Three Features to Consider Before Buying a File Cabinet

If you’re looking for a way to safeguard important files, receipts, and documents, a lockable file cabinet might offer a solution.

A secure file cabinet can protect your files without looking like its meant for a corner office.
A secure file cabinet can protect your files without looking like its meant for a corner office.Bush Furniture

Choosing file cabinets for your office is easy, if you know what to look for. Available space to house cabinets is a primary concern, but buyers also need to consider security, aesthetics, and what file cabinets hold up best in high-traffic areas. The following tips will help answer all of your basic questions about office files to help you find the cabinets that are just right for you.

Size Matters

Lorell SOHO Mobile Cabinet
This file rolls easily on four casters, and the top two drawers also lock to secure sensitive documents and other valuables.Lorell

Vertical file cabinets take up less space and come in two-, three-, four- and five-drawer designs. Letter-size verticals are generally 15-inches wide while legal-size files are 18¼-inches wide. Two-drawer models are typically 29-inches high and go up to 60 inches in height for five-drawer cabinets. Typical vertical file cabinets are 28½-inches deep. Since standard desktop heights are between 28 and 30 inches, you may find a two-draw model fits under your present desktop perfectly. If you want to set up a workstation in a hurry, you might even consider buying a desktop and simply placing it atop a set of two-drawer files. Just be sure you allow enough room for file drawers to open fully. Your office needs to be able accommodate the depth of the vertical cabinet (around 29 inches), plus the length of the open drawer, which is an additional 29 inches. Lateral file cabinets are generally 20-inches deep. They require less interior space to open, but they do require more wall space. One advantage to laterals is that they can double as a second worktop.Before purchasing, check the description to make sure the cabinet you’re considering can hold legal files if you need them (some allow you to place legal files in sideways). Also check to see if hanging files can hook onto the outer edge of the drawers or if you need to buy hanging bars—racks for hanging files on—that set up inside the drawers.

Be Secure

Lorell 18 Deep 2-Drawer File Cabinet
This two-drawer model sits flush to the floor and features a lockable drawer for securing important files.Lorell

If you handle a lot of sensitive materials or simply want to avoid other people snooping around in your file drawers, consider models that have lockable drawers. If you’re planning on storing important documents like wills, social security cards, or birth certificates, fireproof file cabinets may be a good investment.

Easy on the Eyes

Bush Furniture Key West 2 Drawer Lateral File Cabinet
The two file drawers on this cabinet feature full-extension, ball bearing slides for smooth opening and closing.Bush Furniture

If you often hold client meetings in your office, the look of your file cabinets may be important. Just remember, nothing beats the luxurious look of wooden file cabinets, but they can show wear after a while. Steel cabinets may not look quite as classy, but they are generally tougher and come in a variety of colors. If you’re files are going to be in a high-traffic area, steel cabinets are the way to go.