17 Best Filing Cabinets (Review) In 2021
- The Best Filing Cabinet
- 1. Lorell SOHO Mobile Black Filing Cabinet
- 2. DEVAISE 3-Drawer Wood File Cabinet & Printer Stand
- 3. Itaar 2-Drawer Wood File Cabinet & Storage Shelves
- 4. Scranton & Co 4 Drawer 22" Deep Letter File Cabinet
- 5. Lorell SOHO 18 3-Drawer Vertical File Cabinet
- 6. Z-Line Designs 2-Drawer Washed Oak Vertical File Cabinet
- 7. Bush Furniture Pure White Oak 2 Drawer Lateral File Cabinet
- 8. Lorell SLeek Black 2 Drawer File Cabinet
- 9. HON BASYX BSXM Slim Charcoal File Cabinet
- 10. JJS 3 Drawer Rolling Wood File Cabinet with Locking Wheels
- 11. Flash Furniture Ergonomic 3-Drawer Mobile Locking Filing Cabinet
- 12. DEVAISE 2-Drawer Mobile File Cabinet with Lock
- 13. Dprodo 3 Drawers Mobile File Cabinet with Lock
- 14. Aurora Modern SOHO Design 3-Drawer Metal Mobile File Cabinet
- 15. EDGEWOOD Vertical Mobile Filing Storage Cabinet
- 16. Bush Furniture Cabot 2 Drawer File Cabinet
- 17. Z-Line Designs 2-Drawer Grey Lateral File Cabinet
Even with the advent of online storage space, so many organizations will always need to have physical folders, paperwork, and so an actual filing cabinet made from steel, wood, aluminum, or plastic is an essential addition to any office. Digital files, after all, can become corrupted, hacked, and accidentally erased, whereas a fireproof filing cabinet is virtually indestructible, and usually has excellent, often keyless locking features.
Actually, sturdy and heavy filing cabinets can also function as safes, and electronic items such as Ipads and laptops can be safely stored in them, so the actual and physical is, in the end, able to guard your digital and virtual from breakage and theft.
A decent filing cabinet as a quite specific office organizer, can help you remain ultra-organized, increase the level of security for highly sensitive documents, get rid of a vast amount of office clutter and paperwork, and believe it or not, can even add an element of style and sophistication to your working area, even functioning as furniture in its own right.
Below are some of the best filing cabinets currently on the market, which will be able to function well in terms of easy access, style, handle letter-sized documents, and will utilize your space in a way that works for you. Everything from stationery drawers to being fully assembled on delivery to being mobile or static will be explained, in order to help you make the best choice.
The Best Filing Cabinet
3 x Drawers for accessories, file – letter
Materials: baked enamel, plastic, recycled steel
Useful accessory drawer
The full high-side drawers
Lock secures the two top drawers
Three-drawer organizer – includes 18″ depth, optional casket kit
Stores letter-size files and small supplies
Size: 27″(H) x 14.3″(W) x 18″ (D)
The Lorell SOHO Mobile Black Filing Cabinet is a solid, no-nonsense filing cabinet that has three drawers, one of which is an accessory drawer. It manipulates a glide suspension mechanism which results in drawers that open smoothly and easily. Its four casters enable you to move it wherever you want, without having to lift it. Its sturdy steel structure is layered over with a pleasant black enamel finish. The utility drawer is useful for stowing smaller objects and supplies, while the larger drawers can house letter-size folders. It comes with a lock that can be used in the upper two drawers. It has a robust and professional look to it, which will complement any office or even home.
Secure the two top drawers with one lock
Four casters allow you to move it easily
Smooth glide suspension – quiet operation
Strong steel construction
Not aesthetically pleasing
High side drawers eliminate extra supports
Multifunctional and stylish
3 drawers and large open storage
Easy to move – 4 wheels
Built-in brakes on front two casters
Heavy-duty and easy to assemble
Distributed maximum weight capacity of 100lbs.
