We've been selling our NES Reliable lines of Plastic Folding Tables and Chairs for more than five years and each year we've seen increased sales. Much like with our Plastic Folding Tables, we also get asked daily about the cost of our Plastic Folding Chairs. And like with our plastic folding tables, there is the easy answer (pricelist) and the more complicated answer (why the big difference).
Traditional Samsonite plastic folding chairs typically cost between $8.95 and $19.99 each. Unlike plastic folding tables however, plastic folding chairs with a subpar weight rating can be dangerous for anyone looking to use them. So while some consumers can likely survive with a plastic folding table that has a subpar weight rating, the same is not true for plastic folding chairs. The three key factors in the strength of a plastic folding chair is the use of recycled plastic in the construction of the chair, the limited value of a static rating, and the importance of drop test results.
Many consumer focused companies are proud to say that their plastic folding chairs have a certain percentage of recycled material in the hopes of gaining a green reputation. Many others will hide the fact that their chairs have recycled content because they are worried commercial buyers will avoid their products like the plague. In the case of plastic folding chairs it is extremely important to avoid recycled content. If the manufacturer uses recycled plastic to produce their plastic folding chairs, the chairs will be brittle which means they will crack and break quickly. New virgin plastic on the other hand allows the chair to flex further without breaking and results in a folding chair that is very strong, more durable and not brittle. So why do some manufacturers use recycled plastic then? It all comes down to cost. It is much less expensive to produce a chair using recycled plastic than it is using new plastic.
Static weight ratings are in many cases something else to watch out for. Many companies will have spectacular static weight ratings that frankly fall short in reality. You want to look for a weight rating that is in the 300-350lb range. If they claim higher you should consider asking more questions about the product, especially if the price seems too good to be true (as the saying goes, it normally is to good to be true).
Drop test results are something that is very important to consider when buying plastic folding chairs. The BIFMA standard is 225lbs from 6" above the seat. In the case of the NES Reliable Plastic Folding Chairs, this is the exact test that has been done, and the chair will not fail. Some manufacturers have even stepped up with chairs rated for a 275lb test from 6" above the chair. This is no doubt a very impressive feat for a plastic folding chair however those chairs also come at a premium price.
All of these factors are important to consider when purchasing a plastic folding chair for your church, facility or for your business to rent. If you buy a plastic folding chair that meets all of these requirements, that is:
- Contains only virgin plastic
- Has a static weight rating of 300-350lbs
- Has passed the BIFMA 225lbs drop test
Not only will you be purchasing a more durable plastic folding chair that will last longer, but there is less chance they will fail when someone sits on them.