How to Shop for Replacement Casters

If the wheels break on your office chair or on a cart, you don’t need to buy an entirely new chair or cart. Just shop online for a replacement caster wheel.

You will want to make sure that you get a replacement that matches the old wheel as closely as possible. Learn how to determine the right specifications so that you can confidently type “5 inch caster wheels” into a search engine and quickly get a new wheel on the way to your front door.

Importance of Careful Matching

The wheels have been selected by the product engineers to provide functionality. In general, larger-diameter and wider wheels roll more easily over uneven surfaces, but the wheel cannot be so large that the product is unusable. Different caster wheel materials are appropriate for different applications. Hard caster wheels roll quickly on concrete. On wood floors, you want softer materials to avoid marks. Hospital-based applications need materials that can be easily sanitized.

Matching the replacement for the wheel as closely as possible to the other wheels also helps to provide proper balance for the product. In fact, if you cannot find an exact match, you may be better off replacing all the wheels on the chair or cart.

How to Measure Caster Wheels

  • Diameter: Caster wheel sizes are usually measured in terms of diameter, which is the length of a line that cuts the wheel in half as it goes through the center point. A 4-inch caster wheel has a diameter of 4 inches.
  • Width: You’ll also want to know the width of the wheel, which is the size of the edge that meets the floor.
  • Stem length: For proper height and function, you need to know the height of the stem.
  • Top plate and bolt holes: Measure the top plate and bolt hole locations to make sure you can attach the new wheel to the cart or chair.

Other Specifications to Consider

You will want to know if the wheel you are replacing was a rigid or swivel type. If it was a swivel type, you’ll need to know the swivel radius.

You should also match the wheel material. Possibly, you can find the original wheel information in the user manual or in online specifications documents. You may need to contact the manufacturer.

Careful selection of replacement wheels will ensure proper function and safety of your chair or cart. At the same time, you’ll save money and avoid tossing the item in the landfill.

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