What is a Cabinet Damper or Buffer?

What we sell here at Silent Cabinets goes by several different names. Most often the term used is soft close buffers. Yet some people refer to these self-closing hinge accessories as anti-slam pistons or cushion close kitchen cabinet dampers, among others. Even the spelling varies: while the most common version is to say slow cushion close “damper” some call it a slow close “dampener” instead. These hydraulic piston buffers serve the same function and purpose as soft-closing or self-closing hinges, but they are much easier to install and more universal by being compatible with all different types of cabinets – both frameless as well as face-framed ones. Their essential yet basic role is to act as impact dampeners/shock absorbers by catching your cabinet door less than an inch before it hits your cabinet frame to avoid the loud collision and instead bring the door to a soft and quiet close. The piston that does all this work operates on a hydraulic/oil┬áspring that works against the door by resisting and stiffening against its weight – yet at the same time allowing for that weight to slowly push the piston inside the damper, bringing your cabinet to a full cushioned close. In other words, this damper system uses compact cylinders that absorb the pressure applied by self-closing cabinet doors to eliminate noise from the collision between door and frame.

Is Installation Difficult?

No, absolutely not. It is one of the most simple and easy DIY “home-projects” that you will ever undertake – yet at the same time with the biggest and most visible (audible) results. You need only one person (yourself) and a phillips head screwdriver (the cross one, not the flat one) to fasten two screws for each damper. We include 2 self-drilling wood screws for you with each cushion close buffer. You will hold the damper in place with one hand and then use the other hand to screw in the fasteners. If you would like more information about this process and the steps involved, take a look at our Installation Page.

How Many Dampers Do I Need?

The easiest way to know how many soft close buffers you need is to simply count the number of cabinet doors that you have. Take note that this is not the number of cabinets themselves, but rather the doors on each frame. Usually one cabinet will have two doors, which means that you need two anti-slam cushion dampers for that cabinet unit. One hydraulic buffer is able to catch about 25 pounds of weight, which means that if your cabinet doors are abnormally heavy it might be best to count two dampers just for that one door (one installed on the top of the frame and one on the bottom). However, in 99% of the cases you will only need one per door. You will probably know if you have extra-heavy cabinetry – since it was either custom-ordered with genuine imported wood or you had to pay extra for that additional oversize furniture. But as a general rule, only buy one per door. Also, if your cabinet door is higher than 60 inches you will need two dampers for that one door – one on bottom and one on top. With a very high door, the weight of the door itself can make it bend such that the side opposite the damper will still hit the cabinet frame. But for anything shorter than 60 inches, just buy one damper.

How Much Does Each Damper Cost?

One damper is $1.50. The buffer unit will include the piston insert that does all the work, the housing or setting/seating that holds the piston and has two holes for the fasteners, and two #6 – 5/8″ self-drilling wood screws for installation.

Do these Cushion Close Dampers work on Drawers?

No, unfortunately the soft close buffers by themselves will not work with drawers. The way that these slow close dampers are designed, they need to have a certain amount of weight and pressure applied against them to fully depress the piston into the damper for a complete quiet close. While cabinet doors can easily do this, with their self-closing hinges designed to swing them shut, drawers operate on very smooth-gliding slides that are unable to push against the resistance of the piston in a cushion damper. Instead, drawers need self-closing slides that will catch the drawer and then actively pull it closed very softly. If this is what you are looking for, take a look at our page for Self-Closing Drawer Slides.

How Much Does Shipping Cost and How Long Until Delivery?

As described on the bottom-right of each page, shipping is charged on a flat-rate basis depending on which option you select. You can buy 1 slow close damper or 100 – shipping will be the same for both orders. Everything is sent via the US Postal Service within 1 business day. If you choose regular shipping, it can take up to 3-5 days and will cost a flat fee of $2.95 per order. If you would like to receive your order faster, you can choose Priority Mail and receive it in 2-3 days for $5.95. Customers from Canada pay a flat fee of $3.95 and will receive orders only via regular mail.

What Methods of Payment are Accepted?

Our payment processor is PayPal. It is one of the fastest and most secure payment methods online. This means that if you have a PayPal account, you can simply log in and send the payment via your preferred method on your account. But if you don’t have a PayPal account, you do NOT need to create one. You can pay with any credit card – Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express – through PayPal without logging in. You will simply enter all your information into their secure processing system and all funds will be forwarded to us immediately.

Can I Return My Purchase?

Yes, absolutely. You have 30 days from the day that your order arrives at your door to make returns, no questions asked. We want you to be completely satisfied. If the issue is something that you think we could help with instead of having you return the cushion cabinet dampers, you can contact us first and we will hope to resolve the problem. If for any other reason you no longer want or need the dampers after you receive them, you can return them within that time frame. Also, you can return either your FULL order or just PART of your order. If you bought more buffers than you actually needed, just send back the unused portion and we will refund you for those pieces. We are a small operation and will certainly understand your situation, so if it is something that you would first want to discuss with us, feel free to always contact us via email or our Contact Form.

What If I Need Help – Before the Order or After the Order?

At anytime, day or night, you can send us an email to contact@silentcabinets.com or through our Contact Form. We personally respond to each and every email with the goal of achieving both your trust, confidence, and satisfaction. We will do our best to reply to you within 24 hours. If you don’t hear back within that time frame, feel free to send another email – but you should never need to.

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