You know you need caster wheels, but how do you choose the right ones?
According to Caster Wheel Guide:
“Casters and wheels when attached to the underside of a piece of equipment make it easier to transport a heavy load from one place to another.
“The classic examples of caster wheels application include hand trucks, towline conveyer belts in industries and other carts used in an industrial manufacturing or distribution facility.
What Are The Different Types Of Caster Wheels?
“There are several different types of casters. These include rigid or fixed casters, and swivel casters.
“Rigid or stationary casters only roll along a straight-line path. Swivel casters can rotate a full 360 degrees so the wheel can move in any direction. You would also come across locking casters. These units, as the name suggests can be locked in place by some sort of mechanic device.
“Caster wheels are offered in a wide variety of materials, sizes, and hardness. Materials commonly used to make wheels include plastic, metal, rubber and polyurethane. The selection of wheel material depends on a number of application specific factors such as:
- Floor conditions
- Load/maximum weight
- Exposure to chemicals or other liquids
- Frequency of use
- Environmental conditions – these include temperature, moisture
- Noise and speed restrictions
What Are The Benefits?
“Caster wheels provide a variety of benefits:
- Increased mobility – You can add caster wheels to a piece of equipment (heavy machinery) and even furniture and move it around
- Lessen stress on personnel – Because caster wheels facilitate motion, they lessen the physical stress on your joints and muscles.
- Streamline processes – Caster wheels help increase the speed of travel of equipment and inventory through an industrial facility and this is the exact reason why help accelerate storage and manufacturing processes.
Where Can You Use Caster Wheels?
“Caster wheels interesting are being used in nearly every industry. You can use them for:
- Chemical production
- Food and beverage
- Shopping and retail
- Caster Durability
“The durability rating of casters is determined by the needs of the application. Heavy-duty casters are designed to handle the stress of rugged treatment. For example, a heavy-duty industrial caster might be able to hold up to almost 10,000 lbs or even more.
“Heavy-duty caster wheels are chosen not only by their capacity to handle loads, but ease of movement as well as their reactions to different floor conditions and temperatures. Heavy-duty casters you find in industrial application also have various options for brakes.
“Many modern heavy-duty caster models have high quality swivel locks and grease fittings, which enable fixed direction rolling. These locks and grease fittings also make maintenance on most models easier.
“Medium duty casters are designed for loads from 500 lbs to 1,500 lbs. They are mostly used in hospitals, laundry carts, food industry, waste disposal trucks and pharmaceutical settings.
What Makes Industrial Caster Wheels Different?
“Caster wheels designed for homes or offices can manage loads under 250 lbs. These are built for ‘light’ applications and cannot withstand abusive applications.
“Industrial caster wheels on the other hand are designed for heavy duty and extra heavy-duty tasks. These caster wheels can manage loads up to 20,000 lbs.
Why Is It Important To Select The Right Type Of Caster Wheels
“As stated earlier, caster wheels are offered in many different shapes and sizes and there is no one size fits all formula for choosing the right casters.
“To get the best results from your caster wheels:
1. Make sure you determine your personal requirements before choosing a product
2. Consult your engineering department (if you are choosing industrial casters) to determine the specific design and material needed
3. Understand how caster wheels will be used during the application
“It is also important to regularly inspect your casters and properly maintain them in order to keep them running smoothly for a long time.
Caster Wheel Performance – Load Weight And Wheel Size
“Perhaps one of the most important considerations of caster selection is determining the maximum load. As you can guess, industrial caster wheels will be subject to heavier weights compared to home or office casters. Selecting the right caster wheel for your application is very important. If you do not select the right caster, your workers can be injured when using the equipment.
“Remember that the greater the load, the larger your caster wheel should be. Generally, larger wheels distribute weight more evenly and roll easily.
“To determine the load capacity for each wheel, divide the combined weight of equipment and maximum load by the total number of casters. On a separate note, you should always select caster wheels that are rated for a greater load than the calculated capacity. Remember, this is very important.
“The size of the wheel you select can be influenced by a number of factors such as environment conditions (temperature, moisture), floor material and condition, appearance, noise level and of course, the braking needs.
“Environment, particularly work conditions must be evaluated carefully before selecting caster wheel material.
“If you will be using casters in the presence of corrosive chemicals such as acids, you should always select caster wheels made of steel or polyurethane. Rubber caster wheels are quite common but they cannot be used in corrosive environments.
“For handling heavy industrial applications, you can select drop forged casters.
“Warehouses and other large-scale retail operations can benefit from heavy duty cold forged casters. Make sure you always choose casters within the maximum load capacity specifications.
“Medium or light-medium duty casters work best for institutional applications. These include casters for medical equipment, food equipment, furniture, electronics, and point of purchase displays.
Evaluate The Floor Conditions
“It is not surprising that hard casters and wheels perform better on smooth and soft floors. Similarly soft casters roll better on rough and hard floors.