Overall dimension: 32″W x 16″D x 26″H
All tools and instruction included
This beautiful DEVAISE 3-Drawer Wood File Cabinet & Printer Stand also functions marvelously as a printer stand, so can fulfill two purposes at the same time, being perfect for home or office use. The upper surface is large enough for a scanner, too, while the two top drawers of the cabinet are sufficient for smaller items, including staplers, hole-punches, and other stationery. The single hanging file drawer comfortably houses A4 size files, while its 360 degrees swivel casters make for easy maneuverability, the front two even locking in order to prevent the unit from tipping over. The overall weight capacity for this stand is an impressive 100 lbs. It is easy to assemble, with some very easy-to-follow instructions included.
Color: Gray Oak / Black / White
Material: wood, PP
Product size: 32″ W x 16” D x 26″ H (81 x 41 x 66cm)
Total load capacity: 100 lbs (45.4kg)
Bottom drawer – uneasy to install; doesn’t close completely
Unfortunately, the material is actually particleboard
2 drawers with lock
Full extension glides
Holds letter and files with ease
Four rollers at the bottom
Built-in brakes on the first two casters
Overall dimensions: 39.4″ L x 15.8″ W x 25.6″ H
Versatile & practical
Maximum weight capacity of 100lbs
The Itaar 2-Drawer Wood File Cabinet & Storage Shelves is a very versatile, lateral filing cabinet which allows you to stow a whole range of private documents with its locking feature. It allows you to have open storage space, too, so you can keep those important folders and papers within reach. A laptop, printer, phone, and office desk lamp can easily be accommodated on its capacious surface, while the modern design is timeless and will fit into a home, office space, or anywhere else. The material is high-quality stainless steel, which boasts a satin nickel finish, durable and stylish. It has smooth drawers that slide out, using a ball-bearing mechanism. Its casters have 360 degrees swivel movement, as well as brakes in order to allow you to station the cabinet, or easily move it to another area. The top drawer is able to be locked for confidential documents, while the other drawer can be closed but is easy to access.
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Generous surface area
Open shelves – perfect for storing
E1 particleboard has durability and stability
Max weight capacity: 150 lbs
Very million component parts
Takes two to assemble – difficult instructions
Heavy-duty steel construction
Aluminum handles and label holder
30% total recycled materials.
Smooth and quiet drawer performance
Galvanized drawer body
Dimensions: 52″ H x 15″ W x 22″ D
Scranton & Co 4 Drawer 22″ Deep Letter File Cabinet is extremely robust, ideal for a professional setting in which there are many important documents that need to be stored in absolute security. The drawers extend out smoothly, due to their ball-bearing mechanism. The handles and label holders are made from aluminum and are durable yet user-friendly. Follower blocks are included, which allow you to alter the dimensions of each drawer. A core-removable lock means that cabinets can be keyed similarly. The overall look of this cabinet is one of solidity, security, and absolute dependability.
High-side drawers accept hanging file folders
Optional one-key convenience for multiple files
Adjustable wire followers keep files in place
A lot of room can’t be used in the back of them (3 inches)
A number of complaints about condition of product – after delivery
Accommodates letter-size hanging files
Three-quarter drawer extension
High-side drawers for letter-size, hanging file folders
Lock secures the 2 top drawers
Durable, steel construction
Black steel cabinet
This sleek and professional-looking Lorell SOHO 18 Vertical File Cabinet has three full hgh-side drawers that can easily handle letter-size, hanging file folders. The upper two drawers are lockable, for added security, and the overall material is 28% recycled, for your peace of mind. It boasts 18″ depth, chrome pull handles and also is made from steel that has a baked enamel finish. It is a great addition to any office or in fact a home office; best suited to an office where occasional file retrieval is needed, and a mid to high level of security.
