How to Work a Standing Desk Crank

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Updated August 30, 2022

When considering whether your want an electric or manual standing desk, you should understand how to work a standing desk crank. The decision between the best standing desks comes down to what you want for your workspace and whether you want a wood desk converter design.


  • To use a crank on most adjustable height desks, rotate the steel crank handle clockwise to raise and counterclockwise to lower.
  • You should check your user’s manual to confirm which direction to crank it in.
  • Manual wood or steel standing desks provide a more affordable option for office workers on a budget who cannot use a desk converter or electric standing desks.

Although electronic standing desks provide a variety of advantages, a manual standing desk ensures a less expensive model perfect for improving your day at the office. However, if you start having trouble with your sit-stand height adjustable desk, you may want to find out why the standing desk doesn’t work.

Working with a Manual Standing Desk

Standing desks help to reduce the amount of sitting you do each day. However, many electric sit-stand desks have a high price tag, making less expensive manual versions appealing to users on a budget. Combining this cost reduction with the fact that wood and steel manual desks do not use electricity, you may see a long-term reduction in cost.

Insider Tip

A hand-crank standing desk should cost less than the more expensive electric products.

Additionally, these models remain easy to repair, eliminating the possibility of a motor repair. You might want to try using standing work desk exercise equipment with your model to add to the benefits.

Using the Crank


Begin by screwing the legs into the crossbar. Most standing desk models come with an Allen wrench to use as you put your desk together. Make sure you use the correct screws for each part as described in the user’s manual.


Attach the feet to the legs. To do so, use the crossbar to hold the legs even with the ground. Often, there will be multiple sections to attach, including a balancer, steady feet, or wheel options to move the desk around.


Slide the pole into the crossbar, securing the ends to the legs. You may need to screw the bar to insert it. In this case, you would then need to unscrew the bar once it’s in place to ensure you can raise and lower the crank desks with the hand crank. For another unit with a crank, check out our review of the StandUp Desk Store crank adjustable desk.


Screw the table on top of the crossbar. Make sure you have inserted the bar before placing it on the top of the desk. If you forget to secure the pole, you may have to retrace your steps. You may also want to keep the screws a little looser until you know that the crank will adjust the height. You may also want to keep the screws loose to determine the standing desk weight capacity.


Flip the table to attach any headphone holders, wire boxes, or power strips to the bottom of the desk. Then, with the desk flipped on its head, place these on the top of the table from your perspective.

  1. Keep any headphone holders near the edge of the table to allow easy access when the platform sits upright.
  2. Wire boxes and power strips should be closer to the side of the outlet, reducing the reach of the cords.


Add the hinge for the crank before sliding the crank handle and crank mechanism into place. This piece most likely has a flat surface with a circular hole sticking off of it. The crank line goes through the hole, keeping it in place during the cranking process.


Flip the desk upright. Don’t try to crank the desk without flipping it. If you crank it without it standing, it could cause slanting and uneven legs since these products are designed to undergo adjustment while standing.


Try adjusting the desk height. Typically, you turn the crank clockwise to raise the surface. To lower the desk, crank the handle the other way. It should take several full turns to raise or lower the desk to the proper height.


Make sure you put the pole attached to the legs in before placing the tabletop, or you might need to work backward to do so.


Do standing desks use a lot of electricity?

Some electric standing desks use about 200 watts to adjust, requiring significantly less power when in standby mode. However, manual desks do not require any electricity.

How do electric sit/stand desks work?

An electric sit-to-stand desk works by raising or lowering the entire desk with ease using a motor. As a result, an electric desk requires little effort from you beyond initially assembling the desk.

What are the best ways to stay mentally and physically active throughout the day?

With a height-adjustable standing desk, you can sit and stand multiple times throughout the day, burning more calories every time you stand. Additionally, you can perform select desk exercises while working. You may find exercise equipment to help with this as well.

STAT: Lower weight capacity: Crank desks will generally have 20-30% less lifting capacity compared to electric. (source)

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