EffyDesk Executive L-Shaped Standing Desk Review
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Overall, the “Executive” L-Shaped Standing Desk from Vancouver, BC-based Effydesk is a pretty good desk for its price, considering that it provides a decent amount of desktop space. The top is made from the high density particleboard that commonly comes from cheaper manufacturing facilities in Asia. But this also helps keep the cost down for the consumer. The tops come in only one size and fewer than a handful of color selections, whereas some other standing L-desks come in a great number of size combinations and as many as 62 finishes. EffyDesk has taken significant measures to improve the quality of the frame over the typical standing desks we see come out of Asian factories. Only time will tell if those measures are enough to keep the desk alive as long as its warranties, which are better than what other Canadian brands offer. Hopefully you won’t have to go through the hassle of a warranty return, but if someday you do, Effydesk has friendly and easy customer service for its Canadian customers.
|MSRP / List Price
Free to Canada and USA
10 years on the frame and tabletop
Electric, dual-stage, triple-motor design
1.1 inches per second
4 programmable memory settings with digital display
71″ x 71″
Top: Oak wood, Oak white, Oak black
24” to 50”
Supports 410 lbs minus weight of top
Top: 70.9”W x 70.8”L x 1”D
Frame: 115 lbs
|Typical Assembly Time
Estimated 1.5 – 2 hours, with assistance
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic
|Where to buy
Buy on EffyDesk
|Ease of Assembly
|Quality and Aesthetics
|Above all else, the price of this standing desk is pretty affordable in comparison to most other L-shaped standing desks with a similar amount of work surface area. Being a 3-legged desk, the usual cautions we would call out on the notorious stability issues with commodity-grade Chinese-made lifting bases aren’t really relevant. The fact that the motors are weak relative to higher-end models, and run at very slow transit speeds to make up for that weakness, does yield the positive benefit of being less noisy than more powerful and quick-moving lifting bases. Effydesk offers a generous warranty on the frame as well.
|One of the biggest criticisms we have for the EffyDesk Executive L-Desk is the streaks of grease that show up on legs very quickly. This is worrying for possible issues with the lifting columns down the line. While it does make the desk quiet, this imported brand of commodity-grade lifting bases (NATE) is one of the slowest we have ever seen in the lab, despite having a motor for each leg. The main criticism on the work surface is the same we give for almost all Asian-sourced, commodity-grade particleboard tops. Raw, exposed grommet holes are prone to liquid spills that can instantly warp out the desktop, and hard edges all the way around don’t offer the ergo-contouring you see on higher-end “executive” standing desks. While Effydesk is a Canadian company, no parts of this desk are actually made in Canada, so keep that in mind if the source of your products is important to you.
One More of the Few Canadian Standing Desk Options
There are only a few Canadian companies that sell standing desks online. Besides Effydesk there’s Ergonofis, Burotic, RiseDesk, ProgressiveDesk and a few others that we cover in our round-up of the top Canadian Standing Desk Brands. Vancouver, British Columbia-based EffyDesk doesn’t actually make their desks in Canada. The commodity-grade lifting base is sourced from Shaoxing Naite Drive Technology (a.k.a. “Nate”), and the very basic desktops come from Asia as well.
So, while Effydesk the company is definitely based in Canada, its entire line of desks are made in Asia. Not surprisingly, the EffyDesk standing desks are some of the least expensive sold by any of the Canadian brands, with the most expensive ones on the other end of the spectrum, like the Ergonofis, being made entirely in North America—with their commensurate price point.
Is It a True ‘Executive Standing Desk’?
In reviewing well over a hundred standing desks over the years, and even a good number of sit-stand L-shaped desks, we’ve had to break out our review round-ups into smaller categories every year in order to keep the reader’s research time better focused on what they’re looking for. In recent years, there were more and more entrants into the ‘executive standing desk’ category, and so we had created a separate round-up of all the best Executive Standing Desks, which you should definitely check out if an executive desk is what you’re really looking for.
An ‘executive desk’, whether sit-stand or fixed-height, is defined as follows: It is generally larger with more work surface area than the typical standup desk; the tabletop is generally made of solid wood, ergo-contoured 3D-laminate, or some other kind of high-end material; it has drawers either built-in or as an add-on option, and it is typically fully-loaded with the latest technological features. Bespoke executive desks are also typically highly customizable to fit the space and decor of a more stately office environment.
Effydesk makes several models of two-legged standing desks that we’ve also reviewed, like the Home, Business, Terradesk, and Wildwood, but this is the one and only 3-legged L-shaped standing desk they offer. As such, we include it in our round-up of The Best L-shaped Standing Desks, but it doesn’t quite meet the criteria of an executive desk, despite the product’s name.
While the Effydesk Executive L-Desk is substantially larger and more expensive than their two-legged models, it comes in only one size (71”x71”), whereas true executive desks will often go as large as 8’ to a side, or even a U-desk configuration with up to 8’ on three sides. It is built with a commodity-grade lifting base and the most basic HPL desktops, all made in China. It lacks built-in drawers or even optional drawers. It lacks Bluetooth and smartphone apps, is on the weaker and slower end of lifting performance, and offers only three desktop color options. Hence we can’t consider it to be in the same category with other, bona fide executive desks.
Standing Desk Convenience Features
One convenience that EffyDesk includes with the base of this standing desk is the cable management tray. It is a pretty simple tray underneath the crossbar of the desk, but it manages to contain all the cables for the table with room for cords that reach up to your computer and devices on top of the desk. It’s not a ton of extra room, but enough for a basic workstation. This way, you are less likely to have to look for a separate cable management system.
Almost as a part of that system, the EffyDesk Executive L-shaped desk comes with a grommet hole on each side of the desk. It isn’t optional, so if you would rather have a totally solid top, it might not be the greatest, but we normally like having them available on our desktops. Check out our article on grommet holes for everything you need to know about what to look for in grommets and how to best utilize them.
