Perhaps the most important consideration to remember when choosing a small file cabinet is that your idea of small may differ from another person's idea of small. You will need to do a careful assessment of how many files you need to store, as well as how much space you have available in a room for the small file cabinet. In addition, think carefully about what materials you want the cabinet to be made from, and what additional features you will want or need. Finally, consider how much you are ready to spend on the unit.
Once you know what size of small file cabinet you need, consider how you want your cabinet to perform. Some units, for example, will be fireproof so your documents will be safe inside in the event of a fire. Others will feature locks that will prevent unauthorized users from accessing the files within. Some may have slots on each drawer to hold labels so you can quickly find files within the small file cabinet. Consider your needs carefully before choosing, and be sure to consider a cabinet that is versatile enough to be changed should your needs change in the future.
You will also need to determine what materials you want the cabinet to be made from. Steel is the most common material used, though many wood cabinets exist as well. A fireproof small file cabinet will likely be made from several materials rather than just one. Wood cabinets tend to be aesthetically pleasing, but they can also be expensive. Fireproof cabinets will be the most expensive option, but also the most secure. Metal cabinets are durable and inexpensive, but they can also be less aesthetically appealing than other options.
Regardless of the type of materials you choose, make sure the drawers will suit your needs. Some drawers are designed to work with hanging file folders, which feature small arms on either side of the files that attach to rails within the drawer. This system ensures the files will stay upright, preventing documents from falling out or getting lost.
Think carefully about the shape of the cabinet as well. Vertical cabinets are useful in tighter spaces, since the footprint of the unit will be smaller. A horizontal cabinet, however, may be easier to access, especially from a sitting position. Horizontal cabinets are most appropriately used when they are positioned behind a person's desk, or if the person accessing files will be sitting down.