Rotary file cabinets provide efficient and compact storage for files and documents. These cabinets have a rotating mechanism that facilitates easy access to files while maximizing your storage capacity in limited floor space. Rotary file cabinets help streamline document storage and retrieval processes, creating a more efficient and productive work environment.

This article will discuss:

  • Benefits of rotary filing cabinets
  • How rotary file cabinets work
  • Comparing rotary, lateral, and vertical file cabinets
  • Rotary storage cabinet flexibility

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Benefits of Rotary File Cabinets

Space Optimization

Rotary File CabinetsRotary filing cabinets maximize storage capacity within a small footprint. The rotary cabinets can store double or triple the amount of files in the same floor space as a traditional file cabinet. Starter and add-on units are available to use limited office space efficiently. Rotary cabinets are ideal for small or crowded work environments.

A storage room with 20 cabinets can hold 240 feet of files in a space of 360 square feet, including aisles. By replacing the lateral filing cabinets with high-capacity seven-tier rotary file cabinets, you can store over 290 feet of filing capacity in 147 square feet, less than half the floor space.


These rotating file cabinets enable easy access to files and other stored items. Users can rotate the cabinet a quarter turn to bring the desired shelf within reach, with complete visibility of one side of the cabinet at a time. This saves time and effort when retrieving documents.


Rotary file cabinets can be configured with multiple compartments, shelves, or drawers labeled or designated for specific categories, departments, or individuals. Promoting efficient organization and segregation of files and other media, making it easier to locate and retrieve stored items when needed.


office rotary cabinetsWith their efficient organization and accessibility, they improve workflow and productivity. Employees can quickly locate and retrieve files and other items, reducing time spent searching for documents and enhancing overall efficiency.

Security & Protection

Rotary file cabinets come with locking mechanisms to ensure the security and privacy of stored documents. Authorized personnel can control access to sensitive or confidential files, protecting them from unauthorized viewing or tampering. The enclosed design also protects stored files from dust, sunlight, and other potential damage.


Cabinets can be customized to accommodate different file sizes, formats, and storage needs. Including letter or legal-size files, and can accommodate various filing systems. Adjustable shelves or dividers can be incorporated to adapt to varying document sizes or create specific sections for different types of files. Other accessories include drawers, rails for hanging folders or garments, and compartments for storing smaller items such as media.


Rotary cabinets are a versatile storage solution not limited to storing paper documents. They can store other media formats such as binders, folders, books, multimedia items, or personal items like coats. This versatility makes them suitable for various applications.

How Rotary File Cabinets Work

rotating cabinetRotary file cabinets are like two traditional filing cabinets joined back-to-back. The rotating cabinet has four sides, with two storage cabinets and two solid panels for closing the cabinet. To rotate the cabinet, simply press on the panel or shelf, and it will begin turning.

Some rotary cabinets have a foot pedal that is used to access the cabinet. Some cabinets automatically lock when in the closed position.

Standard rotary cabinet features include:

  • Adjustable shelves in 1″ increments (no tools required)
  • Shelf dividers
  • Built-in cylinder lock
  • Powder coat finish (choose from numerous options)

Optional rotating cabinet features include:

  • Rollout drawers (can be customized to support hanging folders, top tab folders, end tab folders, and multimedia)
  • Hanging folder rack
  • Rollout reference shelf
  • Recessed shelf (best for storing binders and letter-size documents)
  • Locking security drawer
  • Wardrobe kit (includes coat hook and four half-shelves)
  • High-security lock
  • Twin locks

Rotary file cabinets can be installed in several different configurations, including freestanding, against the wall, through the wall, providing access to the cabinet from both sides of the wall, built into an alcove, and as a counter-height worktop unit with a laminated particleboard work surface.

Comparing Rotary, Lateral, and Vertical File Cabinets

rotary file cabimet counter high

Design and Orientation

Rotary file cabinets have a cylindrical design and rotate on a central axis. They typically consist of multiple tiers or shelves that rotate horizontally, allowing easy access to files.

Lateral file cabinets have a rectangular design and feature extendable drawers. The drawers are typically wide and deep, accommodating files in a side-to-side orientation.

Vertical file cabinets have a rectangular design and feature extendable drawers. The drawers are typically narrower, accommodating files in a front-to-back orientation.

Access and File Retrieval

Rotary file cabinets offer easy access to files by rotating the entire cabinet. Users can spin the cabinet to bring the desired shelf within reach, making file retrieval efficient.

Lateral file cabinets provide access to files by pulling out the drawers. Users can open the drawer and directly access the files stored within. Files are easily visible within the wide drawers.

Vertical file cabinets provide access to files by pulling out the drawers. Users can open the drawer and directly access the files stored within. Users may need to reach deeper into the cabinet for specific files due to the front-to-back filing arrangement.

Space Efficiency

Rotary file cabinets store many files within a relatively small footprint, making them ideal for offices with limited space.

Lateral file cabinets require more floor space than rotary file cabinets, especially when multiple cabinets are placed side by side. They also have a smaller storage capacity than rotary file cabinets.

Vertical file cabinets utilize floor space efficiently, with a smaller footprint than rotary and lateral file cabinets. However, they have a smaller storage capacity than rotary file cabinets.

File Organization

rotary file cabinetsRotary file cabinets have compartments, shelves, or drawers that can be labeled or designated for specific categories. You can customize the cabinet’s interior to facilitate the most efficient organization of various items.

Lateral file cabinets have drawers that organize files based on different categories. Files can be arranged within the drawers using hanging file folders or dividers, but customization options are limited.

Vertical file cabinets often include adjustable or fixed dividers within the drawers, allowing for file organization based on categories or alphabetical order. Hanging file folders or pockets are commonly used to separate and organize files within the drawers, but customization options are limited. Visit our online store to see our office storage products.

Storage Capacity 

Rotary file cabinets have a significant storage capacity and can accommodate many files within a compact space. For example, five 7-tier rotary file cabinets can replace 2.62 five-drawer lateral file cabinets.

Lateral file cabinets have a limited storage capacity compared to rotary file cabinets.

Vertical file cabinets have a limited storage capacity compared to rotary file cabinets.

Rotary Cabinet Storage Flexibility

two sided rotary cabinetRotary file cabinets are versatile storage units that accommodate various materials. While commonly used for storing paper documents, a rotary filing cabinet can also store other items.

Some examples of materials that rotary file cabinets can store include:

  • Paper documents, including letter-sized or legal-sized files in top tab filing, side tab filing, or hanging folder filing systems
  • Binders and notebooks
  • Multimedia and computer media items such as CDs, DVDs, film and fiche, or USB drives
  • Books and magazines
  • Office supplies
  • Personal belongings such as bags and coats

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See specifications and pricing for rotary cabinets, lateral file cabinets, storage cabinets, and forms & literature cabinets.

Contact Us for Rotary File Cabinets

Southwest Solutions Group provides design and installation services for rotary file cabinets and other office storage systems. We will also provide a free consultation to determine your needs and specifications before the design begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 800-803-1083 or send us a message today.



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