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Blum Tandem Partial Ext w/ Blumotion kitchen glides - issues?

Donna Armstrong
5 days ago

We are building a new home and to upgrade to the soft close kitchen drawer glides, our cabinet maker uses the Blum Tandem with Blumotion hardware. They are not full extension, but are partial extension. I wish they were full extension. How big of a deal is it that they aren't full extension? The standard glide is a private label drawer glide that is full extension but it's a side mount glide. It definitely is not as nice as the Tandem glides. I really love the soft close feature and would love to have this in my kitchen. I'm just wondering if by giving up the full extension for the soft close, would I regret it later? Or would the soft close be so awesome, that I won't really notice the partial extension?

Comments (19)

  • darbuka

    Why doesn’t the cabinet maker offer full extension with soft close? That’s pretty much standard now, even on lower end cabs.


    i like being able to pull out a drawer, and have easy visual and physical access to what‘s stored in the rear. Also, with soft close, it’s so easy to just tap a door or drawer, and let it close on it‘s own. No more listening to slamming, when the drawer or door makes contact with the frame.


    You are building a new home...with custom cabinetry...why shouldn’t you have what you want, especially with functions so readily available now? I’d find another cabinet maker.

    Donna Armstrong thanked darbuka
  • PRO
    Creative Design Cabinetry

    Knape & Vogt

    100 lb Cap Full Extension Soft-Close Slide, Model 8450FM


    About $10 upgrade.

  • Donna Armstrong

    I guess I need to clarify that I don't have a choice on the cabinet maker. This is who my builder uses. I also don't have a choice on which glides are used for soft close if I have the cabinet maker install them. So my choices are (1) stick with regular side glides and no soft close (2) upgrade to Blum Tandem partial extension glides with soft close or (3) do something post home purchase on my own. If I go my own after the house is done, not sure how I would go about getting the Blum Tandem full extension glide with soft close installed since I thought I couldn't just add those to existing drawers without having to do some adjustments since these glides are undermount and the ones that come standard with the home are side mount.

  • jdesign_gw

    You are not correct about Blum slides. There is not an issue about how far they come out. I've install hundreds of them. Don't know what you are considering "partial" extension. Blum does have a higher grade called "Movento" which are under mount also. Blum is one of the best and biggest in the world. They wouldn't make a slide that only comes out partially.

    Donna Armstrong thanked jdesign_gw
  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I have used full extension soft close on Ikea cabinets for years so not sure what the problem is BTW Ikea uses Blum.

  • Donna Armstrong

    @jdesign_gw, thanks for your reply. The rep for the cabinet maker is telling my design center contact who is telling me that the Blum Tandem soft close hardware is not full extension. She claims she has them on her own drawers and she hates them because they won't open all the way. Everything I have read on my own doesn't match with this. They seem to be very high quality and everything I have read says they are full extension and soft close. I have gone back several times through my contact to confirm this because I am thinking the cabinet rep is maybe confused. I even asked for the actual full name of the glide that will be used and/or a model number so I could confirm on my own. All we got back is Blum Tandem with soft close. It's been very frustrating because this shouldn't be this difficult to get information on. I was thinking of just moving forward with getting these and hoping that the rep has incorrect information. I would just feel better if I could confirm this to know for sure since it is an investment.

  • catbuilder

    "Blum is one of the best and biggest in the world. They wouldn't make a slide that only comes out partially." Umm, except they do.

    Can you find out the brand of the standard slide the cabinet maker provides? I would take full extension over soft close, any day, as long as the quality is acceptable.

  • Donna Armstrong

    @catbuilder, the standard slide is Dakota 100. Cabinet rep said it is a private brand.

  • catbuilder

    So they have a load capacity of 100 pounds, just like the Blum. They have steel bearings, which is good. I would go with those. If you don't like them, you can always modify your drawers (they almost certainly will need modification) and buy new Blum full extension slides and put them on yourself. You would use the existing drawer front, so no expense there.

  • Donna Armstrong

    @catbuilder, how hard is it to modify the drawers? Would it be easier to go with the Blum glides and soft close they have and see if I have an issue with them? Hopefully I won't and all is good. But if I do, then change out those Blum glides with the ones that are full extension and soft close? My thinking is that this way the drawers would already be ready to go and it would be a simple swap out of glides. Or is it not as simple as I think?

  • jdesign_gw

    Like I said Blum being one of the worlds largest and most innovative companies in this field knows how to make a drawer slide that fully extends. They are also not that expensive. To me they are not an upgrade they are standard and you can upgrade from there. Exposed side mount slides went out of favor 20 years ago.


  • jdesign_gw

    Drawers for under mount slides are built different than those for side mount. I build cabinets not "cats" have for more than thirty years.

  • Donna Armstrong

    @jdesign_gw, thank you for your responses. Let's say I go ahead and have the builder do the Blum glides with soft close and for whatever reason, they don't fully extend. Is it fairly simple to later switch out the hardware to the ones you posted a picture of (and not have to do any drawer modifications)? It's throwing me off that the cabinet rep is stating explicitly that the drawers will NOT have full extension but will have soft close. If she hadn't stated that, then I'd have no issues and would have moved forward with this some time ago.

  • jdesign_gw

    I can't tell you where she's getting her information. There's no reason for Blum to make a slide like what she's stating or for anyone to use something like that in today's market so I can't tell you how you would build a drawer differently in that case. Just looked at the whole tandem catalog there is only full extension.

  • PRO
    The Kitchen Abode Ltd.

    Not 100% certain but I believe the Blum is only partial extension due to the 100lb capacity. Our full extension undermount soft-close guides have a 80lb max capacity. Worth checking into as Blum likely has the largest selection of drawer guide systems on the market.

  • catbuilder

    jdesign, if you're referring to me, I do not build "cats". I have been building cabinets for 40 years and certainly would never make a clearly false statement that Blum would not make a slide that only comes out partially. You also say you don't know what partial extension means. Blum makes several models of partial extension slides. The 550, 552, and 554 models are all partial extension. They are less expensive than the full extension slide, which would be one of various reasons to use them.

    Donna, without knowing the model number of the Blum slide they would use, it is not possible to know if the drawer would need modifying to change the slides out later to full extension Blum. The various models also have different load capacities, (less than 100 pounds), so that is something to keep in mind. Does the cabinet maker have a showroom, or a sample cabinet, that you can try out the slide to see how it works?




  • jdesign_gw

    Even Blum heavy duty 150# are full extension. So what you said is correct you're not 100% certain.


  • catbuilder

    The 569 model (150#) costs more than twice as much as the 563 model (100#). Blum also makes slides with 30 kg (66#) load capacity. You really need to look at the specs for the model you are considering.

  • jdesign_gw

    I've never had to consider saving a few dollars on a slide that already cost me under 20 dollars so I may not be familiar with every model they have and they are not in the catalog I'm looking at. I mostly use their "Legrabox" system. If I need to use under mount I use their "movento". If this is the case I would question much more than just the slides.

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