Updated: May 23, 2015
Best Filing Cabinets - File CabinetsLet's admit it - the promise of the paperless office never arrived, and by the looks of it, never will. Whether you work in an office or have your own home office, chances are your desk and workspace is full of papers, crawling with files, overflowing with documents. What is the best way to store all this paper? The solution has been around for a long time - use a file cabinet, or filing cabinet. Basically a portable storage system served by sliding drawers, the lowly file cabinet makes it easy to store, organize, and file your important papers and documents. All file cabinets have the same basic design - drawers hold hanging file folders, and papers are stored in those folders for easy access. The main differences to consider when shopping for a file cabinet are size, style, and cost. See below for filing cabinet buying advice.
Types of File Cabinets - Cheap File Cabinets
Most filing cabinets come stacked vertically, with 2-5 drawers (known as vertical filing). The two drawer file cabinets are often placed next to a work area, allowing easy access to both drawers while seated in a chair. In larger office with file rooms, the taller 4-5 drawers units provide additional storage. Also popular are the horizontal design cabinets (known as lateral files), with longer drawers, looking more like a bookcase. Another option is the width or depth of the drawers - do they need to accomodate standard letter size files (8.5x11) or legal size? In terms of styles, the most popular file cabinets come in either metal or wood. You can also find real cheap plastic ones that are more like storage bins, but stick with the wooden file cabinets or metal file cabinets for serious office storage. You'll want to make sure the drawers have good extending sliding units that will support the weight of heavy files and not stick or jam. Also be wary of overweight upper drawers causing the whole file cabinet to tip over. ALWAYS LOAD YOUR FILE CABINET STARTING IN THE LOWER DRAWERS. Another thing to consider is buying a filing cabinet with wheels. For your home, that's probably not a big deal, since you'll probably keep the file cabinet tucked away in a corner or closet somewhere, but in an office, sometimes it's easiest to move the files to whomever needs them, and portability can be a real plus.
Where to buy a file cabinetIf you know the size and style of filing cabinet you want, buying a file cabinet online is easy. Amazon actually carries a huge variety of file cabinets - check out their list of best-selling models here. Another good site is JustFilingCabinets.com. Their goal is "to offer you the lowest prices on filing cabinets for your home or office", and we think they do a pretty good job of it. They sell only brand new equipment, and offer 30 day guarantee and return privileges, although they do charge a 10% restocking fee on returned merchandise. For some examples on prices, you can pick up a metal 5 drawer vertical cabinet for $275, with free shipping. Or a small 3 drawer wooden file cabinet for $149, also with free shipping. A large 3 drawer lateral file goes for $365, while a nice wooden 2 drawer lateral file is $319. FilingCabinets.com is another good site to shop for file cabinets. They carry over 150 models, and offer free shipping on all orders - beats driving to the mall to haul one back! They also have some good article on tips and suggestion for selecting and buying a file cabinet, with information on protecting your sensitive files, moving filing cabinets around (look for wheels!), and even the history of file formats and storage systems. They have live customer service available via phone during normal business hours, and they do not charge sales tax on shipments to anywhere other than Nebraska.
Finally, consider shopping or browsing at some of the online sites of the big office supply companies. Staples, OfficeMax, OfficeDepot all offer a variety of file cabinets to choose from on their websites, starting from $49 and going on up to $1000 or more depending on size, quality, etc. Plan on spending at least $100 for a decent small, home office cabinet.