Help Choosing between a Permobile F3 and a Quickie 646SE.

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Help Choosing between a Permobile F3 and a Quickie 646SE.

Postby irish.goat » 03 Nov 2017, 21:26

I am in the process of getting a new wheelchair through vocational rehab, and the final choice comes down to these two powerchairs. I've had a Quickie 646SE for almost ten years and the thing is a friggin' tank, so I am leaning towards it. However I am getting contrasting reviews and recommendations from my physical therapists, and wheelchair technicians.

The Permobile looks great and apparently comes very highly recommended, but the technicians I spoke to heavily suggested they are more of a hassle to fix and more expensive than the American Quickie. On the other hand, despite my preference for Quickie, I have been told that they haven't really done anything to improve their designs, loosing ground to competitors, and have actually lost many of their engineers to startups or other brands.

I am looking for any sort of helpful review that will allay my fears of getting what will be my wheelchair for the long term. Thank you.
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Re: Help Choosing between a Permobile F3 and a Quickie 646SE

Postby ex-Gooserider » 07 Nov 2017, 03:17

It is very hard to advise people on picking chairs without knowing a lot about their exact needs....

That said, if you like your current S646, then I'd be very inclined towards it as something you are familiar with... I wouldn't even consider a different chair unless I had done some pretty extensive test driving of a loaner to see how it handled doing the things you do with your existing chair - does it drive the way you want, and so on. I forget offhand if the F-3 is RWD or not, but I'd be extra insistent on doing serious testing if it isn't.

These days the PT types and the manufacturers in the US are very into pushing mid and front-wheel drive chairs instead of rear wheel, mostly because it's "fashionable" not because they work better, or let you do more... I'm told the RWD chairs are still more popular in other countries.

In terms of the design, it is true that the 646 is an old design, especially when considering the previous, only slightly different 626 models. However it is also the case that the chairs are fairly easy for users to work on and modify to make them what they want.... All their parts are pretty standard, and there isn't anything that makes them gratuitously difficult to work on. While the latest "Gee Whiz" gear can be cool, there is also something to be said for having a solid, well tested 'tank' that is going to keep on running after the Gee Whiz has taken a whiz urinal

Permobile generally has a reputation of being very nice when they are working, but can be a nightmare to work on if something breaks, and they do a lot of very slick things that are cool when they work, but make repairs harder and more expensive. They have a lot of proprietary stuff in their electronics that makes it harder to service because the tools are harder to get (They aren't as bad as Pride, but almost)

I haven't done a serious count, but it seems like Pride / Quantum is the number one 'horror story' brand, but Permobile is pretty close behind them. OTOH we don't seem to see a lot of Sunrise / Quickie complaints... Obviously we don't hear from the happy users, but...

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T-5, ASIA-B
Jazzy 1100
Jazzy Select 6
Quickie Q-7
Invacare Mariner
Want to make / get a better chair, ideally one that stands.
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Re: Help Choosing between a Permobile F3 and a Quickie 646SE

Postby expresso » 19 Nov 2017, 19:46

i be very careful when changing chairs - going from a RWD 646se chair to a permobile is a big change - besides the speed if thats a concern or not - like you said - the quickie is a tank and never let you down - thats a huge plus -

if you like to do things to the chair or reprogramm it etc, - its harder on the Permobile - the F3 i tried it once since it has Rnet - but good thing i save the original settings first - i had to restore back to them - i would demo it good and long before making that switch over -
Quickie P222se - - 36ah ADD on pack -
Quickie S646se - - 105ah LifePo4 Pack + 30ah ADD ON - 135ah total
Quickie P220 - Indoor Chair
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