Pros and cons of box joint drawer boxes

Box joint drawer boxes, while unique and durable, aren’t always the right choice. Learn more about when you should or should not purchase them.

A box joint drawer box with Walnut sides and a Maple front and back.

It’s natural to want to avoid poor buying decisions and the accompanying buyer’s remorse. One of the best ways to achieve this is to review and understand a product fully before purchasing it.

Purchasing kitchen components is no different. Whether you are looking at appliances, hardware, cabinet doors, countertops or drawer boxes, you need to know if the product is right before you buy it.

If you opened this article, you are thinking of purchasing box joint drawer boxes. So, how can you ensure they are the correct product for you?

At Cutting Edge, we make and sell box joint drawers. However, we understand that they are not the only option out there, nor are they perfect.

In this article, you will learn the pros and cons of box joint drawer boxes and who should or should not consider purchasing them.

Pros of box joint drawer boxes

There are some major benefits to box joint drawers – let’s look at them!

Unique & distinctive appearance

Due to the interlocking box joint used in a box joint drawer box, they have a unique appearance. The box joint is visible from both the ends and sides of the drawer box.

The end of the box joint provides a contrast in both colour and grain to the side, especially when you select alternating wood types.

The appearance of box joint drawer boxes allows them to stand out in a crowd of other options; they add a touch of elegance to any kitchen.


Typically, box joint drawers are highly customizable. You can choose from many wood species, including Maple, Birch, Walnut, and more. 

In addition, you can dictate the base thickness and type. Bases range from ¼” thick to ½” thick, with thicker bases providing better durability and increasing the cost.

Most suppliers can also adjust the appearance or design of the box joint, making the interlocking pieces thicker or thinner as requested.

You can further customize your drawer box by adding hand scoops or combining two wood types.

However, each customization will increase the cost according to the price of the materials or extra labour required.

Interlocking joints provide durability & strength

The interlocking box joint used in a box joint drawer box provides durability and strength. Because the joints interlock repeatedly, the joint naturally resists horizontal forces like opening and closing a drawer. However, the supplier does need to add glue to the joint for reinforcement. 

More about this later!

Box joint drawer boxes use a box joint as shown in this infographic.

High-quality craftsmanship and materials

Box joint drawers are more complex than other drawer box options available. The supplier machines the box joint and ensures the fit is correct. Then, they assemble the drawer box. Thus, drawer box makers consider them a custom product.

In addition, because box joint drawers require craftsmanship, people who make them use higher-quality materials like solid wood instead of plywood.

Because most people associate box joint drawers with high-quality craftsmanship and materials, they elevate people’s opinion of the surrounding kitchen or pantry.

Cons of box joint drawer boxes

As you’ve already learned, box joint drawers are not a one-size-fits-all solution guaranteed to work for everyone. There are three drawbacks to them.


Due to the high-quality materials and custom craftsmanship, box joint drawer boxes are not cheap. The price for an average-sized box joint drawer box can range from about $70 per box to well over $100 per box, depending on the wood type and other customizations you select.

Although box joint drawers aren’t the most expensive part of your kitchen, they are another item to pay for. When you consider the overall cost of a kitchen renovation (cabinet boxes, cabinet doors, appliances, countertops and more), the additional expense for box joint drawers puts them out of the affordable range for many.

Not as durable as other drawer box options

Although the interlocking box joint does provide some natural strength and durability, box joint drawer boxes are still second to dovetail drawer boxes in durability.

The joint is not angled, so it’s only the natural friction of the joint that resists horizontal forces. For this reason, box joints require added glue to ensure durability.

Limited added value

There’s little added value despite the additional cost of box joint drawers. Most drawer boxes offer both storage and durability. The only extra value box joint drawers provide is their unique appearance and custom craftsmanship – and, for many people, this often isn’t enough to make them worth the extra money. 

Having said that, everyone understands that kitchen remodels can boost your home value. Buyers often open both a cabinet door and a drawer to check the overall quality of a kitchen. So, box joint drawers are an easy way to make your kitchen unique while offering the undeniable appeal of high-quality material.

An infographic showing the pros and cons of box joint drawer boxes.

When are box joint drawer boxes a good choice?

That isn’t to say that box joint drawers are never right. Indeed, there are at least two scenarios where you should consider purchasing them.

  1. If you have the budget for a luxury custom kitchen and want a unique design, box joint drawer boxes are an excellent option. Because they aren’t a common option and are associated with high-quality craftsmanship, they elevate your opinion of the overall kitchen.
  2. Box joint drawer boxes provide a convenient and unique storage option for open-cabinet designs, commonly used in pantries or butler’s kitchens. They make the storage less visible while still maintaining convenience. In addition, drawer boxes slide out from the cabinet box, which makes the storage area more accessible than fixed shelving.

When should you avoid box joint drawers?

There’s only one scenario where a box joint drawer box isn’t a good option.

If you use your kitchen frequently and need extra durable drawer boxes, consider avoiding box joint drawers. Although the box joint is truly unique, it doesn’t provide enough natural strength to make for a long-lasting drawer box in a high-use area.

However, even this scenario doesn’t mean you shouldn’t purchase box joint drawers if you want to. If you buy them, just be prepared to replace box joint drawer boxes sooner than you would have to replace other types of drawer boxes (like dovetail drawer boxes, which could last up to 25 years).

Box joint drawer boxes - a unique option

As we all know and understand, making an educated buying decision is essential to avoid buyer’s remorse. And, if there’s one area where you want to avoid poor choices, that’s your kitchen – the heart of your home.

So, now that you are empowered to know if box joint drawers are what you need and want, it’s time to take the next step. Learn how much box joint drawer boxes cost from Cutting Edge.

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