There are three basic types of wheelchairs:
- Manual wheelchairs. These wheelchairs are powered by human and commonly known as self-propelling. There are also ones that may be pushed by another person.
- Electric wheelchairs. These are usually powered by rechargeable batteries. Some of these models can be converter to manual by changing the wheels and removing the motor. Others may have an option of break release that provides freewheeling, allowing to push the chair by another person, like a manual chair.
- Transport wheelchairs. These can only be used with another person pushing. Wheelchairs of this type have all 4 wheels of equal size, as a rule approximately 20 cm in diameter, instead of 2 large rear wheels (usually approx. 58 cm in diameter) and 2 small front wheels.
Today, there are a few wheelchair producers that dominate the world wheelchair market. But a huge number of smaller manufacturers make important products as well. Similar to other manufacturers, producers of wheelchair come in loads of varieties. There are huge corporate medical wheelchair manufacturers, smaller specialized makers, and numerous innovative companies hoping to join the community of leading wheelchairs brands. Naturally, it is smart to find out what various producers offer prior to deciding which company produces the optimal chair for you.
The largest wheelchairs brands who employ hundreds of people and are by large owned by parent corporations with significant financial resources are: Everest & Jennings, Invacare, Permobil, Sunrise/Quickie, etc.
Along with the wheelchairs manufacturers there are companies who do not actually produce any medical equipment but still make a considerable contribution in the field of medical equipment. One of such companies is World Wide Wheelchairs and Used Medical Equipment. World Wide Wheelchairs entered the business of providing quality, affordable, new and used medical wheelchairs and equipment in summer of 1998. The mission of the company is to find the excellent quality medical wheelchairs and equipment (both new and used) at reasonable prices. Since World Wide Wheelchairs commenced its business in 1998, the company has also sold some antique wheelchairs to forefront Hollywood movie makers, famous plays in San Francisco and New York, and others. World Wide Wheelchairs has sent various medical equipment to destitute African countries; sold wheelchairs to well-known American casinos and have their wheelchairs in various IKEA Stores, clinics, large airlines, high schools, US Military, doctor's offices, department stores, etc. The company has also donated medical equipment to desperate people in need. Over 6,500 units of different medical equipment have been sold by World Wide Wheelchairs since company's inception in 1998.