AK Octane chair

Last week I purchased my latest cheap office chair. It’s an AK Designs Octane chair purchased from Best Buy. My experience is that any of the sub-$200 chairs purchased from retail stores will last about two years before the mechanism that allows the chair to rock and turn will wear out to the point that it loudly squeaks when you use it. At $150, I fully expect this chair to be no different.

The good

This chair is just really comfortable. The sides of the back wrap around you so it feels similar to a sports car seat designed to hold you in place while cornering. Also, the back has a bit of a lumbar bump built into it that feels great on the back.

The armrests adjust up and down, side to side, and pivot. I’m not sure if this is useful, or just fun to play with. Either way I like it.

The chair has big, roller blade style, wheels that roll smoothly on a variety of surfaces. They are even pretty good on carpet.

The blue and black color scheme is a perfect match for my blue walled and black furnished home office.

The bad

It’s still a cheap chair that will wear out in a couple years. The mechanism underneath the seat looks almost identical to the ones on all of my previous cheap chairs and nothing like the ones on the professional chairs we use at work.

The tall wheels have a couple side effects. First, the legs that attach the wheels are now a little higher than normal. Achilles tendon height. If you roll it into your heal while sitting it will break skin and hurt. Trust me. Secondly, the taller wheels mean the lowest setting for the seat height in taller than my previous chairs.

29 thoughts on “AK Octane chair

  1. Ok, so I’ve had a few comments on the chair lately on this 2 year old post. Here’s an update:

    This chair was only available from Best Buy from what I can tell, and I think it’s been discontinued. I’m not even sure the company that make it (AK Designs) is still in business.

    The good: I am still using it and for the most part it’s holding up well for a cheap chair. The cloth material is still in good shape, the armrests still look like new, and the rocking and lift mechanism still work great. After using it for a while I decided it wasn’t as good on carpet as I originally thought, so I bought a fake wood chair mat to put under it. That worked great.

    The bad: A couple of the plastic pieces on top of the legs pop off occasionally when I roll and catch my heal on the leg. They are just decorative, so no big deal and I could just leave them off. It also kind of hurts if I’m not wearing shoes, but that’s not the chairs fault. The bigger problem is that sometimes if a leg comes up off the ground when moving it around a wheel will fall out, and the base will drop all the way on the floor. If I was using it on a hardwood floor this would probably scratch it, but I’m not, so it’s really another minor inconvenience for me.

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  2. I also have had this chair nearly 2 years, I purchased it at Best buy, The only thing That has had a problem was the decorative plastic pieces on the legs as somebody else mentioned..I have it on a Cherry Hardwood florr and it doesnt do the floor any harm at all, I on a mission to buy another in case this one wears out.

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  3. i have had the chair for 5 years now and love it. the only issue that i have is the lift mechanism just went out and i am having a hard time finding a replacment part. very comfortable the rollerblade wheels work great on carpet

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  4. You would think with all the comments and pages about this chair online Best Buy would reproduce them. AK Designs is out of business however..

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  5. I bought this chair in 2006, maybe earlier. just yesturday the base of the chair cracked and the wheels cannot go back on. i want parts for this great chair but from what I hear, its a lost cuase.

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  6. Hey there, I bought this chair in 2006 and I have never felt better about a chair. Even today (5 years later) it performs like its brand new. I moved and I was unable to take that chair with me due to space requirements and I REALLY want another one :(. I love to play PC shooters on a professional level so i am really particular in what chair I use.

    *If anyone can send me information on how to purchase a new one I would buy it in a heart beat.

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  7. I worked at Best Buy when they sold these. I always wanted one but never had the money to do so and once I did, they discontinued them. I am still searching for one. I have been checking eBay and all I find is the AK X-Rocker. All the google searches come up with are 2-3 year old forum post about it going on a huge sale and review sites raving about how great the chair is. I really want this chair or a similar designed chair. Anyone have any ideas?

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  8. I have one of these chairs as well and have had it for about 5 years. At the time I worked at Best Buy and bought it for about $100. Now my father is wanting one so bad that he is doing everything but demand I sell it to him.

    My chair still looks like I took it out of the box but I honestly fear the day something on it breaks or wears out. As a programmer I spend a huge amount of time in this chair and I know the day will come that I need another one. I pray someone stumbles upon this blog and takes it upon themselves to make a chair with this design, in particular the rollerblade wheels!

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  9. So I came across this site just looking for answers about the chair. For what it was worth and considering it was from best buy, mine has held up for a great potential. I bought this back in 03 and it has not let me down in the least bit. Problem is the hydraulics have finally let go. The only reason I really bought it in the first place was the rollerblade wheels heh. So I agree that I hope someone picks up the design as for I need a new chair now.

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  10. I bought this chair on sale at Best Buy for $145 US. in 2007. 6 years ago! This chair gets heavy use every day for long periods of time.

    There has yet to this date been a single issue with it. The padding is still firm like new. There is no wear in the arms. The wheels still roll perfectly smooth and the chair looks new.
    I have bought office furniture for our office and spent hundreds of dollars on “HON” chairs that are cheap toys compared to the octane yet 2x the price.

    If you have a chance to buy one of these chairs do not hesitate. They may look kinda like they were made for kids but I am 33 years old now and have yet to find another chair that rolled as nice or had the adjustments this chair has.
    The arm rests go up, down, in, out, and rotate left to right. This is ideal for someone like me who has carpal tunnel. I am able to site at my computer for 6-10 hour stretches and have no fatigue on my wrists or my ass.

    I wish I could find another so that when this one finally does wear I will have a backup.

