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Which Is Better: An Electric or Manual Standing Desk?

24 June 2021

Electric vs. manual standing desk debates are widespread in today's world, as some people are unsure which is superior. While some of it is a matter of personal preference, both desk styles have some objective facts in common. 

The hand crank vs. electric sit-stand desk is how some people refer to it, although the concept is the same. Both workstations help you be more productive, thus, there are some similarities between them.

Frames of various types

Electric and hand crank standing desks are the two types of standing desks discussed in this article. Some of these commonalities create debates about electric vs. manual standing desks, but it is critical to know what each workstation is before making a decision. Hand crank types are referred to as manual, whereas electric simply means electric.

The electric standing desk is the first frame to discuss. The desk may be raised or lowered in a matter of seconds with the push of a button. This style of desk is typically made possible by precision motor drives. Aside from that, it lacks the hand crank that the other variety has and appears to be normal.

In comparison, the hand crank standing desk is quite similar, except that it raises and lowers its height with a hand crank. This style of desk can be a little intimidating for weak people because it takes muscular action. 

It is, however, a good workout at the same time. It is also known as a manual frame, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. Apart from that, it is not very dissimilar from an electric desk, saves for the fact that it has a visible hand crank, and does not utilize electricity.

Both of these frames are made specifically to support a standing desk. They operate remarkably well to ensure that their users can adjust the desk's height on the go. This versatility provides it a huge advantage over traditional desks since you can use it while standing or sitting in an ergonomic chair.

Similarities between an electric and a manual standing desk

Any advantage of a standing desk applies to both archetypes. Because they are mostly standing desks, their users can simply opt to sit in a chair or stand while using them because of their adjustable height. 

While they differ in how they raise their peak, they do have one thing in common: they are both adjustable. Because of this simple characteristic, both varieties are designed to be ergonomic.

There are many different varieties of hand crank and electric standing desks on the market, but many of them look the same. The only apparent distinction is the hand crank; otherwise, they can appear to be identical. 

Because they have a similar structure, their functionality is likewise very comparable. Both can accommodate similar devices such as PCs and monitors without compromising their overall style.

Another similarity is how a person buys them. Both options are available online and often have similar shipping, taxes, and other miscellaneous buyer factors. If an office worker needs to use a standing desk, both can get the job done well. While there are many similarities, there are notable differences worth pointing out.

Comparing the Two Types

Before we get into the specific pros and cons of each desk type, here is a quick rundown of their similarities:

  • They are both standing workstations.
  • The health benefits of using a standing desk are the same for both.
  • You have the option of increasing or decreasing their height.
  • These workstations are designed to be ergonomic.
  • They have a similar appearance.
  • Both work similarly, although they are not always the same.
  • Both can be used as a conventional table.
  • You can locate them online or in person, and they are generally associated with comparable stores.
  • Both work well in an office environment. 

Pros & Cons of Both Desks

Electric Standing Desk

When deciding between an electric and a manual standing desk, it is important to understand what an electric desk is and how it differs from a manual one. This style of workstation, like all things automatic, is easier to use. 

Because it is electrical, it is susceptible to mechanical failure if purchased from a low-quality manufacturer. In addition, compared to a hand crank desk, its electrical power allows it to lift more. 

An electric standing desk, on the other hand, has greater power and works faster. For office workers who are just concerned with performance, the added efficiency makes it more appealing. When altering height, electric standing desks were historically considered to be loud and irritating, but that is no longer the case.

In the discussion over electric vs. manual standing desks, it is also worth mentioning that electric workstations are app-compatible. There is an app for standing desks, just like there is for everything else these days. These apps can help you boost your productivity even more!

The expense of electric desks is one of their major disadvantages. As technology advances, so do the related costs. It is unfortunate, but if you can spare some extra cash for more functionality, it is certainly worth it. 

Aside from that, it is also more difficult to repair because most individuals lack the technical understanding required. Even the best organizations may experience a glitch at some point, which can be an issue.

Manual Standing Desk

There is a lot to talk about when it comes to hand-crank standing desks. It is also known as a manual desk, therefore in debates of electric vs. manual standing desks, it is the "manual." 

Given that it is a manual workstation, there is no risk of an electrical fault or other technical malfunction. The crane may fail, but any half-decent carpenter can repair it because it does not necessitate a great deal of technical understanding.

This is not just easier to fix, but it is also less expensive, as the parts for a new hand crank are less expensive than those for a motor drive. However, the hand crank is not the only thing that is less expensive; the entire workstation is less expensive on average. 

The cost of an electric standing desk decreases as technology advances. Hand cranks are simple but helpful in maintaining price stability.

A hand crank standing desk can be a suitable option for active living because it is physically demanding to use. You can still do basic exercises like push-ups and squats with any standing desk, but twisting the hand crank adds a little extra power to your calorie-burning efforts. 

Remember that this motion is slower than using an electric standing desk. A hand crank standing desk may be difficult for weak persons to use.

What is the Verdict?

This is not exactly a toss-up; both desks have outstanding attributes. In the end, the electric standing desk is the superior choice. The advantages of having an electric standing desk are far too numerous to be overlooked! While the hand crank desk is less expensive, most individuals should be able to afford the electric version without difficulty.

What about the two's physicality? Because turning the crane back and forth can be exhausting for some people, the hand crank desk does promote active living. Most people, on the other hand, do not need to modify their standing desks very often. It is unrealistic to expect someone to lose hundreds of pounds only by using their hand-crank workstation.

Although it is a fantastic workout, some people only twist it once a day. They might not even adjust the height on some days!


We hope that you now have a better understanding of both sides of the manual vs. electric standing desk issue. While both are excellent standing desks in their own right, in most circumstances the electric version is superior. 

If you are on a tight budget and need a new standing desk right soon, the hand crank option is the only way to go. Aside from that, the electric standing desk is unquestionably superior in every other category. You should now have a better grasp of the two types of desks and be able to make an informed decision.

To help you make an informed decision, try out the Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series EC5 of FlexiSpot. This is an electric standing desk. For more options, go on to flexispot.com now!