Purpose: Previous research has highlighted disability as a determinant of the need for technical aids; surprisingly, disease as a potential determinant has been ignored. The goal of the present study was to determine whether the possession of technical aids is dependent on the type of chronic disease, illness duration, co-morbidity, disability, age, and several other factors. Methods: The study was performed in a representative sample of persons with a somatic chronic disease (n = 2262). Type of chronic disease, time post-diagnosis and co-morbidity were assessed by the patient's general practitioner. Disability was assessed with the Sickness Impact Profile. The possession of technical aids and other characteristics were assessed by questionnaire. Results: Type of chronic disease (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and COPD), disability, age and gender were significantly and independently associated with the possession of technical aids. Conclusions: Apart from disability, disease-, age-, and gender-related characteristics determine the possession of technical aids. A detailed assessment of these characteristics is required in order to ensure that technical aids meet personal needs.