14.3″ x 18.0″ x 35.5″
Chrome plastic pull handle
The metal is extremely flimsy
The drawers don’t line up
Finished in washed oak
Drawers accommodate letter and legal size hanging files
Full extensions glides
Metal rails for easy filing
Includes lock for security
The washed oak finish to Z-Line Designs 2-Drawer Vertical File Cabinet gives it a unique presence in any room. Its drawers have full extensions and glide in and out on metal rails, which enables easy filing. Letter and legal-size hanging files can be accommodated, while the locking feature provides added security. The color of the very realistic wood design is in fact dark cherry with accents of black, which has a classy, dignified feel. The top drawer locks for extra privacy, while all the panels are flush one to another, adding to its overall ergonomic and well-designed effect.
It can handle a heavy load
All the panels fit flush to one another
It has a classy appearance
Sleek with a chrome finish
Oak finish looks very similar to real wood
Manufacturer’s warranty must be requested
Takes hours to assemble
Drawers – letter and legal size
3 different ways of storing
Full-extension ball-bearing slides
Dimensions: 30″W x 20″D x 30″H
Unique X pattern accents
Sturdy and attractive post leg design
Filing cabinet matches height of Key West Desks (sold separately)
Bush Furniture Pure White Oak 2 Drawer Lateral File Cabinet has a perfect synergy with those who love the farmhouse and coastal decor or perhaps even live in such a location. This 2 drawer lateral file cabinet allows you to effectively organize your paperwork in three different ways (2 rows of letter side by side, 1 letter 1 legal side by side, and letter horizontally). It has a smooth full-extension ball-bearing slide that operates the drawers; letter and legal-size documents can be stored and easily retrieved. The unique criss-crossed motif promotes and a casual and pleasing vibe, while the post leg design gives that impression of stability. The 30W x 20D x 30H dimensions of this lateral filing cabinet perfectly match a range of other Key West desks, so you can further extend the available work surface, according to your convenience. You can also choose between washed gray, pure white oak, and bing cherry, all with weathered bronze hardware, to create a perfect look for your home office. This 2 drawer filing cabinet meets ANSI/Soho quality standards for performance and safety. It is supported by the Bush Furniture 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Bush Furniture 1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
Tested to meet ANSI/SOHO quality standards
Option of washed gray, bing cherry, or pure white oak finishes
The wooden dowels were missing
Many holes were misaligned
Takes hours to assemble
Accommodates letter-size hanging files
Stylish embossed drawer fronts
Easy roll casters
14.3″ W x 18″ D x 24.5″ H
This stylish, compact Lorell SLeek Black 2 Drawer File Cabinet is ideal for a home office It has two locking file drawers that smoothly slide in and out, while the full high-side drawers allow you to store letter-size, hanging file folders, the lock fastening shut both drawers. Its four casters permit you to maneuver the pedestal wherever you want, which is highly convenient. Meanwhile, the 18″ depth design, chrome pull handles, and steel construction are very sturdy and resilient, and the whole unit has a pleasing, baked enamel finish that looks professional yet not too clinical.
2 file drawers with smooth-glide suspension
Durable, steel construction
Baked enamel finish
Manufacturer’s warranty must be requested
The metal is extremely cheap; sharp edges
It is a safety hazard to put together!
Slim width – just under 12″ wide
3 pedestal drawers
3rd drawer – letter and legal sized hanging files
All three drawers lock for complete security.
Commercial-grade full-extension ball-bearing slides
Front caster makes this office furniture anti-tipping.
17. 7″ D x 11. 8″ W x 23. 2″ H
This stylish, modern looking HON BASYX BSXM Slim Charcoal File Cabinet has a round-cornered appearance, and can slot it in numerous places in office or home, measuring merely 12″ wide. Two of its three drawers are ideal for stationery and office supplies, while the third drawer houses letter and legal sized hanging files. All three drawers can be locked, however, and its front caster is designed in such a way to prevent the file cabinet from tipping. Assembly is a breeze because it comes almost fully assembled; the casters are really the only things that need to be added before using it. The drawer smoothly glides in and out due to its commercial-grade full-extension ball-bearing. This unit’s dimensions are 17.7″ D x 11.8″ W x 23.2″ H and it is supported by the HON BASYX 5-year Warranty, for peace of mind. Cleverly designed hidden finger pulls, hidden at the side, add to that modern, fashionable appearance, so this is an item that is going to add to the appearance of your home or office, not just serve it, functionally.
