Soft Close Drawers Hard to Open (Why & Fixing)

Struggling for your soft close drawers hard to open? Soft close drawers are becoming super popular. But, if not installed correctly, they can be hard to open.

Here’s how to easily open the stuck ones. Check it out!

Why Soft Close Drawers Hard to Open

Why Soft Close Drawers Hard to Open

Soft close drawers make cabinets quieter by gently and silently closing. But, if not maintained, they can be hard to open.

1. Misalignment

Misalignment of soft close drawers can be a source of frustration for homeowners, who often find it difficult to open and close them.

Misalignment issues can occur when the drawer is bumped or when the hardware is improperly installed. Without proper alignment, opening and closing the drawer becomes increasingly more difficult.

When misaligned, soft close drawers may stick in place or make a loud banging sound when opened or closed due to their resistance against their tracks.

In addition, if left unresolved, misalignment can cause damage to the drawer itself as well as its track system. If you’re having difficulty with your soft close drawers, it’s important to identify why they might be hard to open in order diagnose and fix the issue at hand.

2. Damaged or worn-out mechanism

One of the most common issues is worn out rollers and slides on the drawer track just like garage door alternatives. These components provide resistance for the drawer’s motion and if they become damaged or degraded, it will make it more difficult to pull out the drawer.

Additionally, too much weight in the drawer can cause wear and tear on the soft close mechanism which can lead to excessive friction when opening or closing it.

This can prevent you from being able to pull out the drawer at all without putting extra force behind it.

3. Overloaded drawer

There are a few factors that cause soft close drawers to become tough to open. First and foremost, if a drawer is overloaded with items, the extra weight can make pulling it out much harder than normal.

4. Installation issues

Incorrect installation is one possible reason why a soft close drawer might not open smoothly.

If the stops have been placed incorrectly, or if they have become loose during installation, this can cause binding in the drawer and make it difficult to open.

Another potential issue could be hardware related such as faulty hinges or screws that are too long and preventing the drawer from opening properly.

Finally, there may be an issue with the design itself which could cause binding within the drawer frame structure making it hard to open.

5. Manufacturer defect

In rare cases, there may be a defect in the soft-close mechanism that makes the drawer harder to open. If you suspect this is the case, contact the manufacturer to see if they can offer a solution.

Troubleshooting Soft Close Drawers Hard to Open

Soft-close drawers offer convenience and safety. But, they can become hard to open over time. To solve this, these steps can help:

1. Check if the drawer is aligned

First, open the drawer to about halfway and then carefully observe how it moves. If the drawer slides smoothly without any sticking or jerking, then it’s likely that your problem lies elsewhere and not with alignment issues.

However, if you find that it’s difficult to pull open or close the drawer, chances are the drawer is misaligned.

In order to address this issue, you will need to adjust the side bore screws on both sides of the drawer – this action should realign and level out any crookedness in its motion.

A Phillips screwdriver may come in handy during this process; simply tighten each side bore screw until you feel resistance when moving or opening/closing the drawer.

If it sticks out on one side, re-adjust it or tighten the screws that attach the glides to the cabinet. Fill gaps with wood filler or caulk.

2. Inspect the glides and slides

When your soft close drawers become hard to open, it’s time to inspect the glides and slides.

Troubleshooting these parts can help you identify and fix the problem quickly. The glides and slides are two of the most important components in any drawer system, as they keep the drawers running smoothly.

The first step in troubleshooting a hard-to-open soft close drawer is to check the glides. These are typically made of metal or plastic tracks that guide each side of the drawer when opened or closed.

If they’re dirty, bent, or out of alignment then this can cause difficulty when opening and closing them. To clean them simply wipe them down with a damp cloth and use a small brush to remove debris from crevices.

3. Don’t put too heavy items in the drawer

When it comes to troubleshooting soft close drawers that are hard to open, the first thing you should do is look at what items are inside them.

If the drawer contains bulky or heavy items like books and tools, it’s likely that these items have caused too much friction in the drawer tracks and make it difficult for them to fully extend.

Reducing the weight of objects in your drawers will help return them back their normal operation level so you can access whatever is stored inside more easily.

4. Clean off dirt

Cleaning off dirt and debris can help get them operating like new again. Start by using a vacuum cleaner or brush attachment to remove any loose dirt or dust from the drawer tracks and runners.

Hinges should also be inspected for any foreign objects that might impact their smooth operation.

Next, use a damp cloth to wipe down the drawer track and runners in order to remove any built-up grime or grease that may have accumulated over time.

It’s important to avoid using strong chemicals, as this could damage the finish on wood components of your drawers.

If necessary, a mild detergent can be used sparingly along with some warm water in order to break down stubborn build up on metal parts such as hinges and rails.

5. Consider lubrication

Proper lubrication of the drawer’s hardware can help ensure smooth operation and prevent sticking.

