How to Repair a Broken Kitchen Drawer

Kitchen cabinet drawers endure a lot of use, and over time, parts of these drawers will fall into disrepair. Often the track which the drawer slides on will lose screws and the drawer will cease to slide, leaving the drawer unable to function properly. Repairing the drawer slide often requires replacement of the existing slide, since usually the drawer will be pulled a few times, causing the broken slide to twist and bend. It is easier to replace the bent slide than try to make it straight again.

Empty the cabinet drawer and remove the drawer from the cabinet. Usually you can tilt the drawer and separate the slide to lift the drawer out.

Unscrew the existing slides from both the drawer box and inside the cabinet. Note where the slide failed and make sure the wood in those locations is still sturdy enough to hold the new slides.

Take an old slide to the store with you and purchase the correct type of replacement slide. Buy new slides for both sides of the drawer and replace both at the same time.

Attach the slides inside the cabinet. Place the left slide so that the bottom of the rail rests on the bottom of the drawer opening. The front should line up with the face of the cabinet. Screw a 1/4-inch screw through the rail and into the side of the cabinet. Use a level to check that the rail is level. Screw a second screw into the rail near the back of the cabinet. Avoid any damaged wood areas. Repeat with the right side slide.

Attach the slides to the drawer box. Place the left slide so that the wheel is to the rear. There is a ledge along the bottom of the slide that sits against the bottom side of the drawer box. The front of the slide should be even with the drawer box front and touching the inside of the drawer face. Screw the slide into place. Repeat with the right side.

Insert the drawer by dropping the wheels of the drawer slides into the slots of the cabinets slides. Lower the drawer until it is level and slide the slides together. They should move easily in and out.


Never replace just one slide, as it may operate differently than the other slide and the drawer may not open and close properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Drawer slides
  • 8 screws, 1/4-inch
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.