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How to Disassemble an Office Chair in 5 Steps

Disassembling your office chair can be a daunting task. You probably thought you would never have to, but here you are! Sometimes it needs to be disassembled to replace a piece, oil the squeaky parts, or maybe you are moving it elsewhere.

Whatever the reason is, don’t worry because it is possible, and this is a complete guide on how to do it.

Before you start

The tools you need can vary depending on the type of chair you have, but these are the necessary materials for most models.

The tools you will need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Pry bar
  • Adjustable wrench
  • 2×4
  • Hammer
  • Mallet
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • User manual the chair came with if you have it

Don’t worry if you don’t have the user guide as most office chairs operate with the same design. You can also try to find the manual for your chair online. Often the company’s website will have a way to access it or just a general Google search.

Step by step guide to disassemble

1. Remove wheels

Removing the wheels first will save you a lot of struggling and fighting with the chair as you disassemble it. If you try disassembling with the wheels still on, it can create a hazardous situation and damage the chair.

It is usually easiest to flip the chair over on a table, so the wheels are accessible.

Use a screwdriver to remove the wheels if they are screwed on. Some can detach by pushing a small lever on the side of the wheels, but most chairs use screws. The pry bar can come in handy here if you are struggling to pull the caster out of the chair leg.

2. Remove starbase

Now for the tough part: removing the starbase. Using a hammer, 2×4 of wood, and probably someone’s help, you can remove this base.

Place the piece of wood just above the gas lift and with the hammer, gently tap on the wood until the pressure on the chair releases. Now, you can pull off the starbase and add any customized or additional parts if you like.

Having a friend hold down the base relieves the pressure on the base, but it can be done alone.

3. Remove gas lift

This part is optional, but if your chair has a gas cylinder it will be fairly easy to remove. It is wise to wear gloves during this part to protect your hands in case of an accident. Just unscrew the bolts holding the cylinder in place and put them aside.

Next, remove the upper part and hold the gas cylinder upright. Using the mallet, gently tap the gas lift until it comes free. Do not rush this step because the cylinder is filled with compressed gas.

Some chairs require a special tool to take out the gas cylinder. It typically comes with the chair, but if you have lost it you can typically buy a replacement online.

4. Detach armrests

Armrests are a prominent part of the chair, and removing them makes it much easier to transport the chair elsewhere.

Unfortunately, some chairs do not have armrests that detach. You can tell if they are detachable if there are screws on the underside of the armrest. If they are removable, unscrew the screws and gently remove the armrests from the chair.

Do not remove the armrests with force; this can irreparably damage the chair.

5. Remove seat

And for the final step, you need to remove the bulk of the chair, which is the seat. The chair body usually detaches into two parts: the seat and the back. The back is usually easily removed with some wiggling, and possibly undoing a screw or two.

Once you remove the back, undo the screws under the seat and gently pull it off the legs.

And voila! You have disassembled your office chair, and now the world is your oyster! As far as moving your chair goes. Most chairs will not break down further than this, so don’t try to force anything, or you could damage your chair.

Tips to remember

Some friendly tips to keep in my mind when disassembling your chair.

Store your tiny pieces

Store your small screws, bolts, and other pieces that are easily lost in a secure Ziploc bag or container.

Losing any of these pieces means you can’t put your chair together again, or your chair won’t be safe and sturdy when together again. Be sure to label your different pieces and stay organized so reassembling the chair isn’t a nightmare.

Be gentle with your chair

It may seem like a sharp pull or strong hit could be the answer to a stuck part, but you do not want to be rough with your office chair. They are more fragile than they seem, and having to buy a new one is a pain.

If something isn’t releasing when you think it should, try softly wiggling it or further loosening the screws and bolts. Just do not get aggressive with the chair, or it won’t end well!

Conclusion

So don’t be intimidated by your office chair! Taking it apart can be done over the course of an afternoon, making moving it elsewhere exponentially easier. Just remember to be gentle with your chair.

FAQs

Can I disassemble it on my own?

Yes, you can accomplish this on your own, but it is difficult. During certain steps, it is a great benefit to have someone holding down the base. The second pair of hands is a big help for some of these steps.

Is the gas cylinder dangerous?

It certainly can be. The gas lift is filled with highly compressed gas that could cause a significant explosion if damaged. Just be sure to use a wooden or rubber mallet and not a hammer. And above all, be gentle with the cylinder.

The chair can be disassembled and transported without removing the gas cylinder. So if this is a major concern for you, just skip step 3.

Should I remove the wheels one by one?

It doesn’t make a huge difference either way. Whatever makes the most sense for your chair whether it is removing individual wheels, or all of them as one piece. If you are working on your own, removing one by one is easier and less haphazard.

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