EffyDesk Wildwood Solid Wood Standing Desk Review
- Lab tested
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Overall, the Wildwood Standing Desk from Vancouver, BC-based Effydesk is a pretty good desk for its price, especially if you are looking for the attractive aesthetic of real wood. In truth, however, the desktop is faux solid wood, not the real thing. It is a lot cheaper than the real thing, and pretty, but not a one-for-one substitute from classic hand-crafted solid wood. EffyDesk has taken significant measures to improve the quality of the desktop and 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||
Acacia and Pheasant Wood –
Free shipping to Canada and the US
10 years on the base (extendable by 5 years with a positive customer review)
1.1 inches per second
Inset into wood top
47”W x 29”L x 1”D
Natural walnut, acacia, or pheasant wood hues for the top
Walnut, Acacia, or Pheasant Wood
24″ – 50″
<45 dB (but much quieter from what we could hear)
Wireless phone charger
Frame weight: 78 lbs
|Typical Assembly Time||
|NEAT™ Certified by Mayo Clinic||
Compare to All Top-Rated Standing Desks
|Where to buy||
Buy on EffyDesk
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||Above all else, the price of this standing desk is very affordable in comparison to most other "solid wood" standing desks. EffyDesk and its OEM suppliers for the desktop and base are aware of the shortcomings of many aspects of typical desks made in Asia and have taken efforts to mitigate those common issues, like using beefier steel for added stability, slower motors for noise reduction, and cutting expansion joints and screwing in support rails under the desktop to prevent the many pieces of wood from separating, cracking or warping with changes in temperature and humidity. The included wireless charger and cable management tray are great additions as well. Generous warranties as well.|
|Negatives||One of the biggest criticisms we have for the Wildwood is the streaks of grease that show up on the legs very quickly. This is worrying for possible issues with the lifting columns down the line. It is categorically the slowest dual-motor standing desk we have ever seen, with a relatively glacial 1 inch-per-second transit speed. The main criticism on the faux solid wood top is just how many pieces of wood they glued together to make the panel. Granted, they took steps to keep those pieces from separating, but only time will tell if it was enough to counteract the long standing problem with the long term stability of engineered tops of this kind. Also, while it is a Canadian company, none of the desk is 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 Solid Wood Desks
There are three standing desk makers that lay claim to “the best Canadian-made solid wood standing desk.” Besides Effydesk there’s Ergonofis and Burotic. Both Ergonofis and Burotic make their solid wood tabletops in Montreal; Ergonofis sources their bases from Linak in the USA, while Burotic uses a Chinese-made base.
Vancouver, British Columbia-based EffyDesk is the least “Canadian-made” of the three, in that the tabletop of the Wildwood standing desk comes from a manufacturer named PortLand in Vietnam (the same supplier from which UpliftDesk sources some of their “solid wood tabletops”), and the base is sourced from Shaoxing Naite Drive Technology CO., LTD, from the Zhejiang Province of China (a.k.a. “Nate”).
So, while Effydesk the company is definitely based in Canada, its entire line of desks including the Wildwood reviewed here, their Home Desk, Business Desk, and Executive L-Shaped Desk are made entirely in Asia. Not surprisingly the Effydesk models are the least expensive of the three brands, with the most expensive Canadian-made solid wood models, the Ergonofis Sway and Ergonofis Alive solid wood standing desks, being entirely made in North America—with a commensurate price point.
Useful Standing Desk Features
Even though it may be on the cheaper side, when compared to it equivalents that are made in North America, the Wildwood solid wood standing desk from EffyDesk does come with a few convenient additions included where they might come with an extra charge from other manufacturers, if they are available at all.
The most notable convenience is the built-in Qi wireless charger. Aside from being an included accessory you don’t normally see with most standing desks, it comes already installed on the underside of the desktop. All you have to do is plug it in when the rest of the desk is assembled.
If you’ve ever used a wireless charger you probably already know that getting the phone precisely over the center of the charging pad is essential. There are very discreet marks etched into the wood top that make two corners of a square to indicate precisely where you should place your phone to charge.
