Monday, October 21, 2013

What Is A Wheel Caster

Wheel casters are a part of everyday life for most people. They are used everywhere from hospitals and schools to the manufacturing industry and mechanic shops. And yet those tiny little wheels attached to the bottom of an office chair, office equipment, the shopping cart, tool drawer chest or a countless number of other objects that make your day easier every time you have to move something are often the unsung and overlooked heroes of most workplaces. Learn the different types and uses of casters, and how they are attached to objects.


The main job of a wheel caster is to make it easier to move heavy objects. They are typically attached to the bottom of the object either by a set of screws (if it is a plate attachment caster) or by sticking a stem on the top of the caster into a drilled hole (if it is a stem attachment caster). Finally, once the casters are attached to the bottom of an object, that object can be moved anywhere.

The Use of Wheel Casters

Casters come in many shapes, sizes and weights. The heavier casters are used largely in manufacturing and industrial workplaces. They are used to move carts, tool storage drawers and other heavy-duty objects. The lighter, smaller casters are used more so for office furniture, small TV stands, entertainment centers, office chairs, file cabinets, copy machines and other office machines. It's also common to see them in IT departments on the bottom of shelving units to move servers and other computer network components around.

Types of Wheel Casters

There are two main types of wheel casters: swivel casters and rigid casters. With swivel casters, the wheel turns 360 degrees--allowing the user to maneuver an object into almost any space. Rigid casters hold the wheels in place and, when attached to the object, make it so that the object only goes forward and backward. It's kind of hard to steer an object with four rigid casters, and it's hard to push an object with four swivel casters for long distances (as it keeps moving), which is why it's very common for an object to have two rigid casters on one end and two swivel casters on another to make moving office equipment easier.

Types of Attachments on Casters

Casters have two main attachments: a plate or a stem. The plate is simply a metal plate attached to the top of the caster. It has four holes in each corner and is attached to objects using screws. The stem attachment is typically a 1-inch-long piece of metal protruding from the top of the caster. The stem is often threaded but can also be a stem that pops itself into place. These types of attachments are often found on shopping carts, baker's racks, the bottom of tool drawers and an office chair.


Casters can be made from several different types of materials, most notably cast iron metal. The stems and plate attachments are almost always metal, but the wheels can be composed of metal, rubber or plastic (more common for office furniture). For most industrial purposes, the wheel on a caster is often made of metal with rubber around the circumference.

Tags: swivel casters, attached bottom, attached bottom object, attached objects, attachment caster, bottom object, Casters Casters