As we watch the race to the bottom in the electric standing desk category, new products seemingly have continued to enter the market. The Titan Fitness WA2 electric standing desk is one of these new entrants that our customers have started to take note of. With a sub $250 price point for an expandable DIY frame, the Titan Fitness WA2 had us wondering what you get for such a low price point. With our expectations tempered, we ordered one into the lab and were eager to see how it performed. Let’s take a closer look at the WA2 and see what this new product had to offer.
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Titan Fitness WA2 Review Snapshot
- Price Point
- Heavy duty steel
- Four button programmable switch standard
- 88 lbs. dynamic load capacity
- High pitch sounds from electronics
- Low load capacities
- Low quality gear system
- No overload protection
- Front to back stability issues at 39 inches
- One year warranty
The Titan Fitness WA2 is manufactured by the Chinese company, Suzhou Waltz Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd. Based in Wuzhong District Suzhou, Jiangsu, the Waltz furniture company has been in business since 2014. The Titan Fitness model we brought in for testing is called the Single Motor 2 Stage Frame A2 on the Waltz-t.com website. I haven’t seen this brand of standing desks much in the USA, although a recent low cost UpDesk was just released using their newest SM Y base.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Specs / Pricing / Features
– Assembly Process
– Stability Testing
– Column, Foot and Frame
– Motor and Gears
– Glide Systems
– Testing The Specs
– What I Like
– What I Don’t Like
– Final Thoughts
Titan Fitness WA2 Quick Summary Video
Titan Fitness is part of Titan Manufacturing and Distributors, Inc. Founded by Rusty Robinson, the first product that started their company was fire pits. Since founding the company, Rusty’s focus has always been on offering products at an extremely affordable price. Titan Manufacturing and Distributors focus is mostly on metal products. Their brands include Titan Fitness, Titan Ramps, Titan Attachments, and Titan Outdoors.
Product Specs (Frame Only)
Height Adjustable Range: 27” – 46”
Travel Speed: 1.38” per second
Noise Level: 62-64 dB
Weight Capacity: 88 lbs. moving / 176 lbs. static
Adjustable Width Base: 43″ – 63″ width adjustable
Adjustable Foot Glides: .5” adjustment
$244.00 + Free Shipping
- Single stage column with 19” travel range
- Four preset programmable button switch standard
- 40-90 minute assembly for most
- Heavy duty steel frame
- 88 lbs. dynamic (moving) weight capacity
- 1.38” per second adjustment speed
- 1 year warranty
After 12 months of testing 20+ electric standing desks the results are in!
The Titan Fitness WA2 came in a similar box to most of the imported standing desk frames. It was compact, but it was heavy, with handles on the ends to assist with moving the box. Unfortunately, because of the weight of the product, the handles did not hold up too well with FedEx using them to maneuver the package. Inside the box the parts were separated by thick cardboard and cut foam to hold them in place. The packaging might be too abrasive for the paint finish used on the frame. There were rub marks and scratches throughout when first opening the box.
The assembly process for the Titan Fitness WA2 was a bit confusing. With small pictures in the assembly guide, locating the correct holes for some of the frame components took some additional time. Overall, there weren’t too many parts to assemble though and I was able to get through the process. It took me a bit longer than normal, with the full assembly done in about 40 minutes. It is important to note that if you have bought the frame only for DIY purposes, Titan does not include hardware to attach a desk surface. I noticed on their website they offer surfaces to pair with their WA2 frame, but I’m not sure if those would have hardware included. It would be a good idea to reach out if you are interested in buying the combo.
The stability of an electric standing desk is one of the most important aspects. Without proper stability, you run the risk of losing focus and diminished efficiency while working. If a standing desk has a weakness, the problem will only be exaggerated once the desk is raised to taller heights. Unfortunately, these stability issues can’t be resolved once you own the product. If stability is important to you, it a good idea to make sure that your new desk doesn’t have wobble or rocking issues at your standing height.
Front to back: The front to back rocking test was the worst performing stability test for the Titan desk. With rocking motions being noticeable by 36”, the front to back motion became bad by 39” tall. At this height, users that are 5’4” and above would be likely to have rocking motions impact their work.
Left to right: The Titan did better with the left to right wobble test. It wasn’t until 39” to 40” that you started to notice the wobble motion. By 43” the wobble became bad enough to impact your work.
With one of the lowest price points of any desk that I have tested to date, I had tempered my expectations for the level of quality across the board for the Titan. After reviewing more than ten different standing desks made in China, I assumed this product would likely have the worst of the group.
The first thing I realized was that the Titan desk didn’t come with the traditional control box design. Instead, it hid almost all the control box technology for the desk inside the switch. This was a bit of a surprise, being that I have not seen this on any of the desks that have come through our lab. Opening the switch, I found two small circuit boards that were the brains of the desk. Each board was clean, with the clips linking them together was secure. While the system was simple, it was nice to see that it was put together well.
