Caster wheels are used in warehouses, manufacturing plants, office equipment, and other large objects to increase their mobility. They not only save your floors from screeching and damage but also save time, energy, and costs of movement. Some heavy-duty caster wheels can even take up to 44,000 pounds of load and have revolutionized multiple industries.
A very relatable example of the ease caster wheels have brought to our lives is our very own office chair. They help us move around and work more comfortably. Caster wheels come in different sizes, materials, and shapes. You can get polyurethane, elastic rubber, iron, or aluminum rims according to your need. If you’re off to buy a set, we’ve reviewed some of the best caster wheels in 2021 for you.
This guide will help you make a better, more informed decision.
Three things you should always keep in mind when buying caster wheels:
Type of Wheel
There are tons of wheel options, and not all are going to suit your floors. If your floors are smooth and shiny, you should opt for hard tread wheels. And if your floors are rough, go for soft tread wheels for smooth operation.
The larger and softer your wheel is, the better it can roll over obstacles and rails in its way. If your floors are delicate, stay away from steel or cast iron wheels. Get softer cushion wheels that won’t damage the surface.
Load capacity is influenced by the material of the wheel along with its diameter. As a rule of thumb, the denser and heavier the wheel material is, the higher its load capacity. To determine the correct load to caster ratio, divide the total load of the equipment by the number of casters you wish to use.
Larger wheels help with distributing weights better and roll more easily than smaller ones. Always get a caster wheel that is rated for a higher capacity than your load to handle any unusual conditions, if need be.
For material, polyurethane, iron core, molded nylon, cast iron, or aluminum core wheels can take up to 1500lbs per caster. Rubber and plastic are perfect for lighter loads, like for chairs.
Frequency of Use
Ask yourself how often you will be using the furniture or equipment? If you’ll need to move it frequently then the best caster wheel for you is the one that’s easy to roll.
For a wheel to roll easily, the material needs to be soft and of course, the surface needs to be smooth. Soft materials like rubber are perfect for objects that need to be moved more frequently. On the other hand, if you won’t be moving the object much, you may easily ignore this factor.
This factor is important if you are replacing caster wheels on a piece of furniture. You need to pick the casters with the same mounting as the last one.
There are two main kinds of caster mounting available: plate mount and stem mount. If you’re replacing plate mounts, get the same bolt pattern and plate size as the last one. If it’s a stem mount, get new ones with the same stem style.
What Are The Different Types Of Caster Wheels?
Here are five different types of caster wheels available:
A rigid caster is often called a fixed caster. It can only roll backward and forward. These casters cannot swivel in a 360-degree range.
Though they are limited in movement, they are stronger than other caster types.
This is the most common type. A plate caster has a square-shaped mounting surface and usually has four holes at each corner of the flat mounting surface. The caster holds its position securely to the object through these holes.
Stem casters have a wheel in a mounting frame and are different from a conventional caster. Unlike plate casters, stem casters have a cylindrical-shaped rod for mounting. A cylindrical rod is placed and fixed inside the object’s mounting slot (that should be of the same size and shape).
These casters feature a locking mechanism that is designed to lock the wheels when the object is placed at a slope or in any other dangerous position. With this type, you have the freedom to either move around freely or lock the object down in one place.
Hollow Kingpin Caster
A hollow kingpin caster has a stemless design that has a hole on top of the mounting surface. A kingpin caster is mounted to an object by fastening a bolt or screw through its hole into the object.
What Are Soft Casters And Hard Casters?
There are two kinds of casters, and they’re defined as:
This kind is perfect for hard plastic chair mats, patio or tile floor, and hardwood floors. These are the best caster wheels for hardwood floors as they’re soft, noiseless, and non-marring.
They are shaped like a roller skate wheel but are much softer in comparison with hard plastic casters.
Soft casters are mostly made of polyurethane or rubber. These are the best materials for caster wheels as they minimize the number of scratches and slides on your floor.
Hard casters are usually covered with plastic shells to make their rolling motion much easier on thick and soft surfaces of carpets. They are the best caster wheels for carpets and rugs!
You can also lock hard casters in one place so your object won’t move around freely.
They are also available as nylon twin casters, which is the standard type. Their soft tread makes it easier for them to grip the hard plastic of the carpet.
What Size Caster Should I Buy?
As mentioned earlier, the size of the caster wheel depends mainly on the weight, load, and frequency of usage among other things. Some general guidelines for getting the right size caster wheels are:
Are You Moving Delicate Objects? Go Small
When you’re moving delicate, expensive, and heavy objects, such as medical or electronic equipment, you need optimal control and smooth mobility. You should get a caster with a small diameter, low profile, and a wide wheel.
The small wheel diameter and low profile keep the object from rolling too quickly. Wide wheels can handle heavy loads and prevent them from tripping.
Are You Moving Heavy Objects? Go Wide
When moving heavyweight loads or machinery you need a wide caster for stability. Heavyweights can cause stress on the legs, yoke, and fasteners and fail if narrow casters are used.
You can go for 2 to 4-inch wide wheels of aluminum or steel with heavy stamped-leg construction to support the load.
