Why Cheap Linear Actuators Are Not Worth It
Why Cheap Linear Actuators Are Not Worth It

Why Cheap Linear Actuators Are Not Worth It

Linear actuators are the new ‘must-haves’ for every home and office, whether you’re aware of where they’re implemented or not. A common example is seen in space optimization, where automatic actuators are one of the best options on the market to extend and retract doors, shelves, units, drawers, and so on. Another popular option is to have your TV flip down from the ceiling. Another space optimizer, it also allows you to determine the best viewing point of your TV. Standing desks are also widely used in homes and offices, utilizing linear actuator technology to provide their controlled motion. Linear actuators can not only enlarge the space in your home or workplace: they also help you work more efficiently.

From these examples, it’s clear that actuators can, and do, make your life easier in many different forms. Choosing the wrong device or opting for cheaper alternatives may be a disadvantage in the long-term; this article will analyze why it is a bad choice to buy used or cheap 12v linear actuators.

A robot working with the help of an industrial linear actuator


Why Avoid Cheap Linear Actuators?

Linear actuators are popular among various industries as they are compact and easy to use, with some controllable remotely with a few buttons. These electric devices are used to make your life easier, however, the production process is not that simple. That’s why, when choosing an actuator, you need to consider some factors such as its parameters (force, voltage, stroke), special requirements (e.g. waterproof capabilities), and the focus of this article: cost.

High-quality, strongly designed actuators are undoubtedly worth the price:

Linear actuator PA-17 Model by Progressive Automations

Sturdy and Durable

Due to the mechanical nature of generating linear motion, which is powered by electricity, there is no need for frequent lubrication, the engine runs silently, and is not subject to wear. On top of that, the dismantling and installation of a linear motor is easy, fast, and does not require additional adjustment, which significantly increases its maintainability. You are not guaranteed these features if you opt for second-hand, cheap actuators!

Longer Lifetime

The less friction a linear actuator has generated throughout its total working time, the longer its expected lifetime is. When manufacturers declare an estimated lifetime for their products, if you opt for a cheap or used actuator, you can expect half of that or even less.

Smoother Operation

Linear mechanisms are very simple in construction and, usually, top-notch models feature various levels of protection (such as IP54, IP66 water protection, for example). Cheaper options either lack any out-of-the-box protection or are made from elements with a low resistance to external effects.

Remote Use

You can control your linear actuator with a few clicks of a switch or wireless remote control. There is no more need to manually operate the device, giving you that extra bit of convenience. Cheaper devices are mostly manually-controlled while used models’s controls may lag.

Linear actuator PA-7 Model by Progressive Automations


New Actuators Vs. Used Actuators

Should you choose a used linear actuator over a new one? A reason why high-quality actuators may be relatively cheap is that they have been used before. The question must be asked: is purchasing a used device a good idea? Like many other devices, actuators have their own lifecycle.

If you regularly and heavily use an affordable linear actuator, its total lifecycle may not last more than a year. A brand new, high-quality device will serve a lot longer and have the ability to withstand heavier loads on a regular basis. New models also usually come with a warranty to help you afford repairs in an unexpected case.

New actuators have several other advantages over used ones:


New generations always get corrections and improvements. Buying a used actuator, you are risking getting an affordable yet outdated model that’s been created based on past standards and techniques. For instance, the mentioned IP protection standards evolve based on continuous ingress testing. Getting a model that was created before 2013 will give you a device with somewhat outdated protection standards.

Long-Term Use

A new actuator should be seen as an investment as their high-quality makes them last longer than a used or cheaper alternative. It’s more cost-effective in the long run to purchase a product that will last longer than have to replace an alternative within a year or so.


Some quality devices are waterproof, allowing you to place them almost anywhere. Used actuators, even those with a good degree of protection, have had their fair amount of time exposed to potentially harsh environments, which leaves significant wear and tear on the device’s health.

In essence, new actuators may cost more but can serve much longer. If you opt to buy a used linear actuator, be sure to have an accurate insight into its current state and capabilities. For instance, used industrial linear actuators could lead to a breakdown of the entire mechanism. Do not risk the quality of your actuator for a reduced price: choose new actuators on certified websites that will still offer an affordable price, such as those offered here in ActuatorZone.

Various models of linear actuators by Progressive Automations


Why Choose Us?

We have many options to choose from so that you can find the exact actuator you want for your application. Our prices vary from $70 to $465 based on actuator type, force, stroke, voltage, and size. Our devices are new, high-quality, reliable devices that can be custom created to suit your specifications. If you have any queries or doubts, you can also contact one of our customer service agents who will be glad to assist you!


We hope we have highlighted why you should always opt for a high-quality actuator and avoid cheap and used alternatives. Your time and money will be saved in the long-run and you are guaranteed an operational device that will be covered by an 18-month warranty! All in all, new actuators are up-to-date, sturdy, and reliable. Actuatorzone can help you pick one today!

Anna Sapiga

AZ Engineer