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Best Lateral File Cabinet For Home or Office – TOP 10 PICKS

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lateral file cabinet

A lateral filing cabinet is one of the best way to keep your important documents safe, easy to find and catorized.

The design allows for easy access and file visibility, while also being convinient to position in even the most cramped office or home study.

However, there are still a few factors you should consider before buying a new lateral filing cabinet. How many drawers and overall dimensions is obviously an important one. Aesthetic qualities and robustness of construction are other factors.

To help you in your search we have created this in depth file cabinet buyer’s guide. Not only that, we have pulled together, 10 top rated lateral cabinets on the market covering a range of sizes and price points.

For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For our comprehensive guide, plus detailed reviews of each of our choices, keep on reading.


Best Lateral File Cabinet – Top 10

LATERAL CABINETNAMEDETAILSOUR RATING
Storex 61259B01C18" Single Drawer
Lorell 60558Two-Drawer,
30" Cabinet
TOP PICK BUDGET:
HON Brigade 672LQ
30" Cabinet
Lorell LLR60938 36" Credenza
Sliding Door
Mayline HLT362JR5 36" Cabinet
TOP PICK
MID-RANGE:
Basyx 434LL
4-Drawer,
30" Cabinet
Lorell Fortress 6047442" Cabinet
TOP PICK PREMIUM:
HON Brigade H785LS
36" Cabinet
Lorell 43516 42" Receding Cabinet
Roll-out Shelves
Mayline HLT364 36", 4-Drawer Cabinet

Lateral Filing Cabinet Reviews

lateral file cabinet reviews

When searching for the best lateral file cabinet, cost can be the over-riding element determining which model you opt to buy.

Because of this we have categorized our top 10 picks into 3 groups; budget range, medium(-cost) range, and premium range models.

Budget Range Cabinets

The four budget range lateral file cabinets reviewed below retail for less than 600USD, and is limited to single-drawer and 2-drawer cabinets. All 4 models feature solid metal construction.

1. Storex 61259B01C 18-inch Single Drawer

Storex 61259B01C 18-inch Single Drawer

This is a low-profile, mobile single-drawer file cabinet whose stackable design allows one to expand the number of drawers to a maximum of 6 by stacking 5 additional drawers on it.

It is made of galvanized steel and features a rust-resistant coated finish. Its color scheme is mate black. For mobility, this model comes with 4 caster wheels that features a locking mechanism which allows one to lock the wheel and hold the cabinet in a stationary position.

This low-profile, customizable model is designed to be fitted at homes or offices where it can store printed documents or document files. It is made by Storex Industries Corporation, a reputable manufacturer of office hardware that is based in Canada. Its part number is 61259B01C.

It is designed for holding letter-sized and legal-sized documents placed inside matching document folders. The drawer is lockable and its key-lock system can be unlocked with 2 keys – which gives the owner the advantage of having a spare key.

The front panel of the drawer also features a label holder where one can fix identification label for files contained therein.

This model is shipped in a single cartoon box which weighs about 9pounds, and the load-free weight of the single-drawer version is about 8.72pounds.

Its durable construction allows for weight to be added on it – either in form of additional drawers or a printer. It also makes it scratch-resistant and dent-resistant.

Even so, it is recommended that the cabinet is held in a stationary state when it is stacked to the maximum (6-drawer version) so as to prevent it from toppling when the caster wheels supporting its raised stand unintentionally slide on the floor.

This cabinet is sold in a ready-to-use state, and it is 18.3inches long, 14.8inches wide/deep, and 12.8inches high. Its length-to-width ration makes it a lateral file cabinet, though its length limits it to only a single storage compartment. The drawer storage length is only 18inches. This product is also supported by a limited warranty of 90days.


2. Lorell 60558 Two-Drawer, 30-inch Cabinet

Lorell 60558 Two-Drawer, 30-inch Cabinet

This is a stationary, standalone two-drawer file cabinet whose drawer extension system features an adjustable glide and a ball-bearing slide suspension system.

