Today we will be taking a closer look at the Uplift v2 desk. More specifically, we are looking at the top problems with the Uplift Desk. While Uplift’s flagship product has a lot going for it, the product does have a fair amount of problems associated with it. In this post, we will go over those problems and provide solutions where they exist. After this, you should be able to get a better idea if the Uplift Desk is a good fit for you.
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Top 5 Problems for Uplift v2 Desk
- Stability at Standing Height
- Gear Quality
- Control Box Electronics
- Low-Quality Glides
- Exposed Worm and Gear on Motor
- Bottom Line
1. Stability at Standing Height
The Uplift v2 Desk has stability issues that start at 43.5” tall. A quick look at our standing desk height calculator tool and you can see this will impact anyone over 5’10” or 5’11” tall. Both the rocking motion and wobble appear to start around the same heights.
In taking a closer look at the rocking motion, I have found this to be common with the non-traditional column design. That means the largest portion of the column is on top, with the smallest section on the bottom. The Uplift Desk was solid below 43.5”, but once it raised beyond that height the rocking motion became noticeable. Beyond 45” to 46” this motion became bad and would impact your work. Besides the non-traditional setup for the column, a lack of overlap within the column exaggerated this motion.
The second stability issue with the Uplift Desk was the wobble motion. While the Uplift Desk was the most stable through the wobble test, of any desk without a cross support, it still had issues above 43.5” tall. The main reason the Uplift Desk was more stable than others, without cross supports, was because of the wedge design. Because the columns are non-traditional, there is a place to add a small wedge at the top of the column and motor box. This helps to increase lateral stability quite a bit when compared to other JieCang desks like the Jarvis Desk. Unfortunately, without a traditional cross support in place, the Uplift Desk still shows wobble issues. Once raised beyond 46”, the motion becomes bad and will impact your work.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a great solution for making the Uplift v2 more stable at standing heights. If a desk without a traditional cross support is important, the Uplift Desk is the most stable we have tested that doesn’t include this part of the frame. If you would prefer something that is more stable, including a traditional cross support, is paramount to lateral stability. The Uplift v2 Commercial includes traditional cross support. Through our stability testing, we have found it to provide better stability.
2. Gear Quality
Having quality gears in your standing desk is an important part of the overall functionality of the desk. Taking a closer look at the gears inside the Uplift Desk, I was left unimpressed. While the gear itself was pretty solid, the additional plastic components and over lubrication was a big miss.
Closer inspection of the gear on the Uplift Desk showed that the cheap plastic components were load-bearing. Considering Uplift advertises a weight capacity of 355 lbs., this is a major red flag to me. The truth is, only resellers of the JieCang actually advertise the higher weight capacity. When looking closer at the details on the OEM JieCang’s website, they actually advertise a max capacity closer to 224 lbs (1000N).
Secondly, the over lubrication of the gear was messy. While this may not impact the overall life cycle of the frame, the potential exists for the desk to work less efficiently. The biggest question I have is why there is so much lubricant used. Is the gear actually lower quality and requires it? Or is it a quality control issue? Both are problems that I would want to better understand with a large purchase.
Because the lubricant on the gear is internalized and we aren’t sure why there is so much, it is best to leave it in place. There isn’t a solution with the product as is. Depending on your budget, there are a few different alternative options on both sides of the Uplift Desk’s price point. Because of its low price I was surprised to find that the Autonomous SmartDesk 2 has better quality gears than Uplift. Based on how the Autonomous Gears looks, it appears AOKE has used Ketterer for an example when building their gears. These are the best quality gears I have seen coming out of China for a mid-range product. On the other side of the price spectrum, the ModDesk Pro features a two-stage Ketterer gear that is high-end. Ketterer and Linak gears are the best I have found within the entire standing desk category. While you will be spending more than 20-30% over the Uplift, the quality is obvious.
See The Best Electric Standing Desks For 2020
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3. Control Box Electronics
Because the Uplift v2 Desk is an electric standing desk, the electronic components are important to the functionality of the desk. Consider this: The Uplift Desk has 26” of overall adjustment and could potentially stop working at any height during that range. If you were to have it stop work somewhere between sitting and standing it could become unusable. This is true with all standing desks.
Looking at the electronics pack on the Uplift Desk, JieCang has put together an okay package. From the outside, it’s hard to really tell the difference in the quality of the control box when compared to most other products. Once you open up the control box the difference becomes very obvious. When compared to other control boxes made by Chinese manufacturers such as Lumi and TiMotion, the same issues exist. One of the most obvious was the excessive amounts of white epoxy used to hold things in place. There was no real consistency with it either, it was just sort of put all over. The second was how each of the toroid cores was coiled. They appeared to be hand coiled with no consistency here either. Overall, there was a lack of quality control in place in one of the most significant portions of the desk.
