How to repair a cabinet drawer slide

Damaged cabinet drawer slides can be an annoying inconvenience. Sometimes it's due to lost mounting screws, but more often the slides are damaged. Replacing them is a fairly easy task, even for an inexperienced do-it-yourselfer.

Determine the problem by pulling the cabinet drawer all the way out and lifting the front to separate it from the track. Look for damage to the track and slides or for any loose or missing screws.

Try repairing the slides if they are bent. You may be able to bend the metal back into shape using pliers. If the drawer slides look undamaged, try realigning the slide to the track. In some cases, this will fix the problem.

Check the screws holding the support track. If any have fallen out, replace them and reset the drawer. If the slides are broken or badly damaged, go to the next step.

Detach both parts of the slides and head for the home improvement centre or hardware store. Using the old slides for size comparison, choose a quality metal slide set with ball-bearings. Be sure to get the right kind of replacement slide set---mounted on the bottom or sides---to meet your needs.

Replace the old slides with the new set using the screws included in the packaging. The new slide hardware may not line up with the existing holes, so you may need to drill new pilot holes.

Once you've assembled the new slides, replace the drawer, taking care to line up the slide and track. The new slides will offer sturdier support and smoother gliding for years to come.