“Before you choose a wheel, you should consider all floor features. If you have rails, gutters or similar obstacles, you should choose larger and softer wheels. If you are looking to protect your floor from damage, choose wheels made with softer material.
“Steel as you can guess is the hardest on floors. Rubber casters usually are known for maximum floor protection and more importantly, quickest movement across the floor. Polyurethane is another interesting material. It offers greater load capacity than rubber, but at the same time, it protects your floor.
Casters And Wheels For Special Conditions
“You would come across several conditions that require selection of casters with special features.
“For example, if you are choosing casters and wheels for hospitals, you have to pay attention to special features for safety.
“If casters will be used in areas where they require frequent washing, you should look for stainless steel casters. For moderate to minimum washing, you can select nickel-plated casters with grease seals.
“Textile plants usually prefer casters with thread guards to prevent the collection of annoying threads or strings.
“You are most likely to encounter medium or heavy-duty casters in industrial manufacturing facilities where there is a great deal of contact with solvents, sprays, liquids, or grease.
“Medical equipment features casters with positive brake locks.
Selecting The Right Casters – A Quick Recap
- You should consider the load or weight as it influences the rolling and gliding action of caster wheels. As stated earlier, the heavier the load, the larger the wheel required. Experts recommend that you use ball bearing if weight/load is likely to exceed 400 pounds.
- Make sure the caster and wheels you select are large enough to pass over obstacles and obstructions in the floor such as cracks, or tracks. If you want to protect your flooring, you can use wheels made of polyurethane.
- Room temperatures never cause problems for casters. However, extreme cold or hot temperatures can create performance issues. Most industrial casters use special lubrication to ensure hassle free caster rolling in extremely high and low temperatures.
- Wheels with larger diameters can roll easily compared to smaller wheels. Ball bearings make rolling easier but they carry lesser loads. Wherever possible, you should choose the largest ball bearing wheel for the best result.
- It is very important to check unusual working environment and other conditions before selecting wheel material. Remember that each material has a different characteristic depending on the environment.
“For example, rubber wheels are never recommended when corrosive chemicals, oils and acids are present. These conditions are more suited for polyurethane or steel wheels.
Casters For Specific Applications: How And When To Choose Office Casters
“The good news is that you can find casters for office chairs, desks and even workstations to keep things rolling easily.
“Your employees would love to use chairs and desks that are mobile for the right reasons. If you select the right caster, your office chairs can roll and move around easily and more importantly, quietly without the need of ugly plastic mats.
“It is also seen that choosing the right office casters can improve workplace ergonomics. This means you can select the right casters and indirectly keep your staff healthy and happy.
How Can Technically Advanced Office Chair Caster Wheels Positively Affect Your Workplace?
“Modern office furniture caster wheels can roll and swivel even on carpeted floors. The innovative bearing and wheel design makes it easy for chairs, desks and other office equipment to move over carpeted areas or on floors with rugs with ease.
“This easy movement makes work more comfortable for employees who have to sit in chairs for extended periods. What’s more interesting to note here is that ease of movement translates into increased productivity and efficiency. Not to forget, you can reduce workplace overexertion.
Yes, Office Casters Can Be Quiet!
“Perhaps the last things you would want in your office are noisy wheels and unwanted squeaky sounds of rolling office chairs and equipment. You can now find ‘practically’ silent office chair casters that can maintain the mobility of your office furniture and equipment without adding to the noise. Remember, ‘silent’ office casters can help your employees stay focused on the task and help them become more productive.
No Need For Ugly Carpets
“With innovative materials used in office chair casters, there will no longer be need for unattractive plastic mats or carpets in the office. ‘Non marking’ casters do not mark or strain the tiles and at the same time, extend the life of your carpet or rug.
“Because office casters can now be easily replaced, investing in high quality office casters make more financial sense than ever. After all, you no longer have to add the inconvenience of buying new office chairs to your budget.
How To Replace Your Office Chair Casters
“Well, buying new chairs just because your office chair wheel breaks is history now. Chair casters can be easily replaced and replacement casters are affordable as well.
“Before you proceed with the replacement, make sure:
- The replacement caster wheels you choose match the stem and wheel of your existing caster.
- Caster wheel you choose for replacement should show best performance on your office floor.
“Remember that chair casters are differentiated by their diameter. Larger wheels can make your chair sit higher. On the other hand, caster with smaller wheels can lower your chair.
“Hard wheel casters are designed for use on carpeted floors. Soft wheel casters can be used on hard floors (wooden and tile surfaces).
Which Office Chair Wheels Replacement Products Do You Need?
Rollerblade Style Caster Wheels
“These replacement wheels are designed for hardwood floors. You can find set of five heavy-duty casters with guaranteed performance.
“The best thing is that these high quality replacement wheels feature extra thick polyurethane layer, which does not scratch or stain your wood or laminated floors. Those of you who are looking for some extra protection for carpet floors can also benefit from these sturdy yet gentle replacement wheels.
