Lateral File Cabinets are a Common Site in Today's Office

Lateral file cabinets fall into the drawer style category of office file storage equipment. Drawer style office file storage equipment is characterized by the use of pullout drawers which house top tab file folders.

As office space matured into more open floor plans the appearance and functionality of file cabinet needed to evolve as well. Lateral cabinets were created to address some of the inherent shortcomings of traditional vertical cabinets.

Lets face it, vertical file cabinets are not very aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Lateral cabinets on the other hand were designed to be much more attractive. Most have integrated handles, label holders and locks which provide a smooth sleek appearance.

Vertical cabinets also stick out from the wall. A standard cabinet with its drawer fully extended occupies 4 1/2' of floor space coming out from the wall. ADA requires another 3 1/2' of aisle space in front of that. Lateral file cabinets occupy about 3' of floor space from the wall when a drawer is fully extended. This space advantage allows lateral cabinets to be placed in hallway areas that vertical cabinets could never be considered for.

Lateral cabinets are wider than they are deep. Files are stored side to side or front to back inside of each drawer. Four drawer cabinets are the most common, but they actually range in size from 2 drawer to 5 drawers high.

[Filing Tip] - you can increase the storage capacity of a 42" wide lateral file cabinet holding letter size file folders by 15%, if you store the files front to back in three rows instead of side to side in the drawers.

The old adage, "You Get What You Pay For" definitely applies to lateral cabinets. While appearances may be similar, quality can vary greatly between the manufacturers who make them.

If you determine that lateral cabinets are the best office file storage solution. There are several important components to look at closely in order to determine product quality.

Safety Interlock Device - this is a mechanical device which prevents more than one drawer from opening at the same time which keeps the cabinet from tipping forward and injuring someone. Never purchase a cabinet that does not have this feature!!

Drawer Slide Construction - poor quality drawer slides tend to wear out quickly making the drawers difficult to open or close. So guess where manufacturers look to reduce costs in a file cabinets? The slides!!

{Money Saving Tip} - File Shelving is 1/3rd the cost of lateral cabinets.

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