It also uses an interlocking system. It is made of recyclable galvanized steel, and its final build features a rust-resistant coated finish. Its color scheme is light gray.

This model is specially designed to be fitted in offices where it can store letter-sized, A4-sized, and legal-sized printed documents and their matching document files.

It is made by Lorell, a manufacturer of office hardware that is based in the United States. Its part number is 60558.

This cabinet features a stylish design that is created by a smooth blending of its ergonomic features with its aesthetic profile.

It comes with hanging file rails that support side-to-side filing. To open the drawers to access the files, one needs to use recessed drawer pulls with each drawer having a single pull.

The interlock system allows for only one drawer to be opened at a time, hence preventing tipping of the cabinet. There are also counterweights fitted into the cabinet to prevent tipping. Even so, this model does not come with label holders.

This commercial-grade lateral file cabinet is equipped with a 3-part suspension system, core removable drawer lock, and adjustable stabilization guides, which make it a durable, long-lasting model. Its durable construction makes it scratch-resistant and dent-resistant.

This cabinet is sold in a ready-to-use state, and it is 30inches long, 18.6inches wide/deep, and 28.1inches high.

Obviously, its length-to-width ration marks it as a lateral file cabinet, even though its length limits the drawer to only a storage compartment – whether one uses back-to-front filing or side-to-side filing. The drawer storage length is 30inches. This product is also supported by a lifetime warranty.

This high-quality, compact model is rated as a safe and high-performance cabinet according to the e3 furniture sustainability standards of the ANSI-BIFMA certification program.

Its ANSI-BIFMA certification marks it as a reliable, durable, and sturdy lateral cabinet. Even so, it is much more expensive as compared to Storex 61259B01C 18-inch single drawer cabinet.


3. TOP PICK BUDGET: HON Brigade 672LQ 30-inch Cabinet

HON Brigade 672LQ 30-inch Cabinet

This is a fully-stabilized, floor-standing two-drawer file cabinet that features a double-walled base construction. It belongs to the 600 series of lateral file cabinets manufactured by the renown maker of office furniture, The HON company – itself a subsidiary of HNI corporation.

Its smooth drawer operation is supported by a telescoping suspension system that is supported and lubricated by ball-bearings.

It also features an optimized interlock system that allows for only one drawer to b opened at a time, while the other drawer is held in a locked state by a stable lock mechanism that secures its two side panels.

This cabinet is made of recyclable galvanized steel, and its final build features corrosion-inhibiting phosphate pre-treatment that is then followed with a baked enamel finish. Its color scheme is light gray.

Likewise, this cabinet is suited for office usage where it can store letter-sized, A4-sized, and legal-sized printed documents and their matching document files. Its part number is 672LQ.

Like other high-end, high-quality lateral cabinets, this cabinet features a stylish design that is created by a smooth blending of its ergonomic features with its aesthetic profile.

Also, just like Lorell 60558, it comes with hanging file rails that support side-to-side filing. Moreover, to open the drawers to access the files, one needs to use recessed drawer pulls with each drawer having a single pull – but these pulls in HON Brigade 672LQ are made from reinforced aluminum.

However, unlike Lorell 60558, the HON Brigade 672LQ uses a reinforced, weighted based as opposed to counterweights to prevent tipping; and it also comes with label holders.

This commercial-grade lateral file cabinet is equipped with a 2-sided lock mechanism, drawer extension restraint,  a core removable drawer lock, and 4 adjustable stabilization guides, which make it a well-built model. Moreover, its durable construction makes it scratch-resistant as well as dent-resistant.

This model is marketed as a ready-to-use product, and it is 30inches long, 19.3inches wide/deep, and 28.4inches high.

Obviously, its length-to-width ration marks it as a lateral file cabinet, but its length limits it to a single storage compartment.

As expected, the drawer storage length is 30inches. Its load-free weight is about 120pounds. Moreover, like other high-quality cabinets, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

This aesthetic compact model boasts of meeting ANSI, ISTA, and BIFMA certification standards. It also boasts of SCS indoor advantage gold-category certification.


