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The complete guide to choose filing cabinets

Updated: May 11

The Definitive Guide to Choosing Filing Cabinets

Struggling to keep office documents organized? This detailed guide to filing cabinets will assist you in finding the perfect solution for your document storage needs.

Varieties of Filing Cabinets:

Lateral Filing Cabinets: These are broad, shallow cabinets perfect for high-volume filing in compact spaces. They range from 32" to 36" in width and can fit legal and letter-sized documents side-by-side or front-to-back. They come in various sizes, from 2 to 7 drawers, with smaller versions that can slide under desks.

Vertical Filing Cabinets: These taller, narrower cabinets are ideal for less frequent filing needs, typically between 15" to 20" wide, and need more room to open fully compared to lateral types.

Mobile Filing Cabinets: Designed for easy movement, these vertical cabinets on wheels usually have 1 to 2 drawers and are small enough to fit under desks. They often include a stabilizing wheel and lockable casters.

Side Tab Filing Cabinets: Common in medical settings for quick access to patient records, these cabinets allow easy visibility of file labels and might include roll-back tambour doors to conserve space.

Tambour Door Filing Cabinets: Featuring retractable doors to save space, these are ideal for tight areas.

Card File Cabinets: These are tailored for index cards and can hold sizes like 3"x5" and 4"x6".

Flat File Cabinets: Best for storing large documents such as blueprints and artwork, these keep items flat to prevent bending or damage.

Storage Islands: These units combine ample storage with a counter-height surface, suitable for collaborative environments.

Materials and Build of Filing Cabinets:

Metal: Typically made from durable galvanized steel and available in a variety of colors.

Fireproof: These cabinets offer insulation against fire and water damage, crucial for protecting important documents.

Laminate: An economical choice that simulates the look of wood.

Wood Veneer: Features a real wood layer over pressboard, providing a high-end look at a lower cost.

Solid Wood: Offers both durability and visual appeal, though it is pricier and requires more maintenance.

Filing Specifics:

Most cabinets are designed for standard letter-size documents, but many can also house legal-size papers. The arrangement of files within drawers can be either side-by-side or front-to-back, with the former typically found in lateral cabinets and the latter in vertical ones.

Safety and Additional Features:

Look for options like fire and water resistance, anti-tip mechanisms to prevent the unit from tipping over, and locks for securing your documents.


Choose from models with doors to conceal larger items or open hutches that display books and decorative items. Ensure compatibility with your filing cabinet.

When choosing a filing cabinet, consider the type that best fits your space, the material that matches your decor and budget, and the necessary safety features to protect your documents and ensure workplace safety.

For more information, visit or call 647-898-8918 to explore filing cabinet options today!

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