled-tested. This means they are opened and closed by robotic arms hundreds of times. This ensures they are robust enough to endure regular use. Occasionally, a screw holding one of the runner arms in place might come loose, allowing the arm to splay. This will cause the drawer to run less smoothly or stick.

Open the drawer. Remove its contents. Unscrew the runner arms. Black and Decker suggest using an electric screwdriver but a manual screwdriver is adequate. Remove the drawer from the cabinet.

Turn the drawer on its side. Fill the screw hole with premium grade, quick setting wood filler. Use a wood filler that can be screwed into when dry. Proceed in like manner for any other enlarged screw holes. Leave the wood filler to dry, according to specific instructions.

Redrill the hole in the same place, using a slightly smaller drill bit than the screw needs. This will ensure the screw goes in tightly. Do the same for any other refilled holes. Screw the runner arms back to the sides of the drawer.

Replace the drawer in the cabinet. Test the running action. Return the drawer contents to the drawer. Test again.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wood filler
  • Drill and bit
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About the Author

Frank Luger had his first educational resources published in the early 1990s. He worked on a major reading system for Cambridge University Press, became an information-technology adviser and authored interactive whiteboard resources for "The Guardian." Luger studied English literature and holds a Bachelor of Education honors degree from Leeds University.