4. Lorell LLR60938 36-inch Credenza with Sliding Door

Lorell LLR60938 36-inch Credenza with Sliding Door

This is a fully-stabilized, multi-utility floor-standing single-drawer file cabinet that comes with a sliding door and 2 unequally-sized posting shelves.

These 2 shelves are configured to allow for one to have an open configuration. The lower shelf is positioned aside the lateral cabinet hence giving this model a credenza configuration.

The upper shelf is positioned above the lateral cabinet and lower shelf. This low-profile model can be transformed into a seat if one fits a seat cushion atop the cabinet, and a specially-designed cushion for this purpose is sold separately.

This model is made by the U.S-based company, Lorell; and its part number is LLR60938. It can be upgraded to a 3-drawer model if one fits a 2-drawer cabinet, such as Lorell 60558, on top of it instead of a seat cushion.

Its drawer extension system features an adjustable glide and a ball-bearing slide suspension system. Also, the sliding door that covers the drawer comes with a locking mechanism that allows one to lock the drawer compartment. To open the drawers to access the files, one needs to use arch pull fitted on the sliding door.

It is made of recyclable galvanized steel, and its final build features a rust-resistant coated finish. Its color scheme is light gray.

This model is specially designed to be fitted in offices, including home offices, where it can store letter-sized, A4-sized, and legal-sized printed documents and their matching document files. Like Lorell 60558, this model has a stylish design that features a smooth blend of it ergonomics and aesthetics.

Like other commercial-grade lateral file cabinets, Lorell LLR60938 a core removable drawer lock, and 4 adjustable stabilization guides. Likewise. its durable construction makes it scratch-resistant and dent-resistant.

As expected, this cabinet is sold in a ready-to-use state, and it is 36inches long, 18.8inches wide/deep, and 21.9inches high.

Its drawer length limits it to a single drawer-storage compartment, and one can also use the adjacent open posting shelf to store file folders vertically.

The top posting shelf is for storing small office accessories. Furthermore, like other high-quality cabinets, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty. It also boasts of meeting ANSI and BIFMA certification standards.


Medium Cost Range

These are lateral cabinet models whose retail price range from USD600 to USD1,000. They are made of high-quality materials and are designed as heavy-duty models for handling rapid retrieval and insertion of file folders.

5. Mayline HLT362JR5 36-inch Cabinet

Mayline HLT362JR5 36-inch Cabinet

This is a standalone, fully-stabilized heavy-duty two-drawer lateral file cabinet that features a rugged construction, and whose drawer extension is supported by a full extension telescoping slide mechanism.

The file folders inside the drawers can be mobilized easily and quickly using either Kwik-Track or Mobile 1000. This model belongs to the Mobilizer series of file cabinets that is made by the U.S-based company, the Mayline Group.

Its telescoping suspension system that supports the drawer operation is lubricated by ball-bearings. It also comes with an optimized interlock system. Its model and part numbers are HLT362 and HLT362JR5 respectively.

This cabinet is made of high-grade, scratch-resistant galvanized steel with a medium-tone steel finish. It is is suited for office usage where it can store letter-sized, A4-sized, and legal-sized printed documents and their matching document files.

This stylish, compact cabinet is shipped as a ready-to-use office equipment that weighs about 123pounds. It is 36inches long, 18.6inches deep, and 28inches high which gives a lateral file configuration with a capacity of a single storage compartment per drawer. Its overall design is a unique blend of its ergonomic and aesthetic features. As expected, the drawer length is 36inches.

This heavy-duty model is equipped with hanging file rails that support side-to-side filing. There is also a recessed handle on each drawer for opening it.

Additionally, the drawers are supported by an anti-tilt mechanism that prevents them from either damaging their slide rails or breaking the drawer panels if a fully loaded drawer is extended out completely. Moreover, on the front panels of each drawer is attached a label holder.

This cabinet also comes with a drawer lock mechanism, core removable drawer lock, and 4 adjustable stabilization guides, which gives it a sturdy and stable build.

