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The Acorn 180 curved stairlift has most of the features of Acorn’s straight stairlift, the 130, but accommodates winding staircases and landings. Unlike some other curved stairlifts, such as the Stannah Sadler, the Acorn 180 uses modular rails. The standard rail sections quickly assemble and allow for a custom-fit solution.

Most of the assembled rail’s bulk at its lower end, where it can block the foot of the stairs, so Acorn provides an option to install a powered-hinge rail section at the tail end that folds up to provide greater access. While the powered hinge is useful, it can put the whole stairlift out of commission if it fails. You should weigh the need for this option against the possible cost of repairs and the inconvenience of a stuck stairlift.

Besides the rail, the Acorn 180 has all of the standard features of a regular stairlift. It has a padded and comfortable seat and backrest with a seat belt. The seat, arms and footrest fold away into a slimmer profile when the stairlift is not in use. A directional paddle switch helps users with limited dexterity effectively operate the stairlift controls.

Like many stairway lifts, the Acorn 180 has a lock switch to prevent unauthorized use of the carriage, two infrared remote controls to call and send the stairlift up and down the stairs, and safety sensors in the carriage and footrest to prevent the stairlift from running into obstructions.

The modular and hinged rail design of the Acorn 180 is both a strength and a weakness. Although the Acorn 180 is a sturdy and efficient, it has a maximum weight capacity of only 265 pounds, compared with 300 pounds for the standard version of the Stannah Sadler, another curved stairlift. And though the modular rail system simplifies installation, it introduces multiple potential points of failure that can raise maintenance and repair bills beyond the one-year standard warranty that Acorn provides.

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