Office chairs can be extremely expensive. But the right office chair can be a very worthwhile investment. Many high-end office chairs will last 20 years or more, making that initial investment quite affordable over the long run.
However, not everyone wants to purchase a brand new chair at the manufacturer’s price. That’s where refurbished and second-hand chairs come in. If you’re paying a premium price for a second-hand or refurbished chair, you want to ensure it is exactly what you’re being told it is and not a cheap knock-off.
Additionally, you may have purchased a second-hand office chair and want to find suitable replacement parts for it. In this case, you will need to know what model of chair it is so the accessories or replacement parts you purchase will work. While some models have a very distinct look, others can be similar. Let’s take a look at the different ways you can find your Steelcase chair model.
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How do I know what model of Steelcase chair I have?
Luckily, there are a few ways you can identify what model of Steelcase chair you have, even if the tag or other manufacturer’s marks are missing or unreadable.
Check the Tag
The most straightforward method is to check the chair’s tag. This is normally found on the underside of the seat on Steelcase brand chairs, but maybe elsewhere as well. Take a few minutes to look around and see if a tag is shown.
Read the Model Number
If you find a tag, the model number shown will tell you exactly what chair you are looking at. The first three digits on the model number are the identifier. You can look at the list below and compare it to the tag on your chair to find the Steelcase model.
- 433 Protege
- 434 Coby
- 442 Gesture
- 453 Criterion
- 457 Rally
- 458 Sensor
- 460 Rapport
- 461 Drive
- 462 Leap
- 465 Think
- 466 Reply
- 474 Snodgrass
- 475 Player
- 477 Max Stacker
- 482 Amia
- 487 Cachet
- 490 Move
Additionally, you may run into a model number that starts with letters. If it starts with a TS instead of numbers, these are also Steelcase chairs and are part of their Turnstone model line. The three numbers that follow the TS will tell you the exact model.
- TS-311 Turnstone Uno
- TS-380 Turnstone Springboard
Other Similar Brands
If the number on the tag starts with other letters, it may belong to a similar brand of chairs called Herman Miller. While these chairs are also extremely durable and a worthwhile investment both new and second-hand, they are not a Steelcase.
If you are specifically in the market for a Steelcase chair but the number on the chair’s tag starts with the following letters, you are looking at a Herman Miller chair instead.
- AE Aeron
- EE Ergon
- EN Equa
- AM Ambi
- MR Mirra
- CN Embody
- AS Sayl
How do I know if I have Leap V1 or V2?
Arguably one of Steelcase’s most popular chair models is the Leap. , It has been such a popular flagship chair that they have two versions of it. Version 1 was originally manufactured in 1998 and quickly rose to become one of the most popular high-end office chairs in the United States.
It wasn’t until 2006 that Steelcase added the second Leap chair with some minor changes. This Version 2 chair was equally durable and well worth the investment. It included some obvious changes, as well as some much more subtle design adjustments.
When purchasing a Steelcase Leap, it may not be immediately obvious which version you are looking at. Luckily, there are several things you can look closer at on the chair to let you know if it is a Leap V1 or a Leap V2.
Back and Seat
When you are first looking at the chair, the overall profile may be what stands out the most. On the V1 chair, the back will be shorter and more “average” in height. The top will have more flare to allow comfortable reclining. On the V2, the back is much taller and straighter with a less flared recline for your shoulders.
The chair’s cushioning is also another noticeable change. On the V1, both the seat and back cushions are thicker and plusher when pressed on. You will get a definite pillow feel to the cushion. On the V2, the cushioning was changed to a higher density foam which provides the same padding but is much thinner and lighter overall.
The armrest construction has shown the most changes between V1 and V2. On the V1 chair, you will notice the armrest support hardware is made from metal and has a much thicker and heavier feel to it. On the V2 this has been changed to heavy-duty plastic.
When it comes to adjusting how the armrest is placed, the V1 has three adjustment options including height, pivot, and width. On the V2 model, Steelcase added depth as their fourth adjustment option so you can give yourself elbow support if needed.
And finally, the armrest padding has been adjusted as well. In the V1 the pad is much thicker and provides a squishier feel to the cushioning. On the V2, the pad thickness has been reduced and replaced with a less squishy but still very comfortable higher density foam.
The wheeled base has some rather obvious changes between the V1 and V2. On the V1, the wheeled base is shorter and stockier looking. It is made from metal which has been covered in a plastic cap. If you turn the chair upside down, the metal and plastic combination will be extremely easy to notice.
On the V2 model, the wheeled base is more vertical in height and each leg is slightly thinner. The overall look is more modern and sleek. The wheeled base is made entirely from high-grade plastic and does not include a metal frame.
Steelcase is an excellent brand to consider when you are in the market for a new office chair. With such a long lifespan on these chairs, it’s not uncommon to search for second-hand Steelcase models.
Knowing the model you are looking at can help you determine if the chair is worth the secondhand asking price. It can also help you find accessories and replacement parts much easier. For some, identifying the model may be as simple as looking at the chair – but for others, you may have to search a bit for a tag or take a look at several features of the chair to identify which version it may be.