Often when one of these devices is installed on a desk, there will be a large sticker on the top of the desk to mark the spot where you charge a phone, which can look tacky on a solid wood desk. You don’t have that problem with the Wildwood desktop. On the other hand, since it is pre-installed, you don’t have a choice of where to locate it. Because the charger doesn’t have enough wattage to penetrate the wood desktop they routed out a circular hole on the underside of the tabletop, penetrating about 3/4ths of the way through, to mount the 10-Watt fast charging pad.
Another convenience that EffyDesk included 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. 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.
How are the Aesthetics of the Wildwood?
One of the draws of the EffyDesk Wildwood solid wood standing desk is the overall aesthetics of the desk. Like the discrete etchings for the wireless charger, the visible parts of the desk try to remain understated, yet classy. In the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this is where the faux natural wood look can meet some consumers’ expectations, but possibly not others who will still prefer the elegance of the real thing. So here are a few things we noticed when it comes to how nice the desk looks compared to “real solid wood” tops.
While it has a functionally simple controller, which also comes pre-installed in the desktop, it is inset into the top surface of the desktop. This design helps keep the controller from getting bumped accidentally by chairs or leaning coworkers, but you do have to be careful with what you do on top of the desktop so you don’t accidentally hit any buttons. This is similar to how Ergonofis now insets the height controllers into their solid wood desktops.
The grommet hole situation with the Wildwood standing desk is something we have never seen before. It is in a very odd place. While most modern standing desks offer at least an option of having a grommet hole, and usually dual grommet holes symmetrically spaced along the back edge of the desktop, the Wildwood desk has just one grommet as a standard feature.
The odd thing is the placement of the hole. Most desks have holes closer to the back left or right corner of the desk. Some might have it directly in the middle, though that is less common these days. However, the Wildwood puts its grommet hole slightly off center, which we have never seen before. It makes sense that it wouldn’t be in the center because of the rails on the underside of the tabletop—more on that later—but it is still an awkward positioning. (Read more about grommet holes in our primer to learn about what to look for in grommet holes on a standing desk.)
As expected, the most important aesthetic aspect of a solid wood desk would be the wood itself. The first thing you notice when you move your hands across the desktop is that it’s highly lacquered, which high-end solid wood desktops tend to avoid doing for aesthetic and environmental reasons. So it’s got a thick clear coating that offers a lot of surface protection but at the cost of the “hand” of real solid wood.
Alas, there is a lot more to the construction of the Wildwood desktop when examined closely; and we had to bring some of our staff more intimately familiar with wood manufacturing to decode what was going on here.
A Solid Wood Top Like We’ve Never Seen
Upon researching the desktop of the Wildwood standing desk, we discovered that it is the same Vietnamese wood top manufacturer that UpLift uses for some of their cheaper solid wood standing desk models. This company is known for making relatively inexpensive “solid wood tops” by gluing together many staves and veneers into a solid slab. Like rubberwood, pheasantwood, bamboo and other reclaimed woods and “engineered” solid slabs, the trade-off is always the same. The old adage “You pay for what you get and you get what you pay for,” applies here.
Because they are made of many different pieces of different grade of wood that are glued together, these less expensive tabletop panels have a greater tendency to warp, crack, or delaminate as compared to more conventional (and more expensive) “real” solid wood tops that are made entirely from uniform cuts of high quality natural lumber. The antagonist is always the same—over time, fluctuations in temperature and humidity will cause the individual pieces to expand and contract at different rates and directions.
The Walnut top we received with the Wildwood standing desk is a very interesting sample—like nothing we’ve ever seen before, quite frankly, after examining literally hundreds of standing desk tabletops over the years.
With the Wildwood top, Effydesk appears to have taken a belt-and-suspenders approach to eliminating warping and cracking of their solid wood tops. There are grooves sawed into the bottom of the tabletop that are intended to act as expansion joints, much like you’ll see on a bridge roadway. In addition there are three steel rails running perpendicular to those grooves that are screwed into each row of staves. What we keep referring to as a higher-quality “real solid wood” table top would have no grooves, rails or screws in it.
Without sawing into the desktop we were able to see into the raw wood construction via the insides of the grommet holes, the expansion grooves, and the cut-outs for the inset height controller and underdesk wireless charging pad. We observed that cheaper pieces of wood were used inside the core of the top, and nicer staves or veneers are used on the top and all edges of the desktop, i.e. the most obviously visible parts of the desk.
