The most common question we get asked here at Stairlifts Leicester is “Which Stairlift is best?” In the past there hasn’t been the wide choice of stairlifts available that there are today. Certain manufacturers in the past have led the way but like all technology it changes almost on a daily basis.
The same can be said for Stairlifts. After the winch operated stairlift came the chain driven stairlift mechanism. Unlike the wire rope system this was not prone to fraying or stretching. The chain offered the 1st direct drive system using sprockets & cogs. It was however an oily and greasy replacement and the sound of ‘chain slap’ was common due to a simple chain tensioner which relied on spring recoil. This needed professional stairlift maintenance properly during a stairlift service otherwise it could result in a costly stairlift repair.
Next came the rack & pinion system that we still use today. This was quiet, positive and simple to install. It removed the need to disconnect chains and deploy safety gears to stop the stairlift from sliding down the rail at speed and simply allowed the lift to be driven on & off.
Of course it was the introduction of D/C batteries that revolutionised the new stairlifts. No longer would users be worried that they would get stuck half way in a power cut or concern themselves about the amount of electricity being used. The stairlift battery used no more electric that a light bulb or tv and simply used a low voltage charger or power supply to keep them topped up. This meant the stairlift could still make around 12 trips without any power. Along with the batteries to control the stairlift came remote controls instead of hard wired buttons on the wall. At last, no wires. This was perfect for renting a stairlift as it made it quicker to install a rental stairlift. The older mains lifts were now either used for spares or reconditioned stairlifts.
Which stairlift is best?
Of course, the answer to the original question “Which stairlift is best?” depends on various factors. It’s always advisable to use a reputable stairlift specialist who can carry out a proper assessment to make sure the equipment can be used safely by the proposed user. They will suggest one or more options as well as auxiliary equipment such as powered swivel seats and automatic powered hinged rails.
The final factor is obviously personal preference. At the end of the day, it is something you will have to look at everyday so one that will compliment your home is always a wise choice.