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How Much Does an Office File Cabinet Cost?

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Filing Cabinet Prices

If you're shopping for an office filing cabinet system, there's more to consider than you might think. Filing cabinets are sold in a variety of sizes, materials, and configurations. The model that's right for you depends on the size of your office and your storage needs.

Filing cabinets are still a staple in most offices, even as electronic document storage grows in popularity. There are some types of documents that simply must be kept in paper form.

Types of Office File Cabinets

There are two basic types of office file cabinets, each with two to five drawers:

  • Vertical cabinets are what you probably imagine when you picture a traditional filing cabinet. Letter-sized or legal-sized files are stacked front to back in each drawer. These cabinets are ideal for tight spaces.
  • Lateral cabinets are wider, so files can be stored either from front to back or from side to side. They also hold more files. But, lateral cabinets are not as deep so they can double for wall partitions.

Other, less common types of filing cabinets include:

  • Mechanical filing systems consist of rolling cabinets. To access files, cabinets are rolled or pulled apart. These use far less floor space than other models.
  • Open shelving, or a set of shelves placed side-by-side and on top of each other. This configuration makes files easy to access.
  • Fire and water resistant cabinets provide an extra layer of protection for important documents.

Most office file cabinets are made of either wood or steel. The higher the quality of the material, the more durable the cabinets will be.

File Cabinet Average Costs

The price of an office filing cabinet is determined by the quality of the material, the number of drawers, the dimensions of the cabinet, and the type of locking system.

  • Two-drawer vertical files usually cost $20 to $150, while five-drawer vertical files can be purchased for $250 to $1,000.
  • Two-drawer lateral files usually sell for $150 to $600, while five-drawer models go for $250 to $1,500.
  • Fire and water resistant models are the most expensive. Two-drawer models usually sell for $1,000 to $1,500, while five-drawer models go for $1,500 to $4,000.

Choosing a File Cabinet

It's important to shop around and do your research before deciding on a filing cabinet system. Here are few things to consider:

  • Examine the suspension of any filing cabinet you're thinking of buying - it says a lot about the quality of construction. Make sure the drawers slide in and out smoothly.
  • Be sure to ask about the maximum weight capacity. If the filing cabinet isn't sturdy enough to hold all of your files, it's not worth buying.
  • If the cabinet is advertised as fire resistant, make sure it is UL certified.
  • If you have sensitive documents to store, make sure you purchase a filing cabinet with a locking system.
  • If you're on a tight budget, ask dealers to show you used or refurbished filing cabinets. Most old cabinets are made with quality materials. You just might have to overlook a few dings and scratches.

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