How to Select Right Chair Casters for Your Needs
Casters are gradually getting well-deserved consideration when shopping for an office chair. They play an important role in chair’s overall comfort and ease of operation. They basically help in the movement of the chair and because of them, you can also swivel while seated on the chair. Besides, they have a major say in the stability of the chair.
However, there are a lot of different chair casters available and they cater to a lot of unique needs. Therefore, to get the best out of your chairs, you need to go with the casters that best serve your needs. The basic components of a caster determine its functionality. However, the construction and design of these components ultimately determine their performance.
The factors which you need to keep in mind when shopping for a chair include:
The intended use of the chair
Weight capacity of the chair
The type of flooring that the chair will be moving on
Answering these different considerations will help dictate your caster’s size, design, material, and tread to fit your needs. We will go over each of these with their different properties to help you select the right chair casters for you. So, let’s discuss.
Size of the Casters
In casters, the size of the casters directly relates to the size of the wheel. In chairs, you are mostly going to come across caster wheels that are 2 or 2.5 inches in diameter. These wheel sizes are good enough and will serve you well in most situations. Anything less than that will experience more stress during use and will be difficult to roll.
if you can just take a step further and go with a 3-inch caster wheel, it will
not only be easier to roll but will also be good for high pile carpets. That
said, smaller casters don’t roll out of place easily.
Our 3-inch Twinwheel Casters are cost-effective and come with a weight capacity of 175 pounds each.
The size of the wheel also plays an important part in determining the weight capacity of the chair. In chairs, depending on the material, a 3-inch-diameter caster can easily hold 250 pounds.
Caster Mounting Type
If you are replacing a caster wheel, you will have to go with the specific mount that fits your chair/furniture. However, if you are adding a new piece in chairs, you will come across either plate mounts or stem mounts.
mounts basically have a top plate attached with a rigid or swivel rig and wheel
assembly. You will mostly come across plate mounts in furniture casters than
chair casters. They generally are able to carry more weight than stem casters.
However, they usually don’t have the ability to make 360-degree rotations or
swivels. They usually attach to any moving item with bolts.
When ordering a replacement for a plate mount caster, you will need to know the bolt hole pattern, the outer perimeter dimensions of the plate; and the size of the bolt holes. However, the bolt hole pattern actually is the most important measurement.
In stem mounts, the casters have a stem attachment and they usually come only with a swivel rig/fork and wheel assembly. This design allows 360-degree rotations and allows movement in any direction. In stem mounts for chairs, you will either see grip ring casters or threaded-stem casters.
Grip ring casters have a metal expandable ring that gets fitted into an insert in the chair. Grip ring casters are not used in items that are lifted regularly because they are only dependent on the grip insert to hold them against gravity. Threaded stem casters, on the other hand, are fixed into a threaded insert. One big difference between grip ring and threaded-stem is that you will need some sort of tool for grip ring caster to come off, but threaded stem can easily be removed without a tool.
Material of the Casters
The material of the casters determines their longevity and weight capacity and should be dictated by the type of flooring you have. Some of the commonly used materials include steel, rubber, polyurethane, and nylon/plastic. All of them have their fair share of pros and cons. Some provide longevity but are damaging to the floor. Others are not very durable but are quiet and provide floor protection. So, there is a bit of give-and-take when we talk about the materials for the casters.
If you have a finished wood floor, you can go with plastic, rubber, or iron caster wheels that are coated with urethane. These materials, plastic, rubber, urethane-coated iron, are also a good option if you have finished concrete floor and ceramic tiles.
For carpets, rubber and nylon casters are not going to be the best of options. This is because they have a tendency to dig into the carpet and stick fast. For carpets, go with steel or hard nylon casters as they are able to cut through carpet piles and provide better mobility. However, these materials are usually expensive.
If cost is a factor for you, you can go with twin or dual-wheel nylon casters. They are cost-effective and provide a wider surface and this helps to distribute weight more effectively. But, they are not going to be effective on thick carpeting.
At Linco, in our chair and furniture casters, we have a wide variety of casters in terms of size, design, and construction.