UpLift Desk File Cabinet Reviews

November 28, 2020

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Uplift 2-drawer file cabinet review

Overview

Review Summary

UpLift mostly worries about three competitors, Fully with their Sidekick 3-drawer mobile pedestal, Vari with their 4+ models of mobile pedestals, and Autonomous with their ultra-cheap rolling file cabinet. The three models that UpLift has created are, like the others, a) made-in-China with thin steel and relatively cheap components, b) designed to go with their own desks, with paint color options matching all four of the colors they offer on UpLift standing desks, c) lightweight and thus a bit of a tipping risk, even with the “prosthetic” 5th wheel under the bottom drawer, and d) very competitively priced between all of them. If you’re wanting to stick in the economy price range of a steel cabinet that matches the legs of your UpLift desk rather than a wood cabinet that might match your desk surface, there’s no need to look further than these matching cabinets from the same factory.

Best Use

If you’re buying or already own an UpLift desks these cabinets should match the paint colors of your base frame pretty closely.

MSRP / List Price $269
Warranty

7 Years

Colors Available

Black, White, Gray and “Industrial Style” (a raw steel patina)
Seat cushion color varies with cabinet color but is not user-selectable (light and dark gray)

Weight Capacity

225 lbs on the seat, not including contents in the cabinet, on both 2-drawer units

Dimensions

2-Drawer Standard: 15.75″ W x 19.7″ D x 19.75″ H (with casters)
2-Drawer Narrow: 11.8″ W x 19.7″ D x 19.75″ H (with casters)
3-Drawer: 15.75″ W x 19.75″ D x 24.5″ H (with casters)

Product Weight

2-Drawer Standard: 55 lbs
2-Drawer Narrow: 48 lbs
3-Drawer: 51 lbs

Competition Best File Cabinets for Standing Desks
Where to buy Buy on Amazon

Rating

Ease of Assembly
3.5
Stability
3.0
Reliability
3.0
Customer Experience
3.0
Quality and Aesthetics
3.5
Value
3.5
Positives Four color options, accurately matching the four paint colors that UpLift offers on their desks. Of all the steel mobile file pedestals being offered for standing desks (as opposed to premium wood cabinets), UpLift offers the most options in colors and configurations, and the highest quality.
Negatives Even with wheels locked the entire cabinet moves when you open the bottom drawer, hinting as to the same quality issues we see with all the thin-steel cabinets made in China. With a 225 lb weight limit including the contents of the cabinet the wheels are of insufficient quality to support heavier users as a seat (good cabinets/wheels will support 300+ lbs). The method of keeping the seat cushion on top of the cabinet is a low-tack double-sided adhesive sheet that loses its stickiness quickly. Requires assembly of the caster wheels. Beware with the 3-drawer design that it is significantly taller than all the other cabinets, which could cause a collision risk when lowering your sit-stand desk.

Bottom Line

3.5
Like their competitor Vari (fka "Varidesk") UpLift is offering a 2-drawer cabinet with seat cushion, in both a wide and narrow width, as well as a 3-drawer cabinet with no seat cushion. These are roughly the same price and quality as the Vari units—which is still, let's be clear, thin-steel components and manufactured in China—but at least UpLift offers all three models in all four colors that they offer on their standing desk bases. One difference is that assembling the UpLift involves installing all five casters with 16 screws, as opposed to arriving completely pre-assembled. As with the Vari, Fully, Autonomous, StandDesk and other file cabinets we've reviewed, they're intended for sale together with the respective manufacturers' own desks.

Keeping Up With The Joneses

In the intensely competitive world of ecommerce standing desks, UpLift Desk (fka TheHumanSolution) is clearly one of the leaders in today’s market. Like its arch rivals Fully, Vari and Autonomous, it makes its products in China to keep costs low. These file cabinets are no exception, and when it comes to competitiveness UpLift clearly keeps an eye on all three in terms of coming up with products that’ll compare well in price to all of them but try to offer a little more in differentiation. In this review we’ll take a look at just how well they’ve done that.

As we delve into great detail in our comprehensive round-up of Mobile File Pedestals for Standing Desks Review, there are basically two tiers of quality when it comes to these “mobile peds” designed specifically for pairing with sit-stand desks. Tier 1 is bunched up with a half-dozen contenders all offering low-cost, Chinese-made, lightweight thin-steel cabinets, most with both 2-drawer and three-drawer offerings, and most with seat cushion options for creating a second purpose for these cabs as a roll-out seat for impromptu visitors.

This first tier includes Fully, Vari, Autonomous and StandDesk. Being steel, these cabinets are offered in one or more colors to match the base frames of their respective desks. Prices range from $169 to $299. In Tier 2 iMovR stands alone with their premium, American-made, made-to-order file cabinets that come in matching desktop surfaces—22 colors in 3D-laminate and 36 finishes in solid wood—to match iMovR’s standing desks. These hefty beasts are made of wood instead of steel, support much heavier users and contents, and are more in the fine furniture category than utilitarian office furniture. Prices range from $399 in 3D-laminate to $699-$999 in solid wood.

