Lifting columns are an essential standing desk mechanism — without them, a standing desk would have a very limited height range. As you may already know, linear actuators convert rotational motion into linear motion. Lifting columns go one step further. A lifting column is basically a multi-stage linear actuator. The multiple stages are telescopically encased within the hollow tubes of the desk legs, giving the legs a greater range of vertical lifting motion.
Lifting columns are available in a variety of shapes and sizes that will have an impact on the look and function of the standing desk. Before you get into the detailed specifications of different lifting columns, you can narrow down your options based on the appearance you want the standing desk to have. Below, we explore some of the cosmetic choices you will need to make when selecting a lifting column.
Factors That Affect Lifting Column Appearance
- Round Shape or Square Shape
Round lifting columns are more common in home furniture, while square-shaped columns are more common in office furniture. But the differences aren’t just about appearance. Circular lifting columns have more torsion rigidity and resistance to bending, because a circular column has uniform cross-section all around. However, square and rectangular lifting columns actually have the most stability. This is because the ratio of the long side to the short side of the rectangle can be used to optimize instabilities.
- Verted or Inverted Lifting Columns
In an verted lifting column, the telescopic mechanism retracts downward, making the column thicker at the base. This results in better front-to-back stability. Verted lifting columns also tend to be more visually appealing.
An inverted lifting column retracts upward, so the thickest part of the leg is connected to the top of the frame, by the desktop. This creates better left-to-right stability. However, if the lifting column is not installed correctly or a low-quality oil is used, the internal preset lubricant may drop down the desk legs and even onto the floor. If that’s the case, the legs may be hard to keep clean. We guarantee that you’ll never have to worry about this problem with a LoctekMotion standing desk frame.
- Two-Stage or Three-Stage Design
Our standing desks are available in either two-stage or three-stage models. A three-stage lifting column has an extra actuator stage built into the column, giving it a larger vertical adjustment range than a two-stage model. If you need your standing desk to have the widest height adjustment range possible, then the three-stage is the right option for you.
- Holeless Design vs. With Holes
If you’ve looked closely at the leg of a standing desk, you may have noticed small holes spaced around certain points on the column. These holes mark where friction plates have been installed to increase stability by minimizing gaps between the stages of the column. They serve a useful purpose, but they don’t look as sleek as a holeless column.
We’ve innovated our lifting column design to deliver the same functional capabilities without sacrificing aesthetics. Our newest lifting columns appear holeless from the outside, but they still have friction plates installed in the interior. If you’re interested, read more about how we achieved the new holeless design.
Of course, appearance is just one factor to consider when selecting a lifting column. Learn more about the other considerations that should influence your decision, including speed, load, stroke length, and more.