The Steelcase Think chair is one of Steelcase’s celebrated ergonomic office chairs. Its back is gently curved to complement the natural curve of your spine, and it comes in a wide array of classic and stylish colors and textiles.
When the Steelcase Think chair first arrives, it requires some light assembly. Essentially, all you have to do is pop a few pieces into place. The whole process should take no more than a few minutes and doesn’t require any tools.
However, only the armrests (the part with the cushion) arrive unattached from the chair, not the entire arm. This means taking off the arm is more difficult.
Unassembling the chair, specifically the arms, requires a little more knowledge. Removing the Steelcase Think chair arms is sometimes unavoidable, and maybe the right choice to help maintain the chair’s longevity.
Keep reading to learn why you might want to remove the arms from your chair and how you should go about taking them off or putting them on.
Table of Contents
Why Would You Want to Remove the Arms?
There are a few reasons why removing the arms of your chair might be a good idea.
If you’re moving houses or offices, it might be easier to take the chair apart than reassemble it at its final destination. Office chairs are large, and throwing them in the back of a car isn’t always an option.
You might also choose to sell your chair and send it to its new lucky owner. Shipping fully assembled office chairs is very expensive, so removing the arms is one way to decrease the box size required to ship the chair.
Finally, office chair arms need to be replaced now and then. Armrests wear out after months of being used, which may affect the comfort and overall look of the chair. It’s always better to regularly replace smaller parts of a chair than wait until you’re forced to buy a brand new chair because your old one requires too much servicing.
If you have worn-out armrests but don’t want to buy new ones just yet, try flipping the armrests around. This will give your elbows access to an unused part of the cushion and let you continue using the armrests a little longer before replacing them.
How to Remove the Arms?
Removing the arms is relatively simple, but you will need a few tools before you get started. Have a flathead screwdriver, a drill, and a mallet hammer ready.
First, turn the chair onto its side. We recommend doing this on a carpet or other soft surface, so you don’t scratch the chair.
Put the chair’s seat up, giving yourself room to deal with the bottom of the arm. On the bottom right-hand side of the seat, locate the stop-out feature that looks like a black tab.
Use the flathead screwdriver to push the tab, which will release the seat from the chair’s base. Fully remove the seat and set it to one side.
Now set the chair back up and grab your electric drill. Each arm is attached to the base of a chair by a screw located at the chair’s base, a few inches away from the bottom of the arm. Locate the screw and use the drill to remove it.
Use the mallet to nudge the arm out of its space in the base of the chair. Do this gently as you don’t want to damage the arm. If you use a traditional hammer instead of a mallet, you risk damaging the arm.
Repeat this step with the other arm. The arms should come straight off in one piece.
Once both arms are removed, we recommend screwing the screw back into its hole if you’re going to back the chair up to be shipped. This way, you avoid losing the tiny but precious screws needed to reassemble the chair.
How to Put New Arms On?
Now that you’ve got the old arms taken off, it’s time to put the new ones on! But before you even buy the new arms, check to see if your warranty covers replacement arms — you might end up saving a bit of money!
Put the new arms in their slots, and pull the adjustable armrests up. Then take your screws and screw them into place with your electric drill.
You may want to replace the screws if the old ones look a little worn out. Removing screws too much can wear them out, but it’s a simple and affordable fix.
Use the mallet hammer to help you get the arms full in place before reaching for your drill and screws.
Now it’s time to put the seat of the chair back on!
With the chair still upright, take the seat and slide it back into place. Listen for a little click, so you know the seat is secured in place.
Other Things You Should Know
Here are a few things to keep in mind before getting started:
- You can use a regular screwdriver instead of an electric drill to take apart and reassemble the arms. However, you might have to work a little hard to ensure the screws are screwed in tightly, so be aware of that.
- Taking off the seat chair may sound tedious, but it is entirely necessary. The arm screws are located under the seat, and while they may be accessible with the seat pulled all the way forward, you risk damaging the chair.
- If you decide you don’t want to do this small project alone, there are plenty of certified Steelcase repair shops that will happily complete the task for you!
Have you ever changed the arms of your Steelcase Think chair? How did it go? Is there anything you would do differently next time? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!
Good luck with removing and replacing your Think chair arms!