Everything is then heavily lacquered to protect against moisture and put a lot of sheen on the desk’s topside and edges. The hard edges of the rectangle are all smoothed down nicely, though not fully radiused like you see on “ergo-contoured” desktops. Notably, two corners of the desk were not 100% linear, with some tapering evident from less than perfectly straight cutting or sanding in the production process. Again, this is in contrast to much higher quality (and much pricier) artisan-handcrafted solid wood tops made in the USA.
While it seems counterintuitive to add these processing steps and parts costs to a desktop you’re trying to make as inexpensively as possible, Effydesk is very confident that these measures will extend the useful life of the top and so they back it with a 5 year warranty—which is as good as you’re going to find from any solid wood desktop manufacturer, especially at this price point. Whether it’ll actually work, only time will tell, but it’s certainly an innovation that Effydesk can lord over other faux solid wood standing desk makers.
Another Chinese Base/Frame, But With Improvements
As we already mentioned, the base of the EffyDesk Wildwood comes from one of the typical Chinese manufacturing companies. And it suffers from many of the issues we commonly see in commodity-grade electric lifting bases.
It is a dual motor lifting frame, but it is strangely the slowest moving we have ever seen, at just over 1 inch per second (a transit speed more typical of bottom-dollar, single-motor bases such as are used on the Branch standing desk). On the flip side of the issue, the glacial transit speed gives the desk makes it super quiet when in motion.
Disappointingly, after only testing the lifting capacity a few times, we saw streaks of grease up and down the lifting columns. This shows a bit of the limitations in the manufacturing quality, which usually ends up meaning that something will eventually go wrong with the base prematurely. 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. Leaving the grease exposed, on the other hand, tends to result in more dust getting stuck on it and griming up the works over time.
EffyDesk did coordinate with their OEM manufacturer to try to make sure that the desk is as stable as possible. They chose a pretty beefy steel and made the feet quite heavy. These help counter stability issues common in other Chinese made standing desk bases that lack precision tolerances in their tubes and glides. In the end, the desk is about as stable as you can get for this price point, even at standing heights. Read more about why some standing desks shake more than others to know what to look for in standing desk frames.
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 one of the legs. 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 warranties from 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
Assembly of the EffyDesk Wildwood is not the easiest, to say the least. The desktop comes separate from the frame. The only thing that comes pre-assembled is the wireless charger and the inset height controller, which we mentioned are already attached to the tabletop.
Especially for someone not experienced in putting standing desks together, it’s gonna take a while; probably close to an hour. Get ready for lots of twisting on the Allen wrench.
Make sure you note that the included instructions are only for the base (as if for a DIY situation for any top), which has you assemble the base almost completely, then attach to the top. This makes sense when the base and top are packaged totally separately. However, it would be great if they could have easier instructions that start with attaching parts to the base and build it up from there, so you don’t have to flip the legs over and back multiple times. See our video showing our staff reviewer building the desk to see how easy it was for someone who is experienced with assembling standup desks.
Since the controller comes embedded in the desktop, customers might get confused about the underdesk-mounted controller that also arrived in the box, but isn’t mentioned in the documentation. We found out that because the same base is shipped with other desktops that don’t have inset controllers like the Wildwood, it was cheaper for them to just leave the extra part in the box than to stock twice as much inventory. This extra controller can be tossed.
For the competitive price, it is a good wood desk from a Canadian company, but not authentically made in Canada. We hesitate to include it in the solid wood category, as we hesitate with bamboo, pheasantwood, rubberwood, and other engineered tops from Vietnam and China, because the top is made from so many individual pieces of wood. But since Effydesk, Uplift, and others market these desks under this label we are compelled to include this desk in our round-up of Solid Wood Standing Desk Reviews.
The Wildwood 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 dual-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 possibly squeaking problems down the road. Our advice on this is stick to black, don’t buy a white frame.
The table top gets a mixed review. On the one hand, it looks nice, and all the radical steps they’ve taken to reduce warping and cracking of the composite panel is impressive. On the other hand, only time will tell if this really works, and the heavy lacquer look is not as elegant as real solid wood desktops.
The wireless charger and the inset height controller are also very nice features to add to a desk in this price tier.
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.
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