When comparing the Chinese brand’s control boxes to high-quality competitors, such as Linak and LogicData, the differences are obvious by visual comparison. While I wouldn’t consider myself anything close to an electronics expert, the Linak and LogicData electronics had much better consistency throughout. It’s obvious the level of quality control for all of the Chinese made desks I reviewed was subpar. Better alternatives that include high-quality electronics are the UpDesk Elements, ModDesk Pro by MultiTable and VertDesk v3. The UpDesk Elements includes Linak electronics, while the ModDesk Pro and the VertDesk v3 feature Logic Data.
4. Low-Quality Plastic Glides
Having reviewed over ten different JieCang frames, the use of lower quality plastics for glides in their frames has been consistent throughout all of the frames. Low-quality glides can cause a host of different issues in standing desks, from false positives in collision avoidance systems to instability as the glides wear down.
Binding in the columns can occur as the glides wear down, which is the cause of issues with collision avoidance systems. This binding triggers the collision system, which tells the desk to reverse course because the desk thinks it has hit something.
The second issue is the stability issues created as the glide wears down. Glides are used to create a proper fit between columns. By reducing the play between the different sized columns, the stability of the frame is maximized. As the glides wear down, the amount of play is increased. You will actually notice the desk becoming more unstable over the life of ownership. Because the glides used in the Uplift Desk, this is a concern for me over the life of the product.
Unfortunately, there isn’t really a quick solution for the lower quality glides in the Uplift Desk. Because we have found the same glides to be used across all of the JieCang frames, there is no way to avoid this problem. Through testing within the mid-range, we have found this to be a common issue across most Chinese brands. Looking at the UpDesk Elements, it is obvious what product these brands have tried to imitate. The Linak DL5 column on UpDesk is almost an identical setup; however, the overall quality is much better. Using higher quality plastic requires significantly less lubricant and reduces rub marks on the outside of the columns. Better glide options also exist in the ROL-ERGO products from IKEA Bekant.
When issues arise with collision avoidance issues, manufacturers tend to resolve them by changing the sensitivity in the control box. Most products will not allow the end consumer to make adjustments to these settings. This means the manufacturer will have to send a replacement control box to remedy the situation. If your desk is out of warranty, this could mean you have to pay for a replacement.
5. Exposed Worm Drive and Gear on Motor
The last problem with the Uplift Desk is the motors. While the motors on their own are strong and had no issues lifting 380 lbs., there are some important misses. The first is that the motors worm drive and gear are exposed. Because JieCang has decided to copy the Linak motor, they have adopted the same problems. By leaving this exposed, the opportunity for contaminants to work their way into the worm drive and gear exist. The second issue is linked to the lack of quality control on the JieCang motors. Nothing new to this product, over lubrication on the worm drive and gear pose a threat to the electronics. Because of the proximity of the worm drive and gear, the lubricant found its way onto the electronics of the motor. This is a red flag for me and could potentially cause issues down the road.
The best solution to the exposed worm drive and gears is an alternative desk with a motor that is fully enclosed. To find a product that offers this, you don’t have to significantly increase your budget. Products such as the Autonomous Desk or IKEA Bekant each include motors that are fully enclosed. While these motors aren’t quite as powerful, they won’t have issues with contaminants entering into the important areas of the motor.
When taking a closer look at the Uplift Desk, there are a lot of positives that are hard to ignore. With a large 26” adjustment range, 355 lbs. capacity and a seven-year warranty, the Uplift Desk has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, the desk is far from perfect. Short cuts to keep the cost down on the Uplift Desk mean that significant problems exist. Low-quality gear systems, subpar electronics and low-quality glides could all negatively impact the lifecycle of the Uplift Desk. While the Uplift Desk is the most stable desk we have tested without traditional cross support, it isn’t as stable as those that include a cross support with their frame. Depending on your specific needs, the Uplift Desk has an opportunity to be a good fit.
Additional Standing Desk Resources
- The 4 Best Electric Standing Desks Under $1000
- Top 6 Reasons Why Standing Desks Wobble
- Autonomous SmartDesk 2 Vs Uplift 900 Desk: Which Is Better?
- UpDesk Elements Vs Uplift 900 Desk: Which Is Better?
- Evodesk Vs Uplift Desk: The JieCang Standing Desk Comparison
- The Uplift 900 vs. The Jarvis Standing Desk