Likewise, use of high-quality steel makes the cabinet dent-resistant.  its durable construction makes it scratch-resistant as well as dent-resistant.

This ruggedized model comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and also boasts of ANSI, UL, GSA and BIFMA certification. With regards to its environmental certification, it boasts of GreenGuard Gold standard certification.


6. TOP PICK: Basyx 434LL 4-Drawer, 30-inch Cabinet

Basyx 434LL 4-Drawer, 30-inch Cabinet

This is a heavy-duty, space-saving, and fully stabilized four-drawer lateral file cabinet that can support both side-by-side and front-to-back filing.

It belongs to the 400 series of file cabinets manufactured by the HON company.

Even so, this specific model is made in Thailand. As a 4-drawer, it needs to be supported by vertical reinforcements to prevent it from toppling, and this is done by 4 vertical reinforcements.

Moreover, its smooth drawer operation is supported by a telescoping suspension system that features ball-bearings. It also has an optimized interlock system that allows for only one drawer to be opened at a time, while the other 3 drawers are held in a locked state by a stable lock mechanism that secures the two side panels of each drawer.

This cabinet is made of non-recyclable galvanized steel, and its final build features corrosion-inhibiting pre-treatment that is then followed with a putty finish. It therefore follows that its color scheme is putty. Its part number is 672LQ. It is designed to resist scratches and dents.

This large cabinet is suited for office use where it can store letter-sized, A4-sized, and legal-sized printed documents and their matching document files. Its stylish design benefits from the seamless blending of its ergonomic features with its aesthetic profile. Moreover, to further stabilize its profile, it uses a reinforced case construction.

Like HON Brigade 672LQ, this 4-drawer model comes with hanging file rails that support side-to-side filing. Likewise, to access stored files, one needs to use recessed drawer pulls with each drawer having a single pull. Beside each drawer handle is a label holder.

As a heavy-duty, commercial-grade file cabinet, it comes equipped with a secure drawer lock mechanism, drawer extension restraint, core removable drawer lock, and 2 adjustable stabilization guides.

The fully-assembled model has a load-free weight of about 162pounds; and is 30inches long, 19.3inches wide/deep, and 53.3inches high. The drawer length of 30inches limits it to a single storage compartment.

Basyx 434LL comes with a limited 60-month warranty, and boasts of meeting ANSI and BIFMA certification standards, alongside having a SCS environmental certification.


7. Lorell Fortress 60474 42-inch Cabinet

This is a heavy-duty, high-quality space-saving four-drawer lateral file cabinet whose commercial-grade construction allows for each drawer to be fitted with a magnetic label holder. Its drawers feature a full-width pull handles and dual locking bars.

It is fully stabilized with its reinforced base and interlock system preventing undue toppling of the cabinet. It is designed for side-by-side filing; and it belongs to the Fortress Series 42-inch line of file cabinets made by the US-based company, Lorell.

It is made from recyclable galvanized steel that is treated to a medium-tone finish. Its part number is 60474. Like other high-quality and pricey file cabinets, it is designed to resist scratches and dents.

This 4-drawer model is supported by vertical reinforcements, while its drawer operation is supported by a telescoping suspension system that features ball-bearings. It also has an optimized interlock system that prevents the opening of 2 or more drawers.

This cabinet is specially designed for office use where it is well-suited for storing letter-sized, A4-sized, and legal-sized printed documents and their matching document files.

Moreover, its stylish design benefits from the seamless blending of its ergonomic build with its aesthetic finish. Moreover, its reinforced case construction provides additional stability.

This product has hanging file rails for side-to-side filing. Likewise, it comes equipped with a secure drawer lock mechanism, adjustable leveler, core removable drawer lock, and ball-bearing suspension and slide system along with adjustable stabilization guides.

The fully-assembled, ready-to-use model is 42inches long, 18.6inches wide/deep, and 52.5inches high. The drawer length of 42inches can allow one to compartmentalize the storage compartment into 2 sections, one 30-36inches long section for folder filing and the other for storing loose documents.

