Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Transform office organisation with a new filing cabinet: Daily contracts, cost estimates, invoices or other documents need to be archived. It fills folders, for folders, for folders. To keep an overview here, you need an office organisation that has been well thought out.

Filing cabinets and office cupboards offer you a convenient and practical way to store folders. They protect you from prying eyes and even the aspect of security has not been forgotten. In this filing cabinet test 2021 we will help you find the right filing cabinet. We support your purchase decision by listing and explaining the different types of filing cabinets.




The most important facts

  • Filing cabinets are the right choice to properly store data and documents. Due to documentation requirements, certain documents and data need to be stored for a long time before they are discarded. Of course, these should be stored safely and in a dry place.
  • It is very important that the filing cabinet provides good protection for the stored data and documents. Therefore, the cabinet should definitely be waterproof and fireproof. This way, nothing can happen to the files in the event of a fire.
  • Filing cabinets must be stable. You often have a lot of folders and files stored. Therefore, it is very important to make sure that you use a sturdy and strong material.

The Best Filing Cabinet: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for filing cabinets

Of course, there are various criteria that distinguish filing cabinets, which we have listed and explained here. The criteria with which you can compare filing cabinets with each other include:

Dimensions

The size of the filing cabinet depends on how much space it saves and how properly it is placed. The standard A4 size file cabinet has a depth of 285 mm, a height of 318 mm and usually a spine width of 75 mm.

Professional filing cabinets are designed for the size of the folders.

This ensures that as many folders as possible can be stored in the smallest possible space. It is important to pay attention to the height of the folders. If there are more than five or six levels in a cabinet, the cabinet reaches a height that can only be reached with a ladder. If all files are needed for quick access, a maximum of six shelves is recommended.

Material

Professional filing cabinets are usually made of strong steel. In addition, the material is not sensitive to liquids and is therefore very easy to clean. Even under maximum load, steel filing cabinets do not give way. When the cabinet is locked, it can be assumed that the contents are protected from unauthorised views and external influences.

Steel is durable, very resilient and known for its stability.

There are also reasons for the wooden filing cabinet.

  1. If only a small number of files are to be stored, wooden filing cabinets are more visually appealing.
  2. The coated or veneered surface is smooth, resistant to liquids, easy to clean and relatively scratch-resistant.
  3. But even if a wooden cabinet should be purchased, stability must be a priority.

Fire can destroy your workplace and important documents. But not only the fire itself, but also the extinguishing water used later can cause serious damage. Therefore, it is an advantage to equip your office with a fireproof and waterproof filing cabinet to protect important documents.

Lockability of the cabinet

Another important aspect of storing documents is security. Sensitive data must not fall into the wrong hands. Buying a lockable filing cabinet is therefore a good decision. Undesirable confidential information can also be revealed simply by labelling the spine of the file cabinet.

Amount of storage space and its load capacity

When choosing the right filing cabinet, it should also be taken into account that a well-filled file is very heavy. If several rows are to be accommodated in the cabinet, sufficient stability should be ensured. If you save money in the wrong place, you will be annoyed later about shelves that are broken or about a cupboard that cannot be filled completely.

Decision: What types of filing cabinets are there and which is the right one for me?

Since there are many different types of filing cabinets, be it the different size or construction, we have listed and explained the most common ones here. The following table briefly summarises the types of filing cabinets and their main features.

Type of filing cabinet Features in brief Advantages Disadvantages
Hinged door filing cabinet Have one, or more, lockable doors Different heights Doors take up more space
Sliding door wardrobe These are lower and have doors that slide sideways space-saving loss of space in the wardrobe itself
Drawer cupboard Are suitable for smaller things that need to be stored separate opening no hanging option
Sideboard Are lower, but wider than normal cupboards Can be used as room dividers Less loadable
Transverse roller shutter cabinet Can be locked with horizontal or vertical roller shutter doors Space-saving -
Suspension filing cabinet Have drawers in which suspension files can be stored space-saving -
Office shelving This is an open shelving unit, with a main body and various, adjustable levels individually adjustable not lockable

Hinged door wardrobe

This is also called a hinge-door cabinet. This is a filing cabinet with one or more closed front doors, which can be equipped with locks and/or with handles. The cabinets have different file heights, widths and depths.

Advantages
  • different heights
  • mostly with locks
Disadvantages
  • Doors need more space

Sliding-door wardrobe

Sliding-door wardrobes are usually low filing cabinets or sideboards with doors that can be moved sideways to conceal the items stored inside. Since sliding doors do not protrude into the room, space can be saved.