    I think you should revise your review now that you’ve had your chair for a while. Maybe I got lucky with mine but 6 years of heavy use and it still looks new.

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  11. Also wanted to mention that my AK Octane chair (which I bought in 2006) has been absolutely perfect until today, when my wife thought it’d be funny to push me over sideways, breaking one of the legs. Found the site while searching to see if they were still available, but looks like I’ll have to find something else.

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  12. I have envied my brother since he bought this chair 6 years ago. Every time I would go to his house, I would sit in the AK Octane and play video games and I’m 300 lbs. I recently decided to try and get me one seeing as how his still looks new and the terrible luck I’ve had with office chairs. I would pay double for the $169 he paid for a brand new one.

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  13. I have this very chair, bought it in 07 and it’s still working just as well as the day I bought it.
    I’m moving and downsizing so this is one thing I’m parting with.

    I noticed a lot of comments for people who would buy one, so Here it is… your chance to own one. Make me an offer. It’s currently in LA, slightly dusty from being in storage for two months but otherwise it’s in outstanding shape. I can send a pic if you’re serious.
    cipherproductions at yahoo dot com

    need to sell it soooon! after reading all the comments I almost want to keep it, but I just can’t.

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  14. I guess I’ll chime in too. I LOVE my AK Octane chair. Had it about 7 years now with no issues at all (except catching my heel on the legs!). It gets very regular use and still looks new. I was looking for one to buy for my son and am disappointed that it’s no longer available. If you find one, buy it.

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  15. After the legs on my AK Octane chair broke a while back. I have made do with various home remedies. But, I recently found out that companies actually sell replacement parts for office chairs. -You may be saying to yourself, “Duh!”. But, I didn’t know anyone did that.- So, I just placed an order for some new wheels and a heavy duty metal leg assembly in place of the plastic factory piece. Both of these items should arrive by Tuesday and I will report back my results.

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  17. Found this post while looking for potential replacements for my AK Octane, not that I need it yet. The tilt mechanism was squeaking a lot but a little WD-40 put an end to that. I’ve had mine since 2007-2008 and it’s still in excellent shape and this thing probably has more hours in it than most… really wish that company knew what it had and charged a bit more to afford to stay in business; not that I know the reason they went out of business, but comparable chairs these days sell for $300+ not sub-200.

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    So good to find somebody with some unique thoughts on this issue.
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  19. Still rolling on my chair that I’ve had for I don’t know how long. Bought a pair for my wife and I when they were $100 at Best Buy. Same issues as others, such as the black wheel cover things breaking off. The hydraulics are dying on me; I like the seat at maximum height and have to raise it back up about twice a week. Now I’m on the hunt for a replacement hydraulic cylinder. Anyone had any luck with one? It looks like a standard size compared to other office chairs, but I want to make sure if I remove the current one I have a replacement on hand.

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  20. Found this while searching for parts.
    Just finished refurbishing my chair, and it’s like new.
    Now that I got the parts and actually put them on, I know they work so I wanted to share the parts in case anyone else comes across this post.

    CHAIR SEAT PLATE TILT/LOCK SWIVEL MECHANISM 4″ X 7.15″ $30 on ebay

    I upgraded the gas cylinder to a big & tall (400 lbs) for $40 on ebay ($26 for standard piston, and $60 if you really want to go all out for a 500 lb limit)
    OVERALL LENGTH MINIMUM: 10″
    MAXIMUM LENGTH: 13.5″
    TRAVEL: 3.5″
    COLUMN LENGTH: 7 7/8″
    COLUMN DIAMETER: 50MM
    CYLINDER DIAMETER: 1.1″

    Standard industry tapers on both ends.

    Anyway.. just wanted to share since it looks like there’s still a few AK Octane users out there.

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  22. Bill you are my hero. My wife was talking about getting me a replacement chair for Christmas and I do not want to part with mine. So I did a search and found this site because I wanted to see if I can get a replacement or at least parts. I purchased mine in 2006 and its still going strong but just in case I will most likely pick up the replacement hydraulics to be safe. The only issue I had with this chair is that the arm rest pads cracked so I removed them and swapped them around so that the cracks are not on the front any longer but on the back side.

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  23. I bought the AK Designs Octane chair back in 2006 when I had a part time job at Best Buy. Our employee discount on it at the time brought it down to under $100. Its is now 2015, and the chair is still going strong (mostly). One of the wheels is damaged and doesn’t turn well, but that was due to “user error”, not any fault of the chair. I’ve also had all of the black plastic caps on the legs fall off. Otherwise, the char is still comfortable. The armrests and backrest still work properly and the fabric is in good condition. This was the best sub-$100 chair I’ve ever bought. Had I known it would have lasted me 9+ strong years, I would have bought a couple back in ’06 and stored the others. I’m saddened that this company no longer makes chairs, or that anyone makes a chair similar to this. Finding any chair with the rollerblade design wheels is really difficult. I know you can buy just the wheels and add them to a regular chair, but the wheels typically sell for $50+ for a set. Glad to hear of other people’s experiences though.

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  24. We purchased this chair in 2007. It’s 2015 and still like new. I came around your post as I’m actually looking for another one AK because our other leather executive chair is all ripped apart and padding is completely gone. AK is more comfortable than the “ergonomic” and stylish mesh office chairs that I use at work. I have used it at least 8 hrs a day while I was working from home up until a year ago. Now I cannot find a similar design.

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  25. I bought one off Craigslist today in San Antonio today. With a shampoo completed, this chair feels great for my 225vlb, 58 year old ass. Work from home on the computer and tomorrow will be my first full day!

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