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Casters 101: A Quick Tutorial: Caster Types

First time looking for casters and don't know the options and terminology? Read on for a quick & easy beginner's guide to finding what you need. Keep in mind, you can always call for assistance.
Tutorial Chapters:

Caster Types: Determine what product to look for
Most casters can be categoried into one of the groups shown below. Click on the picture for a listing of the respective casters on our website. Other caster types exist, but if you are using or needing those, you are probably beyond the need for this tutorial. You might just call with your questions.
ball-caster
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Ball Casters, sometimes called Planetary Casters
  • Easy rolling, elegant casters for many applications.
  • Sizes from 1-1/2" to 3" diameter.
  • Variety of finishes
  • Metal or rubber tread available
  • Larger sizes available with brakes.
  • twin-wheel-caster
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    Twin Wheel Casters
  • Economical and widely used; relatively wide range of pricing
  • Sizes from 40mm (1-3/8") to 125mm (5") in diameter. Tip: the bigger the caster, the easier it rolls and overcomes obstacles or debris. Chair casters are best at 60mm (2-3/8") or 75mm (3"). For the small cost, you will be thankful for years for getting a larger size. Check the load heights if that is a factor for your application.
  • Various tread types available: Hard nylon is good for carpet and durable surfaces. Polyurethane and TPR rubber are good for vinyl, hardwood, and tile.
  • Brakes are available with most models.
  • Available with or without hoods. Hoods are also available in a variety of finishes.
  • spherical-caster
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    Spherical (or Hooded Ball) Casters
  • Economical and widely used
  • 1-5/8" ball available in rubber
  • 2" ball available in hard plastic
  • Brakes not available
  • Hoods available in a several finishes.
  • single-wheel-caster
    No link as these are found in many categories.
    Single Wheel Casters
  • Furniture sizes typically to up 5" and industrial up to 16" diameter wheels.
  • Considerable price variety depending on wheel material, bearing quality, and size.
  • Wheel, position lock & total-lock brakes available.
  • Rigid models available with plate mount connectors.
  • Good choice when higher weight capacities are needed.
  • Available in various rig materials and finishes including steel, nylon, stainless, black and others.
  • dual-wheel-caster
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    Dual Wheel Casters
  • Provide higher weight capacity with a lower profile. Generally 2" and 3" diameter, though industrial, heavy-duty dual-wheel casters also available.
  • Considerable price variety depending on wheel material, bearing quality, and size.
  • Available with plates, threaded stems and grip ring stems.
  • Wheel brake & total-lock brakes available.
  • Rigid models available (top plate connector only).
  • The dual-wheel yokes are sometimes available with a single, wider wheel.
  • ball-transfer
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    Ball Transfers
  • Provide omni-directional mobility.
  • Extremely easy rolling.
  • Available with plates, threaded stems and grip ring stems.
  • Nylon balls available.
  • Stainless ball and housings available.
  • No braking possible.
  • floor-lock
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    Floor Locks (a/k/a Truck Locks)
  • Provide firm braking for carts.
  • Must be precisely matched with casters - typically 1/8" higher load height.
  • Not designed to be load bearing.
  • caster-pad caster-pad
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    Caster Pads (a/k/a Quick-Change Plates)
  • Best method to efficiently remove or replace casters.
  • Must be matched with caster plate size and sometimes with caster manufacturer.
  • Snap-in and bolt-in styles available.
  • Bolt-on and weld-on styles available.
  • caster-sockets caster-sockets
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    Caster Sockets
  • Used to receive and retain casters and glides.
  • Slide in, screw-on and weld-on sockets available for tubing, wood or metal applications.
  • Available for standard Grip-Neck, Grip-Ring and Threaded Stems.



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