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Side filing cabinets: function and style

Although the most common type of filing cabinet found in the office or home is the vertical filing cabinet, a side filing cabinet has many attractive advantages. Built with strength, volume and style in mind, a side file can hold large amounts of paperwork with less floor space. It is also more efficient compared to stacking multi-unit vertical file cabinets.

A side cabinet mimics a normal utility cabinet, with horizontal drawers that resemble those of a standard dresser. Files are stored side-to-side rather than front-to-back, as in a vertical cabinet. Various models of side filing cabinets come with flexible functional inserts that can be operated in any way.

By storing files side by side, the spacious drawers of a side filing cabinet make it easy for users to review a large number of files with ease. This feature becomes most useful in limited spaces where users have limited workspace. Due to its flexibility to store more files, this office furniture is most often found in schools, law enforcement offices, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other spaces that need continuous retrieval of files or paperwork. Depending on the model, this office furniture can have two or more drawers, which can be placed side by side if preferred.

Several models of this type include adjustable or offset drawers. This helps the cabinet not become unstable or the top is heavy when all the drawers are open. Most units that are taller are typically manufactured with a mechanism that allows only one drawer to open at any given time. A double-walled or reinforced side filing cabinet will ensure that the furniture will retain its shape for years. With steel roller ball bearings, the suspension and other design features make a big change with the ease of operation of the furniture.

Common components for side filing cabinets are wood and steel. Most designs employ a storage cabinet or office supply pantry at the top and a few additional file drawers at the bottom. For aesthetic reasons, a two-drawer side file cabinet made of wood can act as a functional support for a printer, fax or telephone. There are also several side filing cabinets that can be mounted on the walls.

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