Standard Desktop Construction to Keep it Cheap
Aside from its size, being an L-shaped desk, there really isn’t anything special about the desktop of this Executive standing desk. With the common high density particle board construction and high pressure laminated surfaces (HPL) that you see on most of the lower quality tops that you see come out of Asia, you get what you pay for in terms of durability, stability (resistance to moisture and warping), ergonomic shaping and, ultimately, elegance. Granted, this level of quality also helps keep the price of the desk more affordable, especially for a larger L-shaped desk..
It would also be nice to see a few more color options. With only oak wood, oak white, and oak black colors available, you won’t be able to personalize your office as much as with many of the domestic alternatives for a sit-stand L desk.
Another Chinese Base/Frame, But With Improvements
As we already mentioned, the base of the EffyDesk Executive L-Shaped Desk comes from one of the typical Chinese manufacturing companies. And it suffers from many of the issues we commonly see.
It is a triple motor frame, and rated at the same speed as the Wildwood, which we timed at just over 1 inch per second (not the 1.4”/sec claimed on their website, but closer to the 30mm/sec claimed on the OEM manufacturer’s website). By using a tighter pitch on the linear actuator spindles inside the lifting columns, the manufacturer can use much weaker (i.e. less costly) motors to lift a given load, and a side benefit is a lower noise signature. You just have to wait a little longer for the desk to move between sitting and standing heights.
Even though we have not yet lab tested this desk model from Effydesk, since the legs on the Executive come from the same manufacturer, NATE, as on the Wildwood, which we did lab test recently, we can safely assume that they will have many of the same operating parameters, just on three legs instead of two. Several of these points bear repeating.
Disappointingly, after only testing the lifting capacity a few times, we saw streaks of grease up and down the lifting columns. This is an indication of looser manufacturing tolerances that is typical of low cost lifting frames. This is a setup for premature failure, or at the very best, a predisposition for squeaky movement as the desk goes through years of up-and-down cycles.
Rather than staying between the tubes and the glides, when the grease is left on the powder-coated steel it accumulates dust and dirt over time, increasing friction that the motors have to overcome. Aside from that, it doesn’t look all that great. It’s certainly less noticeable on black bases than on white. Unfortunately, wiping down the grease for aesthetic reasons means there’s less grease for the linear actuators to glide on.
In the end, the 10-year warranty that Effydesk offers on the base frame can give consumers some confidence, at least in the event of a total failure of a component. The warranty probably won’t cover excessive squeaking or increasing instability over time, so long as the lifting base is technically functional.
When the best North American and European manufacturers offer 15-year warranties on their bases, 10 years seems pretty impressive for Asian frames. It is also worth mentioning that inside the box is a postcard promoting EffyDesk’s savvy marketing offer to gain a 5-year extension on the warranty in exchange for leaving a positive review on their website. We wouldn’t want to call this a bribe, but it is an incentive for those customers that are likely to treat their desks well to extend their warranty coverage to 15 years on the base.
Standing desk warranties can have a lot of carve-outs and fine print, so be sure to review our primer on How to Compare Standing Desk Warranties before buying anything.
Assembly is All On You
One of the ways that Chinese factories make their products less expensive to produce is by shifting as much of the labor as possible to the customer. Assembly of the EffyDesk Executive standing desk is not going to be easy, judging by the assembly process we experienced with their 2-leg version, and also seeing how that process compares with the instruction manual for the 3-leg Executive Desk. Especially for someone not experienced in putting standing desks together, it’s gonna take a while; likely close to 2 hours. Get ready for lots of twisting on the Allen wrench. You’ll definitely want to use an electric screwdriver for all the wood screws.
Unlike the 2-leg desks, which have a completely different assembly sequence, the methodology for building the three leg desk entails putting everything together upside down, and then flipping the fully-assembled desk over. In this CAD video it looks super easy. In reality, flipping over a fully assembled 3-legged L desk is NOT a trivial matter, and takes two, if not three people to accomplish without breaking the desk. We compare this to other L-shaped desk designs (e.g. the Lander L-Desk) that can be assembled by one person in 10-15 minutes, albeit at a much higher price point.
For the competitive price, it is a good L-shaped desk from a Canadian company, but not authentically made in Canada, and not authentically an ‘executive’ grade product.
The Executive from EffyDesk does not have the highest quality construction for a standing desk, but Effydesk does provide a much longer warranty than you typically see on bases of this quality grade. That said, you have to weigh the hassle factor of potential warranty prosecution and reconstruction of your desk whenever going with a standing desk model, regardless of the promised warranty term.
The base seems solid and very quiet, but the transit speed is glacial for a triple-motor. The good news is this probably means the linear actuator components are minimally stressed, leading to presumably higher reliability. The grease marks, on the other hand, is indicative of lower manufacturing tolerances we often see on commodity-grade, Chinese-made bases, and may lead to lower reliability and possible squeaking problems down the road. Our advice on this is stick to black; don’t buy a white frame which will show up those grease stains much more prominently.
Effydesk runs a pretty clean operation, providing great customer service and generous warranty coverage. We enjoyed interacting with the company’s founder, Dickson Lam, and could clearly discern a devotion to providing a quality product at a very competitive price within his peer group of Canadian standing desk manufacturers. We’ve offered the company to conduct a full lab test on this three-legged version, and if they take us up on it we’ll update this review accordingly if any of our assumptions projected from our lab test of their 2-leg desks were incorrect.
Many standing desks and converters come with grommets for some added convenience. Check out our article on grommet holes for everything you need to know about the different ways to use them to enhance your workstation, what to look for in your grommet holes, and where to find the desks with the best ones.