We Cut a $55 Gaming Chair in Half To Find Out What’s Inside

When Greg told me there was a surprise for me in the BTOD studio, I wasn’t expecting to find a boxed up gaming chair. Turns out that he ordered the cheapest gaming chair he could find on Amazon with a price tag of $55. Here is what I discovered as I assembled and then totally deconstructed the chair.

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We Cut a $55 Gaming Chair in Half Links

First of all, it is kind of amazing that any company is able to offer a chair for $55. We have a lot of experience with importing products and it isn’t cheap to have heavy packages shipped from China. Container fees have tripled over the past few years, which means that it probably costs around $20 to ship this gaming chair and that doesn’t even take into account the price of packaging, so it should be interesting to take a closer look at the actual chair. It hardly seems possible to offer a chair for $55.

Opening the $55 Gaming Chair Box

Once I opened up the box, I found a classic racing bucket chair with a sturdy base. The upholstery has a nice feel although the seat is covered in cheap PU leather that doesn’t handle moisture well and will literally start to flake. The overall design definitely showcases a typical “gamer. While the mechanism is clearly made from the cheapest materials, it is still amazing that there is an actual chair for $55.

The main challenge with this chair was the instructions. Calling them “not great” is generous. They consist of one page of pictures without any words. Over the years, I’ve put together about a dozen gaming chairs and it is pretty common to end up with a ton of parts and not a lot of guidance, but these instructions are really bare bones.

Assembly Instructions and Parts
Assembly Instructions and Parts

To add to the confusion the screws aren’t labeled, so I had no way of knowing which screws to use for different aspects of the assembly. There was some guesswork involved and It didn’t take long to realize that I guessed wrong. After I attached the back to the seat, I noticed a large gap, which meant disassembling my work and starting over. Once I had the seat figured out, attaching the armrests and wrapping things up by assembling and attaching the base and casters was pretty easy.

Sit Test for Comfort
Sit Test for Comfort

From a comfort standpoint, the chair is unimpressive. The biggest drawback is probably the armrests, which are hard plastic and don’t offer any adjustments. The seat back can be reclined and locked into place, and you can adjust the seat height, but it is one of the only chairs I have ever seen that comes with zero tilt.

After giving the chair a quick test drive, it was time to have some fun and take a look at what is actually inside a $55 gaming chair. With the help of a reciprocating saw, I sliced into the armrest and found nothing but plastic. Next, I cut into the seat to take a look at the materials. What I found was a wood core covered in four layers of cheap styrofoam and then wrapped in some more low-quality foam. Essentially, the cheapest materials were placed in the middle and the quality gets slightly better as you move to the exterior of the chair.

Cheap Foam in Backrest
Cheap Foam in Backrest

Cutting into the seat back revealed a metal frame, but it was extremely thin, and certainly not the high-quality steel advertised in the product description. It was no surprise to find more cheap foam, some poor welding, and more low-quality components.

Looking Inside The Backrest
Looking Inside The Backrest

Ultimately, this gaming chair was about what I expected for $55, but it is still kind of amazing that a company can offer any chair, no matter how cheaply it is made, for that price.

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