What Is the Difference Between Castor and Caster?
Castor is a British term for caster wheel, whereas caster is an American term for caster wheel. A caster or castor is a pivoting roller attached to the bottom of furniture or a portable machine for easy movement. Casters are available in two different styles: swivel casters and fixed casters. A caster has an axle with a wheel on either end that can be rotated to move the piece of furniture across any flooring surface.
Fixed and Swivel Casters/Castors
Fixed casters have both wheels mounted onto one metal plate; they cannot rotate 360 degrees around their axis as swivel casters can. Fixed casters work best for heavier pieces of furniture or those that do not need to be moved often because this style does not allow for much movement. On the other hand, Swivel casters offer more mobility than fixed casters by allowing the caster to rotate 360 degrees around its axis.
Swivel casters are a top plate, an axle, two caster wheels, and two caster plates at the bottom. The caster wheel has a metal rod through its center, which makes contact with both of the caster plates on the floor of the furniture piece. This caster wheel will allow the piece to move in a 360-degree rotation.
Fixed casters have two caster wheels mounted onto one metal plate, with a rod going through the middle of the caster wheel. This makes for less movement and can cause problems when moving furniture over uneven surfaces.
The caster wheel functions as the support for casters. Caster wheels are made of sturdy metal alloys specially designed to hold the weight of furniture pieces. Caster wheels can break if they are not made with quality materials.
Swivel casters have caster wheels made out of solid cast aluminum, which is lighter than cast iron but still strong enough to support heavy pieces of furniture. Aluminum caster wheels also work better on many types of flooring surfaces.
Caster wheels or casters come in different sizes depending on the weight of the piece of furniture they must support. A giant caster wheel can carry heavier items or pieces of furniture; caster wheels should be large enough to fit the width and length of the casters it supports. Standard caster wheels range from 2.5 to 6 inches in diameter, and caster plates on the floor of the piece of furniture should be at least 1/2-inch thick cast iron or cast aluminum.
Swivel casters commonly come in sizes ranging from 3 to 8 inches, while caster wheels used with fixed casters range from 4 to 9 inches. The caster wheels will be as wide as the caster plates they support.
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