Did you know you’re not stuck with the cheap plastic casters that come with every office chair ever made? There are many options for replacing the casters, and below we’re going to give a quick rundown on what information you’ll need to make an informed decision.
The first thing you will need to know is the stem size of your current casters. To find this out, you will have to remove the stem from the chair. From there, check out of our How to Measure Caster Stems page for more information. This is a very important step as casters may have several styles of stem as well as use either imperial or metric standards.
After that, determine the primary location of use. Will it be on a low pile carpet? Plastic or glass chair mat? Hardwood or tile floor? This information is critical for determining the right wheel material. On carpet, nylon or metal wheels are acceptable. On hard surfaces, especially damageable surfaces like hardwood, you want to get a soft wheel like neoprene, thermoplastic elastomer (synthetic rubber), or urethane. Soft rubber is also an option, but it may leave unsightly black marks on flooring where other soft treads will not.
From this point on, the choices are primarily aesthetic. Hooded or unhooded? If hooded, perhaps a color other than black, such as the windsor antique or bright brass? These choices won’t affect the functionality, but may be far more pleasing to the eye than the original casters.
Take a look at our online selection of casters or give us a call at 1-800-215-8220 to speak with a salesperson about all available options.
There are thousands of different casters and caster wheels on the market, enough for any situation, environment, and job. Well, almost. Every now and then there is a project that requires a little extra work to meet unique and specific requirements. Thats where Service Caster’s custom fabrication team comes in.
Custom work can take the form of the very small, such as a caster stem for a chair that does not fall into the modern day standards, or the very large, such as a wheel for mining operations.
- Welding a Custom Caster
How do you take advantage of our abilities to custom make your perfect wheel? The first step is to give us a call and discuss with us the project that you’re working on. We will ask questions like, “What kind of surface will the wheels roll on?” and “Will there be high speeds, or side thrust on the caster?” These questions will help us determine if you actually need custom work, or if there is
something out there in the “caster-verse” that is readily available. Once we’ve determined you need custom work, we will develop with you the exact specification of your wheel and caster. Everything from the top plate or stem down to the very bottom of the wheel’s tread.
- Custom Tread Lock
In addition to phone calls, specs can be emailed, and images along with physical samples can go a long way to making sure you get exactly what you need.
Finally, we’ll have our design team, machinists, and assemblers produce your custom caster!
A confusing term at times can be bearings in regards to their use in casters. Bearings are used in casters for both wheels and swivel heads, and here we will discuss both.
Wheel bearings sit between the wheel and the axle, and provide a way for the wheel to easily spin on the axle. These bearings come in a number of different types, each with its own advantages.
Delrin bearings are inexpensive, and need no maintenance. They are a simple bushing made of Delrin, a plastic material. Delrin bearings work well in wet applications since they have no moving or metal parts that could corrode.
Roller bearings are best suited to low speed, manual operation with intermittent use. The roller bearing consists of a series of rollers arranged to sit on an axle and easily roll around it. Roller bearings can be solid or split caged. Split cage roller bearings do not handle side thrust as well as their solid counterpart, which is inserted into the wheel with a press. Roller bearings require regular maintenance.
Precision Bearings are a high quality ball bearing. These are excellent for applications that require high speed, quiet, and/or continuous operation. Precision bearings do not require regular maintenance to function properly. Semi-Precision bearings offer a less expensive, low speed and light duty option for those that still want quiet, maintenance free operation.
Tapered bearings are used on the heaviest duty casters. These bearings can handle high speeds and power driven application. Tapered bearings also handle side thrust well, and excel at continuous operation. They do require regular maintenance for good performance.
Please visit our caster wheel bearings page for images and additional information.
Swivel Head Bearings for Casters
Swivel Head bearings are typically ball bearings inside of a raceway. The swivel head assembly and its bearings allow for the wheel to easily turn and add steerability to applications. This raceway can be sealed or exposed. A sealed raceway protects the bearing assembly from dirt and other debris that is harmful to the bearing. The raceway can also be precision made and hardened to increase the longevity and performance of the swivel head.
We’ve already covered the types of casters to use for a hardwood floor, but not for another common floor medium: Carpeting. Carpet is very common, and casters can be used on anything from low ply to shag carpets, but the types of casters used will vary.
For a low ply carpet, any hard wheeled caster will do the trick. Nylon, hard rubber, or other hard material will work well for the wheel. These materials will grip the carpet less than softer materials, making it easier to turn and roll. A rubbery material will grip the carpet, and feel like its sticking when they are moved.
For a shag or thick carpet, not only should a hard wheel material be used, but also the largest diameter caster wheel possible. Many times a large wheel is not desired, but the largest one possible should be used in this cast to prevent the caster from binding up in the carpet.
Many chair and furniture casters can meet these demands, so be sure to discuss your carpet type and options with a caster and wheel representative.
It’s that time of year when this seasons little peeps reaching chicken teenhood are needing to get out into the fresh air. Many people have small coops for 3 to 10 chickens, and an ongoing issue is the destruction of the turf beneath the coop and attached run. The solution for those in suburban locales or with limited space in rural settings is a mobile coop set on casters.
Our own experience first occurred about 20 years ago when we put a pair of solid rubber wheel casters on a friends newly built coop. By placing the casters on the heavier end, this created an efficient fulcrum, and the coop could be moved by hand or garden tractor.
With a heavier coop, wheels might be needed at all 4 corners. Then, attached to a small tractor, the unit becomes easy to move. The type of casters or wheels needed will depend on the coop weight, and the sod. A harder rocky soil will require a different wheel than a more wet, possibly soggy location. This moveable system can help provide a healthier environment for all involved.
You have a beautiful hardwood floor, but your chairs, tables, and other furniture on casters are all hard plastic and nylon. These hard material wheels will cut and scratch the floor easily. What solutions are there, you might ask?
Hardwood floor casters are available for any common connections types out there. These casters are made of soft polyurethane, rubber, or other materials specifically designed for hardwood floors. In most of these cases, the casters will not only be hardwood safe, but they will also roll and perform better. Materials that have more grip will roll easier than harder wheels, so you won’t skip or skid across the floor but instead roll smoothly.
Is a caster hardwood floor safe just because its rubber or soft material? No! A small diameter rubber wheel can cause as much damage as a hard wheel. When choosing a caster, get one that distributes weight over a wider area. Twin wheel casters are a good idea, or a large soft single wheel caster.
The investment of some quality hardwood floor casters greatly outweighs the cost of replacing or fixing a hardwood floor.
One question we get a lot here at SCC is “Why choose a twin wheel caster instead of a single wheel caster?” Well, let me tell you.
A twin wheel caster offers several distinct advantages over its single wheeled counterpart. Perhaps the most obvious advantage is weight handling capacity. If we take two casters with the same wheel diameter and material, but one is twin wheeled, it will handle more weight. Another way to look at this advantage is that we can use a smaller twin wheel caster to reach the same weight bearing capacity as a larger single wheel. This can be important if you need to maintain a lower load height within a specific weight capacity range.
Another great advantage of twin wheel casters is their ability to turn easily. Where a single wheel caster must pivot on itself, a twin wheel caster’s wheels can rotate independently of each other, making turning or reversing direction much easier.