Filing cabinets are an important part of the modern office. Differing styles create a huge range in sizes and you need to plan your purchases carefully. Important considerations when purchasing include the type and size of the documents to be filed, the floor space available, number of documents and the filing system in use. The most common types in use today are lateral and vertical. These cabinets come in all types of materials, including fireproof metal, wood and colored enamel. Black is generally professional looking, but you can find other colors to use in your home.
Lateral filing cabinets are the most convenient, allowing easy view of the entire contents of the drawer. These cabinets are designed so that the files face one edge of the drawer and are arranged horizontally across the width of the drawer. Given the design, these cabinets take up a significant amount of floor space. Lateral cabinet sizes vary widely. They are customarily available in two through six drawer sizes with drawers designed to accommodate anything from a standard letter size up to a legal size document. The standard depth is usually no less than 16 inches in order to allow the entire file to be pulled out from the cabinet. Drawer height is most commonly around 11 inches allowing paper up to at least that wide to be filed. The width will determine how much can be stored in each drawer. This number varies greatly and can be a determining factor in purchasing storage cabinets. The only issue is that they take up significantly more floor space than a standard vertical file cabinet.
A standard vertical file cabinet size is between one and four drawers. This style allows for more storage space per square foot, but they are typically of a more flimsy design and are less convenient to use. A vertical cabinet has drawers that pull out with the files facing the front of the drawer, which can sometimes cause files to be recessed far enough back in the drawer so that they are shadowed and difficult to see. The standard vertical cabinet is designed specifically with the standard letter size paper in mind as it does not accommodate a legal size without folding. The sizes are generally at least 20 inches deep, but only about 15 inches wide.
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