How to Fix a Wobbly Swivel Chair?

A brown leather swivel chair on a wood floor next to a windowsill with a potted vine.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

We all know how vital a good swivel chair is when working at our desks. So, if the chair wobbles, things can be frustrating and uncomfortable. For instance, a lot of people can’t concentrate or pay attention to their work if their chair wobbles.

Fortunately, this is a problem that we can help you with. This article will help you identify the cause of the wobble and provide tips on fixing it.

Why Is Your Swivel Chair Wobbly?

Swivel chairs usually feel great when you buy them but may lose their comfort after some time. What may have started as a slight wobble in your favorite chair will slowly become unbearable if you don’t fix it immediately. So, let’s discuss why swivel chairs become wobbly and lose their comfort.

Poor Production

Even though nobody likes to buy things that will break after a few uses, every once in a while, we are all the “lucky winners” of a faulty product due to poor production. Whether it’s the quality of the materials or the technique, the result will be a product that won’t last, even if you paid good money for it.

This is why choosing a renowned brand with a stellar reputation and lengthy warranties is always smart.

Substandard Repairs

Unfortunately, we often resort to quick fixes like hammering loose parts or applying glue to areas that shouldn’t be glued. But quick and improvised fixes almost always make things worse. Putting a bit more effort into finding the root cause of the problem will save money and time in the long run.

Old Parts

Everything has its expiration date, so if you have your chair for more than a few years, the wobbliness is expected. With time, the materials get damaged and broken or become loose and wobbly due to regular wear and tear.

Weak Joints

Most times, the problem lies in the chair’s weak joints. Even though these chairs are meant to support the continuous pressure of a substantial amount of weight for many hours every day, sometimes the pressure can loosen the chair’s joints. The looser the joints, the wobblier the chair.

Simple Steps for Fixing a Wobbly Swivel Chair

Miscellaneous office tools including sticky notes, a screwdriver, erasers, and paperclips arranged on a dark gray surface.
Photo by Dan Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash

Fixing a wobbly swivel chair is an easy and fun project that doesn’t require expertise in the field of swivel chairs. Below, we’ll go into the details and share specific steps on what to do if you want to fix your wobbly swivel chair.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Pencil/marker
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Glue
  • Pliers/spanner/wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement parts

Step 1: Examine the Wheels and Legs of the Chair

Before disassembling the chair, you should check whether there is a simple solution to the problem. Examining the wheels on the chair as well as the legs is crucial. Turn the chair over and inspect whether the wheels of each leg are in good condition or whether you see one that is bent or twisted. This may be the reason for making the chair wobble.

If a wheel is damaged, you’ll need to replace it. Most wheels nowadays can easily be pulled off or untightened with a screwdriver.

On the other hand, once you determine that the wheels are not causing the problem, you can move on and check the legs to see whether a screw or a bolt is missing. If one has fallen and you don’t have a replacement, it’s easy to find any type of screw or bolt in any hardware store. Just make sure you take one of the remaining screws or bolts with you so you don’t buy the wrong size or type.

Step 2: Label Every Part of the Chair

You need to disassemble the chair if you didn’t identify the problem when you examined the wheels and legs.

To start, you first need to know which part goes where. It’s best to use a pencil or marker to make small marks on each part of the chair. Use a numbering or lettering system to mark what you take out, making the assembling much easier later.

Step 3: Disassemble the Chair

Start with the screws and the bolts that are connecting the wheels and the legs of the chair. Use a suitable type of drill or a screwdriver based on the type of chair you have and the connections it uses. During this process, you might also need to use pliers, a spanner, or a wrench.

Step 4: Clean the Pieces

Cleaning the pieces will help you take a closer look into the problem. Take each individual piece and try to clean it from old glue or things that might have gotten stuck over the years. At this point, you might find something you had missed in the first step when examining the chair superficially.

Step 5: Replace the Broken or Loose Dowel Pins/Screws/ Bolts

The dowel pins are used to join two or more components together, and if one of them is damaged, it needs to be removed with a hammer or pliers and then replaced. Ensure the replaced pin is the same size and fits into the hole. Do the same with all missing or broken screws and bolts.

Step 6: Apply Adhesive on the Joints

This is an optional step, depending on your chair type. Some wooden swivel chairs use glue to join some of the pieces together. If you need an adhesive, ensure the joints are strong. Use the markings you made at the start to ensure the pieces are fixed in their rightful place.

Step 7: Assembling the Chair

This is the last step, where we follow the reverse path from the third step. Make sure that all the screws and parts are in the right place and tightened. Then, slowly piece back the chair using the labeling system you put in place.

How to Tighten a Loose Office Chair?

Office swivel chairs have a pneumatic cylinder in the middle that controls the height of the chair through pressurized air. When the pressurized air wears out, we often end up with a wobbly chair. This could be another reason behind the wobbliness, and here’s how to fix it.

Step 1: Push the Plastic Skirt Away From the Cylinder

The first thing to do is to detach the chair’s seat from the cylinder. Most office swivel chairs don’t have connectors for this part, so you wouldn’t need a tool to detach it. Generally, there is a plastic tube on top of the cylinder. You need to push the plastic skirt down until the metal cylinder is visible.

Step 2: Adjust the Chair to Your Preferred Height

The next thing to do is to make sure that the height of the chair is adjusted to your preferred height. The recommended height is the same height as your knees when you sit, and the soles of your feet are touching the floor.

Step 3: Installing a Clamp Around the Cylinder

Put duct tape around the highest point of the cylinder to improve the grip of the clamp that you will put on the cylinder. The clamp should also be at the highest point of the cylinder. Tighten it by turning the screw in a clockwise motion. This should make the chair stiffer. Put a rubber strip instead of duct tape if the clamp slides off.

Final Thoughts

There are different types and models of swivel chairs on the market today, each with different options and customizable parts. But as with any other product, swivel chairs are not immune to damage due to regular wear and tear, regardless of the quality. One such common issue is wobbliness. Hopefully, our tips can help you fix your wobbly swivel chair without needing to replace it.

To start the whole process, you first need to find the root cause of your wobbly chair and learn how to fix it. You’ll also need to figure out other swivel chair-related maneuvers, such as tightening weak joints.

Follow the step-by-step solutions we have provided, and you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a new chair anytime soon! We hope this guide was helpful and that you can now comfortably fix your chair and return it to its original glory.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top