Comprehensive Guide to Swivel Base

A swivel base is a swivelling device placed on something that has the capability to swivel. A swivel base can be either placed on another swivel, or it can be placed on something that does not swivel.

Swivels are usually found in things such as swivel chairs and swivel toys, but they can also be manufactured into almost anything from furniture to weaponry. They allow for easy rotation of whatever they are attached to.


Uses of Swivel Base

#1. The swivel base may have multiple uses depending on what they are attached to; an example would be if one were attached to a chair leg, then only the leg would swivel (the chair itself would not). However, some swivel bases swivel without anything being placed on them.

#2. In this case, the swivel base swivels with its own swivelling capabilities and does not depend on something else to swivel. Usually, the swivel base is attached to something immobile like a large table or floor.

#3. A swivel chair base can be one of two different types: left-rotating, right-rotating. A swivel chair with a left-rotating swivel would rotate clockwise when swerving away from you while a right-rotating swivel would move in an opposite direction, counterclockwise towards your body when swerving away.

The term “left” refers to the position of the swivel relative to your body and not the left or right which the swivel swerves.

#4. The swivel base swivels with its own swivelling capabilities and does not depend on something else to swivel. Usually, the swivel base is attached to something immobile like a large table or floor.


Features of Swivel Base

#1. Swivel chairs are very comfortable to sit on. Swivel chairs can be served in both directions. You don’t have to swivel your entire body and head to swerve towards something or swerve away from something; you just swivel your hips.

#2. The swivel base is the part of a swivelling chair that swerves, not the seating area, arms, backrest, or footrest. A “swivel” base that swerves with its own swivel capabilities ( not attached to anything else ) looks like this:

#3. A typical swivel base consists of 2 metal plates connected by springs. The upper plate usually attaches into a hole drilled into the bottom-most swivel point of the swivel chair, swivel armchair, swivel desk chair, swivel bar stool, swivel rocker, swivel recliner, swivel sofa or swivelling love-seat (or similar furniture). The lower plate attaches into a hole drilled into the bottom-most swiving point on the opposite side. Usually, there is some sort of friction mechanism – like a washer – to prevent unnecessary swivel.  


A typical swivel base looks like this:

It consists of 2 metal plates connected by springs: one attaches to the top swivel portion of the furniture, and one attaches to the bottom swivel portion. And there’s usually a friction washer in between these swivels.  

The swivel base is attached to the swivel top plate with 2 screws, one on each side :

These must be tightened firmly at all times! They are usually attached to the swivel base by a washer and a nut:

In the case of swivel bar stools or swivel chairs, the swivel base attaches into an already drilled hole on the swivel portion – which makes it more stable and prevents unnecessary swivel. When attaching this kind of swivel base you don’t need to drill any new holes (unless you want to attach additional stuff, like a cup holder or backrest). Just slide it through the pre-drilled hole  and tighten tightly:

Let’s swivel!

This swivel base swivels 360 degrees, but swivel bar stool swivel bases can only swivel about 270 degrees (depending on the swivel bar stool) because of leg attachment.


Things you Need to Know About Swivel Base

The most important thing you need to know about swivel bases is to never swivel a chair with load, or while standing on it! This will damage the swivel base through stress, and over time will cause your whole chair to collapse.

Although it doesn’t happen often, given enough time this will certainly happen to any swivel-based piece of furniture. (especially if used by kids). To be very safe I wouldn’t even try doing this swivel trick.


How to Care for Swivel Base

The swivel base should be swivelled as frequently as possible to prevent it from seizing up. (Sear is a condition that inhibits swivelling) This can be done by swivelling the seat back and forth while the swivel bar stool is empty (not on your bum). You also need to swivel it when cleaning and polishing, and at least once every two weeks if not more. (just swivelled it today!)

Never turn without weight or load, this will cause just about any swivel-based piece of furniture to seize up even faster than usual. It’s also important to switch direction after each swivel. This helps distribute wear across all of the ball bearing surfaces inside of the swivel.

Another way swivel-based furniture can get seized up? When the swivel mechanism is not aligned properly! To check that this is not the case, swivel your chair with a little force (you don’t need much to make it swivel) and try to rotate it 360 degrees in both directions.

If you find that it doesn’t swivel freely, don’t panic! This will take care of it! With one hand, grab onto the seat or stool near where the swivel bar attaches and lift slightly. Don’t raise the seat too high or else you’ll block off some air from being able to reach underneath your swivel bar stool.


Leave a Comment