There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. With so many wheels and casters, Global Certified Fasteners has something for everyone. But knowing whether you need a wheel or caster – and what type of caster you need – can be challenging. So here is everything you need to know about caster wheels!
Wheels are simple machines.
A wheel is an object that rolls when moved. You see wheels on cars, bikes and even your steering column. Wheels are simple machines similar to wedges, axles and pulleys.
Casters make wheels functional.
Casters contain a wheel and attachment structure. Fasteners connect the frame of the caster to other objects, like shopping carts or tables, so that they can move quickly. Depending on how you use the caster, you can mount casters differently.
- Stem mounts: You attach a stem mount caster to another object by putting the caster stem into the other object. Standard caster stems include threaded, friction ring, round, square and expanding adapters.
- Bolt-hole mounts: Bolt-hole mounts have a single hole through the top of the caster, and you bolt the caster to the other item.
- Plate mounts: With plate mounts, you screw fasteners through multiple holes in the caster wheel plate to attach it to the other item. Different plates have various bolt-hole spacing and sizing, so always consult an expert on which type is right for your build.
Important Considerations for Wheels and Casters
No matter what you need a caster wheel for – or even just a standard wheel – there are some important considerations to make. The quality of your caster will impact the performance of the object you attach it to, and different materials and types of casters change the functionality. Here are three things to consider when selecting a caster.
Different materials have different functions.
Casters are typically steel, but wheels are hard plastic, polyurethane, rubber or urethane. Each of these materials moves differently on different floors and grounds. For example, hard rubber is ideal for all floors, while steel wheels are only recommended for finished concrete floors. Additionally, different wheel materials and sizes handle load capacities and resistance differently. Hard wheel materials have higher load capacities and easier starting and rolling resistance but are noisier than alternatives and less comfortable to push.
Where you connect a caster determines how you’ll attach it.
If you’re attaching a caster to a narrow object, a stem mount is more convenient and functional than a plate mount, which has four bolt holes and requires more space. Additionally, the material immediately above where you mount the caster will also affect what caster mount is best.
Casters move differently – so consider movement!
Rigid casters only move forward or backward, while swivel casters can move in all directions. Typically, two swivel casters on one end of an object or cart will help direct the back half of the cart, which has two rigid casters. Other items consist of only swivel casters, which are easier to move but harder to control, or only rigid casters, which are easier to manage and harder to move.
Get Assistance Selecting Your Casters
No matter your project or build specifications, the team at Global Certified Fasteners can help you select the best caster. Contact us today to get started.