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Pneumatic vs. Hydraulic Power

Pneumatic and hydraulic desks have one main thing in common: they both take advantage of fluid power to assist with height adjustment. Although both technologies have their merits, pneumatic desks have the edge when it comes to height-adjustable desks, because they are more reliable, versatile, and simple to use.

What Is Pneumatic Power?

Pneumatic power is the power of compressed air. Pneumatic desks, therefore, are non-electric desks that are operated with gas cylinders that compress and expand. Pneumatic power is often preferred for rugged nature, generally low cost, and extremely low maintenance.

Why Pneumatic Standing Desks Are Best

Due to the inherent simplicity of pneumatic technology, pneumatic desks are:

  • More affordable. Compared to desks powered with hydraulics, pneumatic desks are generally more affordable due to the fact that fewer components are involved.
  • Extremely easy operate. Pneumatic desks are simple to lower and raise, requiring no hand crank or electric power to operate. Just a simple touch will do.
  • Versatile. Pneumatic desks can be placed anywhere they will fit, due to their lightweight nature and lack of electrical cords.
  • Safe. In the event of liquid spills, there is no chance the pneumatic desk will malfunction, because there are no electrical components to worry about.
  • Lower carbon footprint. Unlike standing desk models that require many pieces of equipment, pneumatic desks are made for 100% recyclability.

How Do Hydraulics Work?

Hydraulic powered desks use a pressurized liquid – usually oil – to transmit mechanical energy. They require either electricity or hand powered cranks to raise and lower.

Disadvantages of Hydraulic Standing Desks

Hydraulic power can be ideal for certain applications, but it generally has a few disadvantages when used in hydraulic standing desks:

  • More intricate parts. Due to the number of parts in a hydraulic system, these systems are generally bulkier, more expensive, and more maintenance intensive.
  • Messier. A hydraulic standing desk uses pressurized liquid (oil) that has the potential to leak and become messy if a part malfunctions or breaks.
  • Less safe. Hydraulic desks that are electrically powered can require clunky cords, and can be unsafe in the event of a liquid spill.
  • Harder to use. Some have cranks, which could prevent certain people with limited function from using it.
  • Bulkier. Usually, hydraulic desks are larger and heavier than pneumatic desks, with a more industrial look, because they require more components like hydraulic actuators, and they are designed to lift heavier industrial loads.
  • Slower. Most hydraulic desks are slower because the oil takes longer to move through parts due to higher viscosity. If you think of pushing a valve through compressed air vs pushing a valve through compressed fluid, it makes sense that hydraulic valves are generally slower
  • Less reliable. Hydraulic desks are essentially out of commission whenever their electrical parts malfunction.

Pneumatic Desks from The Standing Desk

The Standing Desk has a variety of pneumatic desk options for all work needs.

The Ändern Standing Desk

Types of Pneumatic Desks

  • The Klöud: The Klöud is the most heavy-duty option in standing desks. The base is available in three colors and there are two surface sizes (60” and 48”) that are available in four different colors. Holds up to 150 lbs.
  • The Ändern Pneumatic: The Ändern Pneumatic has the same customization of colors as the Klöud. This is a slightly smaller desk (48” and 40” surfaces), good for laptops or smaller monitors.
  • The Lüften: The Lüften also has three base colors and four surface colors. At 60” wide, the surface size is good for larger monitors.
  • The Möbel: The smallest of the desks, the Möbel table holds up to 35 lbs. Suitable for smaller spaces.

Best Pneumatic Standing Desks

When comparing pneumatic vs hydraulic power for a height adjustable desk, a pneumatic standing desk has a clear edge. Put the quick, quiet power of pneumatic lift to work for you. Find the best pneumatic standing desks for your own office setup at The Standing Desk.