“What is interesting to note here is that these replacement wheels are ridiculously quiet. Your office chairs will glide on the floor or any other hard surface smoothly and most importantly, quietly.
“Because office chair replacement wheels will not disturb anyone, you can use them in any area you like. These black casters have a modern and attractive finish which means they can easily complement even the most unique and modern floor furniture.
“Premium replacement wheels come with lifetime guarantee and you do not need any special tools or equipment for installation. The new and improved c-ring grip design will help the wheels fit the widest assortment of chairs. This product can support up to 650 lbs. per set.
3-Inch Rollerblade Style Office Chair Caster Wheel Replacement
“This office chair caster replacement by SunnieDog Office is made with high-grade polyurethane. Unlike low quality casters, these wheels do not scratch your flooring. The rollerblade style ensures that polyurethane does not leave behind black marks as your chair glides across the room.
“The use of precision ball bearings ensures that caster wheels roll amazingly on tile, carpet, vinyl and other hard floor without making any noise. The product is backed by heavy-duty lifetime guarantee and supports more load than traditional casters.
“The support bracket and internal parts that come with these caster wheels are made of high-grade steel and are extremely durable. Replacing your office chair casters is easy – thanks to the free install guide that comes along. If replacement casters don’t happen to fit your chairs (this is highly unlikely though), you can send the product back for no hassle refund.
AXL Roller Office Chair Casters
“AXL Roller office casters protect hard floors and easily glide across any surface. If you want your employees to enjoy better rolling and gliding experience on carpets, mats, tiles, concrete without creating noise or causing damage, this product is what you should be looking for.
“The wheels are very easy to install and thanks to dual ball bearings system, they are stronger than most plastic caster wheels. Each set can support up to 450 lbs!
Stainless Steel Caster Wheels For Medical And Food Applications
“Stainless steel casters often are used in medical equipment. However, you should note that the term stainless steel doesn’t necessarily refer to the wheel.
“Some of most classic uses of steel casters include installation on clean room equipment, food carts, and pharmaceutical brakes. Some steel caster manufacturing companies give you the chance to order products with specific options for caster brakes and locks. Another important thing to note here is that steel casters can be made to hold specific loads.
“These casters are ideal for moving delicate or fragile cargo. You can use pneumatic casters when overall height of the caster is not an issue. Experts recommend that pneumatic wheel casters are the best choice for moving loads outdoors or on rough surfaces.
“That’s right. You can install pneumatic casters to move load on rough surfaces such as gravel or on grass. Generally, pneumatic casters can support loads up to 7,500 lbs. Common applications include:
- Aircraft ground support equipment
- Equipment carrying electronics
- Helicopter dollies
- Mobile construction shelters
What Are The Best Caster Wheels To Use In Hardwood Floors?
“Hardwood floors are making a dramatic comeback in both homes and offices. Moreover, the reasons aren’t surprising.
- Hardwood floors have an interesting aesthetic appeal
- They are sustainable for a longer time
- They are easier to maintain
“While hardwood floors have their advantages, there’s one thing that bothers most people. Hardwood floor is prone to scrapes and scratches. In fact, this is the number one problem if you are moving equipment or heavy furniture around.
“There are plenty of ways you can prevent damage to your expensive hardwood floor. Of course picking up furniture or equipment rather than sliding it isn’t always practical. And this is where casters can help you.
“Office chairs in particular aren’t sold with high quality caster wheel material. What you can do is use nylon casters for office furniture including chairs, desks, and tables, as they are available in a wide variety of sizes, colors and styles.
“Another affordable caster option for light home and office furniture is hard urethane. Hard urethane caster wheels look similar to nylon casters and take on the same shape. They’re easy to install and come with an additional bonus. Urethane is softer than nylon and offers better protection to the flooring material.
“Hard urethane casters work perfectly with hardwood floors and can also be used in areas that use marble, granite or tile flooring.
“If you want to use heavy furniture or equipment, you require more special materials like casters with polyurethane coating. The material (polyurethane) respects hardwood and it can blend effortlessly with almost all furnishings.
“Neoprene rubber caster wheels are the best options for home and business owners who want to protect their hardwood floor. These rather unique caster wheels look similar to polyurethane wheels, but the sturdy metal wheel is covered by a softer and more durable material on the outside.
“Rubber caster wheels are be used for office and home furnishing that will weight in excess of 200 lbs either consistently or rarely.
Conclusion – Always Prepare Ahead Of Time
“You know that there are a large number of options when it comes to finding the right caster. Your task of shopping for the most suitable caster wheels can be made simpler if you prepare ahead of time. For best results, weight your furniture and make an assessment as to how much will the furniture or equipment weigh when it’s in active use.
“Once you determine the maximum load, determine how delicate the floor surface is – different floor finishes have varying degrees for resilience. Last work your budget and set a timeline for caster installation. Remember, you should set your expectations realistic and evaluate all factors to avoid potential headaches that might otherwise result.”