Easy to assemble
Furniture as well as functional
Limited color range
3 spacious drawers.
Bottom drawer accommodates letter and A4 size files.
High-quality wooden MDF boards
Prepared with melamine
Cleaning is extremely easy.
4 durable rolling casters
This pleasingly wood effect JJS Rolling Wood File Cabinet with Locking Wheels has 3 spacious drawers, which allow you to store items such as pens, printing paper, and a whole host of other stationery; the lowest drawer enables you to store letters and A4 size files. Meanwhile, it all fits snugly under your desk. Highly grade wooden MDF boards are long-lasting and relatively lightweight. The melamine material is designed to be resilient against everyday usage and to be cleaned easily (all you need is a damp towel to restore to pristine condition). The four rolling casters make maneuvering the file cabinet around trouble-free, whether on a carpet or wood surface. Two the wheels lock into place so that your cabinet can be used in a standing position. This cabinet is straightforward to assemble; all the relevant bits and pieces are included. It comes with a user-friendly instruction manual and can be done inside half an hour. The US based customer service team gives great support if needed, while a 30-day no questions guarantee gives you peace of mind.
2 lockable breaking wheels
Easy to assemble – 30 minutes
Customer Service team, based right here in US
30-day risk-free guarantee, lifetime customer support
25 structural pieces must be assembled
Cheap plastic – 2 hours to assemble
Ergonomic locking filing cabinet
Can be placed under most desks
3-drawer locking system
Two keys, replaceable lock
Low set casters
Interlocking drawers: prevents tipping
This sprightly looking Flash Furniture Ergonomic 3-Drawer Mobile Locking Filing Cabinet is as fashionable as it is practical. It has a decidedly modern feel to it, and its low set casters help you to maneuver it around an office area, for your convenience, as you regularly file away important paperwork without having to be rooted to a fixed location. There are two utility drawers that are ideal for minor stationery, office suppliers, snacks, pens, etc. while the hanging file drawer enables you to store A4 documents, legal documents, and F4 hanging folders. Longer documents can be stored by utilizing the useful conversion bar, while there is even a pencil tray for added convenience. Two keys come with your purchase, in case you lose one, or wish two colleagues to have one each. There are inset drawer handles which add an extra sense of modernity and minimalism to the cabinet’s overall appearance and mean you won’t have to worry about handles coming loose. The unit fits under your desk and comes fully assembled, unlike many other models that require a lengthy period of construction.
A wide variety of colors available
File conversion bar for vertical filing
Only the bottom drawer is for hanging files
Not deep enough for 11.6″ x 8.5″ file folders
One lock secures both drawers
2 high capacity file drawers
Different combinations for each drawer (letter, legal, and A4 size).
2 front wheels, 1 center caster – prevent tipping over
Overall dimension: 15.4″W x 18.9″D x 26.6″H
Color: Black / White
Total load capacity: 330 lbs
Load capacity of each drawer: 55 lbs
This clean-cut, white (or black) DEVAISE 2-Drawer Mobile File Cabinet with a lock will complement any office space. It is a commercial-grade metallic filing cabinet, with a 15.4″W x 18.9″D x 26.6″H dimension. Mobile filing cabinet with an interlock system that secures both drawers. There is a high capacity drawer which can easily house legal, letter, and A4 size hanging files. Its sliders extend all the way, gliding in and out effortlessly. There are two casters at the front that have braking capability, and one support caster so the unit won’t tip over. Being fully assembled is a distinct advantage because assembling filing cabinets can take hours. It has one lock which will lock both drawers, and the robust construction of this model has anti-rust electrostatic spraying which will last for a long time. It can handle 330lbs of weight, overall, and yet is easily maneuverable around a room due to its casters; there are two at the front and one in the middle to prevent tipping.