This 4-drawer Fortress-series model comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and boasts of meeting ANSI and BIFMA certification standards.


Premium Range Models

These are lateral cabinet models whose retail price exceed USD1,000. They are made of high-quality materials and feature high-end build designs. The following 3 models are designed as heavy-duty cabinets for handling rapid retrieval and insertion of file folders.

8. TOP PICK PREMIUM: HON Brigade H785LS 36-inch Cabinet

HON Brigade H785LS 36-inch Cabinet

This is a heavy-duty, fully stabilized two-drawer lateral file cabinet with 3 posting shelves that are placed above the top drawer.

It also has 2 hinged locking doors in the posting shelves compartment. It is designed for side-by-side filing. It belongs to the 700 series of file cabinets manufactured by the HON company. This unique model is made in the U.S, and its model and part numbers are H785LS and 785LSQ respectively.

This medium-profile cabinet is supported by vertical reinforcements to prevent it from toppling, and it is designed to fit underneath a standard-height HON worktable/work-surface.

Likewise, its smooth drawer operation is supported by a telescoping suspension system that features ball-bearings.

It also has an optimized interlock system that prevents the simultaneous opening of both drawers, by opening only the drawer of interest and holding the other in a locked state using a stable lock mechanism that secures its two side panels.

In its basic design, this model resembles a 5-drawer HON lateral file cabinet whose 2 bottom drawers have been preserved while the top 3 drawers have been removed, and the resulting cabinet space divided equally into 2 separate compartments by a vertical partition, with the right compartment being further divided into 3 equal posting shelves using 2 horizontal plates.

A hinged door is fitted on the right and the left compartments, and the door pair serves to enclose the posting shelves. The height of the entire posting shelves is 37inches, with the internal height averaging 35inches.

This model is made of recyclable galvanized steel, and its final build features corrosion-inhibiting pre-treatment and a light gray finish.  The finish metal exterior is designed to resist scratches and dents.

This file cabinet is well-suited for office use where it can store letter-sized and legal-sized printed documents and their matching document files. Its build is further stabilized by the reinforced case construction.

Inside the drawers are the hanging file rails that support side-to-side filing, while full-length drawer handles allows one to easily pull out a drawers with a single pull.

Each drawer also comes with a label holder. Likewise, this cabinet comes equipped with a secure tamper-resistant interlock mechanism, drawer extension restraint, core removable drawer lock, and adjustable stabilization guides.

The fully-assembled model has a load-free weight of about 211pounds; and is 36inches long, 19.25inches wide/deep, and 67inches high. The drawer length of 36inches limits it to only a single storage compartment.

This model comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and boasts of meeting ANSI, ISTA, and BIFMA certification standards, alongside having a SCS Indoor Advantage-Gold environmental certification.


9. Lorell 43516 42-inch Receding Cabinet with Roll-out Shelves

Lorell 43516 42-inch Receding Cabinet with Roll-out Shelves

This is a heavy-duty, high-quality space-saving five-drawer lateral file cabinet whose upper 4 drawers feature roll-out shelves and receding fronts.

The bottom drawers features a fixed front, while the top 2 shelves come with roll-out binder storage. Due to the unique drawer designs in this model, each drawer needs to be secured to the cabinet by dual lock bars. Likewise, the drawers feature full-length recessed handles.

This model is designed and manufactured by the US-based company, Lorell. It is made from recyclable galvanized steel that is treated to a putty finish that is resistant to scratching and denting. Its part number is 43516.

This cabinet is fully stabilized by its reinforced base and interlock system preventing the extended roll-out shelves from toppling the cabinet. It is designed for side-by-side filing.

This 5-drawer model is supported by vertical reinforcements, while its drawer operation is supported by a heavy-duty, 3-piece telescoping slide suspension system that features ball-bearings.

This model is specially designed for office use where it is well-suited for storing letter-sized, A4-sized, and legal-sized printed documents and their matching document folders.

