How to Choose the Right Office Chair Casters?

Tips for choosing office chair casters

There are things to consider when purchasing the right casters for your office chairs. Because the design and construction of casters will vary according to the following main factors:

  • The way the chair being used
  • The load-bearing capacity of the chair
  • The type of floor the chair will roll on

These different considerations will determine the most suitable caster size, material and tread for you.

Smaller wheels bear more pressure during use and tend to be more difficult to roll.

While larger wheels are more suitable for frequent use and driving on long pile carpets. Inexpensively manufactured casters cannot effectively distribute weight evenly, which means they will wear out and are prone to fail.

At last, the wrong tread can actually damage your floor.

Types of Office Chair Casters / Wheels

According to the number of wheels, the office chair casters usually can be divided into the following 2 types. They respectively are: Twin-wheel casters and Single-wheel casters.

Twin Wheel

Twin-wheel casters are probably the most commonly used casters in office chairs.

The double caster design creates a wider surface that can distribute weight more effectively.Thereby extending the life of the casters and preventing any damage to the floor.

The double casters are also special. Because they can both roll and rotate, change direction easily and quickly, and also keep stable.

Twin-wheel-office-chair-casters
single-wheel-office-chair-casters

Single Wheel

Single-wheel casters tend to be stronger than double-wheel casters because of their stronger structure and fewer moving parts that can fail.

For these reasons, they are generally used in more industrial applications, and the two-wheel option is most suitable for office furniture.

Then, according to the different materials and the functions, there are 3 types of office chair casters including the Carpet casters, the Hard surface casters and the Reverse locking casters.

Carpet Casters (PP / standard)

pp-material-carpet-casters

Most office furniture is equipped with carpet casters. Those casters can be easily operated directly on the carpet.

These casters are usually made of some kind of plastic with a hood.

Hard Surface Casters (PU / safe on hardwood)

hard-surface-pu-material-casters

There are also many options recommended for carpet and hardwood floors or hardwood floors only.

These models are made of materials that can safely roll on hardwood floors without causing any damage. And there are more other advantages of PU casters.

Reverse Locking Casters

reverse-locking-office chair casters

Locking casters is featured by its additional safety and functionality which can lock in place automatically when weight is down to the chair. 

After the weight is removed, it will be easy for the chair to roll and move around the room.

Floor Glides

While the use of casters is to ensure that the chair can move easily, floor glides (contrary to the name implies) is used to hold the chair in place.

Glides usually have a similar stem mounting system. Differently, they are composed of a metal bottom, which makes the chair stable and ensures that it will not slip out of place easily.

In many cases, the floor glides can also be adjusted in height to help deal with uneven surfaces.

Office chair floor-glides

The elastomers, nylon, steel and other materials can be the elements of the actual wheels of the casters.

Sometimes the wheel is actually a ball that can roll in any direction.

Office chairs usually use a plastic or rubber material. While more industrial, heavy-duty casters tend to use metal materials.

pins for office chair casters

Office Caster Stem

Generally, stems are used instead of mounting plates to connect the wheels to the legs. Insert the stem into the chair leg and shell to help hold it firmly in place.

office casters stem

Office Caster Bushing

This component helps casters to run smoothly and provides easy sliding movement.

Caster maintenance can include regular cleaning and lubrication of these bearings.

Office Caster Hood

Some casters come with a hood that serves as a mudguard to hide all dirt and debris collected when the it rolls.

Although this is a convenient addition, it does not actually contribute to the function of the casters.

Types of Office Caster Stem

Office Chair Caster Grip Ring

This type of caster is characterized by a stem with a groove at the top of that, which is covered with a split steel ring, also called a grip ring.

When the stem and ring are inserted into the leg socket, the ring exerts outward tension on the rubber housing, thereby holding the stem in place.

Office-Caster-Grip-Ring
Office-Caster-Grip-Neck

Office Caster Grip Neck

The grip neck stem has a wide base and a narrower head. After the stem installing, the socket expands enough to allow the head to pass and firmly grasp the wider part of the stem.

This can effectively lock the stem in place.

Office Caster Threaded Stem

A threaded stem is essentially a screw that can be screwed into a socket and can be reinforced with nuts and washers.

Office-Caster-Threaded-Stem
Office-Caster-Top-Plate

Office Caster Top Plate

It’s a plate bolted to the bottom of the chair legs and fixing the casters in place.

(PIN-07) These are more common in file cabinets and other types of office furniture. 

While the stem system is the indispensable component for most office chairs to be connected with casters, other heavy duty casters are installed with top plate brackets.

In essential, the wheels are held in place with yokes and axles, and screwed to the bottom of the chair or trolley through the top plate mount.

How to Measure Grip Ring Stem?

When you order replacement casters, taking accurate measurements is very important. Because it can ensure that you get the right product the first time with no payment of any return or handling fees.

When measuring a grip ring stem, you need to find the diameter of the stem head and base.

A simple ruler can be placed on the top of the steps to calculate the diameter.

Most grip ring stem heads are 5/16″ in diameter, although people tend to misread the scale and order 3/8″ models.

To confirm your measurements, you can compare the diameter with drill bits of different sizes. You can also try to install a 5/16-inch wrench around the stem head. The stem base is usually 7/16” or 3/8”.

Office-Grip-Ring-Stem-Measurement
Caster-Sizes-Measurement

The wheels ranging from 2 inches to 2.5 inches have become standard for most office chairs.

Although this is certainly a sufficient size, there are still some benefits to using larger wheels and choosing wheels of at least 3 inches.

As you might imagine, larger wheels have less resistance when rolling and can overcome obstacles, including plush carpets, more easily. Larger casters provide more durability and versatility, which means you don’t have to worry about having to replace the casters.

Although the world of casters is very various, this guide covers many of the most popular and commonly used casters.

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