Sturdy metal construction
Anti-rust electrostatic spray
Bears up to 200 lbs in total
Made from cheap material
Letter-size file folder holders don’t fit
Fully assembled file cabinet – even with the casters.
1 lock secures all three drawers
3 utility drawers, 2 standard, 1 deep
5 wheels; 2 lockable, 2 non-locking, 1 Anti-Tipping (360° Swivel)
Dimensions: 15.7” W x 19.7” D x 24.4” H
This stunning Dprodo 3 Drawers Mobile File Cabinet with Lock arrives fully assembled when you order it, with even the casters in place. Just 1 lock secures all the drawers, and it comes with 2 keys for your convenience. Two of its three drawers are standard drawers with inner compartments, ideal for storing your Ipad, notebook, and other office supplies. There is one deeper drawer for hanging files, and hanging bars make for a more convenient way of altering the size in order to accommodate letter-size, A4, and legal-size documents. 5 wheels ensure smooth maneuverability; there are non-locking casters x 2, lockable casters x 2, and an anti-tipping caster x 1. This anti-tilt mechanism is useful in preventing accidents, or your coffee going everywhere! It is a heavy-duty design with overall dimensions of 15.7” W x 19.7” D x 24.4” H. Its steel construction is powder-coated for effect, and is lockable, thus allowing you maximum privacy. Its rounded corners prevent nasty bruising, while its 360° Swivel Caster Wheels enable you to maneuver it around an office space. It comes fully assembled, which is not always the case with filing cabinets.
Powder-coated steel; aesthetically appealing
Round corner prevents damage
Bottom drawer has problems closing
No locks on casters roll too easily!
1 Pencil storage drawer and letter size hanging file frame included
Lock secures all 3 drawers
High-quality drawer-glide suspension
Interlocking feature – one drawer at a time
Anti-rust electrostatic spray finish
This Aurora Modern SOHO Design 3-Drawer Metal Mobile File Cabinet looks professional, sleek, and aesthetically pleasing; all your essential documents can be safely stowed away in its 15.5″ W x 20.7″ L x 25.1″ H dimensions. It has a 1 pencil storage drawer, a letter-size hanging frame, and its 3 drawers are fully lockable. The drawers glide out smoothly, thanks to its well-designed mechanism, while interlocking drawers mean that only one drawer at a time can be opened, which maximizes its safe usage. It is very durable, owing to its solid metal construction with anti-rust electrostatic spraying finish, which gives it that sense of sophistication and class. Its ‘easy-roll’ casters make it easy to maneuver, while its front two casters provide extra safety due to their brake function.
Wide range of vibrant colors from which to choose
Easy-roll casters (front two come with brake function)
Unlock mechanism doesn’t work perfectly
Dimensions: 16″D x 16″W x 24″H
Drawer Size: 14.8″x14.25″x4.5″
Maximum overall weight capacity: 132 lbs
Eco-friendly laminated particleboard (CARB & TSCA standard)
Full assembly needed
Great for office, home, or studio
Can be used as storage cabinet or dresser
The overall size of EDGEWOOD Vertical Mobile Filing Storage Cabinet (16″D x 16″W x 24″H – not included casters) makes it a very useful addition to any office. It can handle 132 lbs of weight, while its primary material is eco-friendly laminated particleboard, which adheres to CARB & TSCA standards. Full assembly is needed because it is an impressive and durable cabinet, which should serve you well over many years. It can even be used as a dresser or office storage cabinet, so is able to multitask for your convenience. Due to its many drawers, you can use it for many different things; anything from stationery to clothing to important paperwork and far more.
