Lateral File Cabinets: Function and Style

Although the type of file cabinet most often found in the office or home is the vertical file cabinet, a lateral file cabinet has many attractive advantages. Built with strength, volume, and style in mind, a lateral file cabinet 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 regular utilitarian cabinet, with horizontal drawers that resemble those in a standard dresser. Files are stored side to side instead of front to back, like in a vertical cabinet. Several models of lateral files come with flexible operating inserts that can be operated in any way.

By storing files side by side, a lateral file cabinet’s spacious drawers make it easy for its users to go through large numbers of files with ease. This feature becomes more useful in confined spaces where users are presented with limited work space. Due to its flexibility to store more files, this office furniture is found most of the time in schools, police 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 counterbalanced drawers. This helps keep the cabinet from becoming unstable or heavy when all the drawers are opened. The taller units are usually made with a mechanism that allows only one drawer to be opened at a time. A double-walled or reinforced lateral file cabinet will ensure that furniture retains its shape for years to come. With steel ball bearings for rollers, suspension and other design features, it makes a big difference with the ease of operation of the furniture.

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