Because they put most of the technology in the switch, there wasn’t any room for the power source. Instead they used a standalone power AC to DC power adapter that ran at 29V. This wasn’t much of a surprise, since this is an easy way for manufacturers to cut some cost from the unit. This power converter was mass produced and likely used across various industries. We have seen this setup from other low-end products like the IKEA Bekant standing desk.
The Titan Fitness WA2 came with a collision avoidance system but did not include an overload protection system. When testing the collision avoidance system, it required a significant amount of force to get the desk to stop moving. I found that the leg with the motor was much better at recognizing this, while the opposite leg required most of my body weight to stop the motion. With one touch functionality standard on this desk, this is definitely a cause for concern. The Titan desk has one of the lowest weight capacities that I have seen in the entire category. With an 88 lbs. dynamic load capacity, overload protection is something I would have liked to have on this product. Just adding a 60” wide surface, your computer and monitors would exceed this capacity.
Column, Foot and Frame Build Quality
Overall, the build quality of the Titan Fitness desk was good. I like that they used heavy components, with consistent welds throughout most of the frame. My only concern was the powder coat that they used for the finish.
Looking closer at the feet first, the Titan Fitness had a nice and heavy foot design. They used a thick plate steel for the top of the foot, with the same thickness used for two runners that ran perpendicular to the top plate of the foot. The welds on the foot were consistent and didn’t show through the top of the foot like others using similar thick plated steel. Unfortunately, the paint finish used on the frame wasn’t very durable. We had quite a few scratches and permanent rub marks on the feet specifically.
The columns and upper frame sections of the frame were both well-constructed. These components were constructed from heavy steel, that was on par with the vast majority of alternatives in the market. Like the feet, the components used the low-quality paint finish. This would be my only concern with the column and upper frame components.
Motor and Gears
The motor and gear system of an electric standing desk are key to the desks adjustment speed and capacity. While the Titan desk had a single motor, we have had a handful of single motor systems that were more than efficient. It was a bit surprising that the Titan had such a low weight capacity.
Looking first at the motor of the Titan desk, it was a good size and during testing the desk operated at an efficient speed. The motor was held in a plastic box that included molded foam to dampen some of the sound from the motor. Overall, this was a good design and hid the silver motor from the outside of the desk.
I have mixed feelings about the gear system found on the Titan desk. With a single motor hex rod driven system, the use of a bevel gear and gear box is required. These systems have the potential to be less efficient and lack the level of efficiency found on linear actuator alternatives. Getting this right requires a lot of experience, that to be honest I have only seen Ketterer perfect. The Titan gear system had one big positive and that was a fully internalized system. This meant the spindle gear was completely contained inside the tube structure. This is nice, since it will help keep contaminants out of the spindle gear, extending the life of the product.
When you manually move this type of a gear, you can quickly get an idea of the quality and efficiency. When moving the Titan’s gear, the gear makes quite a bit of noise and isn’t smooth in transition. This is a clear giveaway of the level of quality with their gear system and opening the gear only reinforced my original theory. Looking first at the bevel gears, they were excessively lubricated with what appeared to be a crude machine process to manufacturer them. Opening the spindle gear, I found that it was about the same level of quality.
Considering the extremely low dynamic load capacity of 88 lbs., the low-quality gear system was the likely cause. If the OEM was trying to protect themselves, rating their desk at this low of capacity would ensure they are not responsible for gear failure.
The glide systems inside an electric standing desk are one of the most important components of the desk. They are also one of the most unknown components to the general public. These small plastic parts are needed for two major reasons; creating a custom fit between two different sized tubes and as a natural lubricant between the metal parts. If you don’t get the fit right, desks will have play here and that can be a major issue for stability at standing height. Cheap glides also tend to break down faster which will only create more stability problems over time.
The glide system found on the Titan was like that on the JieCang frames we have tested. It had a similar upper and lower glide setup, using low quality plastics throughout. One key advantage over the JieCang models was that the Titan Fitness desk didn’t include excessive amounts of lubrication throughout. This was a big surprise to me, since almost all of the low-cost desks I have tested had this problem.
I had assumed that this product came with one size fits all glides, but after opening the columns I’m not sure on that. Each of the glides was marked with a 1.0, which generally is a sizing thing that manufacturers do to recognize different sized glides. There was a fair amount of play in the Titan columns during the stability testing, so the fact that the same glides were used throughout both columns was odd. If they had different sizes available to them, I would think they would have done a better job marrying the columns together.