Easy to move – four removable wheels
Scratch-resistant and water-resistant
Not suitable for under your desk
Annoying that it takes 2 people (minimum) to assemble
Durable design and ample storage
Includes open cubby and box drawer
Top shelf matches coordinating desks
Full-extension ball bearing slides on file drawer
Accommodates letter-size files
Full collection of coordinating items available
This classy, classic looking Bush Furniture Cabot 2 Drawer File Cabinet will grace any home office or workspace. It has a well-designed cubby shelf and box drawer, and has smooth sliding drawers, via ball bearings, that allow you easy access to folders. It doesn’t take up too much room, and its design and color match your executive desk neat so that its rich espresso oak tones will complement it. In fact, there are a number of items of furniture in the Bush family which will work very well with this cabinet. It easily accommodates letter-size files, while you have that peace of mind which comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, in the unlikely event that anything goes wrong.
Backed by the Bush Furniture 1-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
Rich espresso oak finish accented by chrome hardware
Takes 3-5 hours to assemble – many parts
The security latches (stopping doors opening) don’t work properly
Finished in grey, brushed nickel accents
Accommodates letter and legal size hanging files
Full extensions glides
Metal rails for easy filing
Includes lock for security
MDF/ wood/ veneer
29″ W x 16.6″ D x 28.25″ H
Lateral cabinet weighs 62.39 lb
The Z-Line Designs 2-Drawer Lateral File Cabinet has a smart grey finish with lovely brushed nickel touches. It has full extension glides with metal rails, which make for easy filling. Legal and letter-size hanging files can be housed in it, while a lock comes as standard. The antique brass handles are a nice touch, while its MDF/ wood/ veneer structure is easy to wipe clean. Assembly is required and, at 29″ W x 16.6″ D x 28.25″ H it weighs 62.39 lb. Legal-size or letter-size hanging files present no problem for this cabinet and is ideal for any office or home setting. It comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty, for extra peace of mind.
1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
Features antique brass handles
Material not listed in description of product
Not actually a legal file cabinet
Features To Consider With Filing Cabinets
Filing cabinets are the bread and butter of any office in the world, they are like desk organizers, but for the whole office. It is essential, even in our age of high-tech virtual documents, to a large range of confidential, authoritative, signed, and other paperwork, which cannot just be stored on a USB or desktop hard-drive. There tend to be three main kinds of filing cabinets, and it will very much depend on what your particular needs are as to which one you will end up selecting.
- First, there is a vertical file cabinet system. This is best used in an office that has limited floor space because it obviously takes up less floor space. Its drawers will be deep enough to store legal or letter size file folders; usually not both, so a choice is necessary at the outset. Shades of color, different locking mechanisms, types of pulls will all vary, so you will have to decide carefully in terms of what is important for you.
- Second, there is a lateral file cabinet system. They will often function with two drawers below, and a range of cubby holes above. They also permit you to store both legal and letter size documents, side to side, or front-to-back, so they are very versatile.
- Third, there is the fireproof file cabinet system. While not quite as popular as the first two kinds, they are nevertheless an excellent way of stowing precious documents, guarding against fire-risk. If dealing with highly sensitive information, this may be a good investment.
Ease Of Assembly
Filing cabinets are notoriously difficult to assemble from scratch, or at least from the component panels, screw, and sliding parts being delivered to your home or office. It is ideal if you can get a 'ready to assemble' cabinet, which can be used for a wide range of purposes, at home or at work. Another bonus to this kind of style is that it can easily be disassembled and reassembled when moving to another residence or new premises. They are usually on the lighter side, so can be packaged away and transported at a relatively lower cost than with more bulky models.
Some ready-to-assemble models can be made from wood derivative materials, which tend to be heavier than thing metal designs. They also require the one putting it together to have a range of tools, often a drill, which may make it more costly to assemble if paying someone to do it, due to the increased expertise and amount of time it takes to complete.
Another slight drawback to some ready-to-assemble cabinets is that there can be some rather crude and ugly connections on the outer frame of the cabinet, which may detract from the overall aesthetics of what is essentially a piece of furniture which also has functional purposes. It can sometimes be the case that a certain brand will ensure that specially-configured fasteners are needed in order to complete the job, which may or may not meet a given region's structural and safety standards. It will also be difficult if and when one of these fasteners is lost or broken, so this is something to bear in mind when weighing up the merits and downsides of a range of products.
