There are 3 ways of moving height adjustable desks up and down:
- Hand cranks
- Electric power
- Counter balances
Hand cranks aren’t for lazy people because they take repetitive physical effort to spin. Electric desks aren’t for impatient people because they are slow.
Counter balanced based desks are interesting to me. They use springs or pneumatic systems to offset the weight of the things on them, and move as fast as your arms and hands can push them up or down.
HumanScale Float Table
The Float Table is the best design I’ve seen yet. Why?
- No crossbars to bang your legs against
- Spring-based counter balance can be adjusted with an easy to reach hand crank
- Includes a mechanism to prevent the desk from going flying up or down when the load on the desk changes and no longer matches the counter balance’s strength
The desk moved smoothly and quietly when I tried it at the HumanScale showroom.
It is possible to buy the Float’s base without the desk top.
The Workfit D is half the price of the Float Table, but makes some compromises:
- adjusting the counter balance requires getting on the floor behind the desk with a ratchet and turning a hidden bolt on each leg
- has crossbars that may hit your legs when sitting
The base is available without the top. Look for the WorkFit-B HD
Varidesk makes a full size adjustable height desk along with their risers that go on top of existing desks. I’d like to see the Varidesk Pro in person. I wonder if the handle-holes ever get in the way.
The SC45‘s dual-surface design is unique. The rear surface is static, and the front surface moves up and down on a gas lift and can be tilted. It is designed and sold by one small Canadian company, and I can’t find much written about it anywhere online.
Globe Stamping EZ Lift II
The EZ Lift II is a pair of arms that can be combined with an existing wall and desk surface to create an adjustable height desk. I tried it out at the Brigholme Interiors Group showroom and found it worked very well. Quiet, smooth, and it could be bolted on to a base with wheels to make it portable. Here’s the brochure.
Haworth Planes Table with Torsion Paddle
Haworth offers a pneumatic-lift height adjustable version of the Planes Table.
Torsion pneumatic cylinder provides continuous adjustment range within 27″(686mm) to 45″(1143mm) height range.
Paddle is standard in black.
Base standard with Trivalent chrome telescoping base tubes.
Online details are slim, so check page 182 and 183 of this PDF.
Global Height Adjustable Table
Another table without a ton of details online. A bit under $1000 CAD with a single crank to adjust the counter-balance. Ugoburo sells it.