Wheelchair Brakes and LocksWheelchair brakes and locks are designed to keep your wheelchair in "park" while transferring to and from your wheelchair or while performing daily tasks. Knowing the different types of wheelchair brakes and locks locks available will help you select a design that is easy to use and fits your lifestyle.
Push/Pull To Lock Brakes
The push/pull to lock style of wheelchair brakes are the standard choice used for most manual wheelchairs. It is engaged by either pulling the lever back or pushing forward until the bar presses in on the tire. A lock system that you pull to lock and push to release is the most common, however, not necessarily the best for you. Each push/pull to lock system caters to varying levels of strength and coordination, be sure you feel comfortable using the locking mechanism before making your decision.
If you have limited reach or strength you can purchase wheelchair brake/lock extension levers in various lengths to enable independent operation. These provide you with more leverage to lock or unlock your wheelchair with. However, the added length of the locking lever has been known to cause hand injuries from quick arm movement during propulsion due to the close proximity to the wheels.
Wheelchair Scissor Locks/Brakes
If you are more of an active wheelchair user, you may want to consider the more sporty wheelchair scissor locks. These locks sit level with wheelchair frame, keeping your hands clear from potential injuries when disengaged. Be sure to consider that the smaller, more concealed design could be challenging to use for individuals struggling with fine motor skills.