How to Disassemble an Office Chair (6 Easy Steps)

Curious how you can disassemble an office chair? You’ve come to the right place!

In this ChairAdviser.com guide, you will learn:

  • How to disassemble an office chair
  • Why you would disassemble an office chair
  • And much more!
a row of chairs at an office desk

What You Need to Know About Disassembling an Office Chair

Maybe you’ve discovered your office chair isn’t the right size for you. Or maybe you have an idea to make it better. No matter what the reason, you are here because you want to disassemble your office chair.

The good news is, in most cases, disassembling your office chair is quite easy. It will only take minimal tools and a few minutes of your time. 

Do note, however, that not all office chairs are completely equal, and you may find that yours might include some extra steps for disassembly. Be sure to check an owner’s manual for disassembly help before you begin. 

Table of Contents

Supplies You Need for Disassembling an Office Chair

Generally, all the supplies you need to disassemble an office chair will be the same ones that came with it, which you used to assemble the office chair. It is always recommended to keep any tools that come with your office chair.

If the office chair you are using was gifted to you, or perhaps is a fixture at the office and you have no idea how long ago it was constructed, this is probably easier said than done. In those cases, grab the following supplies before you begin. 

  • A screwdriver (Philips and flat head)
  • Allen wrench
  • Large pipe wrench
  • Duct tape
  • Rubber mallet
  • Plastic bag (for the small parts)
  • A piece of paper
  • Pencil (or another method to write down the order in which parts are removed)

Obviously, the paper, pencil, and plastic bag are optional, but we highly recommend having them on hand as otherwise, you will have some issues when it comes to reassembling your chair. 

How to Disassemble an Office Chair (6 Easy Steps)

Step 1: Remove the Headrest

Start your disassembly journey by finding the bolts which hold the headrest in place. Some chairs have a plate or tab covering these bolts. Once you find them, remove them using an Allen wrench or screwdriver. Place them in the bag and make a note on your paper. 

Step 2: Remove the Backrest

Next, remove the backrest. You will usually find a pole or beam to which this piece is attached to. Use the Allen wrench or screwdriver to remove these bolts, and the backrest should come right off. Place the small parts in the bag and make a note for yourself. 

Note: Some chairs do not have a removable backrest. In this case, skip this step and go directly to the next one. 

Step 3: Remove the Armrests

If you can, it is actually best to leave the armrests in place as they contain many small pieces that can easily get lost. But if you are putting your chair back in the box, this will not work, of course. 

Flip over the chair and find where the armrests are connected to the chair. Use the Allen wrench or screwdriver to undo these bolts and place them in the bag. Make note of these screws or bolts, as they are often different from those that hold the rest of the chair together.

Step 4: Remove the Cylinder from the Top of the Chair

The cylinder is the most delicate part of the chair, so be careful with this next bit. Cover the teeth of the pipe wrench with duct tape before you begin.

Flip the chair over and use the large pipe wrench to get a grip near the bottom of the cylinder. Turn slightly (usually only a quarter of a turn is needed) until it comes loose. Then pull it from the part where it connects to the top of the chair. 

Step 5: Remove the Cylinder from the Base

The cylinder should still be attached to the bottom wheel portion of the chair. Flip this portion upside down, resting some of the wheels on the tabletop. Ensure the cylinder is not resting on the tabletop.

Use the rubber mallet to remove the cylinder from the base with a couple of hits. You can also hit the cylinder from the sides if it is really wedged in there. 

(Note: You may want to use a towel or drop cloth to protect your tabletop from damage!)

Step 6: Remove Casters

Casters, otherwise known as the wheels, shouldn’t usually need to be removed unless you are putting your chair back in the box. If this is the case, flip the base over and gently pop them out. We recommend putting them in a bag of their own, so they don’t go missing! 

By now, you should no longer have an office chair, and instead, you should have a pile of pieces. Congrats, you’ve successfully dismantled your office chair. 

Why You Would Want to Disassemble an Office Chair

While it may seem like a lot of work, there are several reasons you may find yourself wanting to disassemble your office chair. Below we have listed the most common.

You’re Moving

While office chairs are comfy, they are also quite bulky and oddly shaped. This can make it difficult to fit them in a truck or moving van. Taking them apart can make them small enough to fit in a box or maybe even a drawer. 

You’re Returning the Chair

Because you spend so much time in an office chair, it’s essential that you feel comfortable in it. If you aren’t comfortable, then it’s better to return it and get one you are comfortable in. This, unfortunately, does require a full dismantling of the chair. 

You’re Adding Upgrades or Replacements

There are some after-market upgrades you can purchase for an office chair. While rare, there is an occasion where you may have a special headrest or seat that you need to partially dismantle your chair to install. 

You’re Pulling a Prank

Yes, we’ve seen The Office, and perhaps you have an idea to attach an air horn or other noise making agent to the office chair of a coworker. While you won’t need to fully disassemble the chair for this, you may need to remove certain parts to make it possible. 

Tips for Disassembling an Office Chair

Nervous to take your chair apart for the first time? Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure everything goes smoothly. 

1. Remember How the Chair Came in the Box

If you recently assembled your chair and are disassembling it to return it to the company, rather than following the above steps, inverse the steps you used to put it together. This will help you to get it apart the easiest and quickest way.

2. Only Disassemble What You Need To

While the above directions are for a full disassembly, you may not need to fully disassemble your chair. If you are moving or pulling a prank on a coworker, simply removing the seat to divide the chair in two may be sufficient and will save you a lot of time. 

3. Take Pictures

If writing everything down step by step as you go doesn’t work for you, consider taking pictures of the chair from every angle before you begin, getting close to the nuts and bolts. This way, when you start reassembly, you will have a visual guide of where everything went and what it looked like. 

4. Don’t Force It

Many office chairs have parts that can’t and shouldn’t be removed. These are the parts that likely came already assembled when you purchased the chair. You will never be able to make the chair smaller than it was when you first bought it, so don’t even try! 

Also, if any piece is seeming not to want to come off, don’t force it to. It’s better to take the office chair partially in-tact to return it to the store rather than trying to return a broken chair that fits in the box. 

5. You May Damage the Cylinder

Unfortunately, there is no way to fully disassemble a chair without risking damage to the cylinder. This is because removing it breaks the tension and can cause your chair not to work properly in the future. For this reason, we recommend never removing the cylinder unless you are doing so to replace it.

Final Thoughts on How to Disassemble an Office Chair

As you can see, the disassembly of an office chair is fairly simple. Whether you are replacing parts or moving to a new office, it shouldn’t take you too long to get your office chair packed up.

Just be aware that an office chair isn’t meant to be disassembled just for fun as it can damage certain parts of the chair, so be sure if you are disassembling your chair, you are doing so for the right reasons! And remember to take those pictures and notes so you can put everything back together later.

Robert Martin

Robert Martin

Hey, I'm Robert and I help manage this site. With several years as an accountant, I have spent a lot of time behind a computer sitting in an office chair. That led to many back and neck problems. That's where my search for finding the perfect office chair began. That research made me realize that others need help finding comfortable chairs, and that's why this blog was started!
Robert Martin

Robert Martin

Hey, I'm Robert and I help manage this site. With several years as an accountant, I have spent a lot of time behind a computer sitting in an office chair. That led to many back and neck problems. That's where my search for finding the perfect office chair began. That research made me realize that others need help finding comfortable chairs, and that's why this blog was started!

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