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Understanding Various Types of Office File Cabinet

Posted on February 08 2021

types office file cabinet

Whether you work in a traditional office space or from home, storage is one of the single most important components to consider for any office. And while there are a few forms of storage out there, perhaps the most well-known is the file cabinet.

At Urban 9-5, we offer a wide selection of storage options within our industrial office furniture catalog, including multiple different file cabinet choices depending on your needs. If you're new to the office storage realm, however, you may not have realized that there are actually several different file cabinet types -- which should you be looking for as you browse your options? Here's a primer on each of them and how they're generally used within the office.

Lateral File Cabinets

The lateral file cabinet, also called a horizontal file cabinet, is the most common type of file cabinet. These cabinets can be found in just about every office and are typically used to store larger files that don't need to be accessed on a daily basis. Often, lateral filing cabinets will have several drawers broken up into different widths and often with drop-front tops.

A very important thing to note about lateral file cabinets is that they are not designed to hold heavy files. If you have any weighing more than a few pounds, it's best to store those elsewhere so that you avoid damaging your cabinet.

Due to their popularity and use in nearly every office space, lateral file cabinets are available in a wide range of styles and price points. For example, our flagship Urban 9-5 collection offers several different lateral file cabinets that are great for an entry-level need or to expand your existing storage system.

Vertical File Cabinets

Vertical file cabinets, on the other hand, are designed specifically to hold heavier files. These cabinets are more compact in nature than lateral file cabinets, making them a great choice for smaller spaces. Vertical file cabinets are also designed for very heavy use and often include features like key locks or two-drawer handles that make it easier to store your most important files with peace of mind.

Vertical file cabinets also offer the option of placing items on top of the cabinets, making them a good choice for keeping large volumes of files in reach without having to bend over constantly -- it also makes these cabinets a great alternative for individuals who have back problems.

Costs of vertical file cabinets won't vary as much as for horizontal options, but there's still a sizable range available. This will largely depend on material chosen, plus the size and style of the cabinet.

Mobile File Cabinets

Another common choice for many office spaces is the mobile file cabinet, also called a mobile file. This type of file cabinet is often used in smaller offices that don't have room for larger cabinets, as the design makes it easy to open and close drawers while also being easily moved around the office.

Mobile files can often be found on casters or wheels so that they can easily be rolled from one place to another. This makes them especially popular among individuals who have to work in different areas of the office and need their filing cabinets to be highly mobile.

The cost of a mobile file will depend largely on material used, as well as size and style. Lighter models are available for as low as $25, while heavier steel ones can go up to hundreds of dollars. we offer multiple rolling file cabinets of varying materials and sizes to meet your needs.

Side Tab Filing System

Available both with and without a door, a side tab filing system is a new take on the traditional vertical file cabinet. Side tab filing cabinets have two sets of drawers, one placed horizontally across the top and one that's in a vertical position underneath it.

While drawer sizes will vary, many side tab filing systems can be configured to hold up to 10 drawers total -- each set has its own special uses. The top set of drawers is the perfect place to keep your most-used files, as they're easily accessible while also being out of the way. These can often be placed on a desk or other furniture surface to help reduce clutter around your office.

Under that first set is a second set of drawers that's designed for less frequently accessed files. This helps you keep them under control without worrying about them being lost in a sea of paperwork on your desk or floor.

The price tag on side tab filing systems also varies, but is largely dependent on material chosen and size. These cabinets are often made from wood products, such as laminates or particle board that can be easily cleaned and maintained.

Card File Storage

You won't see these as often in traditional office spaces, but they're commonplace in places like libraries or government buildings. They primarily house index cards, but can also be used to store different types of paper documents.

Card files are typically found in vertical arrangements that allow you to flip through the cards much like a book or magazine. Due to their lack of versatility, card files aren't as popular of an option for offices anymore, which has driven down prices significantly. However, they do come in several different sizes and may work as converted storage formats for many offices.

For more on the different file cabinet types that are generally found in offices, or to learn about any of our rustic office furniture, speak to the staff at Urban 9-5 today.