Installing wood floors for twenty years does something to you! It develops an inane fetish for knee pads! This is largely due to the pain us installers go through. With that, I’m constantly looking at different types of knee pads to find what fits and helps best in particular circumstances. While browsing the ‘Uk flooring installers’ facebook page, I stumbled across a post by a fellow installer. That post was a link to ‘Recoil kneepads‘. I instantly got where the designer of these knee pads was coming from, so decided to purchase a pair to try out. Read on for my pretty detailed opinion..
The purchase of the Recoil pads was made around three and a half months ago. Obviously at the time I didn’t know much about them so couldn’t give an opinion. However, nearly four months in and a rough calculation of 150 hours usage (I have other pads I use for certain other purposes), I feel confident enough to let you know what they’re actually like – good and bad..
There’s one major feature that sets these pads out from the rest, and I do mean major! The spring design feature in the face of the pads. As soon as I saw how the company had made the recoil pads, with years of experience under my belt, I just knew it would work. Knowing the different angles, leans, and positions installers adopt on a second by second basis, and knowing a little about the mechanics of shock absorbers in cars, the idea of the spring design is just so simple! I think we all know that the simple things in life often work best. The Recoil spring design is no different.
Moving at different angles in quick motion the individual springs absorb the shifting load from my body through to my knees while the base of the pads stay planted. With most other pads (I say MOST but at this time I can’t think of ANY close comparisons to Recoils) when the base stays planted, the pressure and forces from the weight of my body are absorbed through the padded material (which is always limited – especially after a few months hard use) and the knee joint itself. The forces are in effect rebounded straight back up into the knee. With the Recoil pads, these forces, although not totally eradicated (how could they be, we’re still in contact with the ground, right?) are greatly reduced. A good comparison would be the difference between a sports car and off road jeep. With a sports car, the energy from every bump in the road is sent right back into the car. With an off road jeep, the energy from every bump on the hills is absorbed by and expelled from the springs. I think I’ve explained this point enough, let’s move on..
A few more highlighted brief points :-
- At around £40, the Recoil pads are competitively priced. Certainly considering what you get within this unique and well thought out design.
- As the overall design of the Recoil pads is open, they stay relatively cool. Other pads can really swallow the knee in an attempt to brace it, but dispelling heat is a real problem for them and the knees sweat.
- The straps are light and don’t chaff the back of my legs like some. This aspect however is often dependent on the size of the legs.
- The springs are substantial and comfortably take my thirteen stone weight. I haven’t got a clue what they’d be like if you’re the type that sits in a cafe for three hours a day!
- The plastic housing that encapsulates the springs and provides anchoring points for the straps is of a decent quality. The pads I bought have been worked hard as I think is clear (In the following pictures), and they’re still going strong.
Now you’ve read the good, let’s look at the bad..
The springs are noisy. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still be able to hear the radio. However, there is some noise when the springs are working.
Is this noise something that would stop me from purchasing them again? Probably not. Am I being a little pedantic here? Probably, yes. Although, I do think it’s important that you know these type of things before you decide to buy. That’s the sort of knowledge that clearly isn’t mentioned on the packaging.
I have an exceptionally tender patella tendon. As mentioned, years of wood floor installations has seen to that. Therefore, when a fully padded material comes into contact with it, the area tends to get inflamed. Unfortunately, the padded part of the Recoil pads is a full material. I think in life, we all need little hacks, so I’ve simply and easily just cut out a small section of the pads (see in the picture) so the sensitive part of my knee doesn’t come into contact with anything. It’s essentially suspended while the surrounding area of the knee is supported by the pad. I’m not sure this is very relevant in this article as individual personal ailments are just that, individual and personal. As they say, one shoe in reality doesn’t fit all. However, if you’re like me with this handmaidens knee palaver, and you purchase a set of Recoils, then be prepared to get your knife out.
Moving on, the padded part of the pads is only attached to the main plastic housing via the leg straps. I assume this is to make it easier to replace the pad should the need arise. However, when the Recoils are removed, the padded part of them separates from the plastic housing and becomes loose. Meaning the pad needs re-seating prior to putting them back on. This isn’t a huge issue, however, I think several well positions velcro strips would be very welcomed in future Recoil models.
Lastly, I’m not a huge fan of velcro fastenings for the straps. Recoil pads have these velcro fastening unfortunately. This is by no means isolated to Recoils. Every manufacturer now a days seem to be adopting this method. The problem with velcro is it can get clogged up with general tradesman’s building gunk and stops working as efficiently. Also, as the straps stretch over time, the two parts of the velcro (Male and Female), tend not to meet up very well, therefore you end up with only a small part of the velcro fastenings coming into contact with each other. A metal buckle (not plastic as they snap) type fastening would be far better.
To conclude, I absolutely love the main feature of these pads. Tried, tested, and it works! Knee pads have been waiting for something like this to be created for years. Gone are the days of hard leather materials with minimal padding. Now we have something that’s utilising proper modern day engineering and ergonomics.
The Recoil pads have their flaws, but absolutely every set of knee pads I’ve ever owned – which is probably in excess of most women’s shoe closets – has had their flaws. There’s always going to be that small subjective aspect that you just won’t get a long with. However, the main point of focus here is the science. Whether you’re a diy’er or full on tradesman, these knee pads do their job, and make your job easier.
If my opinions resonate with you, and you’d like to purchase a pair of Recoil knee pads, they can be found over at Amazon (< Click here).© Copyright 2016 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor