In a Nutshell:
The Flash Furniture Hercules “X” Back Barstool is a basic, rugged, handsome, functional barstool that’s capable of supporting an impressive amount of user weight and is available in a variety of colors and finishes. Recommended for big and tall users with casual or industrial décor schemes in their homes.
Value for the Money
Are you a bigger, taller, heavier person? Have you found your search for furniture that’s rugged and robust enough to properly support you to be a frustrating one?
If so, you’re certainly not alone. Most of the big, national, or global brands make and sell furniture with an upper weight limit in the 250- to 300- pound range. That works for about 90% of the furniture market. Still, it leaves the people who are heavier than that with relatively few options.
The good news is that many smaller brands have moved into the space and begun offering furniture catering to people who weigh more than 300 pounds. The Flash Furniture Hercules “X” Back barstools are an excellent case in point example of this.
True, the company markets and sells these primarily to restaurants. Still, there’s absolutely no reason why individuals can’t purchase them for home use as well. They’re surprisingly handsome pieces of furniture, although they have a casual, vaguely industrial look and feel to them that may make them a bad fit, depending on your home décor scheme.
In the sections that follow, we’ll tell you everything these barstools have to offer, and we won’t shy away from talking about their negatives. That way, you’ll have all the information you need to decide for yourself if these are the barstools you’ve been looking for. Let’s take a closer look, starting now.
An Overview of the Flash Furniture Hercules X Back Restaurant Barstools
First, we have to confess that we love Flash Furniture! Although the company isn’t an industry giant, they’ve been in the business for a long time, and they make consistently good furniture.
Their Hercules line is outstanding across the board and was specifically designed to cater to bigger, taller folk. We’ve never encountered any chair in the Hercules lineup that wasn’t incredibly rugged and long-lasting, and the Flash Furniture Hercules “X” Back barstools are no exception.
Aesthetically, these barstools were clearly designed with more attention paid to function than form. They’re not unattractive, they’re merely functional, with a minimalist, vaguely industrial look and feel to them, which makes them great for restaurants, bars and the like.
Of course, the company sells them individually or in pairs. This means that home users can take full advantage of the value that these barstools bring to the table, and they bring quite a lot of that, supporting an impressive 500 pounds of user weight. Here are a few other basic stats that define this model:
Given their scant weight, the 500-pound supported weight limit is all the more impressive. We also love the “X” design of the seatback, which gives the stools a subtle but interesting flourish that enhances its visual appeal.
Even better, if you decide that these are the stools you’re looking for, Flash offers them in a variety of seat color options; all with black metal frame.
Adjustability and Comfort
The Flash Furniture Hercules X Back Restaurant Barstools don’t offer anything in terms of adjustability. They are comfortable, but only for short term seating. The wooden seat variants are somewhat less comfortable than their padded cousins. However, even the padded seats don’t offer a lot in the way of comfort, sporting a relatively modest 2.5” of block foam padding with vinyl stretched over them.
The versions with wooden seats are far more durable and with proper care, will provide you with years of reliable service. If you opt for one of the variants with vinyl upholstery, you’ll find that the vinyl begins peeling and cracking after about a year of moderate to heavy daily use.
The good news there is that the stool frame is so rugged and durable that it’s well worth spending a bit of money to have your bar stools reupholstered with something more durable and long-lasting. While you’re at it, you can swap out the conventional block foam with memory foam or something that provides enhanced comfort and end up with a much better stool.
The best way to look at it is to consider the vinyl upholstery that comes standard on these stools to be your “starter kit.” Then, upgrade to what you want when the upholstery inevitably starts showing its age. Whichever option you go with though, wooden or vinyl-clad seats, both offer tremendous value for the money.
Rubber Floor Guides
A final note before we move on: No matter which variant you buy, all of these stools come with rubberized floor guides that will help prevent scuffs or scratches if you plan to use them on hardwood flooring. It’s a small thing, but a very nice finishing touch that further enhances the value of these stools.
Some Assembly Required
As with the vast majority of furniture sold online today, the Flash Furniture Hercules X Back Metal barstools will arrive at your doorstep unassembled. Fortunately, in this case, the only thing to be done is to attach the seat to the stool frame, which is a process that takes mere minutes per stool.
Flash offers an expert assembly option for these stools, but the price of the service is excessive and will add some 50% to the total cost of each stool you buy. Given the fact that Flash’s production quality is both relatively high and consistent, we do not consider it to be a worthwhile investment.
Pros and Cons of Flash Furniture Hercules “X” Back Barstool
These are good stools that will provide you with years of reliable service. They’re decent looking, relatively comfortable, as long as you don’t try to spend the whole day sitting in them, and incredibly rugged.
We regard the ones with the vinyl seats to be slightly inferior to their wooden-seat counterparts, but only slightly. Since there’s not much upholstery to contend with, when the vinyl wears out, it’s cheap and easy to have them re-covered with something that will last longer.
The only real downsides are the fact that the vinyl options will require a minor additional investment after about a year, and some people might not like the vaguely industrial aesthetic. If you’re okay with both of those things, or if you order one of the wooden-seat variants, there are really no weaknesses to speak of.
Flash Furniture Hercules “X” Back Barstools Review Conclusion
We like the Flash Furniture Hercules “X” Back barstools far more than their overall rating value indicates. At full price, they offer tremendous value, and they can often be found on sale, which makes them an insanely good value and a no-brainer in our book.
Although we regard them as incredibly versatile pieces of furniture, we readily admit that they’re not going to be for everyone. The lack of a swivel-seat feature and their modest to nonexistent padding (depending on which variant you buy) make them nonstarters for a certain portion of the market. Ultimately, it comes down to precisely what you’re looking for in a barstool. On that basis, we provisionally recommend them.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Flash Furniture, Official Brand Website.
- Flash Furniture Hercules “X” Back Barstool User Manual.
- Choosing the Right Bar Stool, A Thoughtful Place.
- Difference Between Counter and Bar Stools, DifferenceBetween.
- Tips on the Proper Care of Wooden Bar Stools, LA Furniture Blog.