Stair Lift Reviews

What stair lift factors need to be considered in reviewing stair lifts?

Stair Lift Cost - Cost for a stair lift can be a major factor. However, for the past number of years, the cost of a stair lift has remained quite stable. Prices for a straight stair lift range from about $1700 for a do-it-yourself model to about $3500 for a deluxe model installed by an experienced technician.

Stair Lift Reliability - Most stair lift manufacturers will not honor the stair lift warranty unless their products are installed by a trained dealer. If you choose to install the stair lift yourself then you will need to make sure that the manufacturer warranty is in place for the model you are considering.

Length of Time on the Market - If a stair lift model has been recently launched by the manufacturer, it would be best to consider this factor and select a stair lift that has been on the market for at least two years. It is common for new stair lift models to take about 18 months to iron out the kinks and it may undergo numerous tweaks during that time.

Cable, Rack and Pinion or Other Drive System - There are manufacturers and dealers that have an extremely negative opinion about cable drive systems. This does not make sense for a number of reasons. The most obvious being that most common elevators in malls, office buildings or institutions are successfully driven by cable systems. Rack and pinion does require lubrication and can be subject to noise issues. The bottom line is that both systems work well and one does not have a distinct advantage over the other. If a dealer is bad mouthing a drive system, it is usually because they have a hidden agenda.

Local Installation - It is clearly an advantage to use an experienced local stair lift installation company to have your stair lift safely installed. Having said that, if you live in a rural area or are a do-it-yourself type person, then there is nothing wrong with considering installing the stair lift yourself.

The following stair lift chart is a summary of stair lift review feedback from hundreds of stair lift clients.

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Deluxe Straight Stair Lifts

Model/Mfgs Harmar SL600 TK Citia Excel Handicare 1000 Stannah 400 Bruno Elite
Picture Pinnacle Stair Lift Excle stair lift Sterling Stair Lift Stannah Stair Lift Bruno Stair Lift
Weight Capacity 350 lbs 300 lbs 302 lbs 300 lbs. 400 lbs
Seat Hgt at Bottom 23"-27" 23"-27" 21-25.5 19"-24" 19"-24"
Motor 1/8 HP 1/2 HP 1/2 HP 1/3 HP HP
Drive Rack & Worm Gear Rack & Pinion Rack & Pinion Rack & Pinion Rack & Pinion
Slope Capabilities 25° - 45° 25° - 45° 30° - 56° 24° - 52° 22° - 45°
Curved Track Available No No No No No
Track Distance From Wall 7.50" 8.75" 5.5" 8" NA"
Folded Chair from Wall 11" 15.25" 15.5" 12.9" 12"
Maximum Travel 70' 32' 70' 20' 24'
Seat Swivels At... Top and bottom Top and bottom Top Top Top
Key Feature Worm rack. Swivels at top and bottom, remote call sends Power folding track, swivel & footrest available. Continous charge. Arm to footrest link for folding. Soft start and stop.
Battery Option Yes Both AC & DC Yes Standard Standard
Soft Start Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Outdoor Package No No Yes No No
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Curved Stair Lifts

Model/Mfgs Handicare Freelift Sterling 2000 Stannah 260 Stair Climber
Picture sterling curved stairlift Wheelchair Stair Climber
Weight Capacity 275 lbs. 302 lbs. 265 lbs. 285 lbs
Seat Hgt at Bottom 22" 22.75" - 27.75"   25"
Motor  1/2 HP 24 v DC Battery   115 V
Drive Rack & Pinion Rack & Pinion Rack & Pinion Traction control
Slope Capabilities 0° - 51° Maximum 56° 24° - 52° 0° - 35°
Curved Track Available Yes Yes No No - Works on straight stairs
Track Distance From Wall  7.75" 4.5" min. 7" Portable
Folded Chair from Wall 13" 15.5" 14" Not applicable
Maximum Travel 100' 70' ? 23 floors on single charge
Seat Swivels At... Top for manual swivel Top Top Not applicable
Key Feature Programmable speed and seat swivel during travel Power hinge and folding footrest option. Power swivel. Tightest inside turn. Lift can be set to stop and start where you want. Seat, armrests and footplate fold. Attaches to most standard manual wheelchairs. Transports wheelchair users up or down stairs
Battery Option Standard Standard Standard Yes
Soft Start Yes Yes Yes Not applicable
Outdoor Package No No No Yes
Made In Europe UK UK Italy
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Basic Straight Stair Lifts

Model/Mfgs Harmar Alpine Sterling 950 Bruno Elan Summit / Ameriglide
Picture Alpine stair lift sterling stairlift bruno stair chair summit stairway lift
Weight Capacity 300 lbs 302 lbs 300 lbs. 300 lbs
Seat Hgt at Bottom 23" - 26" 17.5" - 19.5" 23.5" - 26.5" 24"
Motor 1/2 HP 1/2 HP HP 1/3 HP
Slope Capabilities 25° - 50° 25° - 50° 22° - 45° 30° - 45°
Curved Track Available No No No No
Track Distance From Wall 11" 6.5"




Folded Chair from Wall 15.25" 11" 12" 13.75"
Maximum Travel 32' 23' 20' 24'
Seat Swivels At... Top 45° and 90° Top Top and Bottom Top and Bottom
Key Feature Rack and pinion drive. Only 11" out from wall. Zero overhang available. Diagnostic display. Unit is constant charge. Arm width adj. 17" - 21" and swing out for easy transfer 5 yr. warranty. Extremely reliable.
Battery Option Standard Yes Standard Yes AC or DC
Soft Start Standard Standard Standard No
Outdoor Package No No No Yes
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