Work stool

Can anyone recommend a work/utility stool where you can regulate
height (since my bench changes) and perhaps one that swivels at the
seat or with wheels. I want to use this while working and also when
painting and sitting in front of an easel. None at Home Depot, Sears
(where I have stupid gift certificates to use) and still looking on
line… Thanks in advance. ~Melissa

    Can anyone recommend a work/utility stool where you can
regulate height (since my bench changes) 


I think you’ll find a tall stool to be surprisingly tiring. It may
be the right height for a particular workbench, but it’s not a good
ergonomic height for your legs. Ideally, you should be able to sit
with your thighs parallel to the floor, knees bent 90 degrees, and
the soles of your shoes resting flat on the floor.

Tall stools don’t allow your feet to rest on the floor. You can prop
your feet up on the crossbars, but that’s neither full-foot support
nor restful. If you let your legs dangle from the knee down, it
puts pressure on your thighs, especially at the edge of the seat
cushion. (That’s one reason why kids are so squirmy at
mealtime–their legs dangle off the ground and it’s just not

I’ve seen stools with built-in footrests, but they were just foot
bars, not a flat area supporting the entire foot. Also, the
height of the footbar was not adjustable, even if the seat was.

It is better to keep the chair at the correct height for your legs,
and adjust the work surface so it is the correct height for your
arms and the type of tasks performed. You’ll be amazed at how much
these two factors contribute to comfort and productivity.


Check out Costco. They have a nice chair with arms that can be
removed if you like. The seat & back is a grey material…good back
support and has the hydrolic lift. I think they are about $79.00


Melissa, I went through the same problem a while back. I was
looking for the same thing – height adjustment. I got very lucky
and got a stool from Haworth furniture. It is a drafting style
stool, has all of the bells and whistles, height adjustment, seat
adjustment, lumbar support, six wheels that lets me roll all over
and arm rests. Little more than I wanted but sure is nice. I
compared multiple choices from those discount office supply houses
and the quality between them and a good manufacture is unbelievable.
I was looking for just a wooden seat stool. I was afraid to get
fabric seating because it might tear or get damaged from tools being
in the pockets etc. but the material on this one is better than
anything you will find. So my suggestion, try visiting used office
furniture store. Alternatively, if you got about a $1000 to spend
on the best check out Haworth office furniture. (Hey, my daughter
works there and that is why I am endorsing.)

Warren Townsend


YES! Try a “drum throne” or “drummer’s throne” that you can find at
a good music store. They are adjustable, padded, and most have
wonderfully ergonomic seats. I’ve had one for years and truly love
it. I can work for hours without noticing fatigue/posture issues.

Have fun!
Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs

melissa -

my drafting stool made a perfect transition to my jewelry bench
after i built the bench to standing-while-working height. i have
very long legs & need the extra inches a drafting stool gives (or i
would be working with my knees not far from my ears in a regular
chair) - plus it swivels, rolls, and the angle & height of the back
are adjustable. under it is one of those office desk mats for easy
rolling & the mat lets me hear when anything drops & the general
direction when it bounces before landing on the carpet. i use a lot
of melee stones that will stick to anything & go into their acapulco
diving routine at every opportunity. when retrieving dropped items:
swivel, don’t roll, to get off stool, & wait until you’ve dropped 3
things to save effort & time. often you can pick up a drafting stool
from an area business that’s closing, or, with this economy most
used office furniture centers have a lot of inventory. even one of
the thrift standards: goodwill, salvation army, or st. vin de p,
should be checked out. try all above first since a good stool will
easily go over $200; fabric covered ones are more comfortable than

good luck -
people, are you using your lives yet?

Hello Melissa,

I recently had exactly this problem to solve and decided to go with
an inexpensive three-legged piano stool. It’s made of cedar, has a
seat that is mounted on a threaded shaft that “screws” into a matching
threaded platform below it. So mine meets the “swivel” requirement
and has about 8 inches of height adjustability once I’d cut it down a
bit. Sorry, no wheels.

FWIW I knew I wanted mine pretty low to the floor so I got one that
had lots of extra leg that I could cut off to get it down to a comfy
height. As it sits the minimum height on mine is now about 13 inches
without the cushion that I sometimes use (that seat can get a little
hard on the tush after a while).

All in all it’s proven to be a pretty decent solution for less than
$30 and about an hours labour for the adjustments. It took me a
while to get the wooden screw to stop squeaking when I swivelled on it
but a couple dollops of multi-purpose “moly-slip” grease on the
threads solved that problem nicely.

Trevor F.

Melissa, you might try a local scientific laboratory supply company.
Or a company that supplies to local school labs. They have some
really comfortable ones that can go from desk high to lab bench level
with no problems. Alternatively, you could check with colleges in
your area that are re-doing their labs. Strangely enough it’s very
difficult to get companies to re-do the seats on the stools. So it is
easier - many times - just to discard the old stools and buy new. But
most of the seats can be popped off (takes a little time and effort)
and redone by a handy person.


Melissa: Check out the chairs at an office supply store. I got mine
there. It has adjustable height, swivels, rolls, and the arms can
be removed rendering it as a stool with a back. It is pneumatic so
no problem to raise or lower it while sitting on it. Cost was
certainly moderate. Just a suggestion. K

Perhaps this is a start:

Sears used to have specialty catalogs. Perhaps they have one for
drafting furniture? I took a look at the Sears website
( and they have an adjustable stool, not on wheels, for
$29.99: Sears item #00965469000.

Perhaps a place that sells used office equipment would have what
you’re looking for at a resaonable price. The kind of stool I think
you’re looking for is a drafting or lab stool.

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts
No one deserves lung cancer.