On the other hand, if you purchase an already assembled filing cabinet, they tend to be welded together in a permanent manner, which can significantly increase the cost of shipping and transportation; therefore, when your cabinet comes you need to be ready either to assemble it yourself or pay more for a ready assembled product to be transported and lifted into your place. The difference in price may require some nifty calculations.
Filing Cabinets usually come with 2, 3, 4, or 5 drawers; they are designed mainly for a legal-size paper (18¼ inches wide) or letter-size paper (15 inches wide). Your average vertical file cabinet is 28½ inches deep, while each drawer can accommodate 27 inches of files. Shorter versions might be around 26½-inches deep cabinets with 25″ drawer depth, or 25″ deep cabinets with 23½-inch drawers. It is important to know how deep you want your drawers to be, ie. are you wanting the top two drawers to be for smaller items or documents, or are stationary drawers irrelevant. The number of inches deep really counts, on a practical, day to day basis.
Lateral files are obviously going to be much wider (33¼ inches of filing space, measured laterally) or 44 inches (the last with 39¼ inches of filing space), which allows you to consider if this is the best use of space in your office, particularly if you want to use the top surface area for other things, eg. photocopier, printer, extra cubby-holes, etc. Drawers can be arranged in various ways. They can come in just one row of front-to-back hanging folders, or they can come as side-by-side rows. You might want to consider the exact requirements you have, in terms of oddly sized documents of printouts, rather than just looking at the height of the unit as a whole.
Locking & Security
The best filing cabinets will allow you to select from a range of privacy settings; this is extremely important if you are working in a place where privacy and confidentiality is of the utmost importance, eg. the medical field. In this case, you're going to require a decent quality metal or wood structure; plastic just won't be as robust or secure; its locking mechanisms are unlikely to be as trustworthy or solid.
You will also want to guard against outside accidents, even if your filing cabinet is at home. Things like flood or fire can affect your information anywhere, so consider steel as a substance which is highly resistant to impact, water, and various other hazards that could occur anywhere.
Size matters; in the legal profession you are less likely to need filing cabinets that only house the regular standard 8.5” X 11” paper. The legal-size paper requires a larger space; similarly, in specialist libraries canvases, blueprints or other archival materials might need to be laid flat rather than upright, so you should check out the specifications to ensure that this is possible, so as your documents don't get damaged.
You or your business may need to purchase cabinets that can accommodate their larger documents. In addition, any archival materials, blueprints, and canvases may require a flat file cabinet. These models offer larger drawers that allow documents to lay flat.
Lockability is of course a major factor when weighing up potential filing cabinets. The most popular kind of lock is the cam or sliding teeth lock. Most higher-end models will have such a locking capability automatically, together with two keys to enable a few colleagues to have access. The cam depends on a metal bar to affix the drawers into position; the metal bar inside which actually rotates as you turn the key. The bar is actually fairly easy to replace, which is good news. The sliding teeth lock similarly uses a structure within the cabinet and is best used with cabinets that have glass sliding doors. When you unlock it, the sliding section actually becomes separated from the lock, allowing you access.
It is also possible to get cabinets with electronic locks that necessitate you having a special code. The upside to this is that you don't have to worry about carrying a key around all day and can also (if you are a business) monitor who is accessing the cabinet, and when. There is also the possibility of having another layer of security; a lock bar. This means that a metal bar can run along the length of the cabinet, fixed into position via a padlock! This is likely to discourage anyone who thinks they can simply pick your lock!
Steel, aluminum, plastic, and wood are the four main materials from which filing cabinets tend to be made. They each have their own strengths and drawbacks, so as you read through the reviews you need to think about what is the best option to fill that valuable floor space.
Steel is arguably the most robust, the strongest substance from which to choose, and will likely last for many years without wilting, sagging, or warping. They tend to be resistant to scratches and minor impacts so will endure in a fairly pristine condition for an extended period of time. They tend to have durable locking systems and counterweights for smooth sliding drawers, which have suspension capacity. On the other hand, they're not that pleasing to the eye and tend to be practical rather than beautiful. Other materials will offer you that dual function of being both furniture and functional work-horse, which is something you may or may not wish to pursue.