Its bottom drawer has hanging file rails for side-to-side filing. Likewise, it comes equipped with a secure drawer lock mechanism, adjustable leveler, core removable drawer lock, and adjustable stabilization guides.

The fully-assembled, ready-to-use cabinet is 42inches long, 18.6inches wide/deep, and 68.8inches high. The drawer length of 42inches can allow one to compartmentalize the bottom drawer into 2 storage compartments.

This unique model comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and boasts of meeting ANSI and BIFMA certification standards.


10. Mayline HLT364 36-inch 4-Drawer Cabinet

Mayline HLT364 36-inch 4-Drawer Cabinet

This is a standalone, fully-stabilized heavy-duty four-drawer lateral file cabinet that features a rugged construction, and whose drawer extension is supported by a full extension telescoping slide mechanism.

Its construction design resembles the Mayline HLT362 model, with the principal exception being that this is a 4-drawer model while the HLT362 is a 2-drawer model as indicated by the number 2 in its model number.

This cabinet belongs to the HLT36 product line of the Mobilizer series of file cabinets that are designed to be 36-inches long.

The file folders inside the drawers can be mobilized easily and quickly using either Kwik-Track or Mobile 1000.  It is made by the U.S-based company, the Mayline Group, and its parts number and model number are HLT3644606 and HLT364 respectively.

Its telescoping suspension system that supports the drawer operation runs on ball-bearings. It also comes with an optimized interlock system.

This cabinet is made of high-grade, scratch-resistant galvanized steel with a mist coated finish. It is is suited for office usage where it can store letter-sized, A4-sized, and legal-sized printed documents and their matching document folders.

It is shipped as a ready-to-use office equipment that weighs about 174pounds. It is 36inches long, 18.6inches deep, and 52.5inches high which gives a lateral file configuration with a capacity of a single storage compartment per drawer.

This Mobilizers series model is equipped with hanging file rails that support side-to-side filing, while each drawer can be opened using a recessed handle. Moreover, the drawers are supported by an anti-tilt mechanism, and their front panels feature label holders.

This commercial-grade cabinet unit comes with a drawer lock mechanism, core removable drawer lock, and adjustable stabilization guides.

Its steel build is dent-resistant. Furthermore, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and also boasts of ANSI, UL, GSA and BIFMA certification. With regards to its environmental certification, it boasts of GreenGuard Gold standard certification.


Lateral File Cabinet Buyer’s Guide

lateral file cabinets

Office work and office-like tasks require one to fill information in loose papers. For the purpose of documentation, these papers need to be stored in an organized and secure way.

This is usually done by placing them in file folders. These folders in turn need to be stored in a secure place. In the office, the furniture that is designed for holding these file folders is called a filing cabinet, or simply a file cabinet.

Different types of filing cabinet

In its most basic design, the file cabinet consists of drawers and a frame (or enclosure) that holds these drawers in place.

File cabinets are broadly divided into 2 groups based on the arrangement of drawers. If the drawers are stacked one on top of the other, with the width (the short side) of the drawer forming the front panel of the cabinet, then the filing cabinet is called a vertical file cabinet.

Generally, in this file cabinet, the span of the front panel is much shorter than the depth of the cabinet, and this (front) panel usually measures 15inches – as the drawers extend from their width (width-wise extension).

On the other hand, if the drawers are stacked on top of each other with their length (the long side) forming the front panel of the cabinet, then the cabinet is described as a lateral file cabinet.

The lateral filing cabinet

Lateral cabinets have individual drawers that can be internally partitioned to create two or more folder storage compartments that are arranged laterally or side-by-side.

As expected, because of the orientation of its drawers, the front panel of the lateral file cabinet is much longer than its width (or cabinet depth).

Lateral file cabinets allow users to extend entire drawers out so that folders stored at the back of the drawer can be retrieved.


Benefits of the lateral cabinet

lateral filing cabinets reviews

This ease of access and simple process of file retrieval makes lateral cabinets better than vertical cabinets in handling bulk paperwork in high-volume work environments.

