Reclining chairs are a thing of curiosity with its mechanics hidden behind a screen of comfort and luxury. It’s plush and soft exterior diverts your mind from thinking how does a recliner work and finding out how simple everything is.
This is not to say that an untrained enthusiast can do the mechanics of a reclining chair; it just means that the concept behind how it works is straightforward, with different bolts and joints acting together in unison to deliver ultimate comfort.
You might think that knowing the inner workings of your chair might be too trivial, but there can be some benefits in understanding the mechanics behind a reclining chair. Here are a few of them:
One major side effect of having the said information in your head is that you can optimize how your chair is placed and can teach others how it can be used, so they, too, can achieve optimized comfort. Imagine knowing the perfect coffee mix, wouldn’t you want to share it with others as well?
Another benefit of knowing how recliners work is being able to troubleshoot why this and that part is stuck or is not working. You will be able to diagnose the problem quickly and bring it to a service center when needed.
If you feel skillful enough once you can pinpoint the problem with your recliner, then you can also immediately disassemble it and do the necessary repair. This is not something you should try if you don’t have the necessary carpentry and upholstery skills.
A beautifully designed reclining chair is a conversation piece in itself, but understanding how it works extends the conversation further, although there is a danger of boring younger people with all the talk about springs and gears when they would rather talk about games and shows.
Probably the best benefit of knowing how a recliner works and how to troubleshoot it is being able to repair them not only for your sake but for others as well. This can serve as an additional source of income as handymen with enough knowledge about recliners are a few, and it is a niche market as well.
Recliner chairs are designed to tilt back, hence the name, with the footrest sometimes extending forward together with the backrest. Recliners can be categorized into two kinds of mechanisms: manual and power.
1. Manual Recliners
Manual recliners, as roughly defined, use levers and specialized springs to move the backrest and the footrest towards the right direction. Levers are used to adjust the reclining angle of a chair and lock it into place. This is also used to move it back to its original position.
Majority of recliners that use levers have footrests that extend forward as the user adjusts the lever, without exception. This kind of mechanics have limited functionality and can only be in one position or another.
Recliners that use springs instead of levers utilize heavy duty springs that expand and compress by merely pushing back the backrest or by leaning forward while sitting down on the chair. A manual locking system is often used to make sure that the recliner remains in place while being used as there is a high risk involved if it’s left at an angle without locking it.
2. Electric Recliners
Powered recliners use a low-voltage motor located inside the heavy duty frame, and it gently adjusts the positions of the chair. These settings are normally controlled by a remote or by a dashboard located on the armrest. This makes reclining and rising so much easier and much more comfortable than manually operated recliners.
Motorized recliners do require electricity which is why some designers have decided to add USB charging ports and electric cup holders to make full use of the electric power running through the chair while in use. Massage and heating mechanisms use this motor as well to power their functionalities.
It is evident that the two kinds of reclining chair mechanisms have their differences, and here are a few of them:
Generally, motorized recliners cost more because of the motor, and it does tend to cost more to operate given its need to consume electricity every time you sit on it.
Manual recliners require little space given that it does not need to have much clearance for its different angles and movements. This is not to say that manual recliners don’t need the space.
Motorized recliners need to be as close to an AC plug as possible. This is because most power cords that come with these chairs only measure about three feet. This means that most motorized chairs will have to be placed near the walls unless extension cords are used so that it can be placed anywhere.
Like most things, chairs also have their risks, regardless if they are motorized or manual. Manual chairs tend to unlock easily and can lock you in like an oversized pair of pliers while powered chairs can electrocute you if it is not maintained properly.
Manual chairs would have the most basic of features like cup holders and magazine pockets while powered chairs can include massage and heating solutions, as well as the ability to rise into a standing position so that you don’t have to.
Answering questions about how does a recliner work are now made easy with a few tidbits, especially on the kinds of mechanisms that a chair may have and the different benefits of each mechanism. While there are risks and advantages associated with owning a recliner chair, understanding how it works makes a difference.
It is therefore important in every sense that you know how a recliner works, much like how you should have the basics of knowing how a car runs or how a camera should be taken care of.