Guides & Tips

Manual Vs Powered Electric Wheelchair Comparison

Are you unsure whether to get a manual or a powered electric wheelchair? Use this guide to help you decide on which is best suited for your requirements.


Guides & Tips

Manual Vs Powered Electric Wheelchair Comparison

Are you unsure whether to get a manual or a powered electric wheelchair? Use this guide to help you decide on which is best suited for your requirements.

by PITeam

by PITeam
advantages of power wheelchairs over manual wheelchairs

We often hear this and argue that the traditional way of doing things have been most beneficial for a reason and we must continue to do what we know for years.

While on another hand, some people would suggest that modern technology has improved and innovated a new way of doing things.

When we give a closer look at the wheelchairs that are available in the market these days, proper guidance to break down all the advantages and disadvantages of both electric and manual wheelchairs are given. This distinguished difference will help you understand what fits your lifestyle the best.

Powered Electric Wheelchair

Power wheelchairs are propelled by electric batteries. The choice is on the user as to what type of electric wheelchair they would require.

You can choose between mid-wheel drive, front wheel drive and rear wheel drive.

If the user requires a power wheelchair which has the ability to turn and spin circle efficiently, then you must go for a front or mid-wheel drive.

If you are looking for a better speed then you must go for rear wheel drive power wheelchair.


An electric wheelchair typically does not require any kind of help for basic mobility by the third person. It does not require help while you are tackling a hilly or rough terrain. A power wheelchair is made with an aim to provide comfort and stability to the user. Power wheelchair allows the user to travel a lot faster than on any other manual wheelchair. Power wheelchairs are definitely more ideal for long travel distances.

Few Advantages To Remember:

  • A power wheelchair is ideal for users who have limited or no upper body strength.
  • Power wheelchair gives the patient Independence and self-reliance.
  • Power wheelchair does not require any kind of help from the third person for its mobility.
  • The motor of these Power wheelchairs is quite efficient.
  • The electric wheelchair is more luxurious and comfortable.
  • The power wheelchair gives a social Independence to the users.


If you notice that the biggest disadvantage of an electric wheelchair is its price. These electric wheelchairs are priced at a higher value than the manual wheelchair. This is because of their extremely good design and features. These electric wheelchairs also require more maintenance than a manual wheelchair.

Few Disadvantages To Remember:

  • The electric wheelchairs are more expensive
  • These power wheelchairs may require servicing of repair after a certain duration.
  • An electric wheelchair can sometimes be difficult to carry and travel.
  • These electric wheelchairs are heavier than a manual one.
  • These electric wheelchairs would require maintenance after a certain duration.

Manual Wheelchair

manual wheelchaires pros annd cons

A basic manual wheelchair is moved by you sitting on the chair and someone else helping you to turn the large rear wheels from behind or you physically turn the wheels with your hands.

These manual wheelchairs are often lightweight and easy to maneuver. Most of the lightweight wheelchairs are manually driven.


If the user has a good and strong upper body, a manual wheelchair would be the best and ideal option. You would discover that propelling yourself with a manual wheelchair is much easier and helps to maintain your strength. Manual wheelchair works majorly on your muscle strength for the mobility unless you have someone to move you around.

Few Advantages To Remember

  • A manual wheelchair is more affordable and lightweight.
  • A manual wheelchair is certainly easy to transport from one place to another.
  • The user can easily lift the manual wheelchair whenever necessary.
  • Manual wheelchair doesn’t rely on recharging the batteries.
  • Most of the manual wheelchair models are easy to navigate through narrow spaces.


Until unless you don't have a good upper body strength or someone to push you around then buying a manual wheelchair might not be a good option for you. Therefore, you must always keep in mind the kind of lifestyle you are leading and your requirements before you purchase a manual wheelchair. These wheelchairs are quite difficult to carry and transport. Sometimes it becomes difficult to maneuver manual wheelchair by the user.

Few Disadvantages To Remember:

  • Manual wheelchair requires the right level of balance and strength
  • A manual wheelchair can create a new type of injuries
  • Manual wheelchair creates a lot of problem while on the slope or a hill.

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