Filing Cabinets - How To Choose A Filing Cabinet

Since filing cabinets are so important, you should know what to look for in one.

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Choosing filing cabinets is more involved than simply deciding that you like the way the 2 drawer cabinet looks and putting it in your car. There are some important factors you will want to consider when shopping for filing cabinets such as office space, the sizes and types of documents you will be storing, and quality of construction. Here are a few of the facts you will need to know to choose filing cabinets for your needs.

Types of Filing Cabinets

You will find that there are basically two main types of file cabinets. The first is the vertical file cabinet that is the traditional look that most people are familiar with – tall and thin. These cabinets have anywhere from two to five drawers per cabinet and can accommodate letter- or legal-sized files facing the front of the drawers.

The second type is the lateral filing cabinet. They are much wider than traditional file cabinets. They are also not as deep as vertical filing cabinets.


How do you know a high-quality filing cabinet when you see it? First you will want to take a look at the suspension system that supports the drawers. Even when filled, well-built cabinet drawers should open and close easily and smoothly. Look for safety features such as one that will deter the cabinet from tipping over when several drawers are open – such as counterweighted drawers and internal locking devices. Also look at the metal it is made from. It should be thick and durable with a protective coating that resists rust.

Fire & Impact Resistance

It is a wise idea to look for filing cabinets that are fire and impact resistant. Look for the Underwriters Laboratory seal. This rating means that the filing cabinets will maintain an interior temperature of less than 350º F for one hour even in a 1700 degree fire

If you don't have to match an existing filing system, book cabinets or computer cabinets, you can save big by buying used filing cabinets from dealers or auctions. Used file cabinets are not only cheap, but are especially good buys because o lder units tend to be made with high-quality materials. Just be careful to check for dings and dents.


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