A recliner mechanism is a piece of machinery that facilitates the movement of a traditional armchair from an upright position to a relaxed or horizontal position. This mechanism is triggered by an action undertaken by the user; usually the activation occurs when the user pushes a footrest to the floor, pushes on the armrests or leans back in the chair itself. The activating mechanism is typically manufactured using stamped steel.
The precise design cuts for recliner mechanisms are made by die-making machines and electrical discharge machines. The mechanism is then stamped and attached to a chair frame, which has already been constructed using measured and shaped wood. These two components make up the bulk of a reclining armchair and provide the skeleton to which rigid foam, padding and upholstery are added to create the finished product.
The type of lift mechanism used on a recliner depends on the power it must generate, the amount of space it has to operate, and whether it is working on a full couch or a chair. The La-Z-Boy company is the holder of a patent on a particular brand of reclining chair mechanism that has allowed the company to become an extremely successful vendor of recliners. The company was founded by Edwin J. Shoemaker and Edward M. Knabusch in 1929.