If there is no obvious damage, then apply a lubricant such as graphite powder or silicone spray directly to the drawer slides and other moving parts of the hardware.

For best results, use a dry cloth or brush to spread the lubricant evenly across all surfaces before gently closing and opening the drawer multiple times in order to work it into all areas.

Pros and Cons Soft Close Drawers

Pros and Cons Soft Close Drawers

Soft close drawers can be added to many modern cabinets. They use pistons to close softly and quietly, not slamming shut. They make cabinets look nicer, and cut down noise. However, there are some considerations before installation.


  • Soft close drawers prevent damage from sudden closures.
  • They add a high-end feel to cheaper cabinetry.
  • They ensure a calmer atmosphere.


  • Cost – custom installation adds to budget.
  • Slower operation – closing speed is slower.
  • Maintenance may be necessary – they may come loose.

How to Adjust Soft Slose Drawers

Soft close drawers give a smooth, quiet action when closing. But, opening them can be difficult. To fix this, you may need to adjust or replace the hinges and other hardware.

Adjusting soft close drawers is an important part of keeping your kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets in top condition.

Fortunately, adjusting these drawers is easy and doesn’t require any special tools or knowledge. Here’s how:

  • First, locate the adjusting screw on the bottom side of the drawer slide rail.
  • Gently turn this screw clockwise to increase resistance or counter-clockwise to decrease resistance until you find a balance that allows for easy opening and closing without slamming shut.
  • If necessary, you can also adjust the height by loosening or tightening screws at different points along the sides of each slide rail.

How to put soft close drawers back in

Soft close drawers provide a flat, jolt-free surface when opening and closing. They have a hydraulic mechanism, which pulls the drawer tight to the cabinet body before shutting. If this isn’t working, drawers can be difficult to open. Resetting the hydraulics can fix this. Here’s how:

1. Measure the amount of force needed to open the drawer – usually 4-12 pounds (1.8-5.4 kilograms).

2. Lift or gently pull open the bottom of the drawer until it stops. Then, let go and it should move back under its own momentum. If there is no resistance at all, something is wrong with the hydraulics/soft close.

3. Check if something is blocking, such as dust bunnies or items stuck behind.

4. Re-insert components and make sure screws are securely attached before testing again. This should fix any issues with unnecessary friction when opening/closing the dresser drawer!

How do you make a soft close drawer easier to open?

Soft-close drawers have been popular lately, but they can be hard to open. Luckily, there are ways to make them easier.

Adjust the hinges or slides. If the drawer has adjustable hinges, adjust them from within the cabinet or drawer. This will make it looser and easier to open. If the hinges don’t have that option, lubricate them with WD-40. For drawers with slides, check for dirt and clean it away.

Additional steps can help as well. Adjust pressure release screws, rotate worn hinge pins, and install brackets for leverage on large drawers. These simple steps should make opening soft close drawers much easier.

Can you adjust tension on soft close drawer slides?

Yes! Unscrew the mount screws or press the tabs, then turn the tension adjusting screw near the roller, clockwise for more and counterclockwise for less. Mount and install the slide, do this for each slide if you have multiple drawers.
Now you can access contents easily and get a gentle, reliable closure!

Are Soft Close Drawers Hard to Open?

Soft close drawers are a modern furniture design. They look luxurious and are convenient. But, people ask if they are harder to open than traditional ones.

Usually, the answer is no. Soft close drawers don’t affect how quickly they open. In fact, some manufacturers offer adjustable settings. This lets users choose their own speeds.

But, there are some cases when they can be harder to open. Heavy items in upper cabinets make them stick. This can be fixed by using the right drawer slides. Also, protruding corners or misaligned guides can cause friction. This can be adjusted with minor changes.

Can you use wd40 on drawer slides?

NO! WD40 is an oil-based lubricant. People often think it’ll make their drawer slides easier to open and close.

But, they’re wrong! Using it on drawer slides can actually cause more harm than good. It creates a slippery sheen and can build up in the track, making it harder for drawers to move smoothly.

So, if you’re having difficulty with your drawers, call a qualified technician. They can properly diagnose and fix any hardware issues. Don’t risk further damaging it with WD40.

Does WD-40 actually lubricate?

Yes, WD-40 excels at moisture displacement and rust elimination, making it a great choice for lubrication. It can also unstick parts like soft-close drawers and sliding windows stuck due to moisture and corrosion.

But, be mindful that WD-40 doesn’t have any lubricants. Instead, it has petroleum distillates, which can cause problems if the surface needs to repel water, dirt or dust.
When used on metal surfaces, WD-40 can prevent rust and enhance performance. However, it’s not suitable for plastic pieces like soft-close drawer wheel. For this, use silicone spray or an actual lubricant oil like 3-in-1 oil or gun oil. These will help the wheel run smoothly without damaging the plastic.

Regardless of the product, make sure to use it in moderation. Too much lube can make things worse!

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