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File Cabinet Dimensions (Types & Sizes)

Here’s our file cabinet dimensions guide including different types of file cabinets, and sizes for letter-size, legal-size & file folder dimensions.
File CabinetsA file cabinet is a popular piece of home or office furniture with drawers that holds papers in folders, and its primary use is to store, organize, remove, and use documents.  Typically, you’ll find them in variations in terms of the number of drawers ranging from two to five.

 At home, files can be used as a safe to store important documents, such as insurance papers, bank statements, and other pertinent legal documents. File cabinets are either for letter- or legal size papers. 

Standard File Cabinet Size

Standard file cabinet dimensionsThere are three types of files, namely vertical, lateral, and open shelf cabinets.

A standard vertical file cabinet has a height ranging from 29 to 60 inches (29, 40, 52, and 60 inches).  Vertical files have varying heights depending on the number of drawers in the design. Two-drawer files have a height of 29 inches, 3-drawer files with 40 inches, 4-drawer files with 52 inches, and 5-drawer cabinets with 60 inches.

For the width, letter-size files are 15 inches wide and 18 ¼ inches for legal-size vertical cabinets. A standard office file cabinet is typically 28 ½ inches deep, with a drawer that can accommodate up to 27 inches of files. On the other hand, there are also shallower cabinets, like a 26 1/2-inch deep cabinets with a 25-inch drawer depth. There is also a 25-inch deep file with 23 ½-inch drawer size.

Another type is a lateral cabinet in which size also varies depending on the number of drawer configurations, like the height. Two-drawer lateral cabinets are 28 inches high, 3-drawer models are 40 inches high, and 4-drawer types are between 50 and 53 inches high.  Five-drawer files are between 64 and 66 inches high. Widths of lateral files may be 30-44 inches. 

For the drawers, they can be configured in several ways. There can be one or two rows depending on your requirements, giving you more flexibility in terms of the number of printouts they can accommodate.

Open shelf file cabinetAn open-shelf file is the third type of a file cabinet.  It is quite straightforward because its design is generally just shelves with vertical supports and used with end tab folders. It allows users to use color coding on the tabs, making it easy to organize and access files.

For example, each year can have a unique color, allowing users to look for old files and even move the less active files to a designated area. You will normally see this type in medical offices.

2 Drawer File Cabinet Dimensions

Short and narrow while offering a nice storage for keeping important business documents or being used for a home-based business is a 2-drawer vertical file, which is commonly 29 inches high.  It is small enough to be suitable even for a small home office.

A two-drawer lateral file, on the other hand, is 28 inches high, making it suitable for tight spaces. It can be tucked away underneath to avoid dominating the overall look of a room.

3 Drawer File Cabinet Dimensions

A 3-drawer vertical file cabinet or lateral file cabinet is typically 40 inches high.  This cabinet can help you organize and sort your files into subjects and categories. 

There are also those that have dimensions of between 15 and 18 inches in width, 20 inches in depth, and less than 30 inches in height, allowing them to fit under an office desk.

When choosing one, you must check out those possessing both practicality and style, while not leaving behind quality construction for long-term use and volume.2, 3, 4 and 5 drawer file cabinet dimensions

4 Drawer File Cabinet Dimensions

A 4-drawer vertical file cabinet is 52 inches high, while a lateral file with the same number of drawers is between 50 and 53 inches high. It can be used in offices and homes for organizing and sorting files and documents.

The dimensions of a 4-drawer file, again, depend on the manufacturer, depth, and type of cabinet. For example, a 22-inch deep letter size file cabinet measures 22 by 15 by 52 inches (depth x width x height), while a lateral file cabinet can have measurements of 17.7 by 28.5 by 52.2 inches (depth x width x height).

5 Drawer Lateral File Cabinet Dimensions

Even though lateral files are shallow, they are wide enough to accommodate large amounts of files. That’s why they are chosen by offices requiring a lot of filing because it fits their limited and tight space. 

Many of these files are between 32 and 36 inches wide, accommodating either letter-size or legal-size files that can be arranged front-to-back or side-by-side.  They can have between two and seven drawers. For a 5-drawer lateral file, it is between 64 and 66 inches tall.

Hanging File Cabinet Dimensions

Hanging cabinet dimensions

A legal-size hanging file typically has standard dimensions of 15 3/4 inches by 9 3/8 inches (width x height), while a letter-size hanging file cabinet with 12 3/4 inches by 9 3/8 inches (width x height).

Lateral File Cabinet Dimensions

Lateral file cabinets come in different configurations depending on the number of drawers the user prefers. The drawers of a lateral file cabinet are wider, but they are shallow. Two-drawer file cabinets, being the smallest of all in terms of the number of drawers, are perfect for a home office and storing personal and family documents. It has a typical height of 28 inches.

Standard height for three-drawer configuration cabinets is 40 inches, while four-drawer types typically are between 50 and 53 inches high. Larger lateral file cabinets with five drawers are typically between 64 and 66 inches high. For the width, configurations may be 30, 36, 38, 42, and 44 inches.

The different sizes give you a lot of choices to find a suitable one that works well for your given space. But a note, you must remember that the cabinet’s width isn’t the usable space’s width within the drawers. For example, one that is 30 inches wide typically has 28 inches of usable drawer space.

Standard Lateral File Cabinet Dimensions

Lateral files are between 32 and 36 inches wide. This makes them suitable for accommodating letter or legal size files arranged front-to-back or side-by-side.

Legal Size File Cabinet Dimensions

Legal size file cabinets have varying dimensions based on their number of drawers and manufacturer. For a two-drawer lateral legal file cabinet, its typical dimensions are 30 ½ by 31 ¾ by 24 (height x width x depth). 

For a 4-drawer vertical legal-size file cabinet, its typical dimensions are 18 ¼ by 26 ½ by 52 inches (width x depth x height).

File Cabinet Drawer Dimensions

Hanging file cabinet with one drawer openThe standard and minimum dimensions of a file drawer depends on the type of cabinet, the manufacturer, and whether it is legal or letter size file.

For example, a legal or letter file drawer’s minimum dimensions can be 23 inches width by 16.5 inches depth for the face frame, 23 inches width by 17.25 inches depth for the face frame inset, and 21.5 inches width and 16.5 inches depth for frameless.

What Are The Dimensions Of A File Folder?

File folder dimensionsA letter size file folder has standard dimensions of 8 5/8 inches by 9 5/8 inches by 11 ¾ inches (height for the front flap x height for the back flap x width). There should be an allowable variation of +/- 1/16 inch for every dimension.

On the other hand, a legal size file folder has dimensions of 8 5/8 by 9 5/8 by 14 ¾ (height for the front flap x height for the back flap x width). Just like in the letter size file folder, there must be an allowable variation of +/-1/16 inch for every dimension.

Visit our types of office equipment for more related content.