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Crank vs. Electric Standing Desk Review (Fully Jarvis Standing Desk)

I’ve had the pleasure of assembling three of Fully’s Jarvis standing desks over the past two months – two electric, and one Crank-Powered which saves you $70. If you’re looking too choose between the electric and crank-powered desk, this is the review for you.

Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll receive the lifting columns a few weeks before your receive the tabletop. The electric lifting columns arrive in two heavy boxes, whereas the hand-crank model arrives in a single box that’s even larger.

Building the Desk

Both the electric and the crank-powered are built similarly. You’ll assemble the lifting columns together, then screw them onto the table top, and lastly add the desk’s feet and add the hand-crank / electronics. You’ll need two people for assembly for some steps (i.e., one person holds the heavy foot while the other screws it into the assembly).

Once the lifting columns are bolted into the table-top, adding the electronics is very easy. You mount an electronics box to the underside of the desk, then plug-in both lifting columns and the height controller, do some cable management, and you’re all set.

On the hand-crank model, attaching the crank to the lifting columns is quite a bit more difficult. There are multiple simultaneous steps to assembling the crank-correctly, which include the application of pressure to a spring while everything is screwed-in. If you mess-up, you’ll bolt-in the handcrank but it won’t actually work, a situation we found ourselves in twice! Additionally, it’s super easy to lose a washer inside the lifting column while you’re attaching the hand-crank – be careful about this, since retrieving the washer will require shaking the entire desk on its side, or deconstructing it entirely and beginning anew.

We discovered that the hand-crank wasn’t working after we flipped the desk over, and attempted to repair it proper-side-up.

Using the Desk

Although building the handcrank desk was quite a bit more difficult than building the electric version, the desks appear equally stable once they’re finished. The hand-crank feels very flimsy, but it’s not difficult to raise or lower the desk (the flimsiness is more of a longevity concern). You’ll need too do a lot of cranking to get the desk height changed, which is a good thing as it prevents quick movements that rock the items on your desk.


There are two reasons to prefer a hand-crank standing desk: cost and longevity. While Fully’s standing desk is $70 cheaper, the crank feels flimsy and casts a doubt over its longevity compared to their electric model. We’d recommend avoiding the hand-crank version; if you’re looking to save $70, we’d recommend looking at other brands of standing desks (whether electric or crank-powered), or using the Jarvis electric lifting-column with your own tabletop to save money.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Bob Todd July 27, 2020, 4:02 am

    About how many turns/amount of time does it take to convert the desk on the manual model vs. the electric?

    • Tom Nook July 29, 2020, 2:55 pm

      You can raise or lower the electric desk about 2-3x faster than the hand-crank model. I would estimate that raising / lowering between a sitting height and standing height takes ~5 seconds on the electric, and shouldn’t take more than 15 seconds on the crank-powered.

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