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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Cabinetry / Shelving Category


Drawer is stuck or otherwise hard to open.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Knife (preferably blunt like a butter knife) or other blunt thin and flat object

  • Pliers

  • Sandpaper

  • Bar soap or beeswax

  • Rag

  • Lubricating oil



If you have a hard time opening a drawer and find that it's stuck, it's time to pay attention to its tracking system.  In such circumstances, it is often the case that the drawer cannot be opened because it is off its tracking system, which can prove to be difficult to fix.  The drawer, under the circumstances, has undergone the stress of use--or really overuse--as the common cause of such a problem is that the user of such a drawer has kept over-laden objects or just too many objects in it.  In the future, be mindful of the weight and quantity of items you store in a single drawer and consider lessening the load.

To fix the the drawer from being stuck, do the following:

  1. Take a butter knife (or something like it) and carefully attempt to insert it in the outer-lining crevice of the drawer so as to try to unblock the blockage of the drawer while gently trying to maneuver the drawer back into its tracking system.

  2. Upon successfully setting the drawer back into place on its track, slide it completely out of the cabinetry as you normally would.

  3. Take the drawer and flip it over.

  4. Once flipped over, you will have a better look at the slide / runner / glide that, when in proper use, runs as part of the cabinetry's track system (the slide /runner can be located on the bottom or sides of the drawer).  Make sure that this slide / runner / glide (or for that matter the cabinetry's track) is not damaged or otherwise bent out of shape.  If it is, it must be correctly aligned to its original position.  Use pliers to realign the drawer slide / runner / glide or the cabinetry's corresponding track, as applicable. 

  5. If the drawer is made of wood, lightly sand the slide / runner / glide and then apply some bar soap or beeswax on it to ensure that it will run smoothly in the future.  If the drawer is made of metal, be sure to wipe the slide / runner / glide clean with a rag of any foreign substance that may be on it, and lubricate it with some oil.

  6. Put the drawer back into the cabinetry by sliding it back onto the tracking system for continued normal use.  It should work fine.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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