Standing Desks – Single Motor vs. Dual Motor

So you’re going to buy a standing desk and you’ve decided that a motorized standing desk is your best bet.

Good for you.

What you might not have expected is to find that there are also different types of motorized standing desks.

Specifically you’ll have to pick a model with either a single or dual motor set up.

Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

Motor strength

Let’s cover off some basics before we do anything else.

Keep in mind that not all motors are created equal.

For example the motors used in standing desks are small DC models that are cheap to produce but don’t produce a lot of torque because they don’t have to.

After all, these motors are moving a desk and not an entire car. But if you have a desktop PC, multiple monitors and a few other bits and pieces, this all adds up to the total weight your standing desk motors will have to lift or lower.

So, do make sure that your desk’s motor(s) are up to the job or otherwise you’re going to get to enjoy the smell of a burnt out motor and the expense of replacing those cheap motors on your cheap desk.

Motor speed

It may sound weird to consider a desk’s speed, but there’s a reason why we mention it.

After all, you don’t want to have to sit there waiting for minutes while your desk crawls to your designed working height.

So it’s worth testing how quickly the desk is capable of raising or lowering your work surface.

Single vs. Dual motor

A single motor standing desk means that a single motor is used to raise and lower the entire desk working area.

A dual motor standing desk means that each “leg” of your table has a separate motor so you have, in theory, twice as much lifting or lowering power.

In terms of comparison, some prefer going for dual motor standing desks because of the impression that two motors are better than one.

However, what they overlooked is that both motors should both work well.

For example, if one motor fails, then only one side of your desk can be adjusted. That potentially leave you stuck with a desk that’s at a fixed height that cannot be changed until the other motor is replaced.

When it comes to single motor desks, then that one motor should function properly. But again, if that single motor fails then your desk is pretty much useless.

So, the moral of the story here is to check that your future standing desk uses high quality motors that are either field serviceable or modular enough to be replaceable.

Motor synchronization

Something else to consider around dual motor standing desks is that it is possible for the motors to get out of sync.

What this means is that you could push the button to raise the desk on a dual motor desk but the motors operate at different speeds.

Your desk will actually raise or lower as you wanted it to, but the desktop area could be at a 45-degree slope.

If there’s nothing on your desk at the time this isn’t a big deal. It could actually be kinda funny to watch.

But what you don’t want is to watch in horror as your prized laptop and ultra-wide monitor slide of the side of your desk and shatter on the floor.

Single motor desks don’t have this potential problem.

Consider the desk design

Generally, single motor standing desks have their motor placed where it can immediately be seen.

 On the other hand, dual-motor standing desks have their motors tucked away since it is smaller than single motor standing desk models.

So if aesthetics is important to you then a dual motor standing desk might just suit you that bit more.

Consider the cost

Usually, single motor standing desks offer more cost-efficient designs than dual-motor ones.

However, this is not always the case.

 It would still depend on the quality of the materials as well as the brand or manufacturer of the desk. As mentioned above, motors, speed, and strength play a role in what desk would be better.

This is directly related to the cost.

The higher the quality, then the higher the cost.

Wrapping things up

So there you have our breakdown of single vs. dual motor standing desks.

I hope you found it useful and gave you a few tips for when you go shopping.

If you take nothing else away from reading this blog post then let it be this – you get what you pay for.

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