More versatile storage

Two types of file folders can be stored in these cabinets; manila folders and hanging folders. Manila folders are simply placed inside the drawer and they rest on the drawer floor.

To ensure that these folders are stored in an upright position, or to prevent folders from falling down in an unfilled drawer storage compartment, a follower block is fitted.

The follower block

This follower block not only adjusts the apparent (or virtual) compartment depth, it also serves to ensure that the folders remain upright at all times hence reducing instances of paper creases. In some models, the follower block is simply a metal drawer divider.

Larger front panels

As mentioned earlier, the front panel of lateral file cabinets are much larger than the side panel, sometimes by an order of magnitude of 2 – which would make the cabinet twice as long as its width.


Let’s talk about dimensions

best lateral cabinet

Most manufacturers limit the drawer depth to about 20inches while the length can be 30inches, 36inches, or 42inches. Because of their length, these drawers usually feature two handles or a single long handle.

On one side of the handle is fitted a label holder that identifies the folders that are stored inside the drawer. The logic behind limiting the drawer depth is to allow user to access or view all the folders in the drawer.

2 drawer models

The standard lateral file cabinet can hold anywhere between 2 to 5 drawers. The 2-drawer model are compact and economical on space, hence can fit in cubicle workstations where they are placed underneath the desk.

5 door models

On the other hand, the larger 5-drawer model can feature a flipper door that allows one to access a roll-out shelf.

This shelf, also called a slide-out shelf or pull-out shelf, features a slide mechanism that allows one to move it forward so that folders stored near the back of the drawer can be accessed. Depending on the model, the slide mechanism can allow for either full drawer extension or the more popular ¾ (three-quarters) extension.


Types of filing

filing systems in cabinet

Front to back filing

Regarding filing, lateral cabinets allow for front-to-back filing, or the more popular side-to-side filing of folders. Moreover, innovative drawer designs allow for compartmentalization of the drawer space into 2 sections – one for front-to-back filing and the other for side-to-side filing.

Even so, such drawers must have a length greater than 36inches, preferably 42inches which creates enough space for drawer compartmentalization.

Side to side filing

Side-to-side filling allows for easy search of folders based on their labels. Even so, the folders must be able to handle either letter-sized or legal-sized documents. There are still folders for size A4 papers.


What to look for when buying a lateral filing cabinet?

filing cabinets

Even so, how does one identify a good quality lateral cabinet? There are six construction design factors that one should look for apart from the overall design of the cabinet.

These are build quality, interlock system, type of drawer extension, binder storage options, posting shelf, and quality of anti-tip device.

For one to identify the best lateral file cabinet for his/her needs, one needs to consider the aforementioned six factors along with storage capabilities and overall design.

Build quality

The build quality describes the materials the cabinet has been constructed from, as well as the frame design. Quality cabinets are made from galvanized steel, laminated wood, hardwood, or fireproof composite materials.

Locking system

Drawers in the lateral cabinet need to be locked when not in use. This not only allows one to only open the drawer of interest, but it also prevents the cabinet from tipping over (which usually happens if all loaded drawers are extended out suddenly and the cabinet lacks a good stand).

The lock used in most lateral cabinets is the interlock system made up of inter-connected lock-and-key components, along with lock clips (or sometimes pins) and flip-up door clips.

Suspension system

The drawer extension system is usually made up of tracks and a corresponding suspension system. Even so, some only feature tracks while others only have a suspension system.

Anti-tip device

Once the drawer is fully extended, there is need to prevent it from tipping over and falling down. This is done by incorporating an anti-tip device in the interior section of each of the side panels of the cabinet. A high-quality anti-tip device can hold the drawer well without breaking its side panels.

Drawer compartmentalization

Drawer compartmentalization for holding legal size documents require incorporation of either binder storage racks, or file bars which can hold the folders in a hanging position.

High-end lateral cabinets can feature both with the storage racks being made up of posting shelves for unsuspended folder filing, while the file bars allow for suspended side-to-side filing of folders.


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