A major concern I had with the Titan desk was linked to the paint finish they used. With a rough powder coating, the glides that slide against the paint finish were susceptible to wearing down much faster than if a smooth finish was used. When the desk moved up and down, you could hear the glides rubbing. After opening the columns, you could tell that those glides were wearing down faster than the glides that slid against the raw steel. This is opposite of how most standing desk glide systems wear down over time. Since the Titan Fitness has a collision avoidance system, this could potentially create false positives down the road. This could very well be one of the reasons why their desk doesn’t have a sensitive setting for the collision avoidance.
One year warranty on all parts.
Testing The Specs
Height Adjustment: 27” to 46”
True. I found that the Titan was able to adjust through this range of motion.
Adjustment Speed: 1” Per Second
False. I actually found that the Titan desk was able to move at 1.35” per second with the weight of a 45 lbs. surface. The desk was consistent through most of the load testing I did as well.
Noise Level: n/a
I found the desk operated between 62-64 dB.
Weight Capacity: 88 lbs. dynamic (moving) / 176 lbs. static (not-moving)
True. I was able to easily move the weight ratings listed by OEM Waltz.
What I like
With a price point under $250 for the frame only, this is without question the best feature of the desk. You will be hard pressed to find many alternatives that are less money. They have built their frame with heavy duty steel components and looking at only that I think it is worth the price.
Heavy Duty Parts
Like mentioned above, the Titan desk is built with heavy duty steel components. They are at a minimum on par with many alternative products that are sold for two or more times the price.
Programmable Switch Comes Standard
Considering how low the price is on the Titan desk, I was happy to see they included the programmable switch standard. It features four programmable preset buttons, an up/down button and a digital readout. This is the most common configuration of a programmable switch in the electric standing desk category.
What I don’t like
I had two problems with the paint finish used on the Titan Fitness desk. The first was that lack of durability found for this finish. I would have expected something better from a company known for making heavy duty exercise equipment. The frame that we received arrived with quite a few scratches and scuffs on the feet. The frame was well packed, but this still happened in transit. Testing the finish, you were able to easily scratch it which wouldn’t rub out.
The second issue I had with the paint finish was the texture used. Because one set of the glides has to slide on the paint, a smooth finish is preferred. When the desk would make height transitions you could hear the glides rubbing on the rough paint. This has the potential to speed up the wearing of the glides, creating stability problems and false positives with the collision avoidance system.
High Pitch Sound From Electronics
When you pressed the up or down button, there was a distinct high pitch sound that occurred. Because of the delay in motion with the up button, it was even more noticeable adjusting to tall heights with the desk. Even once the desk was moving the high pitch sound would continue.
No Overload Protection
With a dynamic load rating of 88 lbs. and a static load of 176 lbs., overload protection is a must on this desk. Our most popular desk size sold is 30” x 60”, and the surface for that size is 54 lbs. This means you are left with 34 lbs. for items like monitors, CPU and phone. It would be fairly easy to exceed the dynamic load rating for the Titan Fitness desk.
Low Load Capacities
Users that are hoping to add more than a desk surface and standard accessories are likely to overload the dynamic 88 lbs. capacity. While the 176 lbs. static load is attractive, you need to consider that you’ll be moving things off the desk every time it is moved. Since users should try to switch from sitting to standing multiple times throughout the day this is a red flag.
Front to Back Stability Issues
Reading through our blog, you probably recognize how important stability on a standing desk is. The Titan Fitness desk had front to back rocking issues as early as 36”. By the time the desk reached 39” these motions became bad. This height will impact all users that are 5’4” and above.
Low Quality Gear System
At first glance, the gear system on the Titan desk looked to be okay. With a cast aluminum gear box on the top of the gear, the quality was better than Autonomous Home edition, a product at a similar price point. When you manually pulled the gear in and out, the problem was easy to recognize. The gear was loud and difficult to move efficiently. The bevel gear system inside gearbox was low quality as well. All of these problems are likely linked to the desks low capacity ratings.
Short OEM Manufacturing History
The OEM manufacturer for the Titan desk has only been producing since 2014. Compare that to other Chinese manufacturers like Kaidi and Jiecang who have over 15 years’ experience. Manufacturing quality electric standing desks is something that requires a certain amount of experience. Only being involved in manufacturing for less than four years is concerning to me.
With a one year warranty standard on the Titan Fitness frame, this desk shouldn’t be purchased as a long term investment.
If you’re looking for a low-cost option to get into the standing desk world, the Titan Fitness desk is one of the least expensive options. Selling for under $250, this frame will cost less than a lot of standing desk converters currently available. Like anything, you will get what you pay for and the Titan Express comes with a low-price tag for a reason. With a moving capacity of only 88 lbs., most power users will not be able to use this desk within the rated capacity. Low quality electronics, a short warranty and stability issues are big reasons for users to reconsider this purchase. If you are looking for a long-term solution, this probably is not the best option.