Wood is certainly the most attractive and stylish option out there. Although less immune from wear and tear; scratches and scuffs, this could actually just add to the sense of character and heritage. The actual substance, moreover, is every bit as sturdy and dependable as steel, yet it will bring a warmer, more ambient feel to any room, at home, or at work. One other downside, though, might be its weight and the lengths you'll have to go to get it properly assembled. The best companies will offer an installation service, though, and it might even be included in the overall purchase price.
Plastic is much more affordable and of course resistant to water damage. However, it is a cheaper option and is less likely to last for a significant amount of time. It is less secure, too, so if you're just looking for a fairly temporary solution with documents that aren't extremely confidential and private, then it could be just the thing.
Aluminum has many of the similar kinds of attributes as steel, but tends to be lighter and so less able to bear heavier volumes of documents; it might tend to sag, over time. Depending on the sheer weight of contents it might be perfect your working space. It is of course cheaper to transport, too, which might make most models more affordable when all is considered.
There are various orientations in which filing cabinets can come: lateral, vertical, flat, and mobile being the mains ones. Each one is perfect for slightly different uses, so it behooves you to determine which one would best suit your working environment.
- Lateral - These have drawers will slide outwards from the longest side of the cabinet, the major advantage being that you can examine and take out documents from a sitting position, and can store different sized documents therein. It won't have as much depth as the traditional tall cabinets, and is unlikely to have stationary drawers; however, it might fit well into a smaller space and allow you to put other things eg. a printer, on top of it.
- Vertical - The drawers extend from the short side, which will tend to mean more capacious, deeper drawers. Due to their height, they make good use of floor space and are using all that vertical 'dead' space which could be so easily under-employed. It also has that classic filing cabinet look, and is what most people think of when you say 'filing cabinet'.
- Flat - They are specifically designed to house larger documents that must be laid out flat. The drawers are more spacious so that even blueprints or canvases can be laid out therein, and you won't have to worry about damaging such documents by rolling or unrolling them. They are less common due to their specific proportions.
- Mobile - As the name suggests, they can be easily maneuvered around an office, due to their casters which allow you to roll it from one location to another. With shorter versions, you can roll it underneath your desk and lock it into position, with lockable wheels. Some filing cabinets come with optional casters, so you can convert it to a mobile filing cabinet if you need it.
There are sizes of file cabinets out there; you owe it to yourself or your team to think carefully about the best use of floor space, and what exact needs you have as an individual or organization. The advantage of traditional tall, vertical file cabinets is that you're employing that empty space, and can fit in more cabinets as your business grows. You also need to consider if employees will have easy access, ample storage space, and whether you want it to function as a piece of furniture as well as a functional piece of practical equipment. It's as much about style and taste as it is about precise proportions. The kind of filing cabinet you end up choosing will say something about you.
How strong your filing cabinet is may depend upon what you intend to put in it, and whether you intend to completely fill it before investing in another one. Clearly, steel is the strongest substance; however, you might opt for a more mobile choice with casters, in which case you won't be wanting a heavier material, or then again maybe you will. Wooden cabinets are also known for being extremely durable and long-lasting. Plastic, on the other hand, is rather more flimsy, while aluminum is a halfway house; sturdier enough but not particularly resilient to heavier loads and long-term use.
The normal weight of a common steel filing cabinet with 4 drawers is anything up to 150 pounds. Of course, this is when it is empty rather than full to the brim with paperwork. In that case, it can weigh anything up to 440 pounds. That's just the average, though, and some cabinets can weigh up to 750 pounds when full! If that isn't amazing enough, consider fireproof filing cabinets. They can be up to 800 pounds when empty - a whopping 1,400 pounds when full! It is of course imperative that your office floor, if not a first-floor, is strong enough to bear a load of several full fireproof filing cabinets in one small space.