Top 6 Reasons Why does your sit Standing Desk shake

If you have a desk or study desk that always shakes when you push hard, it will definitely make you uncomfortable. Even a squeaky squeak would be a disaster!

If you put rubber or something under your desk and it doesn’t work, check out what I will say bellow may causing the wobble:

1. Loose Bolts

The first reason why your sit standing desk might theoretically wobble is due to loose hardware. This can result from an assembly error, or from the repetitive up and down moving your sit standing desk. Both will produce an annoy wobble that can be quickly remedied by properly handling the desk. Similar to an office chair, re-tightening the bolts every 6 to 12 months will help reduce loose hardware problems. You may also use a strong adhesive to help keep the hardware in place.

Loose bolts

Look for products that are already pre-assembled with the foot and/or upper support connected to the column. Some desks will come with welds to attach these pieces and they will offer one of the most secure connections. Others will use bolts and if done correctly can still be very effective. Some factories, especially for higher-end standing desks, include loctite as mentioned above. When attaching the bolts, they will also use the proper torque setting. This ensures an optimal connection that isn’t loose and won’t be over-tightened either.

2. Too Many Moving Parts

For cost, the structure of the desk would be simpler, but that would deprive the desk’s legs of stability.

Before the desk even has a chance to be secure, having so many moving parts at a standing desk will cause issues. A continuation of loose bolt problems; it can be difficult to hold secure with a lot of shifting pieces on the frame. All bolt connections can create weak points in the frame and add up as more bolts are attached to complete assembly of frames. This is particularly valid if you have an expandable cross-support used on other desks. While the desk may include a cross-support, its effectiveness will be significantly reduced by several moving parts on it.

More solid desk legs can make your office table not shake

When you believe you need cross-support, stay away from products with an adjustable edition.

But, for the goods which I personally tested with an expandable cross support, the level for stability is just marginally better than no cross support at all.

3. No Traditional Cross Support

No cross support vs. cross support when fully extended

One of the most common reasons a standing desk will wobble at high altitudes is the lack of traditional cross support. A transition has occurred over the last few years away from the use of this important part of the standing desk. One of the common thoughts is that when seated, a cross-support will create problems of leg clearance for users. While this is only true for very tall users or T-shaped bases, lack of stability without cross support should be the biggest concern.

Standing desks that do not have a conventional cross brace may have underlying issues with stability. Instead, certain types of desks may have an expandable cross frame sitting directly under the screen. This cross frame will be close enough to the floor to offer good stability when the desk is at its lowest position. The position of the cross frame relative to the floor becomes much bigger as the desk rises. If it goes past a certain level, the desk will automatically tilt or wobble no matter the consistency of the columns. Such problems of consistency are likely to impact the job.

Adding conventional cross-support to a 24″ deep T type foundation could theoretically cause issues with leg clearance. Selecting a base in C style will mean that you don’t have a desk dubbed a “knee knocker.” But when looking at a 24″ deep bench, most C bases give a depth of between 16″ and 19″ for your knees. That should be more than enough space for most users to function comfortably. At 6′ tall I can sit without any knee clearance issues on a 24″ C style frame. It will become a problem only for extremely tall users. A traditional cross support will not create knee clearance problems for any user if you decide to go with a 30 “deep base.

T base and C base

4. Lack of a Wedge System

If the desk you chose comes with no conventional cross support, you need to search for a wedge mechanism in the case. These are situated at the top of the pole, where the pole meets the upper cross support. These include the only frames that performed well without a cross-support from the testing we have done. They help counteract the wobble and reduce wobble significantly below 45′.

Office table with no wedge system
Office table with one wedge system

To build a frame with a wedge framework, the inverted columns would have to be included in the frame. This means a little down, with the largest column up. Just because inverting a column doesn’t mean the wedge is automatically included. A conventional cross-support is no replacement, particularly when your desk is elevated to high heights. Although the wedge system increased stability from left to right, it is still less reliable than desks that have a more conventional support system.

5. Glides That Don’t Fit Properly

Some sit standing desk manufacturers, especially the less expensive models, will be having “fit” glide problems. Which is gliding? Inside the columns glides are found and serve two purposes. The first is to fill the natural gap between the two or three aluminum or steel pieces which create upright columns. The second is a seamless change between the columns of steel or aluminium. Instead of having two pieces of metal to rub together, the glides serve while a friction-lowering lubricant as the desk is in motion.

Due to the natural variances within the metal components, different sized glides are needed to create a more custom fit. The person installing the glides needs the correct preparation to achieve the right “look” when installing such glides to build the ideal match. Although aluminum materials are more likely to bend and react to the glides, steel is much stiffer and prone to cause binding issues. Many of the low to mid-range desks use steel, and this lack of expertise is why they have broad “fit” gaps across frames. Getting a person to understand the difference between being too close and being too loose means the desk has a strong base.

Many of the suit incoherences come from the market’s low-cost standing desks. Specially true with glide fitting is the saying that “you get what you pay for.” In many of the Chinese standing desk frame factories there is high turnover, low salaries and poor training. From this comes inconsistent fits with columns and two desks from the same brand that could possibly have two column fits completely different.

6. Glides Only On One End Of Column

Glides are found inside all standing desk frames, a requirement for a functioning adjustable standing desk to be produced. Two factors will depend on where these glides are mounted within the frame columns: a clean column and/or a secure desk. Most brands can not achieve both.

Including glides on top and bottom of columns is the most common style, allowing them to counteract each other. This eliminates the natural gap between the columns of steel or aluminium. The downside to this style is that on your column, one of the glide systems (or two if you have a two-stage frame) will rub against the paint. This rubbing will start laying marks on the columns over time.

Glide system diagrams at top and bottom

The second type of glide setup is to use one end of the column only with the glides. This means the glides are not rubbing against the nice paint you see every day at any point. This eliminates the problem with time-showing rub-marks. Unfortunately, this design does provide your desk with very little stability. In reality, it will generate problems of stability at all heights including the seated position. The column will travel in any direction with the normal gap in opposite of the glides.

Only upper glide system diagram

Not all frames with top and bottom glide designs on the outside of columns will leave bad rub marks. Manufacturers using Dupont’s high-end plastic, known as acetal, will be doing far better. When anodized aluminum is used in conjunction with acetal glides for the column, we’ve found almost zero rub marks over a whole frame lifecycle. Within the first 400-500 cycles, cheaper standing desk frames will begin displaying rub signs.

Final Thoughts

The reality is that no matter what other consumers or companies say, you don’t have to settle for a wobbly standing desk. The first step to avoiding the problem is to understand what is the cause of these wobble issues. I recommend you question the business you purchase from how the desk frame is made. Shipping the desk split apart into several little pieces, with bags full of bolts? If they do not use a traditional cross-support, look for a wedge system found between the top and column supports. What process are they using to set their glides inside columns? Do they use a one size approach that fits all? Find out where the columns have glides inside.

In the meantime, I’d highly recommend you consider our standing desk: EBHA200 Standing desk converter, you’ll find yourself more productive and able to use A sturdy desk at any height.

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