Want Easy Rolling? Go for Large Diameter
The bigger the wheel is, the easier it will roll. A large diameter wheel covers more area of the ground in a single roll than a smaller one. A large wheel will of course make your object or load higher with a raised center of gravity. This can also cause tripping or damage, so you need to be mindful here.
It’s evident how convenient caster wheels can make it to move objects around. The best caster wheel for your object will depend on its weight, size, shape, and mobility requirements. Make sure you take flooring, load capacity, and types of wheels into consideration when making the final purchase.
Houseables’s 3” caster wheels can easily attach to barbeque grills, shelving units, utility carts, etc. A single non-marring thermoplastic rubber wheel has a 150lbs load capacity, a total of 600lbs total load capacity for four wheels. All four wheels can swivel 360-degrees for smooth wheeling on all kinds of surfaces. Two of the four caster wheels have brakes and to ensure further safety and stability, a double lock mechanism for both swivel and wheel rotation is set in place.
Exceptionally quiet on hard surfaces without rattles, squeaks, or vibrations
Very versatile, can be placed on equipment from kitchen and offices to garages and workshops
Skileen brings the 2-inch caster wheel set with a heavy-duty top plate swivel where all four wheels can take 150lbs of load each. The polyurethane material won’t rust and won’t vibrate or rattle the object it’s attached to. The wheels can rotate 360-degrees and transport heavy items smoothly from one place to another without leaving any traces on the floor. Skileen caster wheels feature a top plate swivel with double brakes for a seamless all-direction movement. The steel-structure body makes it durable and very resistant to weather extremes.
Dual locking and double ball bearing for maximum safety
Comes with stainless washers, mounting screws, and screwdrivers
If you’re looking for the best caster wheels for chairs, Ashgoob is perfect for you. These 2-inches polyurethane swivel caster wheel set can be used for both indoor and outdoor equipment. Each wheel can bear 150lbs of load, making a total of 600lbs load capacity for four wheels.
Ashgoob comes with double brakes, it can brake while positioned in the forward direction of the wheel as well as the rotation direction. Polyurethane rubber leaves no traces, absorbs vibrations and shocks, and keeps the movement quiet and scratch-free. It also features a heavy-duty top plate swivel with a double ball bearing for effortless motion.
Durable and balanced weight distribution for easy mobility
Composed of non-marking polyurethane rubber material, Homhoo Caster wheels are quiet, shock-absorbent, and highly durable. They’re available in two heights, 2” and 3”.
These wheels have an impressive loading capacity and safety due to the ball bearing and dual locking feature. Swivel caster wheels rotate 360-degrees that ensures smooth maneuvering and turning. It has heavy-duty bearings and a hard-wearing body that makes it resistant to dirt and damage.
A multitude of applications, you can use for toolboxes, furniture, mobile workstations, electrical enclosures, speakers, and much more
Polyurethane rubber composition protects floors from scratches and marks
The package includes screws, screwdrivers, and washers
Perhaps the best caster wheel kit is from Solejazz. It contains four heavy-duty caster wheels that are constructed with thick steel. They can easily take up to 600lbs of load and turn any of your heavy equipment into a moveable one. The wheels are made up of polyurethane rubber, and each lift pedal is textured for ease of use.
You get to enjoy 360-degree movements and worry-free motion through tight spaces with these wheels. The assembly, installation, and operation are smooth because the kit contains all mounting hardware and instructions. The flat plate casters come with three holes on the top and bottom for secure mounting.
Double ball bearing and durable solid steel for stability
Made from industrial-grade steel, Lifelong brings you the best caster wheels for carpet, hardwood floors, concrete, and grass. They’re also great for chairs, workbenches, toolboxes, etc. They come in a universal size of 7/16 x 7/8 that works perfectly for all medium to heavy-duty needs.
The precision ball bearings and reliable polyurethane rubber casters make sure you navigate freely and more flexibly. Lifelong caster wheels can support up to 650lbs of load easily. The wheel material will never damage, smudge or scratch your floors, be it vinyl, tile, or laminate.
Work efficiently on all kinds of surfaces, including vinyl, hardwood, laminate, tile, and carpet floors
A smooth, silent, and durable pack of 12 caster wheels from Huichuang that can rotate 360-degrees for easy movement. Each wheel has a 65lbs load capacity and a 2” diameter, capable of supporting heavy items very easily. The plate ball bearings and the sturdy rubber used in its composition ensure the product lasts you a lifetime.
It comes with all the mounting hardware, screws, and a complete installation guide. The rubber wheels are perfect for all kinds of surfaces, be it hardwood, laminate, vinyl, carpet, or concrete. Wheels can rotate 360-degrees and glide across all kinds of surfaces without making any noise.
Lightweight and easy to install
Poor swivel resistance
Caster Wheel FAQ
Q: What are caster wheels used for?
A: You can use casters on anything to make it moveable. Typically, they are used for chairs, desks, tables, pianos, workstations, cabinets, machinery, selves, etc.
Q: What is the best caster wheel for outdoors?
A: The surface is rough and uneven outside. You need softer material such as rubber or polyurethane for easy rolling.
Q: What are the benefits of using caster wheels?
A: Casters can make almost all kinds of objects mobile. You can easily move a heavy piece of furniture or equipment with ease without having to push or lift it. Casters also save time, you can move an object faster by rolling it rather than lifting or dragging it.
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