There are essentially 3 different categories of kitchen cabinet drawer slides. On the low cost end of the spectrum you have standard epoxy coated metal slides, the next step up are the full ball bearing side mount slides, and lastly the coveted undermount and/or self closing kitchen cabinet drawer slide.
Epoxy Coated Metal Kitchen Cabinet Drawer Slide
The epoxy coated metal slide is going to be your entry level model. This slide is often found on lower priced kitchen cabinets or as basic option for custom kitchen cabinets. The main drawbacks of this slide is that it is not full extension. This means the kitchen cabinet drawer can only pull out ¾ of the way. Another main problem is that these kitchen cabinet slides have a low weight rating. On the positive side, they are easy to operate, there are no major maintenance or adjustment to worry about. In short, they just work as they should without any headache. If you happen to need to replace one or all of the slides on your kitchen cabinets, these slides are an nice and inexpensive way to go. Price range for epoxy coated kitchen cabinet drawer slides is $5-$20 a pair.
Ball Bearing Side Mount Kitchen Cabinet Drawer Slide
Next up are the side mount ball bearing kitchen cabinet slides. These kitchen cabinet slides use ball bearing technology to move the drawer in and out. As opposed to the single wheel system on the epoxy coated slides, these have numerous highly oiled balls that gently move the drawer. These kitchen cabinet drawer slides solve the two main drawbacks of the epoxy coated drawer slides. Ball bearing slides allow the drawer to extend fully so that items in the rear of the drawer are easily accessible. Also ball bearing slides can handle much more weight than the light weight epoxy coated kitchen cabinet drawer slides. Price range for side-mount, ball bearing kitchen cabinet drawer slides is $20-$30 a pair.
Under-mount Self Closing Kitchen Cabinet Drawer Slide
Now onto the luxury market, the under-mount, self closing, full extension, heavy weight kitchen cabinet drawer slides. These slides seem to solve all the problems. They are under-mount, so you never have to see them! They are full extension and the best part that everybody loves, the self-closing! Always a point of conversations. People are just simply amazed by this rather basic technology. Also you no longer have to worry about drawers slamming shut as this mechanism prevents it. Price range for under-mount, self-closing kitchen cabinet drawer slides is $25-$75+ for a designer pair.