In this review we’re going to compare how UpLift fares against their Chinese-produced competitors in Tier 1. Even though UpLiftDesk does offer solid wood standing desks they do not offer any file cabinets to match.

The Lineup

Like Vari, UpLift offers both a standard width, 15.75″-wide, and narrow-width, 11.8″ wide, cabinet in its two-drawer design. Both can handle legal as well as letter-sized hanging folders. Both come with a seat cushion that attaches to the top of the unit, UpLift’s attaching with a double sticky adhesive sheet, whereas Vari uses a more elegant and durable solution of magnetic snaps.

The top edges of the cabinets are radiused so as not to create a sharp edge to cut into a visitor’s legs. Both have a pretty lightweight 225 lb maximum user weight rating, and keep in mind that includes the contents of the cabinet. This matches Vari’s “storage seat” weigh rating as well, and belies the fact that the five caster wheels on both vendors’ cabinets are not of the highest quality, supporting only about 45 lbs each. High-quality wheels are rating to at least 75 lbs.

Other similar features include a key lock that secures all the drawers are once, and a claimed feature of “soft close” drawer slides. However, in reality both of these cabinet lines are so light weight that the drawers are actually quite “sticky” on opening. Even with the front caster wheels locked the cabinet is liable to move on you when you initially open the door. These are not the highest quality slides, but at least the drawers close evenly when they are pushed in; you just might have to keep your other hand on the cabinet to keep it from moving when opening or closing drawers.

The biggest distinction between Vari’s and UpLift’s designs is that UpLift, like all the other steel-fabricated mobile pedestals we’ve reviewed, employs a 5th wheel under the bottom drawer to keep the entire cabinet from tilting over when an overly front-loaded bottom drawer is opened. Aesthetically, it looks like a funny little prosthetic device, but the main functional problem with this workaround is that it doesn’t work in case it’s the one of the upper drawer’s in question—the entire cabinet may still tip forward if weight in the bottom drawer isn’t sufficiently shifted to the rear to create a counterbalance.

Vari’s cabinets are devoid of the 5th wheel altogether, and are also slightly heavier than UpLift’s and all the other metal cabinets to compensate a little for this common stability issue with Chinese-made steel file cabinets. The only 4-caster cabinet that doesn’t have any tipping stability risk is the premium, 75-lb iMovR wood cabinets that literally have a ballast installed in the read to prevent these issues entirely. But that’s comparing apples and oranges (different price ranges).

Compared to Fully, UpLift offers more design options and their colors match up better with their own desks. Compared to Autonomous and StandDesk these are heavier-gauge steel units with nicer welds and machining tolerances all around.

As for UpLift’s 3-drawer version it is worth a cautionary note here. What makes these cabinets different from standard issue metal file cabinets you can buy on Amazon or at a big box office supplies store is that they are shorter. You don’t want to crash into the top of your file cabinet when lowering your height-adjustable standing desk into the seated position. Even with no seat cushion, UpLift’s 3-drawer unit is simply too tall for comfort at 24.5″ high. Most mobile pedestals for standing desks are 19″-21″ tall for a reason. And this is undoubtedly also the reason UpLift doesn’t offer the seat cushion on the 3-drawer file cabinet.

Dimensions of the UpLift NARROW 2-Drawer File Cabinet

 

Dimensions of the STANDARD 2-Drawer File Cabinet

 

Dimensions of the UpLift 3-Drawer File Cabinet

uplift desk file cabinet three drawer review

The Takeaway

UpLift’s best move here was creating both a wide and narrow option as well as the popular 3-drawer version of its file cabinet, but in all four of its base colors. Where Fully gets knocked for having only one cabinet design (3-drawer) and in colors of questionable matchability to all their base color offerings, and Vari only offers black in most of its cabinets, UpLift does offer all four colors, with true matching to their desk bases. So they get the Brownie point for most configuration options in the steel tier.

UpLift joins Fully, though, in being the only other vendor that makes the user install the wheels themselves. This creates some installation risk but allows them to use cheaper cardboard packaging (otherwise more is needed to protect the wheels from getting damaged in shipping) and the reduced labor cost in China allows them to offer slightly lower prices.

At the end of the day all the Tier 1, Chinese-made, steel cabinets are very similar to each other in features, quality, stability risk and overall value. In our expert review staff’s collective opinion there’s nothing about any of these cabinets that should sway your decision as to which standing desk you’re going to buy, if you’re going with one of these popular Chinese brands. And if you do buy one from UpLift, Fully, Vari, Autonomous or StandDesk you might as well buy the cabinet from the same seller, made in the same factories.

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