Understanding The Mechanics Of A Stairlift

You might be thinking of installing a stair lift in your home for you or a loved one. This can be an excellent way to help someone with mobility issues and provide them with the assistance they need in order for them to lead an independent life. But before installing such a device, it is important to understand the mechanics of a stair lift and how it functions, in an effort to gain a greater understanding of how it can assist your household. Read on to find out more.

The Components of A Stairlift

The design of both straight and curved stair lifts will range between different manufacturers. However, stair lifts all share some common and essential mechanical components.


The track provides support for the chair and is a mechanism to propel the chair. It guides the chair up or down the stairs and defines the route of the stair lift, whether that be straight or curved.

Track Overruns

This option can be placed on the top or bottom of the track, and moves the user away from the staircase, in order to let them safely dismount away from the stairs. Some stair lifts don’t have this option but have similar mounting/dismounting safety procedures and measures.

Power Supply

Stair lifts are mostly battery-powered and need a power supply to charge either the battery or the unit itself. Non-battery-powered stair lifts require a significant amount of power, necessitating a separate power circuit.


The call/send controls tell the stair lift to travel up or down the staircase and they can be mounted on the wall, next to each end of the track. This can also be wireless or wired to the lift in the form of a small controller, rather than being mounted.


Put simply, this is where the user is placed during a stair lift’s operation. Depending on the stair lift manufacturer, it may swivel at either end of the staircase, most commonly with a curved stairlift.


This powers the chair along the track, and up or down the staircase. It is usually found underneath the seat.


The motor rotates too quickly for the stair lift to be safely propelled up the track. Because of this, a transmission is fitted to increase the power whilst safely reducing the speed.

Foot Rest

This is another safety feature employed to stop the user’s feet from catching on the stairs. The footrest contains switches to stop the lift if it hits an obstruction and is easily foldable for when the stair lift isn’t in use.


Stair lift batteries power the motor and are contained next to it, underneath the seat. They will work in tandem with a battery charger at the end of the track to keep it powered. These work automatically with no action required from the user, other than the replacement of the battery after a large number of years.

About Us

If you’re interested in a stair lift to make household mobility easy and stress-free, Alfix is here to help. As demonstrated by this blog, stair lift manufacturers make their devices superbly functional, comfortable, and effective. Whether you want a straight or curved stair lift, new or reconditioned, we provide household accessibility solutions with large coverage. Contact us today at 01926 334848.