Advantages
  • space-saving
  • closed opaque
Disadvantages
  • Loss of space in the cupboard itself

Drawer cabinet

Drawer cabinets are used to store many small items. The drawers can be opened separately and offer sufficient space for tools, personal items and loose leaf collections.

Advantages
  • Space for small things
  • separate opening
Disadvantages
  • little space for large things
  • no hanging options

Sideboard

Similar to other cabinets, sideboards can be used to store folders or materials. The difference between this and a normal filing cabinet is the height. Sideboards are usually lower than office cabinets, but wider. They can stand freely in the room and make it a room divider.

Advantages
  • wider
  • can be used as a room divider
Disadvantages
  • less resilient

Horizontal roller shutter cabinet

This is a filing cabinet or sideboard that can be locked with horizontal or vertical roller shutter doors. These roller shutter doors consist of individual slats that are flexibly connected together. They close the roller shutter cabinets opaquely and save space, as no double doors can protrude into the room area.

Advantages
  • space-saving
  • opaque
  • lockable
Disadvantages
  • -

Suspension file cabinet

These are also called hanging filing cabinets. They are also suitable for archiving and filing files and data. They have drawers in which hanging files are stored. They are suspended in frames to ensure safe storage. The drawer can have one or two channels, depending on the width. Suspension file cabinets should always be attached to the wall with an anti-tilt device.

Advantages
  • secure storage
  • space-saving
  • quick access
Disadvantages
  • -

Office shelf

Compared to a filing cabinet, the office shelf remains open, so it has no doors or shutters. The shelf consists of a main body with shelves that can be used alone and individually adjusted in height. There are also different widths, depths and file heights.

Advantages
  • customisable
  • various sizes
Disadvantages
  • not lockable

Guide: Frequently asked questions about filing cabinets answered in detail

In our guide, we have answered the most frequently asked questions about filing cabinets so that you can make the right decision.

What is a filing cabinet suitable for?

Filing cabinets are the right choice for storing data and documents correctly. Due to documentation requirements, certain documents and data need to be stored for a long time before they are discarded. Since these should, of course, be kept safely and, above all, stored in a dry place, a neat filing cabinet is very helpful.

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When there is order at the desk, one can work much more concentrated. (Image source: Domenico Loia / unsplash)

Documents can be clearly organised without creating a mess of notes on the work surface. In filing cabinets, documents can be stored in such a way that they are ready to hand for further processing when they are needed. This keeps the workplace looking tidy, so you are always ready to receive visitors and clients.

What size filing cabinet should I buy?

The height of the filing cabinet is usually specified as "file height" (OH). This means: you have this many compartments available for storing your files. The size can vary by a few centimetres depending on the manufacturer. The width of the standard cabinet is 40 cm, and then the increment is 20 cm.

The depth of the cabinet is between 40-45 cm. It starts with a height of 2 file heights, i.e. 77 cm. Then it goes on and on with 3 OH, 4 OH and so on up to 7 file heights. Here, however, the cupboard is 2.60 m high and can only be reached with a ladder.

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Filing cabinets make it easier to organise documents and files. (Image source: Jan Antonin / unsplash)
File height height in centimetres
2 OH 77 cm
3 OH 115 cm
4 OH 153 cm
5 OH 191 cm
6 OH 229 cm
7 OH 260 cm

Taller cabinet models are typical, as they allow more storage space to be created in smaller rooms. Furthermore, they provide possibilities to store other office utensils and documents.

Filing cabinets with a height of 80 cm to 200 cm are very common.

What should I look for when buying a filing cabinet?

The most important points when buying a filing cabinet are stability and workmanship. It is therefore highly recommended to choose a type of filing cabinet that is characterised by professional workmanship, robust construction and the use of high-quality materials. A filing cabinet must always ensure safe and dry storage and be characterised by good workmanship. Furthermore, it must be constructed in such a way that files can be stored safely.

A very important aspect to consider when buying a filing cabinet is that the cabinet offers protection against unauthorised access.

Furthermore, one must pay attention to the size specifications of the width and depth of the filing cabinet. The common and frequently used sizes are listed under the question "In which size should I buy a filing cabinet? It is advisable to measure the cabinet before buying it.

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Folders have a certain size. You have to pay attention to this when buying a filing cabinet. (Image source: Beatriz Pérez Moya / unsplash)

What alternatives are there?

A beautiful wooden shelf is a stylish alternative to regular filing cabinets and provides storage space for paperwork and office supplies. If you opt for this type of storage space, you should consider the distance between the shelves and the file height of approx. 32 cm when buying.

Image source: Makjantuk/ 123rf.com

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