Try Northern Tool and type in mechanic stool. They have a couple of
stools, no backs or arms. They are adjustable, on wheels and
reasonably priced. I purchased the cheapest one for my son, but found
that I liked it so have bought another.

I know that Sears had an adjustable mechanics stool similar to the
more expensive seat at Northern Tool, but I couldn’t locate it on
their site either. I have a friend who is an orthotist (makes leg
braces) and that’s where I first saw one. He loves it.

Best of luck,

A great big thank you to everyone who has offered suggestions
regarding a work stool. Since I’m also a painter, I like to sit in
front of my large easel as well. I just purchased a drafting one at
an art supply store. It was 50% off, so I paid about $122 for it. It
has all the bells and whistles and is very comfortable.

Thanks to all of you great people for your thoughtful suggestions. I
am too busy to respond personally to each and every email as I am
entirely too busy also on a support-group web site for dealing with
a cat with renal disease. I get so many emails from that group I
just need to just say a big THANK YOU to everyone.

Enjoy your summers.

    Tall stools don't allow your feet to rest on the floor. You
can prop your  feet up on the crossbars, but that's neither
full-foot support nor  restful. If you let your legs dangle from
the knee down, it puts pressure  on your thighs, especially at the
edge of the seat cushion. 

I have that exact problem with the drafting stool I bought so I
could sit at bench height. The footrest is not adjustable, so my legs
dangle and go numb after a short time.

I’ve been looking for alternatives to the drafting stool, and found
ergonomic saddle chairs at various sites online. Here’s a page with
examples of what they look like:

Basically you straddle the thing like a saddle, and rest your feet
on the floor on either side. No pressure on the legs, and the
position allegedly improves posture (no more hunched shoulders?). It
appears that the seats can be adjusted from chair height all the way
up to drafting stool height. They’re ungodly expensive though–they
seem to start at $300 and go up quite a ways from there. I’m not
ready to rush out and buy a $300 chair just now, but maybe someday
the price will come down. In the meantime I’d like to find out more
about them. I’m wondering if these things are really as great as the
PR on the websites make them out to be. Does anyone have one of
these, or have you ever tried sitting on one?

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Pet Motif Jewelry

Kathy, I think that when looking for a good stool, price should not
be the top concern. Like you said your current stool the foot rest
does not adjust. But on a higher price model they do. Just like
those saddles, yes they are expensive but they are probably sturdy.
When shopping for a stool think of it as the home for your body for
a third of the day. Just like buying a mattress, where you spend the
another third of the day. You get the best that you can afford so
that your body is comfortable and you probably spend $2000 for good
mattress set. As far as the saddles, I have set on them, and being a
guy there is too much pressure at some other areas and they make
your pants bunch up every time you get up and down. (quote from
their add “Wider, firmer, and with less pommel and cantel than the
more contoured Bambach Saddle Seat. Those that are bothered by a
pommel in close contact with their private parts (especially men and
those with very thick thighs), might prefer this saddle contour.” )

I like having a seat back so when I need to think for a minute, I can put my feet up on the anvil lean back and relax.
As for the feet dangling and more support for the feet, put a shelve or foot rest on your bench to rest your feet and mount your flexshaft foot control on that.

Warren Townsend

There sure seem to be a lot of expensive choices out there for a
place to rest your tush. I’d cut the legs off my bench before I’d
buy a $300 stool.

Personally, I hunted a long time to find a chair that was shallow
enough front-to-back to support my lower back when I sit up straight
with my feet on the floor, and with adjustable arms that can move
up, not just down, so they really function as arm supports when I’m
working. When I finally found exactly that, it was no great beauty,
but it cost $80 at Office Depot. I’m very happy with it. The height,
arms, and angle of the back all adjust, and it doesn’t seem to be
particularly flammable. I love it!

As an aside, my alternative practitioner suggested I consider
sitting on one of those giant balls to work, until I reminded him of
what I do. I got a good chuckle imagining the “America’s Funniest
Home Videos” scenario when I rolled over a fallen diamond, or got
one spark on it. Not so funny in real life, to have your chair
"disappear" while you were soldering…


I bought a rolling stool on wheels that is meant to be used for
massage therapists. The height is incredibly adjustable (can be tall
enough for my bench but also my short enough for my desk). I paid
about $105 for mine but they can be had new on eBay for less (if you
aren’t picky about the color – I was!).

It’s called the Earthlite=AE Pneumatic Rolling Stool and I got mine

Good luck!

More than ten years ago the different chair was a bar to sit on and
another bar to hook your ankles under. It was also supposed to be
good for those with back pain and eventually, cheap knock offs of it
were to be found in the discount stores. I forget what it was called
and although I sat in one, I did not buy one.

Marilyn Smith

I forget what it was called and although I sat in one, I did not
buy one. 

marilyn - it was called ‘the chair from hell’ & i was not as
fortunate as you to turn it down - i did buy one. it was invented by
someone in league with the devil, orthopedic surgeons (it made you
sit up so straight it threw everything from the neck down into
semi-permanent disassociation), dry cleaners (whatever you were
wearing became a mass of wrinkles from knees down), and those around
you who were entertained by watching you stand up after long periods
of - ‘sitting’ ? kneeling? scrunching down? doing penance? - without
any chair arms to balance on until your feet decided to wake up.

i checked the label on the bottom, “a scandinavian export” - of
course they exported it, they probably passed laws in all those
countries that in the interest of pan-scandinavian health no
nationals could use them!

when you discover life’s ‘great truths’ write them down immediately,
they are easy to forget. ive

I forget what it was called and although I sat in one, I did not
buy one. 

If you are talking about what I think you are, it was called the
"back chair," although it had no back and certainly did not look like
a chair.